I didn’t record a thing on Day 9. But here are the pictures:
12:30 PM PST I just went flower picking and walking through an old grove, ancient Redwood stand called the Stout Memorial Grove. I am driving to Bend, OR as we speak. And I just saw Montana license plate. These roads are very windy, curvy and steep. They are doing construction on them, all of them. I don’t care, this is the most beautiful drive. Last night I spent the night in Florence Keller Regional County Park. It cost $15. I had to drive into town in order to get change so I could pay for it. I went to bed around 1130 last night, a little later than I had anticipated but car trouble and getting lost a few times make that happen I guess. So I went to Jedediah Smith state park last night. The campground was full. I had not anticipated this. Frightened that I might have to stay in a hotel (yikes!), I walked around searching for someone to talk to. I heard a man’s voice speaking emphatically about the Redwood forest. It was right behind the ranger station in an amphitheater where Brad was standing. Brad was one of the most handsome people of ever seen. He was giving a presentation about how much he loves the Redwoods State Park and he was a Ranger. He was probably only about 27. Giving a presentation to a bunch of youngsters and their parents, it was about 8:45 at night when I arrived mid-presentation. I sat through the presentation and was really intrigued by the amount of information that he was spouting out. I was also enamored because he was so handsome! You know when you get tongue-tied because you can’t think of anything but how handsome somebody is? That’s how I felt. So after the presentation, I knew a lot more about the Redwoods than I did when I arrived, which was very very cool and useful information. After his presentation I waited to talk to him so I could ask him where I can camp. I wanted to ask if I could camp at his house… but I refrained. (HAHA) He was very nice and gentlemanly of course, he pulled out a map and showed me two campgrounds that I could try out. After that I picked my drool up off the ground and got out of there soon. …When I say as soon as possible I mean I waited like a creeper and watched him leave. No I did not follow him! I wanted to…
So first I went onto the campsite that was closest to the park entrance. That place was super creepy. There was a trashcan that had been turned over and strewn about by a bear and no lights. It was super dark. You have to put $15 in cash into an envelope and then stick it in the iron box, but I didn’t have $15. I was super bummed and I wanted to spend the night anyway because I didn’t want to do anymore driving, but I did not feel comfortable staying without paying. I also didn’t feel comfortable because the place was crazy creepy too. So I opted to try out the other location Brad suggested. The other location was also a county park, so it cost of the same amount of money. So I went to the gas station, retrieved $40 out of my account, got change and then proceeded to Florence Keller Park. I was all ooked out. It was dark, it was late, and honestly I was exhausted from driving and scared of the solitude (bears mostly). But I swallowed my fear and found a campsite. I set up my tent with my highbeams on, and the whole time I heard an owl that I’ve never heard before. There was also this other sound, and that sort of sounded like when Dorothy was walking through the enchanted Forest and the monkeys came out of the trees, I was even more anxious then. But I went with it…. So I had to go back into my car and drive up to the bathroom where the iron box deposit location was. At this point my nerves were shot, I was extremely tired, but I was reeling on adrenaline. So while I was filling out my campsite information and putting the money in the envelope something amazing happened. If any of you know me, you know that I’m a big cat person. I used to have a cat named Babydoll, she was a black cat and she was my best pal for almost 16 years. So back to the story, a huge, sweet black cat came up to my ankles and started purring. This cat calmed my heart. I dubbed it Camp Kitty. I looked around and right behind me was the campground host (I had somehow missed this when driving around), and right cross the road from the host was an empty campsite. I wanted to camp near this cat. We were getting along swimmingly, and I wasn’t ready to go back to my witch of the West dark, scary campsite. So I did something ridiculous, but I’m glad I did it. I drove back over to the scary campsite, partially took down my tent, put it on the hood of my car and drove it to the empty campsite. Looking back at that makes me laugh a whole lot but I’m so glad I made that decision. I went to bed with peace of mind after having a 15 minute petting session with this amazing huge black cat.
There is also some really good rock ‘n’ roll playing in the bathroom quietly, I couldn’t hear it from my tent. So I slept like a champ. I set my alarm for seven, but I didn’t wake up until 830. I got up, called for the black cat and it came to me. I rearranged and organized the mass of stuff in my car, brushed my teeth, and then drove to the Jedediah back entrance. I walked amongst the Redwoods, I hiked up in between them. I FaceTime’d with my grandmother and grandfather so they could see those enormous, majestic trees. For some reason perhaps existence of the age of the trees, I felt an immense calm in those groves. I was also hyper excited about it too, I’d been waiting for this for a long long time, and still had no idea what to expect. Now that I’m commencing on the rest of my journey, I still don’t know what to expect. That’s the lesson I am sure.
12:55 PM I am almost to Oregon. I just saw a giant logging truck. I wish they wouldn’t cut these trees down. There’s only 5% left of old-growth forest in this country. I learned from Brad’s talk yesterday that the entire northern hemisphere was covered in giant redwood trees millions of years ago during the Pleistocene. Steven Spielberg filmed Jurassic Park 2 in the Jedediah Smith Park. The groves here, they are so dense. He also told us that you can tell the difference between an old growth forest and a new growth forest that’s been logged before by the fact that old-growth forest don’t have a huge undergrowth. It’s mostly ferns and short shrubberies. There were lots of just-about-to-bloom Trillium all over the place. I am so glad that I did not skip this part just because I was behind on account of my tires. I was considering not camping and just doing a day visit, I have Peter to thank for the encouragement to spend the night. He reminded me that I did drive all the way across the country and that was one of my goals. To wake up in the redwood forest. It happened!
1:10 PM PST I have entered Oregon it is 54° I have 100 miles left on this gas tank.
2:05 PM you know soon as you get in Oregon it turns into a circus. There’s a wildcat gallery, people looking all crazy. Tons of hobnob corn on the cob businesses. I’m about to go see the Oregon caves information. Also you don’t have to pump your own gas in Oregon.
I am on the Rogue River highway and just passed by a road called Peckerwood Lane. It made me laugh out loud. I need a shower, so I’m going to stop at the state park, shower and put on clean underwear. Looking very much forward to that.
5:10 PM entering the Rogue River Siskiyou national Forest, 33 miles from Crater Lake on East 62. I have just decided to go to Crater Lake. It’s one of the deepest lakes in the world! Ancient and Magical!
5:30 PM Driving on 62 W. there’s snow on the ground it’s 37° and I am entering Crater Lake national Park. Unbelievable, I can’t believe it’s 37° and there was a sign back there that said you need snow tires or chains… I think that my four-wheel-drive should be sufficient. We’ll see!
Nope.. turns out the roads that I wanted to take closed due to snow. Looks like my four-wheel-drive would not have been sufficient. Anyway I’m back on 62 now and I am going down to another road, Highway 97 toward Bend. I stopped at the guest center/restaurant/gift shop at Crater Lake and went in just flabbergasted at the weather conditions. As soon as I started talking, all the people there started laughing and asking where I’m from. They love my Southern accent and all the euphemisms I carry along with me (thanks Paw Paw). I bought a Crater Lake Book in lieu of the weather denying me the vision.
6:30 PM I just saw a giant, enormous rainbow and it was literally right next to me! There is such a huge smile on this face.
Just saw my first Aspen Circle.
The aspens are all over now, they’re beautiful.
Now I’m on 97 N. headed towards Bend, about two hours away. I’m going to stop in Bend and get some warmer clothes. I only brought this one fleece… it’s COLD!
There are of these beautiful little purple flowers on the side of the road I’m on. Lupine, they smell so nice!!
Entering Wimena State Park!
Newberry national volcanic monument and the local caves…
I’m about 10 miles from Bend, so excited to see my dear friend Stephen and chill out for a few days. In Bend I will explore a marijuana dispensary and Stephen’s going to show me around the town. I’ve left the planning up to him, so I’m unaware of what I’ll see or where we’ll go!
7:30 AM PST I am driving to the Subaru dealership in Redding California. Looks like I have to get four new tires. I’m going to see what I can figure out here, but tonight’s the night I’m sleeping in the Redwoods. I also will hopefully get to see you, my dear friend Maisy in Eureka California today!
They say it never rains in California, however it’s raining today…
Also, found out last night that something sad happened in Saxapahaw.. that’ll rock my little Community for a while… 😦
12:55 PM Pacific standard time, plans have changed, yet I am now leaving Snagville. I’ve been at the Subaru dealership since 7 AM this morning. These people are wonderful even though I don’t want to be here. Turns out I need four new tires and they provided that service. The service guy named Jason was awesome, he agreed with me that Greensboro should have done a better job. He also said that once I get back I should take this up with them. I said next to this lady named Debbie who was very sweet and inquisitive and looked you in the eye when she was speaking to you. She and I talked about dreams; I told her that one day I want to go visit the Great Rift Valley. She said that she was born in Argentina and now that her youngest son is graduating she’s thinking in three years she’d like to return. Once I left the dealership, the new tires sounded so loud, I turned around and got one of their mechanics to ride with me to make sure everything was good. Upon returning, Debbie said, if you need a place to stay tonight, you can stay with me. That was such a kind gesture. I am going to call her upon my safe return to NC to get her address to send her a gift of thanks. My car was fine though, new tires were a harder version, more long-lasting and they are just louder than my old ones. Safe and sound! (Loud sound.)
I am now driving on the 299 and I will be in Crescent City right outside of Jedediah Smith state park in about five or six hours. I was going to go visit my friend Maisy, but since I left the Subaru dealership so late, I would not be able to make it to see her and get to the Redwoods by nightfall. Huge bummer that I’m going to miss her. She and her man tried their damndest to get me to come anyway and stay with them. I wanted to, but the Redwoods were calling.
So the 299 goes all the way to Arcata and I am on a national scenic byway. Looks like I’m going through another set of mountains. Shasta Trinity National Forest. Looks like it’ll be a good ride, it’s foggy outside and rainy. Looks like I’m gonna get wet. Glad about my raincoat, but Rob Brezsny says that I should just get naked.
It’s 55° out here, I hope I’m warm enough tonight in my tent. I hope there’s a tent space. Oh my God! What is that body of water over there? It’s beautiful! Right outside at Whiskeytown California, I thought it was Shasta Lake, but it isn’t.
I’ll tell you what I want to figure out what lake this is. Also, Right now I want to tell you about how much Californians seem to put into adopting highways. There are tons of signs that say this person or that organization or this business adopted this highway. I’m crossing whiskey Creek Bridge right now. Saw a sign that said no jumping from the bridge, but I bet people do that all the time. The water’s really choppy right now and I think Whiskey Creek is what that body of water is.
What I wouldn’t give for some pimento cheese right now…
My surroundings are green, lush and rocky. Dang it’s pretty out here; I just passed a road called Grizzly Gulch.
Passing by Tower House historical District. I’m 130 miles to Eureka. I’m not going down into Eureka I’m going north from the cut off there.
I’m getting really hungry. I had a bowl of cereal while I was waiting at the Subaru place. While Jason was doing a walk around my car, I was eating cereal. He said “You know I thought I had seen it all, but I have never done a walk around with someone eating a bowl of cereal.” This was a first for him. I thought that was pretty awesome. We all were very entertained today. He kept asking me to keep talking because he loved my accent.
1:20 PM I don’t know what Redwoods look like, but these are some big ass Pine trees I’m driving through right now. Also this road is definitely satisfy my need for speed, these new tires are bad ass and hugging the road like nobodies business. These curves are awesome. Ha ha that’s what she/he/they said.
I’m going 75 mph and the motorcycle in front of me is going even faster than me. We both just passed a cop is hopefully neither one of us is going to get pulled over.
Sky just opened up and I can see a little bit of blue and all of the beautiful green trees to my right down in the valley.
Just was riding by really beautiful Creek called Indian Creek. It looks like a river to me but then again everything so much bigger out here they probably call that a creek. The Colorado is a river. Indian Creek goes into the Trinity River. I’m going to stop up here this rest stop and eat some snacks.
3:10 PM Pacific standard time I just had to stop in a tiny little town called Weaverville, California. It was that his hippiest town I’ve ever been in. I stopped to get some socks and a hat. I ended up talking to this lady about the Redwoods and the Grandmothers (Sequoias) and then I went to the store across the street (Mamma Llama’s) to get a sandwich, gluten-free crazy sandwich, delicious. Then I went to the grocery store and got some tomatoes because I want another tomato sandwich because I don’t have any more. I also got a new bumper sticker. It says “nonviolence: weapon of mass compassion” I love it! They’re doing road work construction but I just saw sign that said I’m 64 miles to the 101. Driving on the 101 has been a life goal. Driving The entire 101 is a goal that I will have to commence accomplishing later, but even a little stretch of it is going to be good.
La La La I am totally digging this drive right now. Even with the roadwork in between times is really awesome. There’s Trinity River to my left, it looks beautiful I can’t believe there aren’t any people kayaking on it, but I don’t know the details of the river either. These hills are super tall going over this bridge right now.
Sitting still waiting on the traffic to go by with all the roadwork, the car in front of me is listening to Robert Johnson. I’ve turned my car off. The breeze, the Robert Johnson, the warm sun on my left arm, the blue sky, the amber essence oil I have on… all mished up together smells and feels really magical. Wonder if anybody’s ever thought that before while waiting in traffic. Looks like we’re moving again.
Listening to Paul Simon “Born at the right time” album Rhythm of the Saints. Just entering Six Rivers Forest.
Just saw a building that was nondescript but it said “The Whole Enchilada” Giggle.
I am now entering Humboldt County
Just crossed over the North Fork of the Mad River, and I believe I have entered beginning of the Redwoods.
4:26 PM Pacific standard time I have just entered Highway 101 north towards Crescent city. I literally just giggled like a little girl and stomped my feet in the car.
4:36 PM I’m driving on the 101. I have 68 miles until I get to Crescent City and I’m beside myself. I’m actually beside the ocean, but beside myself as well. Going to pull off here in a little bit see if I can get to the ocean. Don’t know what will happen if I do that, I’m going to try.
5:35 You will have to stop, that’s a rule. I think I just saw some water buffalo I just drove through. So I stopped at clam Beach toes in, sand artwork, picked up some rocks. My right pocket is full. Only one of them is heart-shaped though.
Driving on the Redwood Highway. *melt*
Just saw the highway sign that said Elk Highway. I bet you those animals I saw a little while ago in the lagoon we’re actually elk.
Just stopped again to play in the ocean. I don’t know what this place is called but it has black tiny tiny tiny pebbles for me!! I also got my Pennsylvania State tag here in the family of 4, 3 of which were wearing black sweatshirt and Brown pants. I told them they were matching, they knew that already.
7:35pm, Thursday: Drove through Crescent City, sat on the edge of the North American continent here in California and watched seals swim in the undulating mother ocean. Had a talk on the phone with a friend back home, then Peter, and then shared that magical moment with my grandmother (even though it was almost 11pm her time). There was nothing that could’ve interrupted the peace and gratitude that I felt at that moment. Then I went off to find my campsite, got lost in the dark (thanks GPS), and then finally found the Jedediah Park campground.
6:30am MST. Most beautiful campsite ever. Ft Churchill. Jackrabbits, coyote last night, quail this morning… sage everywhere. California trail marker and Native American homesite. Enormous and beautiful sage all around. Only 2 other campers in the campground.
Last night I saw a giant owl as I was pulling up to Fort Churchhill. Driving yesterday was absolutely insane. The mountains were enormous on HWY 15 in NV, the Extraterrestrial highway was so desolate and weird. Driving past Walker Lake at dusk was totally dreamy/scary/buggy. I woke up this morning in my car and it was 50°. So glad I did not sleep with the windows down, or I would’ve been cold!
8:15 AM Squeaky’s car wash to get all the bugs off my car. There were millions of them!!
It’s 55° out here 820am! Carson City Nevada
The mountains up ahead of me are all snow-covered. I wonder which ones they are. I’m gonna find out
8:35 AM elevation 6000 feet I just entered the El Dorado national Forest. There are a shit ton of evergreens coming up, it’s so beautiful. The landscape is changing to my left, snowcapped mountains soon I’m going to be passing by Lake Tahoe.
My lap is full of glass and vitamins. I bought a new jar of calcium magnesium and zinc vitamins and when I opened the package the glass exploded! I bought some lysine and some multivitamins also; Hopefully this staves off any fever blister.
Just passed Spooner Summit. I’m in the lake Tahoe basin 7100 and some feet!
Oh my God, I am so glad I did not drive through Reno, this is the most beautiful road. I’m also following the California migration trail supposedly.
10:05 AM. I don’t think I’m in Pacific Coast time yet but maybe I am I don’t know. I’m on Highway 50 going towards Sacramento I am 8 1/2 hours from the Jedediah Smith redwoods forest park looks like I’ll get there around 6 o’clock tonight. Unless Pacific Coast isn’t where I am yet in which case it will be 5 PM.
Nope, I’ve been in the Pacific Time zone and since I was in Nevada…. haha
10:10 Am PCT I got a little treat a little while back. I stopped to have breakfast at Epic Point. Right there, the Pacific Crest Trail touches up with Highway 50. I did not know that I was going to be crossing the PCT in a place where I can get out and walk on it. Treat status!!! One day I would very much like to hike the PCT with a partner or a friend. ❤
10:45 AM still on highway 50 driving through the El Dorado national forest. Just passed the California passage reenactment group with a bunch of horses and they had a freaking police escort. I texted my friend Maggie and said what in the hell is this all about? And she said “welcome to the left coast. Those people are a special brand of weirdos. They’re the reason why California is not a gun friendly state!” That made me laugh ferociously.
11:10 AM 30 miles to Sacramento, sky opened up and I’m out of the mountains. The air smells like wood!! I keep saying this, but how breathtaking!! Everything is so big!!
11:25 AM We have a nice day here; I have just crossed the Sacramento County line. I have about 25 minutes until I reach Sacramento co-op where I’m going to stop and get some Teatree oil to hopefully help further prevent these fever blisters from forming. My lips were so sunburned… So far I’ve been relatively lucky and they haven’t emerged, but I’m not counting any chickens if you know what I mean. How did I know that there’d be an upcoming co-op? It’s California man. Just testing out all of my preconceived notions.
11:45am Sacramento!! The vibration is back in my car. 😦 Heading to Les Schwab tire place to see whats up.
Emotions on high right now. Worried about the car and other things…..
Just read my horoscope and it’s telling.
Going to stop worrying about other things, because… Here’s the horoscope:
“PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Take your seasick pills. The waves will
sometimes be higher than your boat. Although I don’t think you’ll capsize,
the ride may be wobbly. And unless you have waterproof clothes, it’s
probably best to just get naked. You WILL get drenched. By the way,
don’t even fantasize about heading back to shore prematurely. You have
good reasons to be sailing through the rough waters. There’s a special
“fish” out there that you need to catch. If you snag it, it will feed you for
months — maybe longer.”
Pictures to come, again once I can get to a computer.
6/14/17 Update with photos!
9:35am AZ time, Siri’s not working… Im leaving Page! Stopped at the Glen Canyon dam, saw Colorado river Facetime’d Maw Maw and Paw Paw and showed them the canyon and then saw a real live roadrunner cross the road in front of me!! Why did the roadrunner cross the road? Same as the chicken but in a hurry!
11 AM MST, Arizona doesnt turn its clocks back therefore this morning, I was an hour behind and woke up at 6 o’clock this morning. I had a really good time in Page last night it was a good reuniting with Martin. He, his roommate, and I went out to eat. I had a beet salad, pork tacos, and we all shared some beer battered fried artichoke hearts. Driving through a deer migration area right now, I am in Utah by the way. I slept really well last night, feeling refreshed this morning.
When I arrived in Page, Martin was not home yet. His roommate was though, and we immediately got into a theoretical conversation which was interesting in nature about his relationship issues and politics. I don’t know why I have that effect on people. I don’t like Small talk, and I think that it comes out in my interactions with strangers that I meet in all sorts of different places. So when Martin arrived home we had a big hug and we all sat around catching up for a little while and then we went to dinner. After dinner we came home and walked the dogs in the street and then we all went to bed. I had two glasses of wine last night, my head hurt a little bit this morning.
But overall I felt really good. Unfortunately Martin had some sort of stomach bug and was getting sick all morning long. I hope that he gets better soon and I hope that I do not experience that on my trip. That would be a supreme bummer. I washed my hands like a mad person this morning and stayed clear. I am on 89 N. in Utah. I just got off the phone with my dear friend Timmi Cruz. He is from Utah and I can feel his spirit here. I’m going to gather a bundle of sage and send it to him, Bea, and baby Gwenivere. I was originally going to drive to Salt Lake City to see in the family, but that didn’t work out. So now I am driving, my destination is Silversprings Nevada. That’s about 10 hours driving today and tomorrow I drive from there to redwoods forest. By way of Lake Tahoe. I hear that my drive tomorrow is going to be one of the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen some pretty stuff though, it’s unbelievable all the sites and the incredible nature that I’ve driven by over the last four days. I called my grandmother this morning with FaceTime and I walked across the Glen Canyon Bridge right there at the dam over the Colorado River. She and Paw Paw enjoyed seeing that. Its not such a lonely drive since I can see their faces.
I was going to play my ukulele for Martin last night, but one of the strings was broken. Unfortunately I think that may have something to do with the heat in the car. It’s been really hot, and I’ve been running the air conditioning mainly so that my ukulele doesn’t get too hot (I totally benefit from that too.) so I’m driving through St. George, a mostly Mormon area, to see if I can’t get some ukulele strings!
10:10a.m. Arizona time because I just reentered Arizona. I will soon be in Fredonia Arizona. I’m 75 miles from the north rim of the Grand Canyon… but! I’m not going there.
135 MST I think… I’m in Utah almost to St. George. Just got off the phone with Stephen, my friend in Bend and we made plans for my stay, to go to the coast off the coast of Oregon maybe? I told Stephen that he’s in charge and that I’m not making any plans. I’m excited about that.
I have no idea what time it is. I am on interstate 15 south towards Las Vegas. I just drove through the craziest part of the interstate that I’ve ever been on. It was like driving through the mountains but the mountains are so close and so big and they’re all around you it was absolutely insane. I just drove around there with my job dropped.
I’m going to get off the interstate soon to turn right onto 168 going north into Nevada further. I have about 400 and some miles left to go before I get to Silver Spring. I hope I can make it!
3:10 PM Mountain standard time I am on the road into the wilderness on the road to the extraterrestrial highway. I have highlighted my map so that I know my way. I have put oil in my car I have a full tank of gas I have 3 gallons of water and food. I’m excited about the extraterrestrial highway.
3:25 PM mountain time I just passed by a coyote Springs golf club… what a strange place to want to play golf it’s 140° out here, excuse me 104°. I can imagine how much water they have to use to make sure that the Green stays green. I don’t really like golf. I’m sure you can tell. I’m about to take a right on North 93. Towards Alamo and away from Las Vegas.
4:50 pm Paranahgut wildlife refuge
4:27 PM I just saw a giant elk huge antlers!!
5pm MST 20 miles from Rachel on 375 Extraterrestrial highway…
Just saw a tiny dust whirlwind twister
One black cow.
One brown n white cow.
Cows in road
Cows on the range
Passed an RV
Two more dirt tornadoes
These are the straightest roads of ever saying you can see road for miles
Now on west six and there are tons of birds on the road and they fly off once you get about 3 feet from them.
Tiny little mice creatures running across the road
625 Toiabe natl forest
Saulsberry summit 6556 feet
I’m on 95 north now it’s 10 minutes till 8:00 PM mountain time I’ve been battling with the sun for over an hour and I feel like my entire top lip is going to be a fever blister. I’m fighting it hard though every few minutes I am treating it with ice and I have taken my medicine for it and kept it in my system every couple of hours.
8:05 PM mountain time God these places that I’ve been driving through look as if time has forgotten them. It’s hard to imagine New York or Washington DC when you’re driving through a place like this. The simultaneous existence of completely different worlds. It looks like what I think of when I think of clandestine nine meth labs and extreme poverty/desolation.
The mountain I see ahead of me looks like it still has snow on the top and little patches. It’s called Corey peek and it’s 10,520 feet according to my atlas.
Pictures to come once I can get on my computer…
This morning was beautiful. It was cool in the shade about 60°. People shuffling around about an hour before I got out of bed. I didn’t sleep too well last night, moon cramps and discomfort of my sleeping pad. I had too much Air in it so I let some out. Yesterday evening I went for a nice short hike on the canyon Overlook Trail. At the end of my hike, Fajada Butte was standing there, solitary in the sun rays. This Particular piece of rock is extremely magical to me. I could stare at it for days. I can’t remember the whole story, but I will find out here in a little bit once I get to the visitor center. Ha there’s an information piece right here.
“Fajada Butte dominates the landscape. Expose rock layers reveal the regions geologic and human history.
Cliff House Sandstone forms the upper layer with deposits of fossil shells, clams, shark teeth, and marine sand. Menefee Formation forms the lower layers, combining silt stones and mud stones interbedded with sandstone, shale, and thin coal beds. This easily eroded formation undercuts the harder sandstone layer above, causing unsupported boulders to break off and continue the erosion process of Fajada Butte.
The Chacoan People used the various rock layers in their daily lives. They quarried sandstone for building materials, tools, and food processing (manos and metates). Cliff faces provided a place to record symbols and images. Fossils, shale, jet, and argillite where used for jewelry.
Fajada means belted or banded in Spanish and describes the black seam of lignite coal exposed midway up the Butte, dividing the Cliffhouse sandstone from the Menefee formation.”
… And this is my favorite part:
“The Chacoan People we’re ancient astronomers. Atop Fajada Butte, skywatchers commemorated the movement of the sun in the seasons. Sunlight passed between three Boulder slabs onto a spiral petroglyph to mark the sons position on the summer solstice, winter solstice, and the equinoxes.
The Chacoans had sophisticated knowledge of the sun and moon as shown by this and other sites. Sun watching continues to play an integral part in the Pueblo world. Pueblo people use such markers to plan their agriculture, to set the ceremonial calendar, to integrate the physical and spiritual world, and to seek balance and harmony for all people.
Our modern interest in this site may have forever impacted it. In 1989, researchers noticed that the light pattern on the spiral had shifted, due to the slight slipping of the slabs. This may have resulted from human caused erosion to the base of the rocks.”
9:40 AM sitting atop Una Vida, The closest petroglyph site to the visitor center here at Chaco. This particular site is largely unexcavated. It is much like it was in the late 1800s when it was first noticed by white man. Notice that I did not say discovered because it wasn’t discovered it was just noticed.
I met some people from San Diego on this trail. An older couple and told me that they might The opening up Chaco for speculation. I’ll be damned, Is nothing sacred? Obviously not to people who want to drill for oil. It’s absolutely disgusting because there’s so many other viable and renewable resources that we could use for electricity. Greedy bastards. I’m not all about preservation for the sake of preservation, but I am not about degradation for the sake of money. It’s just disgusting.
On a better note, I’m so glad to be here right now. Feels really good not to be driving, I have about a 5 1/2 hour drive in front of me today towards Page, Arizona, where I will meet up with Martin and we will have some dinner and catch up on old times. Martin was my roommate on my second southwest trip. He’s one of the most amazing and positive people I have ever met. His adventurous spirit has led him out here to the desert to live. He was an archaeology student in the anthropology program at Appalachian State with me. I’m really excited to spend some time and catch up with him.
Right now I’m watching a crow or Raven fly over me. I think out here they’re called ravens, because they’re really big. Which reminds me that I plan on getting a tattoo of a mountain, a raven/crow, and the moon and sun. My grandmother’s not gonna like where I want it on my forearm. But it’s not for my grandma. It’s for me and my happy places. The Raven on the mountain with the moon and the sun represent a part of my life. I know it’s all symbolic and shit, but I’ve learned that I need to center myself through my happy spaces in order to see that everything is temporary. Sometimes I can get lost in negative thoughts and visions intermingled with memories. Having those images on my forearm where I can see it them the time will help to remind me of where I’ve been. Where have been and all that I have come through with a strong and courageous spirit. Sometimes I need a reminder of my worth and that spirit. *sniff sniff*
10:05 AM MST man if there was water around here, still water, I’d be skipping stones like a champ.
10:50 AM MST so Chacoans had a creation story, story about where they come from, and I was thinking about what my story is. Where do I think I came from? I supposed my answer is scientific, it’s evolution I guess. I came from my ancestors who are as far as I know Scots Irish, English, and Cherokee. I don’t know how much of me makes up from any of those groups of people but that’s where I come from.
11:35 AM walking on Wijiji trail, got about halfway and decided to turn around. Two things: 1. Martin said he saw a bobcat here once 2. the sign said that it is not recommended to hike alone. I got a little spooked and didn’t want to take any chances. Smart people staying alive making smart decisions hopefully. Also when I was in the visitor center this lady asked about mountain lion mother who had cubs, she was seen just this December. I’m not trying to be dinner today.
11:37 AM MST The song stuck in my head right now is “blonde in the bleachers” by Joni Mitchell. I was singing it earlier as I was walking back-and-forth from my car to the water area of the visitor center. Guy with long white hair got out of his truck and walked toward the waterhole while I was back at the car and he said “you have a beautiful voice thank you so much.” I don’t think I sang more than two or three lines… That was very sweet and encouraged me to continue planning on busking or performing in Bend or Portland or Seattle.
Well… Here comes the craziest road I’ve ever driven on. 20 miles.. well 8 miles shitty washboard dirt road. 21 miles to US 550 and 8 to 10 of those shitty wash for dirt road. I don’t think I can say enough how shitty this thing really. And when I told the camp host and I didn’t really really remember the road being so bad he said, “you should see it when it’s bad.” Made me think how grateful I am that it has not been raining.
So I slept in talking again. That was one of my main goals for this trip, sleeping and waking up in Chaco and hiking a few miles. Siri keep saying taco which makes me laugh, but in the end I have to edit everything one of those tacos… I should make a video about how shitty this road is.
I just got a good chuckle I was going to speed of a bee. I was keeping up with it or it was keeping up with me one or the other.
11:45 A.m. MST I’m still on the shittiest road. There was a sign back there please it said “livestock on the road please slow down” I’m going 10 mph if that, maybe five mostly. I don’t expect that they would want me to stop. Anyway that made me laugh. My stomach is hurting a little bit right now, could be because I decided to eat two packets of oatmeal this morning. A lot of sugar that I’m not used to eating. …that could also be why my head hurts and hasn’t stopped hurting for a while. I think I need to change my road food diet.
1235 MST still on the road out of Chaco. Unfucking believable. I’m not trying to trash my car while driving on a shitty road so I’m going really slowly. My grandfather would be proud of me.
1240 MST p.m. finally back on a paved road, sort of. I’ve seen some ponies and some donkeys. I’m sure that none of them are wild but one would like to think that there are wild ponies out there
2:02 PM MST I am on highway 64 going west towards Shiprock, just went through Farmington, New Mexico. I stopped for coffee and a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. My back hurts, I’m not sure if it’s from not sleeping well or sitting in the car without proper lumbar support. I have a little pillow behind me now hopefully that will alleviate some of the problem. Spoke to Maw Maw today yesterday. I didn’t get to talk to her before I went to bed because I had no service at all. Today she has diarrhea. For the week and a half before yesterday she had not pooped since her surgery. I know everybody probably doesn’t want to read about this but it’s really important to me! I hope that she feels better, I hope that she eats a lot of cheese and chills on that diarrhea nonsense.
I’m glad that I have Siri to spell diarrhea, it’s one of those words I can never get right.
So tonight will be the deciding factor about what happens next. I have to lay out the rest of my time out here on the West End of the country and look at how many days I have left and how much driving I want to do. San Francisco is the furthest west goal that I have I think. However Man that’s a lot of driving! I have a half a mind to skip San Francisco and go straight to Redwoods.
You guys are probably all like ha ha I knew she get tired of driving! Well you’re right. I get to take three or four days off in Bend Oregon. Looking forward to that.
2:10 PM excellent radio station outside of Farmington New Mexico, oldies 92.5. Damn fine station.
2:45 PM MST song title “I’m afraid I’m a dusty stone.” About not growing Moss, and about never knowing real love, and about never finding a life partner. Because of Wonderlust, because of fear of not being free.
Never mind that stations not as good as I thought, they play Rush.
104.1 is kicking ass right now at classic country music.
5000 feet elevation
64 W. just turned in the 160 W. I am now in Arizona. I’ve been everywhere man!
4:10 PM MST I am driving just south of Monument Valley. All of the mountains seem to be facing the same direction as if they’ve been windblown. It’s incredible to see, from a distance I’m sure that it’s different than being up next to them. I am blown away by this country side, everything is so big feeling, my body has the extreme fear of death, reminds me of the first time I got off the ski lift at a basin in Colorado. I can feel my feet tingling from the height. Out here the excitement is the same, everything is so huge that it makes me feel sort of indescribably small. I wish my grandparents were here to see this, I bet you five dollars my grandfather would say “now who do you think made that?” *big grin*
It’s hard to imagine an inland sea that is as high as some of these mountains are. Deep as the ocean is I’m sure.
I just had a craving for McDonald’s. I’m looking at the golden arches right now. But I am refusing my urge. I not only politically hate the fact that I have urges like that, but I also am going to have dinner soon. I don’t want to spoil my dinner with a fillet of fish sandwich no cheese extra tartar sauce…. yes I would like a small side of fries with that.
Mile marker 383 hwy 160… Sissy Hankshaw’s roadside attraction… tee hee ho ho
5:05 PM MST a while back I turned onto 98 which is about 65 miles to page Arizona. The sun is creeping in and out from behind the clouds, very nice there’s a huge mess of them in front of me.
6:20 PM MST I just decided on a Conway Twitty inspired voicemail message. For those of you who are interested and have my phone number you may call me and I won’t answer just so you can be entertained.
I am on the road again from Ute Lake State Park. Last night I got here really late, and everything was dark. I couldn’t see and I had a very hard time getting into the park. I literally drive around that place for half hour before I found a place to park (thanks Maps). I did end up parking right next to the bathhouses sleeping there. Once I got settled in I had a fight with mosquito who had found his way into my car. Another night slept with my car windows up. Fine with me though because man I was tired. I pushed myself a little too hard yesterday. However I only have 5 1/2 hours to Chaco Canyon and I am very excited about that. Once I get there I’m going to do a big long hike.
9:17 AM mountain time, I just bought a corndog for breakfast and already ate a banana, but the prospect of corn dogs and coffee together seems extremely favorable.
9:48 AM Kix on Route 66 diner. All of the waitresses look like rockabilly queens. Food looks so good and I am parked next to 1950s old truck that was rusted but awesome. I’m about to have my third breakfast.
11:40 AM mountain time – I am officially out here in the desert. The landscape’s definitely changed. I see buttes and mesas and pinion pine. There was a man selling cowboy hats and boiled Pinion back in Logan where I stayed the night last night. Last night I had a fight with mosquito. I won of course, but it did take a little while, she bit me about four times before I could get her. I slept in my car again, not uncomfortable, I would’ve liked to of left the windows down there. The more rural you get out here, the more notices you see about how whiskey is the devil and rehabilitation advertisements. There was also a huge home a billboard that said Mexicans against nuclear waste. That was really something. Supposedly they’re going to drill some sort of sinkhole where they’re going to drop off nuclear waste out here. Deplorable for sure. All I can think of is Jack Abramoff and the dirty deals on the Native American reservations that basically exemplified corruption and the problem of money in politics, and also the stark and horrible Legacy of how Native Americans have been treated in our history. This country was founded on genocide and slavery. If anybody lives their life without thinking about that, they’re missing something of their own heritage.
More cramps today, just had my third breakfast. A plate full of potatoes onions mushrooms and eggs. Absolutely delicious. Also had my 2nd cup of coffee. It was not a damn fine cuppa coffee, but it was pretty good.
I’m about five hours from Chaco Canyon, I plan to set up camp go for a nighttime walk, and eat a tomato sandwich finally. And then I plan on looking at the stars until I fall asleep. This experience in particular is something I’ve been looking forward to since I left. I wish all my girlfriends could be here with me, we had all talked about doing this together but wrangling 4-5 ladies… Well you know it. Life goes on. And I’m about to sleep at Chaco Canyon for the third time. It definitely brings tears to my eyes.
I think the New Mexico license plate is my favorite. I like Oregon too, but the New Mexico one is so pretty and beautiful and yellow, some are turquoise.
11:50 AM mountain time I just remembered this and you’ll never believe it, but I just used the bathroom in that last diner I was in, and the lady that I was washing my hands next to asked me where I was from in North Carolina. She said “oh yeah I used to live in Burlington back in 1986.” I just shook my head and said “are you serious? I was born and raised in Burlington North Carolina.” What a Quinkidink!??
Also, there was a rockabilly festival happening in Tucumcari, so they were tons of old cars everywhere, and beautiful rockabilly queens and kings are walking around with their greasy hair and white T-shirts and tattoos and polkadots and red lipstick and hairspray. Kick. Ass.
12:27 PM MST I can’t decide if my stomach hurts because of that corndog or if I have Moon cramps.
12:45 PM MST Ontario plates! I’m going 80 and the speed limit is 75. People are passing me and making me look like I’m going slow. I don’t feel in anyway pressured, just concerned for all these motorcyclists out here.
1 o’clock Mountain time
Moon confirmed. And here comes my monthly dose of Advil.
I just saw lightning during the day, it’s way off into the distance up north of me (Palmas).
1:38 PM MST I think I just saw a crazy tornado in this huge cloud with didn’t look quite like the final it just look like a anomaly in the sky over there. I saw that right after I had a good long cry. Paul Simon song “hearts and bones” came on. It’s all reminds me of me and Peter. Then the next song was “cactus tree” by Joni Mitchell and that one didn’t do me any good either. I guess I’m still working through some hard emotions. But thanks to some very good friends and understanding on both of our parts, I have positive hopes that we will forever remain friends. Kind of funny grieving a relationship, it becomes this thing after you get together with somebody, it grows it to own life, and people fall in love with that. That’s one of the most heart wrenching things about breaking up is that people love you and they love the other person but they love the idea of both of you being together too. Sometimes that’s hard to walk away from…. i’m 36 miles from Albuquerque where I will stop for lunch. Finally going to have that tomato sandwich.
2 PM MST I have made it to the glorious yet understated Sandias mountains.
2:06 PM Albuquerque New Mexico. Funny I remembered that I was getting on another exit going north soon about three exits before I needed to do so. That’s pretty cool. This is also the first time I have not been on interstate 40. I am on North 25.
Leaving Sandia reservation 2:25 PM MST
2:37 PM just passed my first alien naval base. Oh my god there’s another thunderstorm!
Entering the Zia reservation, the Zia sun symbol it’s on the New Mexico flag.
2:56 PM I’m getting really hungry and want to make a sandwich. But there’s not a really good place to pull off. Wait till I get to Cuba shake spot and make my sandwich.
3:06 PM I can’t believe I’m this far across the country. I am literally miles from cities, gas stations and I mean a lot of miles not just some. The cliffs in the hills and mesas around here so enormous it would probably kill me to walk up really small One.
3:11 PM North Highway 550 entering Jemez reservation
3:25 PM elevation 6700
3:50 PM stop for lunch! That sandwich was kick ass. Elevation 7000 feet, back on the road from Cuba to Chaco! Met a really nice biker lady, she was driving a Harley. She asked me to look at her bike while she went inside and I did. She brought me out of giant super extra big gulp cup full of ice.
I have turned on the road to Chaco Canyon. 14 miles of paved and another 8 miles of unpaved and it’s true that when it rains is sometimes impassable. I hope that I can get a campsite. I think that the office closes at five and it’s 5 o’clock now.
Craziest road, ever. Washboard city.
Does Siri work when I don’t have any service? Look at it she sure does. That hard-working girl. So I just set up camp at Chaco Canyon it is 6:40 PM. I just sat down for some dinner. I know I just had a tomato sandwich like two hours ago but that’s OK because this is my supper, banana and peanut butter sandwich with a pickle dessert. I was thinking about taking a nap before the sun goes down but the campsite is out in the sun. So instead I’m going to do a walkabout, get really sweaty and come back take a shower and do some stargazing. The moon is just over half full. I can’t wait for tonight, stars out here are tremendous.
Does Siri still work with airplane mode? Why yes! She does.
Walked up to the Canyon overlook trail to watch the sunset on Fajada Butte. The moon was up and the Golden Hour has never been so magical.
9:00pm Can’t believe that I am at Canyon right now sitting in a lawnchair watching the Moon listening to the silence. People are getting ready for nighttime, they all have the fires going. I’m not going to talk anymore into this thing tonight, I’m just going to go to bed after I watch the stars come out. I will wake up with the sun.