Tag Archives: america

Roadtripping across America in search of climbing, beer, adventure and glory – Three Days Until Departure!

I’ve spent months saving, planning and daydreaming about my trip across America, and in three very short days, Road Trip 2011 will begin with a bang – well, more of a 24 hour haul towards Colorado, but a bang nonetheless.

Naturally, the plan is to take you along for the ride. I’ll make plenty of updates on the road, and will do my best to post pictures as I go. To get you acquainted with the plan, here’s a map of our route, compliments of my AAA.com road trip planner:

We’ll start the trip off with a grueling 24-hour haul to Denver, Colorado, where we’ll be spending a few days hanging out with McGoo and the boys. After Denver, it’s off to Aspen for a beautiful 8.5 mile hike to Conundrum Springs. Next we’ll spend some time in Moab, Utah, climbing and rafting with our buddies Jeff and Ryan. The climax of our trip will be our week spent in Yosemite and Bishop, California. Once we’ve climbed ourselves raw, we’ll relax for a few days in San Francisco. We’ll end the trip with a few days exploring Chattanooga, looking for some houses and job opportunities for me.

Basically, I could ooze my excitement for hours. The packing shall begin tomorrow, and then on Monday morning at 5:00 AM — we’re off. Hell yeah.

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It Keeps Getting Worse

I owe you an update about our day of climbing at The Garden of the Gods, but first I have to share something that rattled me to the core. After getting rained out during a bouldering session, we headed to Golden Corral for some all-you-can-eat goodness.

I was enjoying my gluttony, until a family of seven of the most severely obese people I have ever seen in my life came and sat next to us. The father was confined to a wheelchair, and had to be hooked up to oxygen due to his excessive weight. His youngest daughter was literally a sphere; she weighed at least twice as much as I do. That means that an eight year old child doubled the weight of a twenty-one year old woman. I know that America has an obesity problem, but I hadn’t quite realized that it was such a dire issue. Nearly every person at the buffet was overweight.

I watched in horror as the father delegated his order for his children to fetch – he was too large to navigate the buffet himself. As the family started pigging out on their feasts, I recollected my sense of manners and tried to politely ignore the scene.

I thought the situation was over, until I went to the restroom before we left. As I stepped out of my stall, one of the older daughters came rushing into the bathroom and proceeded to vomit up the contents of her stomach. I was disgusted, and hurried back to the table. As I recounted the story to the boys, my horror was amplified – the woman returned to her table with a teeming plate of food. How do you throw up so much, and then continue to consume what you just expelled from your body?

On the verge of tears from witnessing such a vile display of ‘America’, I asked the boys if we could leave before I grew any more upset. We headed to the car and sat in the parking lot for a short while to plan the remainder of our trip. As we waited at a stop light to hit the road, I was given one final spurt of ridiculousness: while the rest of the obese family drove away in their mini van, the father drove his wheelchair beside the car, because he was too big to fit inside the vehicle.

Take my experience as a reminder to take care of yourself. It really is not difficult. Eat well, and get outside to enjoy what your body can do for you. It takes years to become like the family I witnessed, and there is no excuse to let that happen.

Hittin’ the Road!

Today is the day! As I type, the boys are loading up the Jeep with tents, climbing gear, and a giant tub full of munchies. Baby Cap is all nestled into his mason jar – did I mention that he’s coming along for the ride? I can’t wait for the moment when he finally emerges from his chrysalis so I can release him into the beautiful wilderness that is about to be my home for the next two weeks.

Expect frequent updates, though they may not be as wordy as I typically am. We’re headed towards Tulsa, OK, as our first stop, then it’s off to meet our good friend Dan Cardenas out in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. From there we’ll trickle back down towards Florida, making stops to climb in Colorado and Utah. I cannot begin to express my excitement for all of the photography opportunities and story-telling material I am bound to come across during this adventure.

I developed my first roll of AE-1 film today, and even though it is slightly messed up because I didn’t realize my aperture is broken until after I took all the pictures, here’s my favorite shot from the roll. It is a great image to start my epic road trip, and it captures the spirit of this adventure perfectly. – And who doesn’t want to oogle at my gorgeous boyfriend?

Keep in touch, comrades. Leave me lots of comments to keep me occupied during the long stretches of driving. Send me suggestions on places to stop, travel tips, anything. If you’re in Tallahassee, make sure my housemates don’t burn the house down while I’m gone! Farewell civilization, hello America.

Happy 4th of July!

It’s a great day to be an American, folks! On this slightly overcast Sunday afternoon, let us revel over the beauty of our homeland as we toss back a few good ‘ole Pabst Blue Ribbons, grill up some spicy black bean burgers, and congregate in a mass of pure patriotism.

I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the day with some quotes I came across at USATrends. These excerpts are examples of the best of American values and patriotic dedication to our land. Once again, getting me pumped for my journey across the sprawling midwest.

“May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!”
– Daniel Webster

“My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Enjoy this holiday — get outside into some nature, and take a few moments to appreciate what you’ve got in your own backyard. We have to maintain this land that we’ve been gifted; that is our duty in return for nature allowing us to intrude upon her. Updates to come with the much-anticipated photos of the caterpillars.

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