Friday, May 30, 2008

And, then, finally, Olympia, Washington!

2,992 miles later, I'm in Olympia, Washington at my little brother and his wife's farm for a few weeks, for the summer to help them out, and for me to figure out what the hell to do for this fall.

A few things to just show you what the farm looks like, and what projects is around for me to work on ...

N (the little brother) and I planted tomatoes yesterday - this greenhouse holds about half of what we planted - we planted 140+ tomato seedlings.

Baby chicks! We're raising 500 chicken ... they're cute and fun to watch.

Goldie the (hopefully) pregnant cow ... no milk yet - we're waiting for the birth before we can get some outrageously good fresh milk ...

We got the piglets last week - they're still getting used to the place, and still a little nervous around people, running around like crazy when we get in the pen.

Our egg providers - the eggs that come from these hens are the best. Wow.

So, my dear readers (all two of you), hope everything is well with you, and hope you enjoy the past few blog entries! :-)

Northern California ...

I made a stop in Santa Cruz to visit a childhood friend, then spent the weekend in San Francisco ... unfortunately all the photos of that weekend is stored somewhere in my email (and I'm just too damn lazy to look and download all of them), so no photos of the Bay Area.

I then continued to Ukiah, Mendocino County, and points up north, driving through the huge assed redwoods.

I stopped by Yorkville Cellars - amazing organic wines ...

You can see the scale of the trees with this above photo - I'm 5'4", and the tree is more than twice my height ... there's trees like that all over the place.

More PCH photos

Elephant seals ... there were hundreds of them here - they come to this beach annually to give mate and give birth ... at this time, babies have been born and the males aren't there, so it's just the females with the little ones.

Interlude to the PCH: Hearst's Castle

This is the perfect example of excess - excess beyond excess.

The main building.

Entrance into the cocktail room, dining hall, movie theater, billards, and a few other common rooms.

View from a deck in the castle.

Outdoor heated pool. Gorgeous views and gorgeous pool ...

One of the guest houses ... this was just a mini stop on the way up north - a lot of fun! Worth a look if you ever are in the area!

Pacific Coast Highway!

After I left Riverside, I stopped by a friend's house near Huntington Beach to say hello, and then finally got on the Pacific Coast Highway - a dream of mine since I was a little kid - to travel northward in California on the PCH!

Southern California on the PCH in the photos below ...

Self Explanatory.

Huntington Beach.

My lovely Keens in the Pacific Ocean! It only took 7 and a half months to get from the one of the easternmost point in Massachusetts touching the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Above and Below photos: Refugio State Park.

One of the many vista stops along the coast.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Las Vegas, and Silas!

My first time at the Hoover Dam. It did not disappoint.

I camped at Lake Mead (which took a bit of creativity with one arm, but not too bad ...) and the neighbors in the campsite showed me a spot where you could head over and see all these huge, and I mean huge, four feet long basses, carps, and catfishes ...

After Lake Mead, I went to a hotel in Vegas and just chilled in sin city ... had a nice 24 hours, won 11 bucks, and Vegas will always be Vegas. Glitz and outrageousness. Vegas.

Cousin Jake and me - outside of his apartment in Riverside the night before staying with Silas. Was fun to connect with the cousin without "encouragement" from the families, and now that we're a bit older, we're enjoying each other much more.

And damnit no picture of Silas yet - he's at work, so I'm going to wait til he gets home to take a pic of us! We went to Disneyland (popping my Disney cherry, yea, never been to any Disney theme parks ...) on Friday, and on Saturday we went to the renaissance faire ... as usual Silas is his crazy self, and I had loads of fun. As soon as I get a picture of Silas, it will be posted here.

UPDATE! Picture of Silas and me -

Tomorrow, Route 1 beckons!

channeling jack kerouac - road trip number two

On The Road by Jack Kerouac was a book I read several times - and just reread before I headed to Colorado - parts of the book stuck with me, especially some of the crazy drives from Denver out to California that Jack and his friends made.

Granted, I am not making the exact same trip, and definitely using much less drugs (yay for vicodin!) than he and his buddies did, I am feeling a bit philosophical about this road trip - I am doing something I have always remembered wanting to do, go up north in California on the Pacific Coast Highway - so I took a few pictures of the open road. I took the back roads in Colorado, stopping by Telluride for a bit before continuing into New Mexico.

Without further ado - the pictures of some of the backroads / parts of Colorado.

Telluride! Gorgeous little town surrounded by mountains.

And now, the sort of warm New Mexico - it never rose above 50 degrees when I drove through. I think the thermometer in my car must have gotten sick of me looking at it despairingly as I drove south. I keep telling it to rise. It did the opposite throughout Colorado, and then finally obeyed my command in New Mexico, but it definitely underperformed.

After staying in New Mexico for one night, I continued to Phoenix where it was blissfully 85 degrees and where my old college roommate and her family lived with their kids, age 3 and 1, who were insane bundles of energy, but they rated highly on the awesome and adorable scale. You can see the insane amount of energy they had because I plumb forgot to take a picture of the girls.

It was a good start to the road trip.

leaving breckenridge ...

Leaving Breckenridge was made much easier than I expected - I had made several friends that I hope to remain in touch with for a good while, had a fantastic winter (albeit a blip that will be called "the wrist"), all in all leaving Colorado was not something I wanted to do easily.

Until I looked outside the house on the morning of May 1st. Yep you read that correctly, people, May 1st. It was snowing.

My former driveway - which was clear the day before.

Driving down the dirt road for one last time ... snow covered.

You could usually see the magnificent mountain of Breckenridge in the above and below photos. The mountain that closed on April 20th but one that should be still running that day.

Almost a complete whiteout.

After a shake of my head and a great breakfast at Daylight Donuts, I went on my way.

cast udpate ...

I'm now sporting a nifty purple cast - thank goodness my elbow is free - that was annoying with the splint. 5 to 7 weeks left. Ugh.


This blog consists of my personal thoughts and opinions. It does not in any way reflect the position of the United States Government or the Peace Corps.