450 miles from LA

By the time this is posted we’ll be close, if not in, LA – our final driving destination.

My neck is sore and I’m looking forward to swimming tonight. Hopefully.

I also hope that my moneybelt made it to the hotel alright.

Yellowstone and Glacier National Park – check

It’s Monday, july 7, and as I type this I’m driving with nick and Lindsay (who’s sleeping in the back of course) through Montana, almost Idaho, on our way to Seattle Washington. It’s around 1:15 pm local time as I type this though it may not be posted until later this evening (no wifi in the middle of Montana, and this is no iPhone).

We just finished up our adventures in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. We all had a great time, Yellowstone was beautiful though our camp ground was less than great (it was not bad, just not the wilderness experience we might have hoped for). Glacier was amazing and the camping was awesome.

Highlights include:
-Buffalo in the road holding up a LOT of traffic in yellowstone
-almost being rammed by a bull in the middle of a Montana highway (no joke)


-seeing a car hit a sizable male mule deer head on at upwards of 75 mph. This was actually sad of course, and we all felt very bad for the animal, but it was pretty interesting and quite an experience – the deer flipped well over 360 degrees in the air, probably a good 10+ feet up.
-the entire drive through yellowstone
-the entire drive through glacier



-dinner at Subway in Browning, Montana. This was probably the worst, most rundown city any of us have ever experienced. The Subway had the following issues:
*Half of the menu items were not available includingbthe things two of us ordered.
*Creepy man who does not work at subway holds large wood saw up to employees neck, while employee is making our food.
*No pepper in store – well they had pepper, which they were serving out of a big Gordons Food Service tub, but they ran out on Lindsay’s sub so no pepper.
*Nick had sub “toasted” but they microwaved instead, for two minutes as the toaster oven was broken.
*My Italian sub had peperoni and lettuce on it, that’s all.
*The ice machine in the corner randomly spit ice out on the floor.
*The bathroom door didnt have a lock on it.
*Only had two types of bread – white and wheat

I’m really not a big complainer and I don’t minding eating dirt, but the quality of this town was crazy. It was just a commical experience.
-camping at Glacier
-nicks coffee
-our plastic bag ommlets
-many more but I’m tired of typing on a small iPod.

We’ll check in again later – we’ve got some pictures to post when we get a chance!

Peace love and seashells,
Kev

Badass in the badlands.

The Michigan BA’s made it. Doin’ what we do best.

Being awesome. In the BADLANDS.


picture for proof:

okay, here are some pictures, for real.




Sexy Internet Access

Well it’s been a few days since the last blog post but here is an update. I must warn you that I’m typing this on the iPod Touch in the car so my punctuation and grammar and spelling and wording may be less that OK.

Anyway, we left yesterday morning around 11 AM for our trip out west. Goodbyes were sad as always but once we got on the road I think we were all pretty excited to be heading. Our plan is to extend the ~2300 mile trip to a wopping ~4000 mile trip, which we’ll be driving in a 7
day 6 night period. The reason for the extension is that we wanted to hit up a few of the more awesome national parks/memorial: Mount Rushmoore, Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic, and Redwood. We’re not sure if we’ll make it to Olympic but we’ll see. Another huge highlight is that we’ll be stopping in Portland to see aunt Kim and Justin. I’m personally very excited to see the fam in Portland.

Anyway, so far we’ve made it around 1000 miles. Yesterday we drove to Sioux Falls South Dakota which was not too bad for a first hunk of road.

A few good things happened yesterday happened and one particularly frustrating things. Good (awesome actually): we took a bit of a side trip to Lake Dalton in the Wisconsin Dells. Google lake Dalton Dells if you want more info, but basically its a huge lake that burst open during a rain storm and totally drained out. We walked into the middle of the lake and it was pretty cool to look around.

that’s the lake behind us…as you can see, it’s very…lake like….

Bad: I left the two most important things for our trip in jenison: my money belt with passport, credit cards, and 1700 baht. Frankly it made me a bit sick and I still feel pretty stressed knowing I don’t have my passport and credit cards. Oh, I also forgot my GPS in my hotel room last night and we had to drive 15 minutes back to get it. So that wasn’t great. Here’s a picture Lindz took of me scouring the car looking for my passport.

Anyway now things are going great and as I type this we’re about 207 miles from Mount Rushmoore – its ~12:15 central.

Ttyl!

P.s. We saw an adult store that in big letters said, “sexy Internet access”

cool, eh?

Leaving today

Today, in about 9 and a half hours, we’re leaving on our trip. Nick is going to pick us up at 10:30 and we’re heading out. The plan is to take an ridiculously long road trip, traveling 4000 miles instead of the ~2300 miles we should be traveling. The route should look something like this HERE but we’ll see what actually happens. I’m planning on keeping pretty good track of our progress via GPS. We’ll see.

We’ll miss our families!

It’s strange to be without a phone now, and I know that once I submit this post I will basically be without a laptop for quite a while.
<3>

Update: Pictures of day one….2 hours into the trip…and Lindz is already sleeping…

there’s a tireswing, baby on the end of our rope….

well, here marks post numero uno for little ol’ lindz. i’m just hanging out at signatures with kev doing a little research, listening to a little mr. mason jennings, and trying to mentally prepare myself for our departure in t-7 days. the last week has been a whirlwind, and the days seem to be getting shorter and shorter by the minute. there just never seems to be enough time.

we are leaving in 1 week.


ONE WEEK!!!!!


it’s incredible, really. i don’t think i have prepared enough…on any level. surely not mentally…i haven’t even thought about saying goodbye to anyone, even though tonight, for instance, will be the last time i see corie at all. period. until i get back.

physically, i don’t feel prepared.
yes, i have packed my things:

3 shirts
1 pair convertible pants
1 skirt
some undies
tennies
tevas

(doesn’t sound like much, does it?!)

but still, i don’t feel prepared.

i have an international drivers license, my passport, birth certificate, $50 in baht, health/immunization records and about 20 passport sized portraits (courtesy of kevin adam) all in a rolled-up waterproofed, moneybelt sized bag, and that’s about it. of all of those things, kevin has made each of them all happen. whenever i travel, i kinda just fly by the seat of my pants (not like that’s anything new :)). sure, i read up on the culture, and the lingual aspects (the things that really interest me) but the more mundane (read: important) things that would probably keep me safer, etc, etc, i just don’t really worry so much about. thankfully, i have never gotten myself in a sticky enough of a situation that i couldn’t get myself out of. and yes, while i realize that pre-planning may make things initially easier, i figure, hell! i have 6 months to figure this out. why stress/think about it any more than i have to?!

this is my attitude. this is why my mom is nervous. this is why having kevin along to worry about the important/boring things makes me quite the lucky traveler. unlike south america, i feel like this trip is going to be intense. the weather conditions, the fact that short of using my fingers, i cannot properly use the utensils needed to eat (and god knows, i need to eat!! :)) people on the streets will probably be like, “who is this american girl. why can she not use chopsticks without looking impaired?! let’s refuse her food until she learns to eat without totally making a fool of herself (and her travel companion)…” not really. but still. if i saw someone trying to use a fork like i use chopsticks, i would have no other choice but to double over in laughter, stare, and point until the poor individual turned and ran from embarrassment. and i wouldn’t even feel bad. because they would have deserved it. coming to a foreign country and not knowing how to use their utensils…please.

that is why i have decided to bring..dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn!!!!!

my special red CONNECTED chopsticks from chinatown, USA!!!!
lame, i know.

what do you think now, you crazy little chinaman! bring on the farang comments! come on, bring it! with my newfound confidence, i can take it! laugh, point, stare! at least i will be able to get your delicious pad thai IN MY MOUTH!! and not on my face…or skirt, or shirt…or….

i need to prepare.

i just sold my 70 liter pack, and purchased a 35 liter INTERNAL frame pack, which i think might be a tad small, but will be far better than the one i had in new york. much better.

also, on a far different note…i love mason jennings. more than life itself. i think sitting here has just inspired me to also bring my ipod so i can “keep it real,” while meandering around the streets of bangkok.

okay, i’m off to see seany’s new ride. i best be off. i’m sure i’ll update again sometime before i leave.

keep it real.

Packing

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time packing and buying stuff to pack as of late, and it’s been a bit annoying. I say annoying because I’m a nerd and want to be prepared, but don’t really have a great idea of what I’ll really need/want. Adding to the annoyance of the whole thing is the fact that I know from personal experience then bring little is better to bringing lots and so my desire to be prepared in a nerdy sort of ways normally conflicts with what I know to be best.

I’ve spent around 200$ bucks on stuff that I’m bringing, around $120 of that I’ve spent on clothes that, sadly, people who’ve actually traveled extensively think are not great to bring. 100% Nylon long sleeve shirts in particular, which perhaps are gimmicky. For instance I bought one of these. I wore the shirt around for a while and it feels great, but they tell me that a 100% cotton shirt is better for the weather. We’ll see.

I’ve also bought a $20 film camera (Rebel X), a $30 8GB flash drive, a $15 dollar USB to USB transfer gadget, some $1.50 foam to protect my stuff, and a bunch of other stuff like travel shampoo, a tooth brush for $1.79, a waterproof bag for $7 bucks or something, a towel meant to dry cars but that will dry me, and that’s about all I can think of at the moment. Wait, no I also purchased a Let’s Go! guide to Thailand, and a spare 20D camera battery that has yet to come in yet. I’m a bit worried that it won’t come in.

I have a lot more to say on this subject, so look forward to a thrilling “Packing – 2” post coming soon! Maybe if we get lucky Lindsay will chime in with some thoughts as well!

9 days

Well it’s the 24th of June (note to self: I think I left my watch outside on the hot tub) which means that there are 9 days until my dear friend Nick will pull up in his significantly underpowered car to pick Lindsay and I up. From there we’ll be heading across the United States of America (one nation under god) to sunny California. Along the way we’ll most likely stop at ________, ________, and _________ which I’m really excited about. I don’t actually know where we’ll be stopping. According to google maps the best route for us to follow would take us across Idaho, Colorado, the top of Texas, Nevada, and into Cali. This could be fun, though to be honest those aren’t the most exciting states. We’ll see.

Of course once we get to California we’ll be heading to Bangkok Thailand for the first leg of our five month (FIVE MONTHS!!) backpacking trip around SE Asia. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia are our destinations.

Anyway, I’m personally starting to feel a bit nervous and a bit sad about leaving the ol’ family. It always is a bit sad to leave, though it’s nice to know that when I come back I’ll be living with them (or at least near to them) again. It feels better than going to college, because when I go to college I knew that I might only be home again for a very short period of time, with this trip it’s indefinite family time when I get home!

ta ta for now.