Thursday, August 17, 2017

7/4/17 (2): Colcester to Waterbury, VT - Amy & The Beacon



Bob dropped me off in comfortable territory: a large rural Mobil station that happened to be alongside US-7, the road with whom I’d begun the trip almost a week before, and a short walk from I-89.

Mostly out of habit (I had Subway and plenty of water from earlier), I took a lap around the store to see if I wanted anything and caught the attention of three kids whose age I couldn’t judge. They could have been anywhere from 15-21. Seeing the backpack, they said something to each other then the brave one asked, “Are you just out traveling around to see what’s out there?”

“Yeah. Pretty much. Somethin’ like that,” I chuckled without bothering to break stride.

“Whoa. That’s like…inspiring.”

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Quixote's Primer




Prelude: This will sound familiar. What you’re about to read is both a time capsule and an invitation to watch a natural birth. Without the screaming…wait…there is eventually screaming involved. Ok. Fine. Without the blood. Most of this was left in the archives as an undistilled work in progress, one I intended to revisit over the last 7-8 years in order to edit it for clarity—both mine and yours—but, as often happens, I just moved on and clarified on the fly. 

It was originally hatched in Port Townsend, Washington as a large part of my 9/19/09 birthday post but I quickly retracted when I realized this idea, Quixote, was enormous. That’s an inadequate word. It’s literally (proper use!) impossible to overstate the impact and effects it would have on me over the next decade. 

The concept was conceived as a simple observation of the human experience. But over the years it’s proved to spread well beyond the confinements of inner dialogues and identity. As social media’s bubbles inflated, Quixote has been weaponized as the exploited means by which people intellectually isolate themselves away from unpleasant intrusions on comfortable, egocentric personal narratives and world views. Don’t be mistaken in believing that Quixote is specific to one cave or the other. It tramples truth wherever it inconveniently sprouts.  Yes, Moonbeam. Even inside your magically evolved crystal bubble.

I’ve added some contemporary 2017 meat, but the bulk was written in early-mid October, 2009 at the end of a life changing summer. Anything added or cut was for brevity (ha!), clarity and fun; the basic concept has slightly evolved over the years but very little; I’ve changed my name more often than I’ve altered the foundation lying beneath what lies beneath. (That was not added for fun.) 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Karma Is Not Your Bitch



"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management."-J.H. Kunstler
I violently disagree that truth is subject to the whims of ego. Since returning home, repeatedly reflecting on some nagging ideas has pushed me over a threshold. I am moving quickly into a room shared with a rude abrasive bitch calling herself Personal Responsibility and away from the escapist fairytale that "The Fates" are so preoccupied and impressed with glorious ol’ me that they only live to provide a precious lesson-a-minute from their classic handbook The Magical Meaning Hidden Inside the Mystically Mundane. No, I suspect we're required to evolve and learn without constant spoon-fed intervention from The Universe.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Plans? Ha!



Perhaps you've heard or read about my confrontations with "plans"? Like targeting Maine from Ithaca yet landing in Boise?

"We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."

Perfect. Maybe that's why Steinbeck was Steinbeck:

"When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult. He has a built-in garden of reasons to choose from. Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination. And last he must implement the journey. How to go, what to take, how long to stay. This part of the process is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it. 
Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it."

--Opening lines: John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley In Search of America

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What's Past Is Prologue

As a few of you know, I was back on the road. No, you didn't miss anything. I decided you could wait. I wanted to prioritize presence over performance and it was a resounding success.

This trip started in Vermont, took me into eastern New York around the western shores of Lake Champlain thru Ticonderoga and Plattsburgh to the Canadian border at Rouses Point then south. The original "plan" (ha!) was...stop me if you've heard the before...Maine. The last of the lower 48 I've yet to see.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Dopamine Drip & A Mushroom Miracle



Grab a Twinkie. You're about to learn more about your friendly virtual Toddzilla than you're entitled to. Whatevs. I think my example may be of some use.

As I’ve greatly disconnected, I’ve become more tuned in to reality. People, places, and things that can be physically touched. But, as my focus returned and I mindfully moved away from the Dopamine Drip of social media’s constant barrage of likes, comments, and ceaseless manufactured “outrage”, I came to feel naked!

With the commitment to ending the reflexive pursuit of the virtual mob’s approval came an uncertainty as to what to do when not seeking validation! To quote that shitty 90’s band, how bizarre!

Not really. Strap in.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5/17: Springfield, VT - Steinbeck Heard

The second (post-epiphany) part of the day. A more in-depth debrief is here.

7/5/17: Springfield, VT - Steinbeck Screaming

This is the first of two distinctly different parts making up this Wednesday (7/5) in southern Vermont. The trip begins "taking me", again, and its course has nothing to do with my silly "plans" (ha!). Again. Unfortunately, I hadn't realized it quite yet. Funny things, expectations! Perhaps I'll just pack the book next time.

Part of the after-the-fact debrief is here. In the meantime, have some fun at my expense. I did! 

And drive your damn cars!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

7/4/17 (1): Alburg-Colcester, VT - Daddy Mammon's Consumerist Plantation



Part 1

I'd arrived in Rouses Point feeling rejuvenated! The stomach bug…so familiar by then I’d named it Ticonderoga’s Revenge…had passed and I was ready to attack my old friend Route 2 and make my way to Maine.

Things began perfectly and generated optimism. It took just 10-minutes to hitch a ride across the bridge spanning part of Lake Champlain back into Vermont and Alburg, a little town on an islet surrounded on three sides by the lake and attached by land only to Canada.

Monday, July 3, 2017

7/2 & 7/3/17: Whilehall, NY to Alburg, VT - Around Lake Champlain

Freed from Ticonderoga's Revenge, I finally leave Whitehall, make up for lost time, and resume my relentless obsessive hitching pursuit of Route 2 and Maine.