Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh home bittersweet home

Alohas so this is probably going to be my last post for a minute or two. I finally made it home. The last post I had made it past las cruces to deming new Mexico. I understated the generosity if the guy who gave me a ride to las cruces, mainly because I was trying to be quick. Anyway he ended up putting me up in a hotel and bought me breakfast and a couple new tubes. Unfortunately those tubes did not hold up but it did help. From Deming I got a ride to Lordsburg. I got the ride when a guy pulling a trailer with a dog house passed me. Right when he passed the dig house got caught by a strong wind and flew off the trailer and landing in the middle of the road. I quickly ran out after it since there was a long string of semi-trucks coming right for it. I managed to pull it out if the road just as they were passing. I helped him load it back up and he offered me a ride all the way to Lordsburg. He then bought me some food at McDonalds which was very kind of him. He hooked it up. After that I found a place to sleep and crashed out for the night.
My trip home started off really good getting a ride to Tucson. Once in Tucson I found it hard to get a ride. I ended up being stuck in the Tucson for about 10 hours! When I finally got a ride to Phoenix the guy who picked me up dropped me off right on the side of the freeway at I-10 and baseline. I was stuck until an angel named Tiffany came and saved me and we some how managed to fit my bike in her small car.
And so I was home and have remained there. I will be back for a bit and then move on again. Until then though I will probably let this blog sit in wait. I have some projects to do, also looking for work if anyone in AZ wants anything done or knows people that might need help with anything I am happy to help and work hard! Thank you all for your support doing this crazy adventure! Much love and alohas to all of you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

So close but so far....

The past few days have been awesome. I have met amazing people on the road that have been so willing to help. I am a little sun baked so I will probably leave this short. I last was in eddy Texas... Since then I have made it to Demming New Mexico. It starte out slow on the back roads of texas. Moving maybe thirty miles a day for a few days. While sticking my thumb out just west of Burnett I got a little bored and decided to play my uke a bit. I will admit I was a bit stir crazy and was dancing a bit... Anyway I guess i scared some folks because I had the cops called on me... Next thing I know three cops pull up. The first one gets out and I walk toward him pulling out my I'D because this was routine now. Immediately he shouts "just stay where you are! Keep your hands where I can see them.
I am thinking "oh shit am I being arrested?" no luckily he was just a little skiddish. I handed him my ID but he read the number wrong to dispatch and they couldn't find me.
"you know why we cannot find a drivers license number for you?"
"Uh no this is the forth time this has happened in the past couple of days and each other time it's worked. I have my passport too."
"let me see it."
I pulled it out, he looks at it. "well I suppose it's alright what's the trouble?"
"flat tire sir"
"oh." then he walks over to the tire and checks it like I was lying.
"Well you have to understand son, what you're doing ain't normal. I mean sitting on the side of the road waiting for a rise playing the geetar is a bit... different."
"I understand sir I don't want to cause any problems."
"well then it's probably best you moved on. I can take you up the road but your bike has to stay here.
"thanks but I dont leave my bike anywhere."
I ended up limping it down the road a good ways. Till I got to Buchanan damn. I was there for a little while when this guy pulled over with his wife and daughter and ended up taking me to their restaurant where they had a shed they let me stay in and clean myself off. They also fed me brought me a tube and gave me a couple of dollars. They were just genuine people. Unfortunately my bike ate the tube and eventually it went flat.
My next ride was from a guy who ended up driving me all the way to Mason. He also gave me beer and food and it was just perfect. Then I managed to get the i10 and make it to fort Stockton, where I met some hitchhikers who had been there for five days... It didn't look good, but I ended up getting a ride all the way to las cruces by this gentleman who was equally as nice. Just so many good people.
I am now in Demming NM and will hopefully be home soon. Anywho much love and alohas!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well poop biscuits.

Well these past few days have been topsy turvy and full of awesome. I tried Hitchhiking at one point but being on back roads I couldn't get a ride. So I ended up riding. I managed to make it 80+ miles. It was a he'll of a day though. It was hot and very humid plus I was riding up some crazy hills. Being in the hill country of Texas I found out exactly whatbthat meant I was expecting rolling hills. Noo they were much more than that. It was hell on a bike to say the least. When I finally rolled into Centerville I was pooped, I could barely move my legs and was just about to collapse. I was out of money so I stopped at the gas station to fill up with water and then move on. While gathering myself a woman came up and started talking to me I told her the basics of my story and she eventually offered to buy me dinner, I at first declined but she insisted. I couldn't say no twice and she came back with a glorious spread of barbecue and even a slice of pie! Then as if that were not enough she slipped me a few dollars and a bag of oranges!!! It was the sweetest thing I have experienced so far, especially because her husband looked none to pleased. After I thanked her as much as possible and ate I rode a little ways down then road and made camp for the night.
The next morning I was greeted with another cop, who again ran my name and checked to see what I was doing. I mean really it gets old but oh well he was nice enough. I then started riding and made it 54 miles before my back tire decided it did not want to hold air anymore.
I must explainmy tire situation, as you know I have had my issues, I decided to stop writing about them but now I have to. I started out with two spares. The first one went on my back tire after I hit a pothole in Louisiana which cause the tube on there to burst. The second went to my front tire after I got a nail through it. I held on to that tube with hopes I could patch it. That leaves me with no tubes left. Then yesterday for no explained reason my back tube decided to not hold air anymore. I took it apart looked for holes. I have done this threes times but there is nothing it just will not hold air. It goes flat rather quickly too. Sometimes it will last a mile other times it will be flat it just a quarter to a half mile. It is making riding impossible. I have tried to patch the tire that got a nail through it to no avail. That one is done too. So now I am stuck in Eddy Texas. Between Waco and Austin on the 35. I spent the money the woman gave me on fruits and veggies, which were delicious last night. But does not help my tire hold air haha. I think I will hitchhike from here. We will see.
Oooh almost forgot I stopped at one gas station to charge my iPod that died last night and the attendant came out and told me I had to move on. I pleaded my case saying my tire was flat I am trying to charge the iPod since it is my only way to communicate with people but it was all in vain. He obviously had something up his butt and threatened to call the police. Glorious. So that added to my awesome day of riding 11 miles on a flat tire and realizing I am now basically stranded. So good. I really cannot wait to get home and spend a whole week working and making money and sleeping in a bed! Ah it will be glorious. Anyway. Good days bad days it is all a part of the adventure now I get to hitch it home and see how that goes. Woot. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

These days are full of wonder.

Alohas so my last post was short and sweet and to the point because my battery was dying. This one will be more fun.
I neglected to mention my first run in with the cops which happened my last night in Louisiana. It was like a sign from god that it was time to get the hell out. I had just left Kinder a pleasant enough little town and was heading towards the Texas border. However it was starting to get late so when I came across q nice looking place to camp I went for it. It was a clearly abandoned road and I walked down it to make sure and it turned out to be s telephone pole service road. Great I thought that means it's state property no one should have any issue. So I went down it a good ways and set up camp. I made my dinner and went into my tent. Suddenly I felt an unpleasant presence so I peeked my head out the door of my tent and sure enough there was a cop sitting by the side of the road. He sat there for a good while I figured he was just killin time. Nope, he eventually gets out and starts making his way down the dirt road. So I get my shoes on and go to meet him.
"aloha" I of course say.
"what are you doin back here?"
"I am traveling by bicycle and decided since it was getting dark to make camp for the night."
"traveling or homeless?" he asked with a pretty bitter tone.
"traveling sir."
"you have I'D on you?"
"of course" I grab my wallet and hand him my drivers license which if any of you have seen is pretty damn glorious and looks nothing like me.
"this you?"
"yeeaaah it really is." I couldn't help but laugh a bit. So he calls it in and runs my name.
"it's not that I don't trust you, I don't trust anyone."
"yeah I bet" eventually it comes back as me and of course my name us clear.
"well now I still am going to have to say that you need to move, cause this is Uh, still town limits and we have Uh... City ordinance... Besides which this is private hunting land and well you will have to leave."
"I will be out in the morning early, it's just getting dark and I don't like riding at night..."
"yeah no younger gonna have to leave" he said more sternly.
"alright I don't want to cause any issue..."
So despite it getting dark quickly I packed up my camp and moved down the road. It was another four miles till I found another place to camp.
I got the he'll out of Louisiana the next day riding about 100 miles.. I got lost though and had to loop around at least 15 of the 100 miles. But it was still a century ride even if only 89 or so were in the right direction.
Yesterday was a day for wild life. I saw all kinds and not just dead ones on the side of the road. The highlight was seeing what I can only say was a chupacabra. No joke, it was a dog like creature with basically no hair, it was about the size of a coyote. Large pointy ears that were somewhat tear dropped shaped. It was most definitely wild and when I stopped to try and catch a picture it bounded off. Almost like a deer. I know I know likely story... But I have no reason to lie and unless Texas has a species of wild dog I do not know about this was most definitely a chupacabra.
Then last night happened. I was feeling pretty good yesterday having made it almost 70 miles after my century ride. It looked like it might storm so I set up my tent and put the rain fly on. Then at about 12 o'clock the heavens opened up, and I found out that my tent is no longer water proof... It stormed until 3:30 in the morning with lightning and thunder and rain pouring down. By 1 my tent was thoroughly flooded and everything including me was drenched. Sleeping bag sleeping pad, everything. I managed to shield the uke and case which held my itouch but that was it. I swear if Jesus does come today he picked a very fitting day. I was almost certain it was the rapture that is how intense the storm was. At 5 at the very first sign of light I packed everything up. It turns out that not only is my tent no longer water proof but my saddle bags are not either, all my clothes are wet, I am wet, tired, and really just want to be home. It's funny, but at the same time I just want to be home. I might just resign myself to the thumb today since everything is wet I won't be able to sleep well tonight and I only got 4 hours of sleep last night... Meh we will see how that goes. This is already mighty long so I will leave it at that... My days are glorious full of adventure and wonder, and my nights are a fury of the rapture! Haha. My life rocks. Much love and aloha

Friday, May 20, 2011

On the road home

Alohas! So I have started my way back home. It has been interesting. I fixed up my bike in baton rouge and headed out. Unfortunately my right shoe no longer clips in. This has made riding difficult. But I am pushing through it!
When leaving baton rouge I had to hitch a ride across the bridge because I didn't feel like risking my life. It took me about two hours to do so! That was lane but I eventually got a ride. The next day was a weird one, people were rather rude, which really drains your spirit. But I ended up riding a good distance I suppose. The day after that was good, people were much more cheery, I met a "certified coon-ass" who owned a gas station I stopped at and he gave me some food which was awesome. Though it did not settle well in my stomach and before long I started feeling not so well. That was good motivation to make it to thence town
As quick as possible! When I finally found a restroom it was true salvation.
Upon the following day I rode over 100 miles and made it out of Louisiana. I got lost a couple of times because I was taking back roads that were not very well signed. But I found the right way eventually and made it a good distance. I also finally found the hills of Louisiana. Turns out they hide them in the north west of the state. But hey it made for a more interesting ride thank just riding straight. Anyway I am on the right path now and making decent time. My battery is dying so I must leave this short. Much love and aloha!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Letting this thing get away from me again...

Alohas everyone. So I am back in Baton Rouge now. My stay in New Orleans was full of music and drinking... As much as I do not drink often it is quite hard to avoid when you are there. Most of the time while busking people will give you alcohol instead of tips. It's like saying here get a little more fucked up so you play worse. Though of course it is a pretty awesome time none the less. I met some really good people and that made my stay better. At first I was having a hard time with it mainly because of the large amounts of drinking which makes it harder to talk to people, unles you are drunk too... I feel I left at the right time though, and now my plan is to haul ass back to AZ.
First however I need to spend a minute getting my bike worked on, then from there it is off back through Texas and New Mexico and a on to Bisbee Arizona. I am thinking I might just push myself and see how fast I can make it because why not? I am excited for this, as much as I am also dreading it! I have about 1400 miles to ride and I will be shooting for two weeks to get back. Though I will not be afraid to take a little but more time, it will be interesting to see if I can make it. Mainly I want to do this because it took me so long to get here so I want to prove to myself I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Which if you know me you know I usually succeed in these endeavors... Cause well let's face it I am superman.
Alright enough gloating. I am going to leave this short because I am not feeling terribly inspired but i will be updating on my ride back just to keep you all up on my progress. I will be back in AZ soon enough and I am thinking maybe a little get together when I do?! We will see. Much love and alohas to all!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nola the broke way.

Alohas, been too long since I last made a post. I have spent my days playing music for the most part. It is tough being one guy on a uke here, because you are competing with full bands who gain peoples attention more than you. But I have been able to string myself along. I have spent most of my time playing with other people and gaining that experience. That part has been good and despite being broke I have managed to have a really good time down here. Many people instead of giving you money will just give you alcohol which is pretty cool I suppose. I haven't had to buy many beers, actually in total I think I have bought two beers! As well I was able to see Toubab Krewe last night for free which was incredible. But I ended up getting a little bit messed up and I also hadn't slept much so I left early and passed out. The show was pretty incredible still though.
I am getting a little tired of New Orleans though, it is a lot to deal with. The way I see it it is everything that is good and bad in the United States packed into one city. But it is still very fun and cool, I just think it is definitely a place to see in small doses. It also wouldn't hurt to have more money. Oh well. My plans are leaning towards heading back to az for a minute. I have I a few projects I would like to be able to focus on and finish, plus I have a lot of video and pictures to take off my itouch and do something with. With all that I think heading back to az wouldn't be so bad. Plus maybe make a little money too, cause I could really use it.
Highlights from new Orleans have been the night I got to play music with Brown Chicken Brown Cow, I spent one night cruising around with this English gent I met and two girls from Canada and we ended up in a hotel on the roof swimming in the pool and soaking in the hot tub, then of course Toubab Krewe, they were incredible! Then all the good people I have met here, most of them have been awesome. I even met Ani Difranco. Which was pretty damn cool.
The hardest part about new Orleans is people are more apt to look at me like a hobo, there are a lot of street kids here and they spend their days getting shitfaced and bugging people for money or their left overs. Which gives us travelers a bad reputation here. I get some dirty looks and some rude comments, but oh well. Life is good... I am ready to setlle down somewhere comfortable for a minute so going back to az will be good. Well that is all for now, much live and aloha.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baton Rouge along with some changes to the plan

So Friday came, the day before my birthday and it was time for me to leave the farm. I worked a little bit in the morning as kind of a fuck you to the guy who owned it. Just to show him that he just lost a very good worker by being a dick. After that I headed to baton rouge. The ride started off alright. The day eventually turned into a headwind and it was slower going. None the less I made it by 5 o'clock in the evening. I checked my email but no one had written me back on couchsurfing. I tried contacting more people but I kind of felt like it was useless. Sure enough no one ended up writing me back that night. At about 8 I rolled over to highland coffee which is right on campus to just hang out. I ran into a couple of people playing music out front, one guy on a violin and another playing guitar. Turns out the guitar player was a traveler also from Spokane Washington. The violin player lived in baton rouge, we all played music for a bit and then we all went over to a bar. The guy who played the violin then proceeded to buy both Bob and I beer, he was a super nice guy. He didnt even know it was my birthday or anything, just wanted to buy us beer. He reminded me a lot of Sylvester Stallone in his looks and speech.
Any way at the end of the night I was still homefree and so Bob showed me a field we could crash in where no one cared. I guess it is a well known field for travelers. It was perfectly fine place to crash for the night under the stars. The next day I hung out with Bob, he introduced me to this guy Travis who let both of us stay at his house. He was not a couchsurfing host or anything, just a nice guy. We hung out the whole day for my birthday and celebrated the best way we could without any money. It was good, really good.
Sunday wasn't the most eventful day, it being Easter most places were closed, I ended up cooking some delicious curry for Easter dinner, it was good. Monday nigh was the drum circle and vegan potluck so I took Bob and Travis to that since neither one had heard of it. It was great to see all those people again and relax.
On Monday I also got some interesting news... My buddy who was planning on joining me on part if the trip just found out he is going to be a father! No worries he is married and loves his wife so it's not some terrible one night stand with a crazy Christian woman. So now that changes my plans again... I am thinking it might be time to head back to AZ soon to make some money and such... I might go to Florida anyway to get to the east coast, I realize this is cheating slightly but that is how it is working out. Then I will head back to Arizona through the middle of the country, or something like that. We will see. Anyway that is all I have got for now... We will see where I go from here! Much love and alohas everyone.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Orleans and then WTF mate?

So this past weekend I decided to cruise down to new Orleans to do a little busking. I have to admit it was a little tough, there are quite a few people doing the same and it is tough to compete being just one guy playing the ukulele. Do I ended up just messing around mostly, randomly following people, especially couples and playing music behind them. This proved to be pretty successful and I ended up making a couple of dollars that way. I also spent a good deal of time talking to people as I usually do.
When it started to get late I still needed a place to stay. I was sitting in a little stoop using the Internet of a cafe next to me when a girl walking with her bike walked past me. She stopped and started to talk to me. We chatted for a brief minute and i told her my predicament. She then offered me a place to stay so I followed her home. On the walk home we were chatting and some how got on the subject of San Francisco. At this point I asked her if she knew one of my friends Julie. I don't normally do that, San Francisco being such a large city, it is very unlikely someone would know the same person but for whatever reason this time I did ask. Sure enough she did know her! It was such a crazy surprise. It is amazing how small this world is.
The next day I toured around the city a minute then headed back to the farm. When I got back the gentleman who owns the farm told me that he was allergic to my smell and that I needed to find a new place to stay. I really don't know what to think about this, I try to take a shower if not daily every other day, I don't smell that bad, though I have been eating a lot of meat since coming here. Still though, allergic to my smell??? All I can say is WTF? I guess I am just so awesomely manly and strong that even my stench can take down men! Haha!
Anyway if you want my personal opinion I think he just did not like me. He is a man who is afraid of a lot and likes to try and make other people afraid of those things as well. For instance I like to explore but he was not fond of me going into the swamp because he is afraid of snakes. While I have a healthy respect for them I do not fear them. He also mentioned that there are coyotes... Like I am supposed to be afraid of them too? He didn't like the fact that I walked barefoot. He had a weird obsession with eating every meal together like a family, he hated spicy food and gave me a pretty mean face when I put cayenne pepper on my food (I accidentally made the mistake of leaving it on the table once and I haven't seen it since, I think he threw it away). He treated me like a child and was a way over protective parent. Whatever, it is probably for the best that I am leaving here I do not think I could have made it till the end of April anyway.
I wasn't learning much on the farm, just how not to do everything. I did learn a bit about aquaponics but that all came from a video he had me watch. I am not going to bitch anymore though I have a lot more I could say.
So now I have to figure out where to go now. I am not sure I might head to new Orleans for a minute longer and see if I cannot make a little more money... Then from there start going to Tennessee? Who knows, I have some time to enjoy. My birthday is this weekend so I would like to stay somewhere but we will see. Anywho I will write more later. Much love and alohas

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ponchetula strawberry festival and my first week of work

Alohas everyone so it has been a few days since I last wrote. My apologies, once you get into settling in mode it is hard to remember to update a blog at least for me. I start enjoying living too much and get caught up in it. Can you blame me?
Anywho last weekend was the strawberry festival, a weekend of everything strawberry, beer wine cake anything glutinous was there. It also brought out the stereotypes, of both white and black. There were ladies with their hair all did and cars completely pimped out with rims and sound systems blasting canned rap. As well you had the slow redneck good old boy types driving their pickup trucks and blasting country. And last of course the average good christian family, slightly to morbidly obese, in their midsize cars listening to modest christian friendly music. To finish off this strawberry sunday were the bikers who were out in force, all dressed the same sporting their logos and creedos on their leather vests. Oh it was a sight to see!
The only unfortunate thing about the festival was how expensive everything was, but that also meant people were in the money spending mood. So I decided to try my hand at busking. It was my first time really trying it, I had played music on the street but never with my case out trying to make money. Within a few hours I had already pulled in forty dollars! I was feelin great, I figured it was a good time to take a break so I went to the bar and grabbed a couple of beers. Afterwards I figured I should at least make the money I spent on beer back so I went back out, I pulled in another $35! I was feeling high at this point, I couldnt believe it! Why hadn't I done this before? It was beyond me. So now I have an idea to just hit small town festivals and busk. I think I might be able to fund my whole trip that way... We will see.
The next day was my first full day of work on the farm. Though at least I wasn't alone on Sunday a French gentleman came to the farm as well. He is a super nice guy and goofy. Something aboutfarms and French people for me. Everytime I go to one there is one there! Haha. The work was good, I installed a taro field with Jean Baptiste, then the rest if the time we have been building. The guy who owns the farm is really nice, but my only thing is he is not exactly friendly. It is hard to talk to him, he is scared of a lot and in many ways he is a little weird. We are provided with three meals a day cooked by the guys mother, which are quite good... Except he doesn't like spicy food. So in a place with thousands of Mosquitos there is no garlic in any of the food... Not to mention there is meat in every meal, so I have been eating a lot of meat and that is making me smell! Haha even after I shower it is just a few hours before I smell again. Last the way the farm is is a complete mess. He doesnot take care of his tools many of them are broken or breaking, and the place is covered with trash. He is like Bob in hassium if any of you have heard my stories about him. He doesn't throw anything away, so the place is riddled with junk that he expects to use... The only problem is much of it probably wouldn't last long if he did use it. I feel like most of what I am learning here is what not to do... But that isn't entirely bad.again he and his family are very nice and I am so appreciative of the place to stay and the food, and the work is good honest work. Just a few things that I have issues with, but it is all good in the end. Today I will be headed to New Orleans to busk. We will see how I do! Much love and alohas everyone.

Friday, April 8, 2011

From Baton Rouge to the farm

So like I said before I made it to baton rouge. The first night I stayed with a sweet girl, but she was busy with school so I did not want to be a bother to her. The next night and for the rest of my stay in baton rouge I stayed with what is the core of the "good vibe tribe". This was a house of amazingly kind and like minded woman. On Monday night they host a drum circle and vegan pot luck, it was exactly what I needed to experience. Up until then baton rouge just seemed like just another college town with nothing but Hipsters and alcoholics. The folks who came to the drum circle were all wonderful genuine people. It made time fly by unfortunately and before I knew it I needed to get to the farm.
Of course as always the farm isn't quite what I expected. In fact it is a touch of a disappointment... They do have aquaponics set up and the guy who is running it definitely knows what he is doing... However the current state of the farm is in dissaray. There is trash everywhere, nothing is organized, and it really makes me wary on what work is going to be like. Oh well I am going to give it a try and see how it ends up. The guy seems very nice... We will see. I don't have too much to report at the moment... I have just been enjoying all that I can. Anyway I will update more later alohas.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baton Rouge, oh yes I made it to the Mississippi river

Alohas everyone! So last I wrote I was in lake Charles having to stop to visit a doctor. After I left there I rode to Kinder which was not far but again I found myself locked in conversations with people. Many if them were people talking to me about Jesus. I find myself in bible country in the south and many people still hold their beliefs. Having my own religious views I could do little but smile and nod. While traveling one of the best things you can learn to do is hold your tongue. There will be many times when you find yourself in conversation with folks who do not exactly hold the same views as yourself and will not do you any good to get into an argument over it. Everyone had the right to their own opinions and beliefs and it is not always your place to speak up against them. If you are asked your opinion that is another story and I always recommend telling the truth because people appreciate honesty even if it upsets them a little. For me religion is one topic I stay away from it is something many people feel very strongly about and can be the one thing that people are unwilling to hear any other view on. So I have found it best to just keep your tongue holstered.
Anyway back to the travels. When I left lake Charles I had all intention of making it further than kinder but my bike had other plans. While I was riding my rear rack came loose and before I knew it I was dragging me back panyards behind me. I had no idea what had happened... Luckily for me I was in the south and that meant I was in the land of southern hospitality. Before I knew it two cars had already pulled over to help me. We all took a look at the bike and figured out that it was merely that a couple of bolts had come loose and all we needed to do was tighten them back on. So they held the rack up while I gave them a good tightening... Though it still seemed to met that it was quite right yet but it was holding alright so I continued on my way. I made it to kinder a little while later, mind you I had been again fighting with my back tire to stay inflated so most of the day was spent riding on a low tire. This slows you down quite a bit especially with so much weight on the bike.
Once I made it to Kinder I stopped
At the grocery store to buy some food. Upon walking out I ran into a couple who was walking with their two dogs to washington for the rainbow gathering. They definitely looked the part of rainbow goers... A little dirty and unkept but they were nice people. I talked with them a bit and they told me of a place to camp.
I would like to hear plug another traveling tip I have picked up. Always keep yourself looking presentable. This is something that I found to be very helpful when it comes to gaining peoples trust and acceptance. When you look dirty and unruly people will merely think of you ad a bum and transient. Which in w a way you are but above all you are a traveler, an explorer and you cannot present yourself as any less. Do you think Christopher Colombus would have had so much respect over the Indians if he looked like a dirty bum? No. Your appearance becomes your selling point to people, as terrible as that may sound and you must maintain a certain amount of presentability.
Again back to my travels. The next day I started out early with intentions of making it to baton rouge. But again my bike had other plans. My tire would not stay inflated longer than a few miles so eventually I had to patch the tube. Right after I got my tire put back together a woman pulled over and asked if I would like a ride. I said yes, because I said I would never deny a ride. She was a real southern woman, a little over weight, a little brash and rough around the edges but a sweetheart none the less. She asked if she could trust me, I assured her she could, however she did still make mention that she carried a gun with her just in case I was not good intentioned. I reassured her that I could be trusted. She was traveling with who I assumed was her nephew or grandson Scotty. They were both flabbergasted over what I was doing and why I was doing it. They only took me down the road a few miles but it was appreciated all the same.
After that I stayed and talked a bit then headed on my way. Eventually my suspicions rang true about my back rack and sure enough it popped off again. This time I decided to not risk it and used my belt to hold it up. Io didn't make it the hundred miles to Baton Rouge, I only managed 50 but it was okay because I found a field of flowers to set my tent up in. It was too good to pass up. The next day my body was not feeling up to riding much so I rode about 15 or 20 miles and then before I got to the narrow bridges I was going to have cross I decided to stick out my thumb. I got a ride from a young guy named Phil who was extraordinarily nice. We had a good talk about touring and traveling. Eventually he took me to a little farmers market and bought me vegetables. It wad awfully kind of him. When we got into Baton Rouge he gave me a quick tour around and bought me lunch at Cains. I thanked him as much as I could, being low on money it was a huge help and very much appreciated. I stayed with a young girl and her roommate that night and then the next I found another place to stay. Both girls were in school and I did not want to be a bother to them. However they were both extraordinarily sweet and hospitable. The south so far has proven to it's reputation. Anyway this is mighty long already so I will leave it there. I will write more later much love and aloha.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good times bad times, and all the crazy in between.

Alohas, so it has been a few days since I last posted... I had written a good deal the other day only to lose it to the Internet on my iPod crashing. So here I go again. The last few days of Texas were spent locked in conversation with people. It started in Drevers at a country store with the two folks that were there, it was a good conversation on politics and the world. The next conversation was at a picnic are on the side of the highway with a very intelligent and interesting gentleman from Liberty. That conversation consisted mostly of life and fun and the wild experiences we had had. I ended up being locked in that conversation for a fee hours. Then I finished the day with a conversation with a fellow traveler who was driving out west, this conversation condisted mostly of the spiritual, and the goodness that is in our world.
After all of that I finally made to Louisiana! It was so sweet to cross the river and see the "Welcome to Louisiana" sign. I was on a great high note and then suddenly things turned a little sour. I was riding down the i10 when I got pulled over by a cop. This is the ensuing conversation.
"you can't ride on the interstate."
"oh? I am sorry, where can I ride?"
"you are lucky I just ran into a guy doing the same thing..."
He then began to describe the route I needed to take, which was a very long detour and added about twenty miles onto my ride that day and a total of about 50 miles to my entire ride. He then proceeded to do the good cop turned asshole thing. I do not know why cops feel the need to inform you of how nice they are being, but I know I was being completely respectful of him and trying to be understanding. This didn't stop him...
"you know it's illegal to ride a bike on the interstate."
"I did not know that, but I really appreciate you informing me." mind you there were no signs informing of this...
"I could write you a ticket right now..."
"I understand and appreciate your kindness." what else did he want? I half expected him to say 'this information aint free boy... Pucker up." But luckily he didnt, I thanked him, shook his hand and then walked off the interstate and continued on my way.
I ended up not making it very far after that because I had to backtrack a good deal. The next day a rash that had appeared was getting worse. I made the tough decision that I needed to get to a hospital. Luckily I wasn't far from Lake Charles, the only problem was that the quickest way to the city was over the interstate. So I rode up to the bridge and thumbed a ride across. I was picked up bya couple who were traveling around the east coast. They were kind enough to drive me all the way to a hospital.
Even though the hospital was not full at all it still ended up taking four hours. Which left me little time to move on, besides which the cream I was given required me to take a shower and such. Plus I needed to wash all my clothes. So I found a hotel with laundry. The next day weather started to roll in, so I found another cheap hotel to stay. It was definitely a cheap hotel...
At about 3:30 in the morning there was a knock at my door. I was very tired but went to figure outwho was there. When I opened the door I was greeted by a very used up looking prostitute. It was a little creepy, but I was in no mood to deal with it so before she could say anything I just shut the door in her face.
The next day it was still raining so I stayed one more night. I hung out with a nice girl who I had met my first day in Lake Charles, and spent most of the day playing music. Today I will be headed out again. Which I need to get to. So until the next chance I get to update... Much love and alohas!

Friday, March 25, 2011

SXSW craziness, sayin goodbyes to Houston and back to the open road

So since I last updated I have had some fun experiences... First Gene took me to see cirque du soleil 'Ovo' which was incredible of course. Then shortly after that he took me to see KISS perform at the rodeo, that was interesting. At least I can say I saw kiss live, even if they were all old and washed up. Luckily the concert only lasted about 45 minutes, which is all gene simmons can handle at this point! All through this time was still recovering from the poison oak... The next day I woke up and the poison oak was mostly gone, however it was now time for SXSW... How could I resist going being so close? Besides Gene had offered me a ride. So I went back to Austin.
SXSW was amazing, a sight worth seeing. Music everywhere, in every bar, restaurant, hotel and even on the streets of downtown. I was overwhelmed. So many people, many of them trying way too hard, packing every nook and cranny of space in Austin. I got to see lots and lots of great music performed, it was wonderful. My favorite parts were the street performances, they were all quite unique and genuinely fun. I also saw great performances by Black Angel, IAMDynamite, The Wreckards, and the Ben Miller Band to name just a few... So much fun. My only issue was it was centered mostly in bars and around drinking, which meant a lot of douchebags were running around. I ended up having to break up a couple of fights and just having to deal with adenoids screaming obsenities everywhere. Oh well I still managed to meet a lot of amazing people. Many of whom were introduced to me by Gene who basically knows everyone from what I can tell.
After south by, we headed back to Houston. I started to get everything packed up and ready to go. It took me a few days to finally leave but I eventually managed to get back on my bike... It was hard to leave and it definitely left my heart a little heavy for all the great people I met there but it feels good to be back on the road. I am riding more and more into the swamp lands and it is wonderful. So beautiful and green with flowers coming up everywhere welcoming the spring season. I have just a few days of riding so I should be to the farm soon, we shall see. I will update more later, much love and alohas

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Poison Ivy and my Beautiful World

Aloha everyone! I last left off in Houston and sure as Shirley I am still there. Why you ask? Well let me tell you  a little story. It all starts on my last bicycle trip I took across the country with my father. We had managed to make it to California without much issue, besides my father's constant flat tires. About a third of the way down the coast of California, a rash appeared on my lower back, a few days prier having taken a poop in the woods. It turned out to be poison ivy, and since I was riding a bike sweating and pumping blood it quickly spread from my lower back to my neck and was nearing my mouth. So I had to go into an urgent care facility and get put on steroids which lasted the rest of the trip.
Fast forward eight and a half years, I found myself in Chappell Hill Texas, camping on the side of the road. I was having a hard time finding a place to camp and when  I finally did I was tired and just wanting to set up camp and make dinner. I paid little attention to the plants around me and started clearing out an area for my tent. I didn't notice until a bit later that a couple of the plants I was stepping on looked a bit like poison oak. I had nothing I could do at this point, my tent was set up and I was already eating dinner, "Oh well, maybe it isn't poison oak" I thought. I just went to sleep. A few days later sure enough it was poison oak and having touched myself in a couple of precarious places, mainly around my eye I couldn't risk leaving. If I did leave I ran the risk of it spreading and getting worse just like on my last bike trip. So I am still here in Houston, probably will be for a couple more days until this hopefully clears up on its own. But as of now all I want to do is scratch my skin off and call it over.
However, being stuck in Houston has turned out to be very good. I had mentioned my couchsurfing host in my previous post. I would like to emphasize here how awesome he has been. He is a truly kind hearted and genuine person. One of those people who is friends with everyone even if he is meeting you for the first time. He has been extremely nice to me and very helpful, and I am truly grateful to have landed on his couch. All of his friends have been very welcoming and kind and everything I have experienced here has been absolutely wonderful.
This trip has brought me to so many beautiful places and has introduced me to so many beautiful people. It has been a humbling experience. There are not enough words in the english language to describe the wonderful things I have experiences. Our world is amazing, the people in it are still beautiful and all have something amazing to contribute. I know I say this a lot, but I keep being reminded of it every day and I cannot help but share it. I rode out into this world on a whim and a big cloud of dreams and ideas and have been so graciously met that I am overwhelmed with love and appreciation from every side. I want to thank everyone who has taken me in, helped me, or even just smiled at me when I smiled at them. Every single one of you have made this trip what it is. It is all of you who make me look forward to continuing and seeing more. It is now become a bit of an obsession to continue to explore and meet new wonderful people.
I love you all truly and hope that at some point some of you will join me on my quest. If only for a day, I encourage you to come out and ride with me. I will help arrange a bicycle for you if you need one, just let me know you are coming. Thank you all again, and I look forward to seeing you all on this trip, whenever and wherever I may run into you, even if it is right where you live, just keep a couch open for me!
I will probably post again once I start underway to Louisiana, which will hopefully be soon!
ALOHAS my brothers and sister, and my mother and father. I love you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

From Hempstead to Houston

Alohas everybody! So since I last left off I have made my way into Houston. I woke up in a place called Chappel Hill Texas on Friday morning and made my way down the road to a Burger King with free wifi. Burger Kings do not always have wifi but with luck this one did. I hung out there for a bit and was able to talk with my parents through the glorious technology of Facetime. It is wonderful being able to talk face to face with my parents even though they are half way across the world in the country of Laos. It was a bad connection though and we were only able to talk for a short while. After leaving there I made my way to Hempstead. About 5 miles out of Hempstead I quickly realized that I was probably not going to be able to camp that night because the road had now turned more into a freeway and there was nothing but civilization all the way to Houston. So while I could have made it to Houston by pedaling, that meant I would have been there past dark which would have left me struggling to find a place to stay, as well riding through a large city at night. So I decided it would be best to stick out my thumb.
Within 30 minutes of doing so a small SUV pulled over and this gentleman named Chuck offered me a ride. He was a really nice guy and we spent the whole ride chatting about traveling and camping. He was a bit of an old hippie himself with an American Flag bandana and all. He gave me a bit of smoke and drove me to the outskirts of Houston. When he dropped me off he even gave me $13. My luck with people has been so wonderful and I cannot thank him enough for the ride and the money he gave me. This world continues to show me how beautiful it is and that the people living in it are still wonderful.
Like I said he dropped me off on the outskirts of Houston about 20 miles from downtown. Unfortunately for me I didn't bother to pay much attention to this. I rode a while till I started to get into the city and found a Starbucks. I decided I should spend a bit of time looking for a place to stay so I stopped and started searching for a couchsurfing host. About an hour later it dawned on me that I had no idea where any of these people lived, and even more so I really had no idea exactly where I was. That is when I decided to check my map and see where I was. To my somewhat alarmed surprise I was still 15 miles from downtown, where most of the hosts lived. It was now getting close to five in the evening which left me but an hour and a half to make my way to downtown before it got dark. So I quickly packed back up and headed out as fast as possible. I wasn't exactly sure how to get to the downtown area so I decided to ask people. Unfortunately this being Texas where no one really knows where they are, it took a bit of time to find someone who was quite certain how to get to downtown from where I was. Multiple people had told me many different ways, many of which would have led me in the wrong direction, hence why I asked so many people. Finally when I found the one person who was sure I headed back out.
I got about 2 miles from downtown and checked again for a couchsurfing host. I had written about 15 people when I finally wrote a gentleman named Gene. He was the only one to reply and luckily he was not far from where I was. It ended up being fate again as while riding to his house my tire went flat. So I went to pump it up and I noticed my pump had broken some time during the day. An important little piece had fallen off which left me stranded. So I found a payphone and called Gene to see if by chance he might be able to pick me up. Sure enough he was  and even had a truck to do so! Thank goodness otherwise it would have been a very long and difficult walk with my bike.
Gene picked me up at the gas station I had stopped at. Then afterwords he treated me to dinner. We talked about my travels and then went to a bar. I let my inner social butterfly go free for a bit and I roamed around talking with a bunch of different people. By the end of the night I had already made quite a few friends.
The next day Gene took me around to a couple of bike shops in order to find a new tire, since the one I had was clearly broken and causing my tires to go flat and also a new pump, since that was now broken as well. After that we went to lunch we eventually went looking for what he called the President Heads, I was curious and sure enough they were exactly that. Big giant heads of previous presidents made from a plaster by the side of the freeway. He then mentioned that supposedly the artists studio was somewhere close by and so we went looking for it. Sure enough we found it and there were even more president heads. Lots of them in fact, as well as tall sculptures of the Beatles. It was interesting and a little weird but provided for some good picture taking. Later that night he took me to see his friends bands perform. The first band was alright, not really my style of music being hard rock but not shabby. The next band was a Tool cover band called Toology. While I am not the  biggest fan of Tool they were actually quite good. Plus it is always funny to watch Tool fans, many of them get very into the music.
The next day Gene and I went to brunch with one of his friends and then ended up running into more of his friends at the restaurant, he knows quite a few people to say the least. They were all really nice and very interested in my travels. Like I have made mention before it is always nice to meet people and it is something that I cherish very much while on this trip alone.
On a quick little side note I have started working on a story, the first real creative piece I have started in a loooonnng time. While looking for couchsurfing hosts on Friday I happened on a woman's profile whose description coincidentally fit with the story I am writing. In a sort of weird way, being a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, I contacted her and asked if she would like to get together so I might pick her brain a little. I am thinking that she might have some sort of insight into my story, or something to contribute so I meeting up with her today at lunch to discuss it. We will see what comes of it, and go from there. I have opted to hang out in Houston a little longer because of this so New Orleans will have to wait.
I have talked with the farm though and they are still expecting me which is good and I am still really looking forward to that opportunity. Until then though I am going to enjoy another night in Houston and go from there! That is about all I have right now. I love you all, alohas.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More bike trouble... Hick kids... And genuine small town folk

Alohas... So after I made my post yesterday I continued down the road it was a beautiful day out and I was slowly making my way along when I heard a trick behind me that sounded awefully close behind me. Now when you are riding you learn to listen to cars coming behind you and you can tell for the most part where they are on the road without looking. I have gotten damn good at this and it is why I do not wear headphones while riding. Anyway back to this truck, I could hear very well that it was coming up right behind me. All the sudden the horn blares and I quickly turned my bike off the side of the road and onto the dirt. Right then a truck full of hick redneck retards zoom by a whooping and a hollering zoom past on the shoulder of the road. If I had not made the split second decision to jump off the road they would have certainly hit me.
Well after that adrenaline rush I decided to take a quick break. I eventually collected myself and hopped back of my bike. I was riding for maybe ten miles when all of the sudden I hear *clank*. That was the sound of my spoke on my front tire breaking. Seems the rattling of swerving off the road started to loosen one of the bolts that holds my front rack on. Sure enough it eventually poked out far enough to catch a spoke. It was starting to get late at this point so I decided to just make camp for the night and figure everything out in the morning.
The next morning I packed up and walked my bum bike up to the road and stuck my thumb out. It took a little while but eventually a nice old man pulled over and offered me a ride to the next town. He dropped me off at a mechanics and I went to work on my wheel. I was able to replace the spoke and true up my wheel just enough to keep moving. It is by no means perfect but it will do for now.
After I got my bike all put together I thanked the gentleman who helped me. There was one guy in particular who hung out and talked with me the whole time I was working. Nice guy who trained race horses. Any I got my bike together and hopped back on the road. A little ways down this gentleman catches up to me and hands me a couple of dollars. It was so kind I could help but tear up a little. especially having had the shitty experience the day before Ahh this world is ultimately good.
I am now facing a pretty solid headwind and the weather is supposedly going to get worse tomorrow. Oh well not much further now. Hopefully I won't have anymore serious issues. Until my next update much love and aloha.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Here we go again... A final goodbye to Austin and a beautiful hello to the road

So I finally did it. I left Austin, it was hard and I ended up staying a lot longer than I planned... But that is life I had an amazing time in Austin and met nothing but wonderful people. Before leaving I ended up spending a night on the Austin City Limits old set, playing my ukulele on the same stage as the likes of Willie nelson, ray charles, Etta James, johnny cash... Etc. It was incredible and one of the most amazing moments of my life. Then I went to a full moon party out at pace bend and then spent the night hanging out with bunches if good people and sitting in on some amazing jam sessions. I was even complimented for my uke playing and my drumming, it felt good.
With all of that going on it was hard to leave... As well when you are traveling alone it is easy to get comfortable somewhere especially when you are around good company. It is hard to take that first step out into being entirely alone again, but here I am... Back on the road all alone. I have been taking my time today... I think I got a little out of shape while in Austin! So I am thinking just take these next few days easy... I am in no rush. The original plan was to make it to new Orleans by Mardi GRAS but that is looking less like the case. Which really doesn't bother me at all, originally I was thinking I might meet up with some friends but they are no longer going. Not to mention the idea of a bunch of drunk assholes running amok throwing beads this way and that doesn't actually really appeal to me.
However I did find a wicked awesome farm to stay on, it is a certified aquaponics farm. It seems like a really interesting place and I have the opportunity to learn a lot. It should be good. We will see. Anyway it is time I keep cruising. Much love and aloha!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bitter cold.

Sometimes it pays to be lazy... Well maybe not pay but it does come in handy from time to time. It all started Tuesday morning at about four in the morning. All of the sudden the calm night was ripped open by incredible gusts of wind. It immediately woke me up as my tent was being thrashed about. It was intense to say the least. Then the rain and hail started it was pouring buckets right onto my tent and with the wind whipping like it was the rain was finding it's way into my tent. I found myself huddled up in the center of my tent the walls slowly coming in on me and the water starting to rise around me! I thought I might have to abandon my tent soon and made sure everything in there was packed and ready to go if the tent broke or got so wet I couldnt sleep! I was afraid that if I left the tent would blow away without my weight in it. So I stuck it out and eventually the rain and hail stopped and I settled back down into my sleeping bag. When I woke up it was well below freezing. It hasnt gotten over mid thirties since then and they are expecting snow tonight in Austin.
All of this makes me glad i decided to be lazy and not leave last week. I had been playing with the notion but then decided to stick around. If I had chosen to leave I would have been probably sitting on the side of the road dealing with this storm! Which would have just been trecherous! Anyway I am going to wait for it to warm up which will hopefully be soon enough. But until then I am just going to focus on staying warm.
That is really all I have for now. I hope you all are enjoying this awesomely cold weather. Stay safe stay warm. Much love and aloha.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let this get away from me...

Aloha everyone! It has been a long time since I updated this. I took a trip home for a minute which was pretty awesome except it left me feeling very homesick.
Since returning to texas I have not done as much as I would of liked. I have been trying hard to remain motivated however the weather has been cold and wet which has made it hard to get into town. I have spent quite a bit of time writing and getting my story put down on paper. The property I have been stating on is starting to get to me. There is nothing i can do at this current time because the guys do not have the resources nor the tools to really do anything. That has really been frustrating and has definitely led to my decision to leave. So I should be heading back on the road soon enough.
The tentative plan us to wait for a couple of things to come in for me then spend maybe one more week actually in Austin, then head out for new Orleans. I am super excited to get back on the road. I need to just keep moving and I am ready to cruise. Well I know this is a real short update but at this moment there really is not much to say. I life you all and miss you all very much. I will write more very soon, and try harder to keep this updated. I love you all. Much love and always aloha