Monday, September 18, 2017

off grid and on foot, seemingly alone in a world ruled by machines

I crawled back to my cabin, this time with a ride from my sister after a hell of a blowout the night before. I had had to return to south PA after only two days off grid due to my great uncle, who I was decently close to, dying. It hurt a bit and then to go to his viewing was even harder, uncontrolled tears came and it sort of felt good as well to release. On arrival back down in the hellish city like hole of Mechanicsburg I decided, after my sister had picked me up in Mansfield, that I'd go quiet for a day or so. In mid drive, when my sister tried to sleep and I was chatty, she said I was talking a lot and in ode to my Uncle, Planetwalker and the shortened solitude I need for mental health I went mute. That night my sister and I acquired a fine intoxication, her telling every bartender I was not speaking for a bit. That night back at our moms, with another shot down, I unknowingly and drunkenly said a few sentences, sometimes not even realizing it. But, I wrote down what I wanted to say. It did help with anger and argument that would ensue due to my Uncle's death and the great tract of land he had owned. I being the monkish hermit I am wanted nothing to do with any squabbles or quarreling from most of that side of the family I never saw or really spoke to anyway. I stayed quiet for two days, even in explanation of why, my un-understanding mother was still angry about it. So anywho the night before I left, the day of the services, I felt very Bacchus possessed and with my Aunt fully into day drinking we all started early. I even went to downtown Harrisburg with them and a cousin and her boyfriend and my sister, after popping a percocet and ran into an old friend from HS who I had wanted to see again for awhile. Intoxication, in moderation lifts a veil to other things sometimes. The next day I woke up head slamming, early in my usual sleeping spot of my mom's large backyard. I got my sister up thinking she had work in the evening when she really didn't. Getting up early after a bender is a good way to be sick and on the 3 hour drive back to my place, with some extra gear in stow, I had to stop 3 or 4 times to purge the demonic poison that I would avoid for a little time. I feel partying hard is becoming obsolete for me. Aging and the fact that now I can just enjoy a few drinks and catch a buzz and its just as fine.
My sister didn't stay long after I unloaded my bicycle trailer and pack and extra food. I threw it all randomly and then took a short nap after I started feeling the hangover slowly subsiding, getting those little perks of joy knowing it was fading.
That night, at midnight, door open, us asleep on the floor as usual, I awoken from my hangover rest to the same assholes who have done something similiar months before when I had the donkey, drive down my path and I stand on the steps and yell "hey" the passenger looks over, as the drive right around my cabin, I fire a shot from my .357 right into the dirt, as they drive right over my cooking fire pit, then into my garden area. They drove over my stashed stack of downspout and a raised bed I had made, back around the other side, diagonally away from my door, I fire another round at the dirt behind their tailgate as these pricks drive through my field out to the gravel road. I don't think they'll return. Less than ten minutes later a truck starts coming down the road, me half awake and semi scared take the dog and revolver and dash back into the birch stand and wait, but the vehicle blares by down the road. So, the death dancer I am I go back inside and go back to sleep, door wide open, in less than a half hour, revolver un-holstered by my bedroll side. First night back fully off grid and I have this inconsideration of quiet, simple people like myself to deal with.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Unabomber Shack

Hitched to Pittsburgh then small routes to the shacker. Took a few days of some hard hitching and some easy and with motel nights. Was fun and bitter suppressing.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Update into nothing

Finally built a little 1/3 recycled cabin shack, on nearly a couple acres that I still am paying to my dad. Was quite cheap and is worth it. I could have to pay some bank or something but instead just do it through my understanding Dad. I want to travel a bit but am putting off a little rambling stint to work another 4 days for my dad and uncle. What I make will further money to my dad and I am getting the puke yellow vinyl siding we tear off for my cabin. Shingles, I put on yesterday up there, after driving my sister's little civic up with a friend, my 70 pound dog and gear and some materials. My neighbor up at my shack sold me over 2 square of architectural IKO shingles, caps-which a lot were trashed, but no matter- and a pail of nails for 50 bucks, last week. I gave him 60. Cool dude. He even rode them over on his little four wheeler cart and I only had to carry them about 15 yards and up my little 4 foot ladder into my cabin. I picked up the wood stove from my Uncle today, after thinking I would get dropped off to wait on a North bound train in Dauphin, Pa where I lived for a bit. So now I will work the next days, and give my dad a large smack of paper and then either ramble, or see about getting my little shit stove up to my cabin, then ramble. (head nod with smiling eyes-up and down), yeahhh that sounds like a great idea. No worries either way. Just like when it rained all day friday and into all day saturday up in potter county and come sunday the skies cleared and warmed and I was able to get my roof on before having to depart back down to here for my friend to go to work and for me theorize peacing for a bit. Few more days of work will be good. Nice out finally into cool fall and its not laborious work doing siding. I find myself nearly exhausted of any major worry, my mind has morphed into easiernessishism. As said before my mouth ever put together, Let it rollll.
I can see the depth of death in your eyes
I can feel
the pain and hunger
from your thighs

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sleeping Less-A Bit Repressed-Writing Diarrhea-Night of Work Skipped-I am no slave even if I chose the job

Woke up, after going to bed at nearly 4AM, Mato was already rolling out-little bastard- at 8:45. So I got up and feel pretty good. God, couple weeks ago I could do it, if it was a non-fatigue day, but I'd sleep 10 hours some days and be in a frickin' haze for most of the day.
Typical, family Drahmah but its all good, it happens, its family. I will not be like my egg layer's family and hold grudges or hate till my last breath. I have been night writing on the type writer a lot while watching Netflix or a bit stonededly, just my typical mind scatter shot and thoughts on the day and what I did. I remember typing it last night, pick at some words, let it sit and pick more, and thinking jeeze I type like this a lot, but the subjects are all different and day oddities changed, all together these little excerpts from the days of rambling, and writing and working and seeing and doing and theories and random thoughts should help someone like my favorite writer's own words have at times. Little daily, sometimes non-travel, mind trip, travelogues.
Last night, worked four hours for the first time for a different cleaning company, dusting the dustiest bull shit-which I woke up-with a slight chest tightness-oh well-. So I went to my other part time job and usually we clock in at 5;54 or 5, well no one to let us clock in was there yet and I saw 3 different workers sitting there, so I walked from my Rusty Turtle to the door and happened to see all 3 of these souls these people, these little junkies, all heads bent staring into L.E.D. glow frowns. PHONES PHONES PHONES. Well that kind of irked me and the one kid looks up at me and I'm pretty sure I gave a slight indication of hello and acknowledgement but he smugly looked away. So, I walked to my car and left without a word. Seen the "managers" on the way out of the tea bagging business complex and they saw me but didn't look.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Unbeknownst writings-(but oh well)- Mini Diary of Late Goings About

Worked 5 evenings last week, vacuuming floors for the janitorial company I have worked-on and off- for the past few years. Typically a month or so, last winter was only a few weeks I believe. Also, acquired another CL job for another cleaning company that pays 9.25 an hour and is only 6 hours on Saturday and 12:30 to 2:30 PM Tuesday and Thursdays. Will only be till End of March or Early April. We'll see how long I continue to stand this semi-conventional living. I want to save up more than my current moneys of less than 300 bucks, so I can either pay for a Rental Car out of PA past Ohio or oil change and maintenance, my over a year out of inspection and 2 days out of registration, Subaru wagon. I do have a thing for my ole Rusty Turtle and she has been so many places already and it just seems right to at least leave her out West or scrap or sell her. Could even give it to Tyler in Wyoming out there. . . We'll see. I guess I am more or less working to keep busier and saner and for a little dough for motels, gas if I drive at all and that's about it.
My first time working for the 5 evenings a week job I worked I think over two months there and used to go in a little drunk on Vladimir and OJ and every night stoned on dank. I even one time took my liquor and juice in the building and drank while working. I usually go stoned(one hit at a time) and it makes it go a little faster. I like listening to music but I can't do that all the time- I hate filling my ears with electronic increment heat. I don't care for the sound of the inside of an office or vacuum either but I know whats coming if ever something or someone was to come. I am getting tired of these damn cell phones too. I have a smart phone Sprint month to month plan but turn it off frequently. Went to snow shovel for my uncle at the Enola American Legion this morning, for pay, and left it in my moms outside garage where me and the mutt slept last night. Turned it off after contacting the new second employer and will leave it off probably till tomorrow or so. Though, I was in new contact with a woman. . .
I like working part -time too if I have to work at all. A few hours a night 6-10 isn't so bad. Saturdays will be six but its only for a few weeks. Though, even this still feels like a waste of time. I am thinking of the road for sure. No more staying put this trip I need to move move move. Main destination(though OHHHHH how plans change for me in a second) hit up Tyler and his lady at their house in Buffalo, WY-then Montana? Oregon and Washington? California? would really like to meet up with his dad, Hawk, again too. Contact Stickbender or Elk Watcher. but thats as far as I go. To contact people ahead of time or think of what to do is futile. I have no real plans. KY was spur of the moment decisions-fun one- but I stayed put in mononucleosis-depressed- monotonously for a bit too much boredom darkness.
Helpx? probably not? I think I'd still be more content in an apartment for a few weeks, month. . .ehhh? than staying on some one elses property with specific duties every day. I really cannot maintain schedule at all. It brings me down way more. Thats why I really need to get into the groove or rather lack of, movement, whether bicycle-need to pursue this out west with trailer for pup- or hitching and trains for extended periods. Look for other traveling friends and look forward to my other fellow Pennsylvania tramp coming West this summer at some point. Was thinking again on a burro in Montana and wandering around like Everett Ruess again. Me and a dog and a goat or two or burro or both. Come cold wander the PCT south into Calif and then back North in summer. Living off the trail and woods and rambling through towns.
THATS MY LIFE PLANS AND DREAMS MAN. My real answer for my last interview, even though I still told him I live in the moment mostly and as far as I'm thinking ahead, next week, I want to still be working-though just for ROAD MONEY and DOG FOOD MWHAHAH.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Volkswagen, Vagabond, Vistas

Reading, PA- Ketchum, ID


This whole wild story started by chance and a Craigslist occurrence. What I may have originally thought a hoax or possibly a scam someone posted to the site, full of random-s to fool someone, turned out to be one of the greatest and most fulfilling things I have done alone(besides the mutt of course).

            My mission was to drive a 2012 Diesel Volkswagen Taureg from Reading, Pennsylvania to a state I’d yet to visit, Idaho.

            Pops would drive me the hour or so Northeast from home to the dealership in a nicely rainy day. My supplies were, to cross ¾ of the continent, my internal frame pack, purchased a year or two before at a flea market, my Wiggy’s-lifetime warranty-sleeping bag, foam pad, tarp, and my sister’s previous college day bag stuffed with an extra set of clothes, an empty plastic cat litter box filled with non-perishable food and a large bag of Taste of the Wild dog grub for my co-pilot Mato, a mutt with a long story himself.

            It felt good to leave with little and know I didn’t have to return with the metal and diesel mechanical burden; that it was only a one way chore and that I could get back however I pleased. A few days before, after the personal contract was signed and I and the car buyer were sure of each other’s physical existence after phone calls, I had my usual second thoughts and loneliness without even leaving yet. I was committed though and a man of my word. The night before departure I spent with a close friend, one of my only, smoking our pot and cracking our cans in good bye. I really had second thoughts then; in the comfort of familiar faces and acquainted conversation. I would be gallivanting to an unfamiliar state to meet someone from Craigslist, alone; he would wake up and go to work. My decision was predetermined; I’d rather be lonely, cold, or tired and a bit scared than live in boredom.

            Dad and I arose early, got Mato out to piss and we hopped in his newer Subaru and he drove me and the furry side kick and minimal supplies to the also unfamiliar PA town. Reading was a large-small town that sort of reminded me of Altoona, PA or Pottsville, PA; a town that is large but sometimes and in certain spots has a home town feel and lack of high buildings.

            The dealership when we arrived on that cold wet day had a parking lot full of Mercedes and         other “high class” vehicles. I was psyched when we pulled up, even in that cold drizzle, to see the car sitting under an overhang. I have no opinion on any kind of vehicle; they do nothing aesthetically for me. I think of dropping a year of income or more on a rolling piece of plastic and rubber quite unintelligent. 

            My dad and I walked inside in our simple clothes, me in my green rain jacket and searched for the salesmen who had been in contact with the man I was delivering the car to. But first! I snagged myself a free cup of complimentary fancy stancy Tom Clancy, machine coffee; the little K cup kind of course. We Americans are so damn lazy we don’t even have to really prepare our own coffee anymore and we can just throw the little plastic cup in a landfill after and not have it burden are so important lives anymore.

            The salesman, Vish, was an alright guy and attitude less.  He didn’t even look at my identification. But who could know the situation anyway or about it, to falsify anything? So I kind of understood that. We went out to the car and he showed me some things and gave me the paper mobile insurance and the double set of keyless electronic . . . keys.

            In the back seat I put down an old sheet that we had used to harbor a whitetail fawn months before in the basement, of my now Mother’s house, for the mutt, then loaded my few belongings into the rear. I put my McDonalds coffee cup, in its absolute necessary spot, in the cup holder. It was used to acquire free coffee along the way crossing the country.

            I will never forget the salesmen saying to me “I’ve always wanted to drive cross country but NEVER did it”. There I was 22, free, and have been west and back, by different modes of travel, more times than I could count on one foot. I said goodbye to my father. Cold as he can be, I know he’s thinking, as he has in the past seeing me off on some meander, damn that’s a journey ahead of him. I know he has some love for me, maybe its formal; the debt of being part in my producing, but I imagine he wants to see me safe. I still think he’d take a fucking bullet for me, but there’s only one way to find out. KABOOM!

            I tried my best to listen to Vish’s directions to get out of town to head North to highway 80 but as with things like this, or talking numbers; my brain is foggy and usually can’t follow. So, with Dad following me out of town, to the road I needed to head North on and him eventually South, I made a wrong exit choice and ended up on the ramp to stop and consult. He got me figured out, we backed down the off ramp back to the highway and I made my rainy drive for over an hour North on 61 to highway 80 WEST.

We passed through small foggy mountain towns that I love in Pennsylvania and finally came out to a soggy highway that would be home for the next handful of days.

Route was windy in middle Pennsylvania. Into Western Pennsylvania the cold rain turned into snow and when I got onto the Ohio Turnpike it was coming down pretty good. I don’t remember much of the drive, snow, cold, low visibility, but I saw a sign for Motel 6 off the turnpike, North of Youngstown. I had driven nearly the whole length of PA and a bit into Ohio, in part of a day, and figured a nice motel would be a great first night. There was a decent snow dusting all around and it was in the 20’s in temperature. Low in the 50 dollar range and we got a room.

Life’s buzz buzzing steadily I got into the room and unloaded some gear and ate some hot oatmeal, with water I heated on my Pocket Rocket stove. A hot bath was a delicacy as well after the cold. Before really settling in for the night I walked over to a truck stop behind the motel with Mato and bought a 24 oz 211 and watched a travel show on a foreign country. PBS Rick Stevens, an odd character, said, “Travel is a way of gaining a bigger perspective.” That sat well. And before evening wound down, I had to call the car owner Trent and tell him a code had come up, before Ohio, saying the motor was a quart low on oil. He settled it rather quickly by telling me to buy some diesel oil and add some in the morning. He asked if I knew how to check the oil and I told I’d tried but damn if I couldn’t find a dipstick anywhere. He said “Don’t sweat”, like it wasn’t a big deal, which it wasn’t and to take care of it tomorrow.

I had contacted the salesman as well and of course he said to go to a VW dealer immediately. I knew Trent was a cool dude if he wasn’t too worried about the code and the car being driven by a stranger. He said a diesel was quite tough and they could take worse. He said regular oil could even be put in and it wouldn’t affect anything. He also told me they can burn on gasoline and run but they burn hot, he said he had done it before, if I recall correctly.

We awoke to a very cold morning; everything frozen and the dusting of snow still around and crusty. I checked out early- I would have liked to have walked somewhere in the A.M. and then chilled in the room, but! we had a deadline for the car delivery.

I filled up at the truck stop where I had bought the malt beverage the night before. Don’t forget the diesel dammit! Luckily there was a tag on the interior of the gas door stating so.  I didn’t find any diesel oil for the car, or forgot and I wasn’t able to get any till somewhere in Iowa I think it was.

            I headed towards the re entrance of the Ohio Turnpike, got onto where I needed to be, thought for a split second I was headed in the wrong direction (East), drove back down the road only to realize I was correct the first time and went back to the same entrance to the politician pocket filling pike and returned to my beloved WESTBOUND.

The Ohio Turnpike is rather boring most of the drive; till you get out of Chicago, where not long after it turns into free highway. That day was spent all driving and seeing nothing besides what zoomed by at 70 miles per hour from the windshield. That  is the whole point of that long stretch anyway, to get money mongers to and fro and freight state to state. I usually stopped at a few of the rather nice rest/food areas along the pike to relax, take a small walk with Mato and catch a puff here and there. I never bought any food and the four days to get to Ketchum, ID I did not eat much but drank lots and lots and lots of coffee.

I got to visit the “World’s Biggest Truck Stop”. It had a few full size tractors and their trailers inside. There were enough aftermarket parts, lights, stacks, interiors, and biker patches to fill 20 trailers. There was the essential road fuel of 5 or 6 different fast food joints that make up a lot of the trucker’s and motorist diet. Any other time I would have partaken but by that time I was kind of over fast food. All I did was fill my water jug from their soda machine with truck stop tap.

There was a mini mall and a big gift shop with a fairly attractive pregnant gal my age who I had words with a few times and gave me directions to the different things throughout the giant truck stop. There was a dentist office, barber shop-operated by an older lady- and a large screen truckers lounge where I sat for a bit and watched Dual Survival with some of the truckers; all upstairs on the second story.

I took Mato for a walk around the parking lot, up around the motel on the hill and the massive parking lot the truckers massed in. There were hundreds of trucks or more. I imagine the air quality around there is typically horrible. I walked up to a truck mechanic shop that was outside the complex and partook in some free trucker coffee and continued walking with Mato around the insanely enormous area that screamed AMERICA!!!!


Criss crossing by ways,

Long hikes

Turn pikes

Friendly dykes

As we please

What I feel

We’ll do

This is the life (Mudhoney ref.?)

That evening was amazing. The setting sun threw up the image that you were driving into a sky of wall. It was like a humongous mountain of GO NO FURTHER. And this was only Iowa. Listening to Dierks Bentley (his older music of course), free and in the beginnings of the West, I was tripping balls on life. Where we slept that evening I cannot recall to this day. I know though it was either a truck stop or rest area somewhere in either Eastern Nebraska or very Western Iowa. I slept in the back seat with the pooch in the passenger seat.

We awoke, where ever we had, and I found a really cheap motel coupon in the little booklets you get at rest stops, so aimed for a lesser drive and a relaxing day at a motel. I stopped at a small town Nebraska exit and visited a small grocery store for some motel grub. I always enjoy walking around stores alone miles and miles away from familiarity.

Grabbing my usual of wheat bread and peanut butter, I then spent most of the elapsed time pondering on either buying liquor or beer. I sided with a cheap pounder 6 pack of Keystone Ice. Blahck edack! The decision though, of what brand of beer, took dedicated time as well. I was a seasoned drinker even then but still had no favorite or preference alcohol.

We walked down by a deep ravine creek along the small road where I ate half a peanut butter sandwich. It was real cold and slightly windy, the plains! We followed the sidewalk along the small waterway a bit and headed back towards the car because I wanted to be going to the motel and it was still in the 20’s, yet now dry. Dry West. Wet East.

Blasting out of Omaha sprawl, I didn’t want a room in the city, we zoomed further West.

Lincoln, NE EXIT 399

A 35 dollar MOTEL-the essence of motel. Cheapest for miles and the epitome of sad T.V. view, run-down-ness; drooping window curtains, dirty ass floors, stained ceilings, tilted head board and generic dollar store paintings. The coupon I had cut out from the motel savings magazine was for the one I had paid for but not the one I had called and decided on. Somehow I ended up there though and it was still cheaper than the one I had called and spoken to the man about. This one had oil slick coffee and bread for breakfast to boot anyways!

If my notes are correct and I was in my mind state of correctness, there was an airport nearby. Had I ever stayed in a motel this dirty? MMMMM yes! Old Lyme Conneticut-roaches-guy beating his wife right outside the door, we happened to run into them at the grocery store the next day and she had a black eye and he claimed the cops were there because he hurt his foot, but that’s a whole different trip.

The American West

Random motels-Humble abodes

Drunken Indians looking into

Meth eyes

Intelligence killing

Day time


            The first people I met after checking in and going up the rickety wooden steps to head to my second story room was a wiggle eyed black guy. . .walking a dog! And not a pit but a little well mannered Pomeranian. Nice guy he was. He was going into a room with a few other rough looking ladies. Drugs? The one mean looking gal drilled me hard. The fact that I rolled up in a high dollar, fly ass car with out of state dealer plates could have been why. Yet I still started the conversation with them first. I walked with Mato a good bit at this motel. The one time out behind it along railroad tracks where there was a deep gully in some hard woods with a homeless camp at the end of the tiny hollow. That’s where I got a little stoned once or twice.

            I went to the office with Mato tied outside the front door one time and found the office lady on the phone with someone trying to get through to the scary looking Native American woman sitting inside. I would have sworn she was on meth or something, she looked 3 planets away. She attempted to ask me how I got there. I replied with I had walked; to the office obviously, but she said “no you didn’t”. I would have given her a ride somewhere if it wasn’t for her horrible mental state. Later, I was in my room and saw her being led, arms cuffed behind her back, by a Lincoln Police Officer. Bacon with your eggs sir?

            I snapped a quick photo through the window with my phone and still chuckle at it, though its really not that funny. . . Turns out she’d show up there a lot and annoy the office workers in her drunkenness with no cab fair to leave. Where did she come from? Where was she going? Was that her camp behind the motel in the trees at the edge of the field?

            The American West baby, she’s wild.

            The sun set right outside my door that night. But before that my odd neighbors who I had befriended earlier on, knocked on my door to get me outside to watch a bunch of mule deer feeding on some prairie, right where I had walked with Mato just hours before. Before that, an hour or two before dusk I sat in my room and listened to the lady I had met, being locked out of her room by her barely older than 5 or 6 and him yelling wild obscenities at her through the door and laughing in a sadistically sardonic way. Every swear word most adults could think of was used a few times. I felt like going over there and beating that little fucker’s ass. What he’ll turn out like I cannot say.

            That night again cops showed up and I was filled in on, by my neighbors, the fact that some dude was wandering around the motel parking lot weirdly I guess, I can’t recall what exactly they said he was doing. I took Mato out later, now 4 Keystone Ices less and a nearly empty number 5 in my hand, and walked around the prairie out near where the mule deer were near the power company building surrounded by electric fence. A cop drove right by us but I tucked the can in my rear pocket before he may have spotted it. He just might have but maybe had better things to worry about, because I remember thinking how I just scraped by on that one.

            Up with the Western frost; the next morning, up relatively early as I was most every morning of this trip, plus I had an agenda, I drank some of the cheap caffeine and ate some toast. Before I left I gave the large lady neighbor and her dude, who smoked cigarettes like I used to smoke pot when I was a real stoner, a can of applesauce and some food I wasn’t going to eat.

            We got back on the highway in the car that I only had up to 90 MPH one time in a short race with some black dude driving a Charger somewhere in the Midwest. He just smiled, I howled in glee in the interior of the Volkswagen.

            I ended up making it to Wyoming that next day, with a nice stop in Cheyenne, where me and a buddy and Mato had hopped a train out of the year before, and filled up the tank and stopped at a different gas station I knew. I think it was called Little America? It sits right beside, with conjoined entrance, a “Western Experience” hotel and golf resort. They sell some banging breakfast burritos inside and of course, as I did the year before on foot, I partook in slamming two of them tasty things and walked Mato, then relaxed on the curb with a hand rolled.

            It was really neat to drive 80 West, which the train we hopped rode the same line, Cheyenne to Evanston. We had spent nearly a week in Rawlins, sleeping in a shed and cheap motels. I didn’t stop in Rawlins though. It is a real small town covered in commercialism. I liked it but it got boring. I did stop for the night though in Evanston. We had spent a couple nights there, sleeping in the Motel 6 and a mattress stores delivery box truck, which had an overhead light inside. Here we were again.

            I parked that night in the Wal-Mart parking lot and drank the last of the Keystone cans and took a couple stinky hits in the weeds by the park lake where the year previous we had visited a rainy fair that had live music, good people and good beer. I went inside and bought a gallon of water and probably another loaf of bread and killed some time walking around again. It’s neat to travel and come across towns you’ve been to. You know you’re getting around a affair amount when you hit a town half way across the country that you recognize easily.

            I slept in the front seat that night, trying to keep from giving us away by not hitting the brake pedal with my feet and setting off the red tail lights, with Mato sprawled out in the rear seat. Our breath frosted to the windshield in the A.M. again.

The day before I had stopped for a mid day break at one of Wyoming’s many awesome rest areas and set up my camp stove in a little cement lean-to, wind cutting, nook and made instant coffee. It’s just amazing a desolate lowly populated state has such accommodating rest area for travelers.

But, yet again in the A.M. I took a walk up stream to head towards a bridge along the tracks where me and my friend had drunk whiskey and stowed gear. Mato gallivanted around in the willows and Western grass while I walked the tracks and ballast in the cool morn.  Under the bridge I had left a small piece of blanket Mato used to carry in his pack and a sweater I had ditched.

Both were still there! Both were covered in bridge, overhead highway and passing train dust. I shook out the sweater and put it on; over a year under a dirty hobo bridge and still comfortable. Mato’s sleeping pad is probably still there, if you want it.

We didn’t get far out of Evanston when a majestic vista/ rest area presented itself to my hungry eyes. The red rock cliffs West of Wyoming, in Eastern Utah were just epic. The high I got from them and the trip itself, besides the caffeine, no drug could match. It was simply a Utah Welcome and rest center; a little piece of civilization in the middle of the Northern-Western-Desert. There were little trails that went up to hills surrounded by sage and whistling prairie dogs. You could see all around and down the desert mountain that the rest area sat upon; right off the edge of highway 80.

There was a stellar view of the blatant red Utahan sandstone cliffs and a creek down below with an old road that ran beside it. Also, a rail line ran right beside it making a triplet of manmade and nature made lines.

I could see people biking on the road way down there; they looked like little rolling bugs. The train moving looked like a metallic snake curving through the desert. I met a young bearded trucker wearing a earthy knit cap carrying a huge stack of books, one being a large Bible, walking up the cement path I was coming down. We had words about the glorious country we were blessed to be able to see and I told him I was from Pennsylvania. He said he loved PA’s country but didn’t care for New Jersey. I concurred.

I and the mutt spent a long hour or two, walking up the random hill trails and just inhaling in all the view and air we could of the high desert. I went inside and spent 20 minutes or so chatting with the attractive cougar like lady behind the museum center desk. She was kind and I signed the visitor registry. Free coffee inside, I can find free coffee anywhere with my eyes closed, and a neat Mormon museum. I spent a little time taking some handfuls of sage from the huge plants and bagging it in a recycled gallon bag. I always like burning sage from the West back East and having that primitive scent around me.

The drive out of Evanston, past the Rest Area to Ogden and into Idaho is just utterly amazing. My head is back and forth the whole time. No accidents though! The whole time you are encased by high rocky cliffs and shadowed by distant snow covered mountains. There were not many houses until we rolled near SLC and caught 84 North.

Despite its perils, it’s never hard for me to understand why the mountain men loved the West and its freedom and beauty and why most didn’t return to the sickly East.

In Ogden, passing through, I saw someone walking a goat down near the thickly willowed river. Also, in route, I saw some young gal driving a car full of her stuff, with a Pennsylvania license plate. Welcome Home.

84 North turns West through Idaho, from Ogden there are still mountains but then there are miles of grass land prairie; high barren hills covered in green and yellow organic sprawl. Then, it all turns into farm land headed towards Twin Falls. I saw little of Idaho personally, but from the views I got to witness, it is ONE of my favorite states so far.

In Twin Falls I stopped at a gas station/ truck stop and tried to find one fucking outlet to charge my deceased cell phone battery. A guy with a touring motorcycle, who had put a lot of states and thousands of miles under his belt, chilled with Mato outside for a bit while I tried to find a charge inside. No go, after every wall, eyed scanned. I finally found an outlet that protruded from the gas station main entrance sign steel support.

I sat there a while bored of having to charge this stupid piece of machinery. Finally, I said fuck it, “I am no slave to a damn phone”, and decided I’d find Trent’s place, North of Twin Falls, in Ketchum, on my own. Out of Twin falls, headed North now, I drove through little Idahoan towns and the land of Jurassic era landscape. Volcanic rock surrounded the vehicle along the little two lane road. There were high statured mountain miles out ahead; my destination roughly.

After leaving the volcanic rubble and low land we headed into slight desert, then made it to the small yuppie town of Hailey, ID. Now we were into trees country with the high forested hills all around; a beautiful scene. Hailey looked neat though and somewhat hospitable and I figured to start heading back down to here that night by thumb after dropping of the VW.

Ketchum, home to Hemingway’s town of suicide, isn’t too much further North of Hailey, but is a bigger town. It is predominantly a ski town. I knew from previous research on Google Maps that Trent was outside of town near the still snow covered ski slopes. For what remained of battery, I followed the hand robot’s GPS directions into a plush skier housing development; their back yards were high hills, one bald and one wooded and slobbered in still usable ski snow.

Finally, my phone shut off and I had to ask a few people if they knew Trent. I was pointed in the direction of the road name I had somehow memorized, a miracle! Without driving in circles, believe it or not, I was able to find the correct address of Trent’s 3 story condo that sat in the middle of the big ski season homes and apartments.

I parked his newly delivered and unscathed car next to a dumpster and went to the door. I knocked and received no answer. I called Trent and got no answer as well. I sent him a text and started to red up the car. I had met some guy that was walking and asked him if he knew Trent and he said he was his “uncle”-“cousin”-“friend”, I can’t remember the relation, but he told me Trent was at a party for the end of the ski season. The guy told me he lived and Hailey and after hearing I planned to walk there offered me and the pooch a ride. He also told me the loud music I was hearing was a big end of season bash and I should go; there were lots of girls and I resembled a ski dude in my sweater and with my dog: the sweater from under the bridge. Ha.

Trent got a hold of me finally. He told me the downstairs spare room and mattress on the floor were all Mato and I’s.  I took my pack and food box into the large room. My bunk mates were a nice couch and two highly expensive and lowly weighted bicycles.

I heard someone upstairs. “What the fuck?”

“Kent are you home?” a ladies voice.

I answered and said “It’s me Floyd with the car.”

I went back out and decided to say screw it and go check out the party. It was loud even from where we were and sounded wild. While I had first met the dude who lived in Hailey, a couple of fresh looking jockey kids walked up to us, blurry eyed. And the one, reminding me of a compadre’ back home, was belligerently drunk. He asked what my dog was, breed wise, not species-mer her, and I gave the usual I DON’T REALY KNOW. The one kid who was more coherent and mannered I saw and recognized a few times, he was pretty decent. They walked towards the sound of the loud music at the bottom of the slopes luckily before lingering too long near my sober lack of patience.

I leashed Mato and headed myself to the tunes. There were expensively dressed people all about. Here I was in my camouflage bonnie cap, community aid train sweater and Dickey’s pants. I didn’t really run into one stuck up or butt headed person, they were all mostly drunk though too. The first thing I saw was a enormous Husky, two times the size of my 70 pound dog, walking freely through the street, just being a dog; Good Thing #1.

I talked to him a bit and snapped a photo of him near his owner’s car. Mato was alright this instance with him and we headed towards the indoor bar. I tied Mato to a wooden carving behind the open door and went in and bought myself a starter of a 5 dollar 24 ounce Tecate. Great Thing #2. Another great thing is people were walking around the sidewalks and streets of this little private community with beers in hand! My kind of fun.

I took my beer and went around back to watch the band on the roll away trailer stage. They were playing originals and sounded awesome sitting 10 feet away. I pounded the Tecate and quickly caught a buzz. The music was blaring, people older and younger were shouting, singing, dancing, just enjoying the beer and awesome weather and music. The back drop: the high mountain ski slope surrounded by needle bearing trees. I was fucking high.

It gets a little mixed up here. . . I have video recordings of the live band and of an unintentional sneaked conversation a guy was having with a lady about his daughter trying acid, and they were laughing, fuck yeah! I talked to a few people, kind of asking around if they knew Trent and then giving my reasoning for being there. Most everyone was cool and nearly lit or completely lit. I walked through the crowd with Mato, seeing a few other leash less dogs. We ran into the Hulk Husky again and Mato did his typical human pressured snarl and the husky gave a good one back and we continued through the crowd. I have a vision of a sexy MILF in my head and me and her having words but there was so many people and confusion.

I bought another beer, they had run out of the great deal on Tecates, a 16oz PBR-hipster beer (so they say), and hung around out front. It didn’t take me long to realize that there were lots of people leaving half full or nearly full beers just sitting around. The opportunist I really was at the time I started getting drunker for free. While talking to my dad on the phone a little ways away from the party in front of someone’s seasonal home I drank someone’s Bud Light and whatever else I had found at the time.

By this point was getting pretty tuned and wandered back to the diminishing party. That was fine with me but the band left too. I met a cute girl working behind the one outside beer vendor and bought PBR’s from her and talked about. . . what I can’t remember. I remember in my alcohol saddened mind that maybe she was into me, that or the fact I was dishing out money for the beer.

I wandered back to Trent’s drunkenly taking the roundabout way, weaving through houses and stopping once to smoke a hand rolled on top of a wooden fence and wave at people as they walked by. I got back to Trent’s empty condo and did whatever, the after dark I had considered walking towards town, quite drunk. I met some dude on the main road that went into town and he told me about the free bus system. I have video of me slobbering around in the lamplight.

Trent told me there was liquor from the previous renter in the kitchen and that he didn’t really drink; I half filled a cup with vodka and started drinking some of that. Before long I was out and our first in person meeting was Trent waking me up while I was drunkenly drowsy that late night. We talked a minute, he said the car was fuckin’ awesome then he went up the two stories to bed and I back to my inebriated sleep.

The next morning I started my day by walking around again and with instant coffee made on my Pocket Rocket. I couldn’t remember if it was that day or the next that I hiked up the one huge mountain that the base of was no more than a couple hundred yards away from Trent’s. He had told me there was a trail that went straight up it.

He also said I could eat whatever I wanted out of the fridge. So, I went up the steps and discovered his all organic and health food grub. I grabbed two hard boiled brown eggs and put some of his boiled rice in a zip lock baggy. Being at Trent’s was where I started really being a little healthier with food, or here was where I started thinking about it more; no soda and avoiding fast food.

I took my clothes from the little gym bag and stuffed in the food, a water jug with Matos gallon bottom water dish, saddled Mato into his red pack and started towards the hills. There were a few trees on the first 200 yards up and at a little knoll of clearing I sat and peeled an egg and sprinkled it with some fast food salt and pepper packets.

The hike up was gnarly; steep incline and thin Western air. I stopped frequently. Plus it was nice to stop and just take in the opening of the world once you got high enough. Half way up I was looking down the trail and I saw a guy basically sprinting up. When I got to the top here he came nearly jogging, said “Hi” and turned back down. Damn.

Mato dug in the snow at the top; I got high on two quickly downed cups of instant coffee, made on my rocket stove and smoked a tiny joint to the Sawtooth Mountain Range Gods. Mountain Man country by gor! Every direction I looked was mountains. Out in the far distance was another huge snow capped mountain range and further out the ridge we sat upon was more bare mountains with tree coverings here and there. I remember telling myself if I’d had a goat at the time I would have loaded it up and me and Mato and the hoofed one would have disappeared into them hills for awhile.

I spent 3 or 4 nights at Kent’s. I walked into Ketchum one day; smoked some pot out of a apple pipe under a bridge that the creek ran under. Bought Olympia beer and had one under the same bridge. Also, one day Kent went to a yoga class in town and I rode with and walked to a very fancy grocery store and bought a delectable sandwich. Went to an awesome book store where I bought a book about a kid hitch hiking and he meets an eccentric lady and the rest of the book rolls along like a wild acid trip.

One day I spent a few hours walking out of the little ski haven, the opposite way of town, where the road turns into dirt and there are less houses and they are more spaced out. Nearly every 2nd house some random dog came running up to Mato and me on the road. Luckily, Mato didn’t do his nasty dance because these were kind of mountain dogs and I believe they could do some ass whooping.  The road winded a bit through the awesome hills.

We had cut through the woods at one instance, just outside of the ski area and tramped a bit through the thick woods. I saw lots of deer sign and found a little spot to sit and brew some . . . instant coffee, of course (this was sort of my “drug” of choice at the time). I smoked a little green as well, of course and had a sweet vision, like an unintended meditation, while staring into the distant hills.

Indian style

Witness to ancient formations

Tooth on a saw Idaho

There to wander or,

invoke greater/deeper


A good puzzlement

that deserves

no further prodding

Caffienation sight

Joint delight

Staying in motion

Is healthier

Rough around the edges,

even Bukowski agrees

Getting your ass kicked

Can prolong life. . .

at least teach something   

When I walked from that spot to meander down the dirt road, I stumbled, accidently, upon some ones camp. They had a nylon tarp strung up between some trees and their gear stowed underneath. It was a neat set-up, but I didn’t hang. I still wonder if they hadn’t heard me and hid somewhere. That’s what I probably would have done. I had wanted to camp somewhere around there while I stayed with Kent but couldn’t seem to stray away from that comfortable mattress

The night before I left, to rent a car in Hailey, it poured cold rain, and I bought another pounder 6 pack of Olympia beer for the road back East. In the morning Trent took me to the air port where there was an Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I had called ahead, to save some money, and reserved a one way vehicle back to Pennsylvania. This isn’t an easy thing to find but somehow the small town of Hailey was available for this. I had gone over this in my head a lot. I either could spend the 600 bucks on a rental car or a month’s worth of rent; I went with the choice of a handful of days slamming back across the country, drinking beer and sleeping on the road in the vehicle.

The girl that did all the registration was downright cute and authentically kind. I bought some machine coffee, filled up my cup and loaded our shit into the Hyundai four door; less than 60,000 miles on the vehicle and we were off again to smash another ¾ of the country.

I took all side roads, through desert, through miles and miles of volcanic rock; Craters of the Moon National Park. I got on 33 East after 26, then to 22. While driving through some downright remote desert I saw a man riding a horse through the sage. No vehicle around; no other roads. Where did he come from? Was that myself in ten years or twenty? Thinking on this, listening to Townes Van Zandt gets my brain to churning.

Out to Highway 15 North now, I stopped, fueled up my blood with a tall coffee and dropped onto the highway Northbound for highway 90 through Montana. This trip gained me more states that I had never been to or really even near on other trips. I cut off 15 out of Dillon to another side route, 41 to 55, to avoid going out of the way a bit into Butte. The landscape, good god, was marvelous.

I think of myself as a writer I reckon, but the creator of this all, Nature, knows no words, so we’ll suffice by saying see it yourself. On 90 now I drove straight through Montana, stopping once to fill up, with the back drop behind the gas station a godlike snow covered mountain range. I let Mato out to eat and watered him and sat on the curb looking at those distant Shinin’ Mountains and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

All of Montana, till into the Eastern part, is all mountains. And I think it was near the middle of the state when a tractor-trailer passed me and sent a rock into the windshield with the sound of a 30.06 exploding and left a quarter sized hunk out of the windshield and spider cracks the reached out half a foot. Dammit I hoped it didn’t further, but was stoked that it had shattered while going 70 down the fucking highway.

 My next trip out there, which is coming close, I am Montana bound; a state to disappear in. Out of Crow Agency, south of where 90 goes South a bit and 94 heads up to North Dakota, I caught 212 East. It got wild here; I poured one of my pounders in my cup to calm some of the anxiety of the possibility of breaking down way out in Indian country.

It was a couple hundred miles on this tiny side road that wove through rolling hills of grass and pine trees and rim rock. There were Indian settlements all around and I crossed through a few tiny towns out in the middle of absolute nowhere. I stayed on this road, there was no other, till coming out to Bella Fourche, South Dakota. The town sat wrong, people were a little stand offish at the gas station and in my dazed mind of hundreds of miles of rolling country, nonstop mixed with caffeine and beer, I saw “something” scurry inside the gas station floor. It was not real I was just tripping on going from constant movement all day to stopping and the interior of my mind rolled still but physically we were stopped.

I found a sandwich in the dumpster and took a few bites but it was warm out so we peaced. I didn’t stop again till 1 or 2 A.M. at a Rest Area back along 90. The wind was so bad here that I could nearly stand against it and not fall. While in the car that night, asleep in the back seat and giddy, I could feel the car rock back and forth. The wind was so bad almost the whole trip back to Pennsylvania that the anti skid light would flash sometimes on the dash because the wind was moving the car back and forth while going 70 down the highway.

The drove the next day all day again till late at night. When I had stopped during the day for gas and coffee again it was below freezing and windy in Minnesota, another state I’d never been to. I dropped down 90 and spent that night at another Rest Area right outside of Chicago city limits. I can’t recall how many times I have passed through Chicago, my first times right out of high school, twice, on my way out and back from Yellowstone.

Driving the turnpike again and through Chicago sucked but oh well, still beat an office job; I’d rather pass thru the same city than sit in an identical chair at a monotonous desk-a furthering of detestation of monetary systematic reckonings-.

It was mostly drive, drive and then usually I’d drive more. Into Ohio, and at the near end of the Eastern state I caught 422, bought a case of PBR pounders at a rinky-dink beer distributor and drove that the whole way to Ebensburg, PA, through our beautiful Pennsylvania countryside, and slept at a Wal-Mart, still on a road high. In the A.M. I dumpstered some produce, loaded up and finished the trip in Altoona where I dropped the car and was refunded some money for an early arrival. It would have been even earlier and more money refunded the day before, but I had a great night anyhow.

I stayed a few nights with my Aunt and Uncle and then my dad in route back to Enola from his off grid cabin in the North Central Pennsylvania mountains picked me up and we hoped on the turn pike back to home. A trip of two weeks, the spanned nearly a life time; leaving me with hardened memories and furthering my know how of doing things alone and the ideal of life on the road.

There is joy to be found in solitude. It makes it even nicer to be around friends and family after a time spent alone, or with just a dog and your only friends being strangers, danger and the rolling tires under your seated ass.