In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sauteed crow

It would seem that I owe the northern Idahoians (or whatever they're called) an apology. Tonight was a lovely Thursday evening and I drove out to Lake Fernan. This is the same lake that I drove past last Friday night (the beginning of Memorial Day weekend) which brought up my little rant on how it takes a long weekend to pry people out of their houses and into the great outdoors and how people don't get out to appreciate nature on regular 2 day weekends. I said that the same weather, either the weekend before or after, wouldn't bring out even half as many people.

Well, I have to eat a little crow because I was really surprised how many people were fishing along the banks of the lake or were out on the water boating or fishing; and this was a Thursday! The later it got in the evening the more people showed up. So consider this my official apology...I'm sorry. They must have all read my blog and it motivated them!

My reason for going to Lake Fernan tonight was because I was invited to come along on a group outing sponsored by a local kayaking club (which about 25 or so people showed up for). This was the first time I'd ever gotten together with a group of kayakers for a paddle. Of course I showed up late and by the time I got there everyone was already in the water and ready to take off. I must say that it felt really weird at first. There was a leader and everyone just piled up behind her as she started paddling around the lake. So here was this huge mob of people in kayaks out to “commune” with nature; it kinda seemed to defeat the purpose and I was wishing I was out by myself instead. But as we paddled on a little farther everybody started to string out a little and conversations were struck up. Questions were asked and answered about each others boats and people got to know one another a little better; it actually turned out to be a pretty good time and I'm really glad I went.

Thanks for the invite, Janna

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Finally hitting the water

I finally got my kayak out for the first time since leaving Iowa. I haven't had much chance to get this one out yet since I picked it up in Arizona earlier this spring with preparing for the trip and all; so it felt good to slip it into the water this evening. It was simply too nice of a day not to get on the water. The sun was shining, the wind was calm, and I had a new blister on my foot so I definitely wasn't going for a hike. I threw the kayak on top of my car and headed out to Hayden Lake to check it out. Hayden Lake is listed as being 4000 acres and is considered a smaller lake around here. For reference for those of you back home, our Spirit Lake is 5600 acres and West Okoboji is 3850 acres. The big difference though is that Spirit Lake has 15 miles of shoreline and West Okoboji has a little under 20, but Hayden Lake has 40 miles of shoreline and is 178 feet deep. There are many arms and bays and it ranges from shallow lily pads to steep rock walls. It's set among some small, rolling, wooded mountains/hills and is a beautiful lake (I need to start using a thesaurus). It was a perfect night to be out for a paddle and hardly anyone else was out on the water.

Part way through my paddle though I did find a reminder to always where your life jacket and respect the water or you could end up looking like a you know what.

Also to note is this was the first day of work after Don left for Mexico so I was running the office in the shop by myself for the first time. It was really slow earlier in the day but started to pick up later in the afternoon and we got some good work booked in for the rest of the week. And I managed not to burn the place down!

Monday, May 28, 2007

That sucked

Those of you who were just eaten up with jealousy over my last entry (and who wouldn't have been) will be fiendishly tickled with this one.

It all started off innocent enough. An overcast day with light showers on and off and the sun peaking out now and again. A perfect day for a hike in the woods. I looked at the map and started driving into the Coeur d Alene national forest to find a good hiking trail. My first stop was a very short hike as the trail just plain dead ended after about 1/2 mile. It was still worthwhile though since I got to see some purple Trilliums, which I'd never seen before. I saw plenty more through out the day though along with many white ones as well. I got back in my car and continued driving until I reached some trailheads on Monument Mountain. I looked at the map and saw that forest road 813 appeared to make a loop around the mountain and then came back to the parking area on the other side. Looking at the trails seemed to confirm this as their was a forest road marked 813 on either side of me(many of the forest roads are open to ATV's and hiking only). Taking a quick eyeball measurement on the map it looked like the trail was about 4 miles long and I didn't figure it would be any problem knocking it out in about 1 1/2 hours.

It was a very nice hike around the side of the mountain with dense woods on either with plenty of wild flowers blooming. After about 1/2 mile or so I came to a picturesque little stream coming down the side of the mountain where I stopped to take a couple pictures. Then about 1/8 mile after that I came to a fork in the road. One trail led up and to the right and the other went to the left and seemed to continue along much the the same path I was already on. The trail to the left was marked as forest road 801 and the trail to the right was unmarked. I found myself staring at the marker trying to remember what trail number I'd started out on. I knew it was 800 something, but was it 801?

I was able to convince myself that it was indeed 801 that I'd started out on so I happily went to the left and continued on my journey clockwise around the mountain. Everything seemed to be going just fine with plenty of gorgeous scenery and the trail kept curving to the right, as it should have been. It started to rain a little after a while but it was no big deal since I'd brought my rain jacket and also had on my waterproof hat. It didn't phase me a bit, it just added to the atmosphere of the woods and I continued merrily long. When I was a little past what I thought should have been half way the trail split again. This time 801 was marked as staying to the right and continuing the same trail and an unmarked trail went down the to the left; I again stayed on 801. Around this time I started picking up the pace since I wanted to get back to Hayden before Don and Gayle left for Mexico. By now the rain had quit, the clouds had parted a little, and the valleys below me were covered in fog that rolled up and down and in and out all the little nooks and crannies. It was kind of mesmerizing to watch.

After stopping for a few pictures I continued on to make it back to the car. I was starting to get a blister on one of the toes on my left foot but I just kept going because I was now on the same side of the mountain as my car and I knew it would be “just around the next corner”. Well, it wasn't just around the next corner, or the corner after that. I started to notice the trail was going uphill quite a bit and it appeared I was starting to wind my way back around the mountain again. My blister started to hurt pretty dang bad so I stopped to wrap my sore toe with some tape, which made a big difference.

The trail came to a couple more splits and 801 was always marked and the other trails never were. I began to think that maybe 801 wasn't where I wanted to be and that I'd gone past the car already; that I was higher up on the mountain and that now I was just winding my way to the top. I tried to remember what the rest of the trail had been like, had I been going up or downhill earlier? I hadn't paid that much attention or even bothered to bring a map because it was just a “simple” loop trail and the map didn't show anything else intersecting it. I tried taking a couple of the unmarked trails for about 1/2 mile to see where they led but gave up on them and doubled back when they just kept climbing higher. I thought of just turning around and doubling back but I knew that that was a long ways and I just kept thinking it would be “just around the next corner”, but it never was.

I saw a trail straight down the mountain from where I was and I hoped that maybe it was the trail that I started on and that it would take me back to my car. I dropped downhill to get to it but found it wasn't the trail I'd started on afterall. I followed it for a ways but it didn't seem to be going where I wanted it to either, still continuing around to the wrong side of the mountain. I decided to stop to drink some water, eat something and decide what I wanted to do. It was just after 7:30 and I'd been hiking for a little over 3 1/2 hours. The sun sets at 8:30 (it will set earlier then that behind the mountains) and with the cloud cover it was already getting fairly dark. After a short break I decided to follow 801 a little farther just in case before doubling back the way I came. I knew it would be a long hike but I also knew I could find my way back without a problem and I didn't want to start getting on unfamiliar trails in the dark. For all I knew I wasn't even on the same mountain anymore!

I started back going as fast as I could walk, wanting to cover as much ground as possible before dark. Before long I started feeling a blister on my other foot. I knew I still had a long way to go so I stopped and taped it as soon as I felt it; which helped keep it from getting much worse. My hip joints were starting to hurt and I was really wishing I wasn't carrying all that camera equipment in my pack. As I got to the opposite sound of the mountain I figured out that I had originally been going downhill, so most of the trip back was all a slight incline; which didn't help out my joints any. I tried to keep the pace up but couldn't help but slowing down towards the end. My feet were feeling very heavy and all my joints were aching. I'd expected the hike back to take at least three hours and I was very relieved to find myself back at the car in two. I guess it helped that on the way back there was no stopping for photos or exploring and doubling back on new trails.

It felt extremely good to finally sit down in the car. I managed to stay awake for the drive back to the house where I crashed on the couch.

One of the things I really didn't like about living in Iowa was that it was hard to go for a long hike. There were very few wooded areas (and the ones that are there are pretty small) and the prairies areas are pretty broken up. The one thing about Iowa though is that it's pretty much impossible to get lost and I guess that's something that I've taken for granted all these years. I'm not used to being somewhere were you can't see for miles with plenty of landmarks to orient yourself (though I suppose much of that is familiarity with the area) and where you can walk for miles without seeing another person or even coming across a house. It looks like I'm going to have to take my hiking preparation a little more seriously now.

When I got back to the car I looked on the map and couldn't find forest road 801 anywhere. When I studied it closer it looked like the original trail I'd started on was longer then I'd originally thought though. I still think I'd gone too far since the parking lot was on the SW side of the mountain and I was staring to head NE again by the time I turned around. One of these days I'm going to go back out there and I'll start to take road 813 the opposite way to see where it goes. I'm going to be pretty pissed if I go 200 yards down the trail and find it's the spot where I'd given up and turned around.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Life is Rough

You know, it's really tough being me. I mean, it's just so danged much work! I know last time I wrote I told you how I'd arrived in Hayden and had been cooked a fine meal of steak and scallops; well the next night I had to settle for Spaghetti with home made sauce. And then today I had to spend the whole warm, sunny day out on a Pontoon boat catching some rays. It's almost more then one man can handle! Don and Gayle are doing a heck of a job showing me a good time and they've set quite a precedent that I'm not sure everyone else will be able to live up to....I hope they try though!

I found my way out for a hike Friday evening and it seems that I won't fine any shortage of trails to hike in the area. You don't have to go very far east before you find yourself in the middle of a national forest with tons of different hiking trails. It was getting late in the evening by the time I got on the trail and the sun was just starting to set but I did manage to come across another neat looking flower for Sarah to identify for me.

Friday evening was the beginning of Memorial day weekend and as I drove out of town past a lake I found the shoreline full of people fishing and once I got into the woods a little ways I found a few people camping; and it got me to wondering about something I can't help but think about every time there's a three day weekend. I'd be willing to bet money that if the weather was the same the weekend before and the weekend after that not even half of those people would be out fishing, hiking, camping, or whatever. I've never really understood why people seem to need a long weekend for motivation to get out and do something.

Sure, I can see where you might take advantage of the extra day to load up the family and drive somewhere that just wasn't practical to go with only two days. But that doesn't seem to be the case for most people. I mean, it's the same beautiful lake, the same beautiful weather, and the same lush woods. Why not get out and enjoy it more often and not wait for special occasions?

Then again, I kind of like having most of the great outdoors to myself most of the time. I'm sometimes frustrated on holiday weekends when the places I usually have all to myself are suddenly full of people. I then look forward to just your run of the mill two day weekends when I can be selfish and have it all for myself again.

So I guess maybe I shouldn't complain about these long holiday weekends; I should probably be happy it's the only time many of the smaller, out of the way places start to fill up with people.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First real stop

Well, my plan on driving through Glacier National park didn't quite work out as planned. When I got to East Glacier (the "town" at the east entrance to the park) I found it pretty much deserted and when I got to the park entrance I found out why. Their was some road construction going on so 13 miles into the park the road was closed and you had to turn around. I was kinda bummed at first but it turned out to be pretty nice. As a result there was hardly anyone else on the road so their were no crowds and you could just take your time and soak up the sites. Even though the weather was pretty dreary it was still one of my favorite parts of my trip so far. The only picture I took of the park was the one posted above while I was on hwy. 2 on the southern edge of the park. That night I drove into the West entrance to Glacier park to spend the night planning on taking an early morning hike. When I awoke it was raining again and I decided to catch up on some writing and skip the hike. The drive out of the park was beautiful though (it was dark when I drove in). I think it's probably one of the nicest times to be in the park since the mountains still have snow on them and the melting has caused many waterfalls all over the park that probably aren't there in the summer time. I'll have to make a point to get back to Glacier and explore it some more later. There aren't many roads through the park but there are tons of hiking trails I'd love to check out.

After I left Glacier in the morning I wasn't too far from my first real destination of Hayden Idaho where I'd be stopping for a couple weeks or so to do some actual work. A little north of Hayden I took a slight detour to drive into the Coeur D Alene National forest for a little hike. I didn't really know where I was going but I found a crappy little dirt road through the woods that promised to take me to some national forest land and a trail head. I was a little unsure that my little Saturn would make it up the rutty road but it managed just fine and I found myself at the Twin Creek trail head.

Just as I got to the trail head I saw a bird on the road that I could only describe as the bastard child of a pheasant and a quail. I'm not quite sure what it was doing in the middle of a dense forest; but I guess if I was the bastard child of a pheasant and a quail I wouldn't show my face on the prairie either. Anyway, Sarah is hot on the case of getting me an ID on the bird.

The hike was very nice and probably the most I've enjoyed myself on the trip so far. It didn't have any grand vistas, mountains, or huge waterfalls like many of the other places I've seen. But it did have one thing going for it: no expectations. Although I've been to some beautiful places so far on my trip they've all come with expectations which can't help but let you down. Often on this trip I've been reminded of a one of Mark Warren's sayings; "no expectations, no disappointments", and it was very true in this case.

I had no idea where I was or where the trail would lead. It ended up just being a nice trail through some lush woods with a couple side trails leading to a clean, clear creek running down the side of a mountain. I was pleasantly surprised to find many wild flowers blooming in the forest and some really cool looking fungus. Everything about the setting was very calm and relaxing. The weather started out as overcast and allowed me to get some good pictures and then the sun came out to warm things up a little. Everything about the hike was pretty simple, but it was unexpected and that made it that much more special. Maybe I should just skip the big national parks for the rest of the trip and stick to smaller, more local areas. I know I won't be able to do that but I'm going to make a point to check out more of the smaller, out of the way areas.

I got to Hayden that evening and met up with Don and his wife Gayle. So far we've been getting a long just fine and I was treated to a fabulous meal of salad, steak, scallops, and wine tonight; which was much welcomed after week of living out of a cooler in my car. I felt like a king last night getting to take a shower and sleeping on a couch instead of the front seat of my car.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Just a quicky

Just a quick update before I have to get back on the road. Things have been little calmer since my adventures in the Badlands. I spent most of Saturday driving and got within about 25 miles of Yellowstone before I went to sleep. I was surprised at how much snow was on the ground and it was quite cold at night. When I awoke the next morning I found I was surrounded my gorgeous scenery; the Tetons were magnificent.

I spent pretty much the whole day in Yellowstone. There was so much to do and see that I tried to see it all at first, and ended up not seeing anything. By the middle of the afternoon though I took about a 6 mile hike along the north rim of the “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone” which was stunningly huge and capped off by a 300 foot waterfall. Heaven forbid my hike should be too mundane so just as I was turning around to head back to the car the wind picked up, it began to rain, and there were a few cracks of lightning. Nothing to serious and since I was in the woods most of the time I stayed fairly dry.

Today finds me in Great Falls, Montana where I stopped to pick up a few supplies and to use the internet connection at the public library. I'm just getting ready to leave and will drive up to northern Montana and take a drive through Glacier National Park before ending up in Hayden Idaho.

Click here for a few pictures from Yellowstone

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Them bad Badlands

What was supposed to be a relaxing little stop in the badlands of South Dakota turned out to be a little more adventurous then I'd planned. After spending some time driving around the crazy formations and doing some light hiking I decided to head more to the western side of the park where it was more prairie like. I wanted to do some camping that night and one of the park rangers recommended the area and said there aren't ever very many people there and that there are no roads through it so it's just a vast expanse of rolling prairie. It was a very pretty area and I pulled into the small campground at around six in the evening. I was very happy when I got to the park and found out you could walk or camp anywhere you wanted in the park; you didn't have to stick to the trails and campgrounds. So I planned on just hiking back into the prairie with my hammock and sleeping bag until I found a couple nice trees next to the creek where I could sleep the night.

It was a beautiful, sunny evening and I packed what I needed in my backpack, made a peanut butter sandwich to eat in the morning, and made a turkey sandwich to eat on my hike. I thought about grabbing my new rain jacket but decided against it since my pack was already pretty full and I had my tarp with my anyway. Not to mention the weather was really nice and earlier in the day they weren't talking about any storms (those of you with the ability to read foreshadowing probably have an idea what's coming).

I hiked a couple miles out into the prairie while ate my sandwich, was scolded by prairie dogs, admired the flowers on the prairie and watched the buffalo grazing on the prairie. I found a nice little spot with a couple trees for my hammock in a wash next to a steep bank. The wash was dry and a little out of the way so I didn't figured I'd have to worry about any buffalo coming to visit me in my sleep. I'd just set up my hammock and tarp when I began to hear some rumbling from the clouds and could see it darkening a little to the west. I wasn't too worried though and just hoped it would pass by.

I kept an eye on the storm and it kept getting closer, darker, and louder. Now this definitely wasn't the most menacing thunderstorm I've seen but when you're in the middle of the prairie that tends to make it look a little more ominous. Thankfully in the wash I was lower then the surrounding prairie (good thing); but I was also surrounded by trees, not to mention I was planning on sleeping under a couple (bad thing). There was no way I was going to try walking back across the prairie to my car and getting stuck out there in the storm so I decided I was in it for the long haul. As the storm got closer I got as far from the neighboring trees as I could and crouched down in the wash to be in the lowest spot. Thankfully it wasn't raining (yet) so I could just hang out and see what happened.

As I sat there watching I was trying to figure out what I'd do if/when the storm hit and it started raining. The thought of wrapping the tarp around me and huddling on the ground didn't seem to appealing, nor did sitting under the tarp attached to the trees. I had a couple metal poles with me (which I left over by the tarp) that I could use to set up the tarp without trees but I wasn't so sure I wanted to be around a couple 7 foot metal poles in a thunderstorm either. The storm was getting close now and just before it started raining I realized I could stretch the tarp across the wash, stake it down, and have enough room to climb under it with my pack. I untied it from the tree and set it up over the wash just as it started to rain really hard.

It was very uncomfortable but at least it was dry. The bottom of the wash was muddy so I couldn't really sit in it and the banks were pretty steep, plus I had to lay down because there wasn't enough room to sit up. I had to lay on one side of the wash with my feet planted in the opposite bank to keep me from sliding down. The wind began to pick up and whipped the tarp around a bit, it held in place though.

The storm never got really bad but there were a couple really close and really loud cracks that lit up the tarp like daytime and that I could feel rumbling in my belly. After about 30 minutes the storm had passed but it was still raining. Although I wasn't cold yet I knew I would be by the end of the night since I wouldn't be able to use my sleeping bag, unless I wanted it full of mud (the wash had a little standing water in it now). I also knew there was no way I'd be able to fall asleep and my butt was really starting to hurt.

After another 30 minutes went by the rain slacked off and the wind died down. I'd brought my GPS with me and had mapped my course from the car. I decided that I'd leave my tarp and hammock and hike back to the car in the dark and come back for them in the morning. I figured it should be easy with the GPS and as long as I didn't step in a prairie dog hole or trip over a sleeping buffalo I'd be fine.

I started out and the GPS worked like a charm. My flashlight wasn't the most powerful and along with the drizzle that fell now and then made it hard to see real far. But it kept me from tripping in holes and I saw a couple late night prairie dogs out as well. I was within 1/2 mile or so of the campground and I could see the lights from it as I was walking through a little valley. As I came to the end of the valley I saw a pair of eyes to my left reflecting back at me. I stopped and stared at them to try and see what it was, figuring it was just a prairie dog or racoon. Then another reflection appeared just a couple feet from the first. I quickly scanned the area and saw 2 more reflections off to my right. No big deal, must just be a prairie dog colony and they're all looking at me.

Then the eyes to my right started moving in unison and I could barely make out a very large silhouette stand up and face me. That's when I realized that what I thought were two separate sets of eyes were just one set of eyes attached to the same head. An expletive quietly escaped my lips as I started for the hill that I knew was just to my left. I kept the light shined in the buffalo's face thinking that the light in his eyes might temporarily blind him and because if he decided to come after me I wanted to know it. Then I realize that the light would make an excellent target in the dark so I shut off the flashlight.

After a few more steps the thought crossed my head that maybe there were more buffalo sleeping here and that I could be running right into one that I hadn't noticed. I flipped on the light and saw nothing but grass between me and the hill. I looked over my shoulder and didn't see anything bearing down on me so I was relieved as I started climbing up the hill. I was a little freaked out and the detour made for a little longer hike back to the car. The rest of the hike was uneventful but I was keeping an extra close eye out.

In the morning I got up early and hiked back to get my stuff. As I walked through the valley where I'd seen the buffalo the night before I found where the one that stood up had been laying and I also knew where I'd been standing, it was only about 100 feet away. Those suckers are big and although I'm sure for the most part they're unaggressive that was way closer then I ever wanted to be to one.

As I came to the top of a small hill before going down to the prairie I had to wait while a buffalo walked past below. After it has passed I continued my hike and just as I rounded a corner I saw a buffalo just on the other side coming my way. It hadn't seen me yet and I scurried up the hillside. Once it came around the corner it noticed me, stopped for a couple minutes, and then continued on it's way.

I saw a few more buffalo on the way back to my campsite from the night before. Everything was still intact and how I'd left it. I packed it all up and took a different route back to the car that would keep me away from where all the buffalo had been hanging out. It wasn't so bad though; it was a nice prairie and I ran across some nice flowers.

You can see a few more pictures from the Badlands if you follow this link

Friday, May 18, 2007


I left town about 9:40 on Wednesday night to start my little adventure. I stopped at my friend Sarah's house in Lakefield to say goodbye and that's as far as I got. I was getting pretty tired so I slept on her floor. After getting one last picture, and saying our goodbyes in the morning it was time to hit the road.

Driving across South Dakota on I-90 wasn't the most exciting drive ever, I think I can pretty much sum up 7 hours of driving with this one picture.

But after all that excitement I made it to the Badlands where I'd spend the next day or so. More to come on that later.

Oh yeah, just so everyone knows you should be able to click on any of the pictures posted on this blog to be taken to my Flickr page where you can view larger versions.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Only a few days left

Well, time is getting short and the list of things to do before I leave is getting smaller. I decided to give up on trying to finish my house by the time I leave and am just going to sell it the way it is. There are just too many little things that would take up too much time. I'd rather relax a little and enjoy my last few days here instead of working like mad to try and get my house done. I'm more then willing to get less money for the house in trade for peace of mind.

The moving sale was yesterday and the house is pretty much empty now. The only piece of furniture left is a folding camp chair and last night I slept on the floor with my Thermarest and sleeping bag. I've still got some misc. stuff to move out of the house and I need to pack but there isn't really anything big that I need to do before I leave. I'm planning on mostly finishing up the house today, preparing for the trip on Monday and Tuesday, and then leaving on Wednesday. I think that should be very doable and it will give me a week to get to Hayden, Idaho (by way of Denver where I need to drop off a kayak) for my first job.

Friday was my last day of work and for the first time since I was about 14 I can say that I'm unemployed. Kinda weird but it feels pretty good.

Monday, May 7, 2007


If you don't already know me then you're probably wondering who that good lookin' fella over there to the left is. Well I'll just tell ya who that dude is; his name is Alan Gage and he is me!

I'm 29 years old and have lived in (or near) Estherville, Iowa my whole life where I've worked with my father since I graduated high school.

OK, so now that you know who it is you must be wondering why you should care and and why I think I should clutter up the internet with yet another blog. I'll do my best to clue you in and convince you to follow along through the days, months, years(?).

About a month ago I decided quite suddenly to quit my job, sell my house (and most everything else I owned) and hit the road to travel the country until I didn't want to travel anymore. Since I'm a little too old to sponge off my parents I'll have to foot all the bills myself which means I'm going to need to do something to keep the funds up while I'm on the road or it would be a pretty short adventure. I'm a mechanic by trade and the answer is to stop for a couple days/weeks/months and pick up some work to make a little money before moving on. Thankfully I know a lot of shops/techs across the country as well as being part of a professional website that I'm fairly well known on ( so it shouldn't be too tough to find work enough to keep from going broke.

I'll be relying on people I know for places to stay and doing plenty of camping. My little Saturn is going to be packed to the gills but it's all I've got so it will have to do. It will probably be better for me actually since it will keep me from taking along stuff that I don't need and that will just take up space. I'll also have my new QCC 600x kayak strapped to the roof so I can get in some liquid hiking. Of course I'll also be packing along plenty (probably too much) photography equipment so there will be many pictures to share along the way.

I'll be keeping a very loose schedule for the trip, not knowing too far in advance where I'll be going or how long I'll be there. I do know that my first stop is Hayden, Idaho (northern) where I have to be by about the 23rd of this month. I'll probably spend 1 1/2-2 weeks there house/shop sitting for a guy that 's leaving the country for a week on vacation. After that I'll hang around the PNW until I decide it's time to move on, I'm really getting excited for my trip and can't wait for it to start.

OK, that should be enough of an initial introduction. Come back and check in now and then to learn more about that good lookin' fella at the top of the page and to see how the trip is going.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.