Putting the Me in Utah

I decided I would simply hitch a ride to wherever the next car out was going. There were a lot of families with kids at the ranch so i just had to find someone with room in their car and not too much food smushed into back seat cushions. Well… two out of three ain’t bad, right? It’s not like my pants were so clean to start with anyways. I honestly can’t even remember their last name, but this very nice family was going back home to Salt Lake City, which sounded to me like a nice enough spot—why the hell not?

So I turned in my spurs, said goodbye to Sandy (did I even tell you about the horse that saved my life?) and Mike and then voila—off I go, turning the last 3 weeks into a mirage, the only traces remaining is the stench that I just can’t seem to shake.

Utah, Utah – there must be a song about Utah, though I can’t think of any.

I’m at a youth hostel now in Salt Lake City, explored a bit this evening, and now I desperately need a map so I can figure out where I’m going tomorrow morning. I’ve barely used my tent and since the weather out here is so perfect right now, I want to go somewhere where I can sleep under the stars. Ok, google maps…

Okay, there is A LOT to do here. I’m thinking I’ll start at Capitol Reef National Park, and then go over to Arches National Park, then down to Canyonlands National Park — that makes the most sense I think, but then Zion National Park is totally in the opposite direction, as is Bryce Canyon National Park, so maybe that doesn’t make sense. Bear with me…

Okay, this is better: Zion National Park (long bus ride from Salt Lake City, I think) to Bryce Canyon to Canyonlands and then to Arches and I’ll skip Capitol Reef.

Okay cool, I’m going to Zion tomorrow!

Wow, was just browsing and see that you can ride a bobsled at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. And I’m kinda interested in visiting the Historic Temple Square here in Salt Lake. Maybe I should stay in SLC for a few days?

Why am I starting to stress out over this? What happened to relaxed Tim who didn’t give a damn about planning. I need to sign off and go to bed. In the morning, wherever and whenever I’m in the mood to go to, I’ll go.


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I’m Baaack!

Bro, don’t read this: I ended up hitching a ride from Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and then all the way to Albuquerque. I was at Guadalupe Canyon (in the NP) which is by far the most magnificent and I ran into this old man who actually I’d run into already at Big Bend National Park a few days earlier…turns out he’s doing a similar trekking route as the one I’ve got (sort of) planned, so he gave me a ride ‘cross the border to our next stop in Carlsbad (it was just under an hour, still in the Guadalupe Mountains, so I probably could’ve ridden my bike—had I not been so damn trusting and left it unlocked by my hostel a few stops back. First my laptop, then this. Grrr.). But then Old Man gave me a ride to Albuquerque which is where he lives and while I probably could’ve biked that over the course of a few days, it was nice getting a free 6 hour ride.

The companionship was certainly nice while I’ve got it. I’ve met a ton of people down here, but most of these “friendships” last for the duration of a hike and then dissolve as quickly as they picked up. Though now I have random people imprinted upon the peaks of the mountains I’ve scaled in the Southwest.

George ended up being a great tour guide through the Carlsbad Caverns National Park — there’s this incredible network of underground caves that date back about 500,000 years. George knew the ins and outs and brought me to some very cool rock formations within some hidden caves. Apparently he had been bringing his kids and grandkids for years but this year they were “busy” (I think it’s more complicated than that) so he was happy to have the company of a young person, I think.

When we got to Albuquerque, he let me shower at his house and then he dropped me off at Cottonwood Mall and now George is just another bleep on my radar. Never to be seen again, but probably never forgotten. If I were to be writing a play or a screenplay, George would be the apocalyptal Old Man…the seer who comes to this world to watch over the orphan child and lead him in the direction of the gods….

I had no idea how welcome the cool walkways of a huge indoor mall would be. I’m not generally Mr. Mall, but, what an alternate universe: People who are CLEAN and SOCIALIZING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY… almost foreign concepts to me by now. I got a twang of…something. Would I say homesickness? Maybe. I went to the food court and got something delicious and greasy and then…Tim is really reverting back to his old ways… saw a movie. Saw 10,000 BC which was both fun and crap—one of my alltime favorite genres…

I found a hostel (which is where I am now, finally online connected with the world) and I think I’m going to lay low for a few days and explore this city. My body physically needs a break from climbing.

BTW, is my movie taste that bad?
Haha—I just saw that Rotten Tomatoes gave 10,000 BC a 9% rating. That’s probably the lowest rated movie I’ve ever seen…and yet, I enjoyed it. What does that say about me?

Next stop? Hmmm… You’ll just have to wait and find out!

Lake Revelation

My trip planner is right. The waters of Lake Cayuga are beautiful. I made it up here using a public bus and after short dining experience at a cafe in Ithaca I decided to flee to the less settled shore line of Lake Cayuga up north. Its beautiful here and restful. I can think about the complexities by removing myself from them until everything seems just simple, just an expression of the divine. Isn’t that what this is about? Expressing the impossible, recanting and collecting thoughts in a manner that is a consolidation of revelation of one’s inner spirit? Thats my trip and yeah I guess I am a floaty and doing some inner traveling right now. So I guess I’ll post this and break.

Elmira, I Think I’ll Stay For A While

The title says it all. Its really nice here. Well most people would find it tough, but there’s something about sticking around the city where Mark Twain wrote most of his books. Something else. The Chemung River flows down the center and provides a nice walk. I feel rested and calm here after my night in a hotel room. I think I’ll check out some of the historical sites here. Maybe even sit in Mark Twain’s office. My travel planner insists its a great tourist site! Will write more later.
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The Pepacton Stop

So I made it to the mighty Pepacton Reservoir–one of the sources for New York City’s water supply. Its beautiful and blue. I hiked from Beaverkill where I was dropped off yesterday and made it here before nightfall. I couldn’t fall asleep, but finally got to rest around 3:30 in the morning. I slept until 9:30. I’ve been looking out at the water now for about an hour. Its calming and quiet. In the distance I see a trout fisherman…

I just closed my eyes for a little, taking in the smell of the wild, of the one source–the energy that I feel deep inside m, inside it all. Its like that when ever I am away from humanity. I wish I could have that same feeling when I’m around people. You know that feeling where no matter what it will all be fine. Its something I need to work on–to build and grow on.

Well, I’ll have to be on the move soon. I need to get to Route 17 and start heading out towards Western NY and maybe up into the Finger Lakes before nightfall. My travel planner should help in finding some good hotels and maybe some wineries if I make it the Finger Lakes.pepacton14.jpg

Pepacton Reservoir

The Roscoe Diner

The Roscoe diner is a traveler’s paradise. It has Greek specialties and a great pot of coffee. I’ve been here all through the night and now its ten in the morning and I think its time to go. I got a hitch out of Ellenville with an old man in a pick up truck heading west on 17. He was a skinny man with gray hair who must of smoked about 8 cigarettes in an hour’s time. He dropped me off here. Its been fun here, eating and relaxing. I’ve seen old me chatting for a few hours and young teenagers obviously out without their parents’ knowledge. The flow of life continues on at Roscoe. Its a small town, a transient place where truckers stop and simple people live. Roscoe is at the foot of the Catskills in Sullivan county and its those mountains I want to head to next. I’m ready to check my trip planner to see the best spots for hiking and viewing the world out here. I am ready, but I’m not sure my body is. Oh well maybe I’ll take a snooze somewhere along the way ore just order another coffee before I leave.


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Going West

I feel like I’m going west. Really I’m still in Ulster, in the Catskills. There are many old hotels up here. The Nevele and the old Browns (now an Ashram) all reflect a sort of modern antiquity of lite nostalgia hugging the mountains. Walking through the old town of Ellenville I thought to myself, “how dull life is here, but how perfect.”

I’m after the quiet, the internal respite that is sought, but never found. The autumn colored trees are swaying around me as I write this on a wooden bench, cool fall air touch my cheeks. I think I can get a hitch if I look desperate enough, after all since leaving Mohonk and crossing through Minewaska State park where another mountain lake lies hidden in the sky I made my way all the while sleeping at night outside and that’s where I’ve been the last few nights; in my tent in the woods outside Ellenville. I think its time to go…