Friday, December 24, 2010

A trip home for the holidays!

So I now find myself back in Arizona! I have spent that last few weeks working on the property and just hanging out in Elgin. It has been a lot of fun, I have met a bunch of wonderful people there. All are extremely nice, in reality everyone I have met has been quite amazing. We had a party out on the farm that was a lot of fun, it was a couchsurfing event so got to meet quite a few people. Then there was this australian fella who came out with my ex-host Tamilla, he ended up staying for a few days which was pretty damn nice. He was a really nice guy, had been traveling since August around the west coast of the states.
While we were sitting around the fire I happened to mention that I found some Tim-Tams being sold at the local H-E-B... which is texas' local grocery store. His eyes lit up like I had just told him he was going to be a father or just won a million dollars. So we ended up going out and buying a few packages and made a night out of Tim-Tams and organic milk. For those of you who do not know Tim-Tams are an Australian cookie that is rectangular and covered in chocolate, and the best part of them you can bite both sides off and then use it like a straw to suck milk through, making the cookie on the inside all deliciously soaked with milk. They are probably some of the best cookies you will ever have, if you ever find them. Pepperidge farms is makes them, see keep your eyes out!
Anyway, Yesterday, Thursday, I left Austin and flew in to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It was a little weird being back in Phoenix when I had no intention of going home for a good while. But all the same I am happy to be back with the family. This is the first time in my life that I get to take a trip home for just a visit. It is kind of like taking a vacation from my vacation... Just decided to double up a bit. Right now I am down in bisbee, looking out at my parents yard that I landscaped and with all intention of tooting my own horn, I am still damn proud of this yard. Haha. I cannot express enough how good it feels to be around my family for the holidays. It is nice to be able to take a small break from the road and get back into the loving arms of your friends and family.
Tomorrow we are headed out to see my grandparents which is always a hoot... Surprisingly I am actually looking forward to is at this point. This is all just a part of the adventure, and to be able to see my grandparents is definitely a blessing. As much as my grandfather can be a bit of a handful, you cannot hold it against him. My sister told me a story about my cousins wedding which happened while I was gone that made me feel a little bad. For one my cousin did not invite them to her wedding, which I guess given the history is somewhat understandable but still, they are your grandparents... Then after the wedding the family went back to my parents house where my grandparents were. My grandfather eventually approached my mom and said that Gretchen, my sister, was the only grandchild that talked to him. That actually broke my heart a little to hear it. I mean sure we have had some hard times with Pampa and he hasn't always been the nicest of people, but he is still our grandfather. Anyway, because of that I do look forward to seeing both Mema and Pampa. I have not spent as much time with them as I should and this will be the first Christmas we have spent with them in a good while, so it will be good.
Well that is all I can think to update right now... Sorry I have been slacking on this. I will try harder, but I make no promises. :-) I love you all and wish you all a safe and happy holidays! ALOHA!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The "farm"

Alohas everyone so my journey has found itself out in Elgin... A little recap of my past few weeks. After thanksgiving I went back to the co-op and hung out with the wonderful kids there. One night we all went out to dub step and it is a night that must be recorded!
The night started with a bunch of us walking to the bus stop, we sat there for a bit when a limo pulls up and offers us a ride for 3 dollars a person... I thought it was a pretty good deal but we are cheap bastards and the bus is only a dollar. Then the limo drivers cousin comes up and says he will give us all a ride in the Mercedes for $10, there were 6 of us. So we went for it and rolled up to the club in a baller Benz. We went into the dub step, which I will be honest i am not the biggest fan, but I like to dance. The dj's were pretty solid but it was way too loud... I mean dub step is usually loud but this was unbearable. We hung out and danced for as long as our ears could take it and then decided to walk home.
While walking my friend Jessi recommended we walk down sixth street which is austin's bar street. It was definitely entertaining... All these kids who are nicely dressed and look very nice just getting shitfaced drunk. Upon first glance you wouldn't notice anything but with further investigation you notice every one of them is slurring their words and falling over themselves. It was a crack up.
We eventually got tired of walking and decided to hop on the bus... That is pretty much the climax of this night. Right when I get on the bus I notice barf bags hanging by the window... This was definitely a good indication of the ride we were about to go on. Immediately before the bus is even loaded and moving this girl starts piling all over herself... This girl was gone and her poor boyfriend had no idea what to do. After vommiting everywhere, the bus driver decides she needs to het off the bus, of course this girl couldn't walk on her own so she had to be helped off. While she was getting off the bus a guy with a couple of girls get on. The two ladies grab the two seats next to where the girl just hurled and then the guy proceeds to sit down where the puke was. It all happened in slow motion... Everyone on the bus was yelling "NOoo don't sit there!" while the guy inched closer to the seat. At one moment he stopped looked at everyone and then plop. The guy sat right in the puke. He immediately noticed his seat had sometime extra on there. When he stood up his pant were covered.
Finally the bus settled down and off we went. No more than a minute later another girl started vomiting! This time the girls friends were prepared with the bag up to her mouth... Unfortunately she managed to hit the small hole provided for a handle on the bag. The puke spewed through the hole and all over her friend. All the while that this is going on there is a couple behind me that is clearly breaking up and yelling at eachother. It was much better than any television show!
Anyway a couple of days after that I went out to the farm. When I got there there was no one around. The proerty itself has nothing on it but an uld shack of a house and a bug Jesus bus that I remembered seeing at burning man... It was a little strange but anyway I hung out for a bit and made a fire. Eventually this girl Lindsay showed up. She is an interesting woman to say the least. She has traveled a whole lot and currently is traveling the country with two horses and three dogs! She is a travel writer and has met and knows many of my favorite writers. It was awesome to meet her and again I feel I have found myself in the right place again. A little later the two guys who live out there on the bus showed up. They are very nice guys.
Since then we have just been working around the proerty. Their ultimate goal is to have a sustainable co-op where people can live and work on whatever they like be it art or some other projects. It is very admirable but they have a lot to accomplish still. They just moved onto the property it October.. But it is a place to hang out for a bit and maybe I will be able to help them. We will see! I will update later, much love and aloha!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh this beautiful world

As my life continues to move forward into places I have never been I look back at where I came from and smile. I live a blessed life, I have spent so many days smiling that it is hard to remember the bad days. But even as I look back at the few hard times I have had I cannot help but smile at them too. I am so very thankful for everything I have experienced so far, good and bad. Everything has shaped me to who I am today... I have no regrets. 
Everything is now in the past even that last sentence so there is no reason to worry about it, just smile and look forward. This world has proven again and again to me that no matter how ugly it may be portrayed it is still beautiful. There are so many wonderful people in this world and so much beauty left to experience.
We should never have a fear of this world, there are some scary things in this world but the wonderful things completely outweigh them. If we enter the outside world with absolute love and respect, it is my opinion and experience, that the world and community will take care of us. We must be willing to appreciate all the little things and avoid feeling above any of it. Life is life, no matter if you are living it in a shack, on the streets or in a huge mansion, we are all living. And people will find happiness in all of it. There is beauty in all of it. 
I want to thank everyone with the deepest depths of my heart and soul. To all of those people who continue to support me and encourage me. To all those people I met for only brief moments but shared with me the same love and kindness they would a brother or son. And to those who I still have yet to meet in this world. I consider you all a part of my family no matter how quick our interaction may have been. I say it often but this world is absolutely beautiful. I wish all of you a safe and wonderful holiday season. Much love and aloha as always.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Settling into living

So I have been in Austin for about a week and a half, it had been loads of fun. A tad stressful at times just trying to find a bit of work and a place to lay my head for a minute. As of now I have the opportunity to hostel in the place I have been staying which is a pretty cool college co-op. It is a pretty ingenious idea. They have quite a few of them here in Austin, they are essentially dorms only the occupants pay rent and do about 4 hours of work a week. In return they are provided with all the freedom of living in their own apartment as well they have community lunches and dinners every day. For kids in college I think this is a beautiful idea. They all must participate in some way either by cleaning, doing yard work, cooking or helping cook... It gives the kids a little bit of structure, but at the same time they can do whatever they want still without worrying about getting in trouble with school.
My other option is to move onto a farm, it is out of town a little bit, however I would more than likely live for free. It also might offer me a chance to make a little monies... Decisions decisions. I feel like the farm might be best but I have made quite a few friends where I am and it's nice being around good people. But I think I can suck it up and go do a little farm living again. It would be very nice to do a little farm work and just relax somewhere. The only problem with the co-op is it can be a little hectic.
We will see, on another note I have had a great time so far meeting new people and all. I have noticed every guy I talk to about my trip gets inspired. They all drool over the idea of just getting up and going. Almost every guy I have talked to about my trip has said "I want to do something like that". It is pretty funny it must be some deep down hidden desire in all men to leave it all behind and just be free to travel. What ever the case I really hope I am inspiring them and they all do take a little time to explore this great world. Well that is all I have for now! I will update again soon enough much love and alohas!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Texas thanksgiving

So I was an orphan this thanksgiving but I was luckily enough to have been offered to join a couple of different families. In the end my friend Spencer and his roommate Chad were in Austin to have thanksgiving with Chads family. I was invited along so I cruised up to north east Austin for turkeyday. It was a completely different dinner than I would gave had with my family, but it was still so damn good. They fried two turkeys and baked one. Then there were multiple pies and cakes and deliciousness. I gorged myself. It was all so good. It was very nice of Chads family to invite me in, they were all extremely nice people. Very welcoming, they were all quite intrigued by my travels. It was a really wonderful time. But it was a true Texas thanksgiving, cheesit broccoli pie, brown sugar smothered sweet potatoes, fried Cajun injected turkeys, so much pie and cake... Just awesome really. I cannot express how much I appreciated being allowed to join. This trip has been full of wonderful people. I have been truly blessed. I hope everyone had as good of a thanksgiving as I did. Much love and aloha beautiful people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well this works!

So I woke up this morning to my tire being flat I kind of expected it, so I changed my tire but since I didn't have any better of a tire I was still fighting to keep it inflated. I could ride about 7 miles until it was flat and I had to pump it up again. With the really strong head wind I was not moving very far or quickly and I will admit I let it defeat me. I was tired from the day before, and not in the mood to keep wrestling with my tire. So during one of my stops to pump up my tire I decided to stick my thumb out. Sure enough a woman in a pickup truck pulled over, I feel bad but I think her name was Ellen... Turns out she was headed to Austin, so I loaded my bike and myself in to the back of the truck and off we went!
It was nice riding in the back of a truck again. It is probably one of my favorite ways to travel, to get to see everything and just enjoy the ride. She drove me all the way to north Austin, I am about 12 miles from the place I hope to stay... It feels really good. I feel a tad guilty getting the ride all the way in, but it's all a part of the adventure, I didn't expect this trip to be strickly riding anyway. So here I am. It feels good to be here and I am excited to actually maybe settle down for a bit. What I really want is some Thai food, so that will be my first thing to look for! Haha. Alright well this is the end of riding for a but but I will keep updating. I hope to find some places to volunteer at while I am here and as well I could really use a bit of work, as my funds are running very low. Anyway I will update again as soon as possible. Much love and alohas.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The joys of riding a headwind

When facing a strong head wind there are many things that go through your head. One is what the hell am I doing? Second is do I really need to keep riding? These are valid questions and should be considered what are you gaining by torturing yourself? The best reason to ride through is if you know it isn't going to get any better in the next couple of days or even better is that it is only going to get worse. At some point you need to keep moving so, knowing it is only going to get worse and that if you wait you will also end up in the rain you decide to go suck it up and pedal into the wind. It is going to be hard, and very tiring. There will be times when you're stopped dead in your tracks by the wind. This can be extremely demoralizing. But the best thing you can do is throw yourself in a lower gear and keep persevering, the only thing that is going to get you there is turning that crank. You may only be moving at 5-8mph but you have no other option. Just hunker down and keep pedaling you will make it eventually! Haha. One more thing, take small victories as large ones. If you made it 50 miles think of it as had the wind not been there cutting your speed in half, you would have made a hundred if not more.
Needless to say I am facing a serious head wind and it does not look like it will be getting any better over the next couple of days. I have barely made it 30 miles in 5 hours, it is just killing me. But there is only one way I am getting there, and if I don't do it quickly I will be riding through the rain. So here I am just pedaling as much as possible. The upside to riding in these conditions? I am burning probably 1000 calories an hour or more, meaning I can eat whatever the he'll I want. Haha. Oh boy time to keep moving. Just 20 more miles today and I will feel good about it. Much love and aloha.

Friday, November 19, 2010

From Lubbock to... Dallas?

So I left the college kids in Lubbock and headed down the road. I took my time leaving and hung out with Dan and Matt for a bit. They took me to free lunch and I met some of their friends. I left about 1, I did not want to but I had a tail wind that day and decided to take advantage. About 8 miles from post I got another flat tire on my back wheel again, so much for the tube that wouldn't go flat... A nail went all the way through the tube making patching impossible. So I grabbed my spare unfortunately the spare was a piece of crap. It would not hold air for very long as I found out. I managed to make it just past post and set up camp. When I woke up I found my tire to be flat. So I took my bike a part and started trying to fix it yet again. While I was sitting there struggling a big truck rolled up. A couple of black guys were sitting in the front and asked if I wanted a ride, since I had told myself I would not refuse a ride I loaded my stuff and hopped in! Their names were Big Biggie and S-O, nice guys. Big Biggie did most of the talking while S-O was more of the silent type... They offered me a ride all the way to Dallas, since I needed a new tube I figured why not! So we headed down the road, they were a trip. I had never ridden with people who consciously littered before. Any way they dropped me in cedar hill which was an interesting part of town. There was a bike shop close by, so I grabbed a tire but by that time it was already 5 in the evening. So I managed to find a state park and camp for the night. Now I am debating leaving today or just hang out. I am well ahead of schedule now so it is tempting to hang an extra day. We will see. But my battery is during again so I must stop this now. Much love and alohas.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am in texas

Aloha everybody so I finally made it to Texas! On my way out of cloves nm I stopped at a mcdonalds to steal some wifi and decided to play the uke a bit. There was a fat older gentleman sitting by me who was asking me questions about my travels. He wasn't the most learned individual, asking me if south America was cheaper than Europe. He asked me a couple of other rather odd questions, then stopped talking. So I started playing friend of the devil on the uke, it has become one of my favorite songs to play and the guy turns to me and says "that is how youended up like this playing music like that." I just smiled and responded "I am quite happy where I am thank you." he then sneered and scoufled off. I eventually headed out and made it to Muleshoe Texas, home of the mules as if they could be anything else (Texas towns like to put the schools name on their town signs). It was another very cold night, I woke up with a centimeter thick layer of frost on everything. I waited for everything to defrost and then mosied my way down the road. I stopped in Sudan to fill up my water bottles and again pulled out my uke, this time a gentleman who was buying lunch at the gas station asked me to play some music while he and his friend ate then slipped me five dollars! I happily obliged and when he was done eating he thanked me and complimented me. That was the first time I have ever been paid to play music, it was awesome. The day of riding was tough though I was riding through 40 mile per hour cross winds which also turned into head winds at times... It made it a ling day but I managed to make 70 miles to Lubbock Texas all the same where I found a couch to sleep on. I am staying with a bunch of college kids in this goofy house just off the campus of Texas tech. They are nice guys and self described bicycle enthusiasts which is quite perfect. I am debating staying an extra night to give my knees a rest. I am only about 370 miles from Austin so about a day ahead of schedule. Which is nice... I still have a long way to go though, so I might just leave tomorrow and have a short day just to keep me movin and get me a bit closer. We will see. I will write more when I can as for now my battery is dying. Much love and alohas!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quick post of my past few days.

I left sante fe on Wednesday... It took me quite awhile to find my way out but eventually I did and went about forty miles down the road and set up camp on the side of the road... The next day I was very slow moving in the morning because of the cold... I decided to try something that turned out to be a very bad idea... Because of this decision I only made it about 25 miles... I did manage to make it to clines corners which had a gift shop and cafe with Internet so I hung out there for a few hours to let myself mellow out a bit... The people there were friendly but I swear to god there must have been a nuclear waste dump somewhere close by... These people were a unique species of human I am quite certain. I made camp on the side of the road about 5 miles from there... The next morning I woke up to ice in my tent and snow... It was a bitter cold ride that day. I rode to encino thinking there would be at least a gas station there but I was very wrong. The town was pretty much abondoned... The only two places that were open were the post office and city hall. Luckily for me the people were very nice. I stopped into the post office to ask if there was a place to grab something warm to drink... She said no but then called over to city hall and the couple of ladies working there were kind enough to make me some coffee. I hung out there a bit then headed to vaughn which had a little bit more going for it. There I was able to fill my water bottles and I ride about 20 more miles and made camp. The next day I went to fort sumnor and found a little kitten sitting on the side of the road with no houses anywhere around it. I was very tempted to bring him with me because he was so damn cute but I really couldn't... Luckily I found a house just down the road with a couple of people out front I brought the kitten to them and they said they would take him. After that I road another 12 miles down the road and made camp on the side again. That brings me to today. I am now in melrose nm about 30 miles from the boarder I am goin to shoot for that tonight and get out if new mexico. I am stoked to get out of new Mexico. I found a place to stay in Austin which ses cool so I am excited to get there. I should be under 500 miles today. Wooten. Well that is about it. I will update again when I can! Much love and aloha.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ah Sante fe

So I made it to Sante fe, it was an awesome ride and a perfect day to be riding. I started out very slow my knees were in quite a bit of pain but the slowly loosened up as I went along. I could not get immediately onto to the interstate because I was in alburquerque. so I took the route through the reservation. It was a really beautiful ride. I had a tail wind and was riding through this little valley with large trees. All of the trees leaves were changing color and dropping on the road as I went along. It felt like such a typical fall day, it was perfect.
About half way through my ride I ran into a section of dirt road. I had the option of staying on the road and riding to the interstate or continue riding on the res and ride across the dirt road. I figured the dirt road couldn't be that bad so I took off. About a mile down I realized the dirt roads on the res were a little worse than I was expecting so I figured I should turn around... But first I decided to take a little break. While sitting on the side of the road I pulled out my uke and started playing. Pretty quick a white pick up truck pulled up with a couple of native guys in the cab. They greeted me and asked me where I was going? I told them Sante fe and asked if the road I was on would take me there and how long it was dirt for... They told me it would and said I had about three more miles, then asked me to play them a song so I did. I played friend of the devil, right after I finished they offered me a ride down the dirt road and back on the pavement. I graciously accepted and loaded my bike in the back of the truck and hopped in.
After that one gentleman John told me of a route up through a little Spanish town. I talked with them a little bit and headed down the road. The last 23 miles were probably the hardest. There was one monster hill I had to climb over but I did it without stopping. That made me feel really good. I made into Sante fe right before dark and found my way to my friends Carlos and daphne's house where I met up with my parents. I have spent thlast few days in Sante fe. Saturday my parents and I went to a hot tub and had a nice relaxing time. I will be headed out to Austin soon. Planning to be there for thanksgiving. I will post more later much love and aloha to you all!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day three flat tire and angel named Amanda

Alohas everyone. So today I find myself in albuquerque... Yesterdays ride was not quite what I expected. I woke up very sore, I was managing a decent pace but was having to stop quite a bit to give my knees a rest. At about mile 340 I stopped to take a quick break and when I went to get back on my bike my rear tire was flat. So I unloaded my bike and went to fix the tire. Unfortunately the hole was in a bad spot and I could not get the patch to hold. So I managed to slow the leak down quite a bit and started limping my way down the road. Though because I spent so much time trying to get the tire fixed I only had about an hour and a half of day light left. So I tried to get as far as I could before dark but having to stop and pump up my tire slowed me down, plus I was going uphill mostly. I managed to make it 20 more miles to the last stop before the new mexico border. There was a little convenience store where I was able to fill my water bottles and a rest stop for me to post up for the night. It was not the best night sleep ever, the train tracks were maybe a thousand feet away and a train would go by every 45 minutes or so. It didnt help that I was in a canton either but none the less I was able to get some sleep in. The best part is the rest stop had a pay phone that was relatively cheap, so I was able to make a few calls to my family and the girl whose couch I was supposed to be sleeping on in gallop.
In the morning I woke up really sore. I decided to take my time and enjoy the morning. It was quite beautiful where I was so I soaked in the view and played the Uke a bit. I took off probably about 9:00 and headed out down the road. About ten miles in my tire was flat so I went to pump it up and the valve broke. That meant was screwed I was still about ten miles out if gallop and now my tire was flat. There was no way I could walk without riskin damage to my wheel so I stuck my thumb out. It only took about an hour until my saving grace the wonderful angel AmandA or 'manda in heed pickup truck. She was headed to Oklahoma on her way back from Phoenix where she was visiting her daughter. To make a long story short since my battery is dieing she drove me all the way to albuquerque. I told myself I would not refuse a ride if offered so here I am I will edit this and add more later much love.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The real day one Flagstaff to Holbrook

Alohas everyone, so I know I said I was leaving yesterday but there was a pretty strong head wind and I had the opportunity to make a little money. So instead I left today. I rode to Holbrook in 6 hours which I am feeling good about because that is about a 90 mile ride. Considering I hadnt rode more than 40 miles in 8 years I am feelin pretty damn good. The first part of the ride was beautiful a bit of a head wind and a tad chilly but absolutely perfect. I got off to a late start leaving at about 8:30 but made really good time. I stopped first in Winslow and hung out there for about an hour before cruising the rest of the way to Holbrook. The second part of the trip got a lot tougher I was ver tired and my knee started to give me problems. But I think it is just getting used to the work load and will strengthen up over time. Tomorrow I am aiming for just past gallop in new Mexico. I am aiming for my first ever century ride so we will see how that goes.
I would like to mention the donation button available to the right of the screen. I want to let you know that you do not need to donate a large quantity of money by any means. Even just 5 dollars feeds me for a day. As well the more donations I get the sooner I will be able to start working on my main goal of setting up community gardens everywhere I go! :) I greatly appreciate all of the support I have received. Much love and aloha to you all. I will try to write more soon!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day one flagstaff to jackrabbit

Here we go I have the bike all loaded up, everything fits well the bike is a little wobbly but I will get used to it. It's a little chilly out with the wind coming from the east which means I will more than likely be facing a head wind. For this reason I am planning to stop at jackrabbit and hopefully camp somewhere near there. That will still make for about an eighty mile day. Which means I should probably get moving. Though quite honestly I am hesitant to get on the road, it is hard to get motivated at the moment. I am a little bit nervous but I think once I get going my nerves will die down.
I will try and post again later if I get the chance. Much love and aloha to you all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It Begins

Aloha everyone and welcome to my blog, here I will be posting stories of my travels and hopefully the occasional video and pictures. I do have a donations button available if you would like to contribute to the trip. Every time you donate I will donate my time to the communities I travel through. I will document all of the places I go and how I donated my time to that community. Much love and aloha to all.