Tuesday, April 26, 2011

santa fe contd.

It's our last night here in Santa Fe, after four full days of taking it very easy. It's been so good! Such good food and company and accomodations! We've had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with Terry, David (Liza's parents) and Jackson, Liza's brother, and we've loved every minute of it. So much great conversation and many great walks... I could go on and on. We feel very...adopted.

I just wanted to write a little more from where I left off the other day. It's so hard to choose a day to write about because they all bleed into one another in a very magical way. Anyways, Daniel Store brought us the fry bread, and I'm tempted to think of this as one of the best eating experiences on the trip, though it's hard because there are so many-- we  become so hungry that nearly every eating experience be it hot dogs in mac n cheese or pop tarts  in the oatmeal seems satisfying beyond measure.

In front of Daniel Store's  house, or I guess it was his mom's house, we pitched our tents and it was not long after dinner that we crawled into them and turned on our headlights to either read what is at least for me a half a page from the one book that I brought-- the Magic Mountain-- or write a quarter of a page before falling asleep. I was awoken in the middle of the night by the urge to pee. This is a terribly annoying thing when it's cold out and you are bundled in a sleeping bag. Nevertheless, I unzipped the bag and the tent and I was overjoyed to see the moon so low and huge over the far off mesas in the desert on the Navajo reservation. Bill woke to my rustling and I pointed to the moon and it was spectacular enough to lure him from whatever dream and sit up-- "Oh my god." And then an owl hooted. And then again. And again. We were both so thrilled. I climbed out to pee and tried walking toward the sound of the owl but I had no idea--hardly any trees around! I decided it was very important that I remember the owl's call so that I could look it up in the morning, so I made up some mnemonic to match the syllables and sounds and rythm. In the mornign I struggled to remember what it was because I was basically still asleep throughout the whole thing. My mnemonic was, I remembered, "I will follow you. I will follow you. I will follow you." It's the same number of syllables as the barred owl-- a mnemonic I've heard for the barred owl call is "who cooks for you all? Who cooks for you all?" I thought my dreamy mnemonic was funny and oh so wishful. If only an owl would follow us as we went on our way.

As we ate our breakfast, oatmeal as almost always, Daniel Store walked over and asked us in an almost disinerested tone if we drank coffee. We said we did...with some hesitation... and then he disappeared back into the house. He reappeared a few minutes later with four cups of coffee. His generosity was so strange and amazing largely because he said so few words, and he didn't really seem to want to become friends with us, instead he seemed to have this almost instinct or  custom that led him to care for us. He went about his business, but made did what he could to help us. We were strangers, but when we left it felt as if we had some strange bond with him because he was so generous to us. It's crazy how often I have felt this way. So many people go so far out of their way to help us, and there is so little to do beside accept their generosity, say thank you, and then continue with the feeling that we must at all costs reciprocate this generosity whenever and to whomever we are capaple. Hopefully it goes around.

From Leupp we rode to Greasewood, where we met Raymon John, a sheep farmer who loaded our bikes into his truck and drove us to his farm. The sun was going down when we arrived, and he showed us the old hogan-- a traditional hexagonal hut that the navajo  use for ceremonies-- that we could sleep in. We were far out on the plains and the light was coming across sideways and we were all so incredibly happy to be once again receiving someone's inconceivable generosity. The sheep were all corralled and looking at us confusedly. We admired them, met the very shy sheep herder, and settled in to our hogan. We made a small fire outside as the sky darkened. The stars were incredibly bright. We roasted marshmallows and ate them between two chips ahoy cookies, which is actually great (not better than smores though).

In the mornign we saw the sheep wandering out near the mesa with the sheep herder close behind, and Raymond John arrived at abotu 830 to greet us and give us a ride back to the paved road (about 5 miles). He brought with him his son Mervin who was very friendly and told us many stories about life on the reservation and various navajo traditions and ceremonies. He showed us some incredible native american music during the drive, and he took a picture of us when we said goodbye at the Trading Post. And with that we were off to Canyon de Chelly, which would require so many pages and words to even begin to do it justice. I started a water color there and I was afraid I may have deeply offended teh canyon. I've never seen anything like it.. at any rate, I must go. It's late and everybody else is enjoying the heat of the woodstove. We move on in the morning-- to Las Vegas, NM, and onward through Texax, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee and then to the coast in North Carolina. We were talking the other day about trying to convince our parents to come meet us at the outer banks in North carolina to camp and hang out at the supposedly beautiful place in North Carolina. Bill said his parents already mentioned possibly comingo ut there... I keep forgetting to tell my parents... and the rest... if you read this... think about it....


Monday, April 25, 2011

santa fe

so long since any word here, I know... no real excuses-- though I'm yet to get a single flat tire so maybe I feel it only appropriate that I refrain from writing here. Not an honest excuse.

We're in Santa Fe now, and we have been here since Friday, which was earlier than we expected. It is beautiful, and we are loving the time in Terry and David's house. We wish liza could be here too!

It's strange to write here after so much time has passed, because now I could never think to put a dent in the massive accumulation of experiences worth sharing. But I suppose it's good to try. I thought a simple approach would be to try and share the goings of a particular day or two.

Flagstaff-Leupp: Riding along a small two-lane road we met the infamous Katherine, a 19 year old girl walking across the country. She began in San Francisco, where she was from, and all of her things were stored in the Sears shopping cart she pushed in front of her. We had heard about her first from Phil, one of the guys living at the museum in Goffs where we stayed on our fifth night. Then we talked about her with a man at a trading post in Hackberry I believe. The Swiss couple who joined us for our campfire and their first smores at the Ash Fork campsite knew of her, and then a man whom I talked with outside of a gas station in Leupp had met her, though this last encounter happened after our one and only face to face encounter with her. She was just walking along the side of the road, and she fit all the descriptions people had given, which did not entail much more than a girl with a shopping cart (easy to identify, though I still rode my bike past her and only turned around when I heard somebody shout Katherine! It's Katherine!). I turned around and the interaction was almost like a celebration. Like we were long lost friends. She was really glowing, and she seemed so happy to meet us even though she had never heard of us. We did not exist to her previous to that moment, but still she was ecstatic, and it made us ecstatic, and the whole thing was really bubbling over. She said wonderful things like, "people who think similarly, people with similar minds, they just come together in this wonderful way. Here we are on the side of this road, and each of us could have taken any number of different roads to get here, but here we are! How great this is!" She asked if we had some purpose or incentive to go on our trip, and we said this was a common question in response to which we always, to many people's disappointment, say no, that we just wanted to cross the country. To see the country, and to ride our bikes together, or something like that. When we asked her the question in return, she said that she did not have any cause or purpose... Bill asked if she too wanted to see the country, and to this she said, "Nope. I just wanted to walk." I thought of Lizzy, who also has an extreme passion for walking as a purpose in itself.

On we went, all wondering if we maybe should have gotten off our bikes and walked for the day with Katherine. She said her routine was to walk until the sun was 40 minutes from setting, and then she would go to a door, or find a person wherever she was at that time, and ask them if they knew of a place for her to stay, and she was almost always received into the particular home or lodging she approached. But we rode on toward Leupp.

Once in Leupp, a very very small town on the reservation consisting of little more than a gas statio and some houses, we began looking for a place to stay. We asked in the gas station, and the woman there knew of nothing. A man john willy approached us outside and said to go to his friend Daniel Store's down the road. We went on looking for daniel stores and eventually found a door to knock on. (rushing.. have to go to dinner!).. He was very confused by us, but he said we could pitch our tents there. We felt a little unwelcome there, and it was strange. We cooked dinner... sweet potato cabbage tacos... and then after dinner Daniel came out to our surprise with a heaping pile of fry bread with honey that his mother made. It was sooo good! ok gotta go to dinner maybe more later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


You can send us mail at 7727 old Santa fe trail
Santa fe, nm 87505
We'll be there in 10-15 days.
Everythings great. We're at a "punk house" in flagstaff.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


thought this would be easier.

we're in joshua tree at loraine's house. Loraine was sam's mom's roommate her freshman year of college.

the sun just came up and the desert is orange. The bird feeders are full of black-throated sparrows, gold finches, house finches, ladderbacked woodpeckers, and there are two desert cottontail rabbits fighting in the yard. I only know names because loraine tells me. Yesterday we went on a long walk learning (and, at least for me, forgetting) the names of all the wildflowers and different cacti. Beavertail I can remember.

bill's still sleeping.

sam's eating cereal and looking at a map. Hannah's eating cereal. Maybe i'm not so good at this blog thing. loraine has been making noise in the kitchen and I see now that she is making fresh squeezed orange juice!

one highlight of the first day of our trip (which seems like months ago) was riding along huge orange groves on the way to perris lake and grabbing an orange off the tree. Sean Kredel, one of my 3 friends from home (zach and brian too..and of course my dad, which was a real treat!) who joined us for the first day, slowed to see what I was doing, and I grabbed another orange off the tree while I was riding and clumsily tossed it to him and he caught it with one hand and we then enjoyed what seemed like the best orange i've ever had. Soon after that sean, hannah, sam and I stopped at a farm stand and got free samples of whole oranges and tangerines and figs and also bought a bag of salt water taffy and it was so good! I thought of you when we got the taffy mom--I remember it as a road trip favorite of yours. Solvang?

So far

80 miles from Irvine to Lake perris
60 miles from Lake perris to palm springs
37 miles from palm springs to joshua tree

that's all. I need to make breakfast or loraine's going to do it for me, which would just be too much! she bought us all indian food last night at this indian/pizza restaurant in "downtown" joshua tree last night. It was great. bye. I'll try and get the others to write on this blog. I can't change teh settings from spanish. But that's okay caause bill's still in spanish mode after guatemala--he says that in his tent only spanish can be spoken. This has not really been put to the test because we have only spent one night in the tent! Pathetic.

Last night loraine got out her telescope and we saw the rings of saturn! It was so amazing. Makes you want to shout. Each of us did when we had our turn. We got a little star guide to help us in the nights ahead.

1 flat tire on indian canyon road. Sam's. Strong headwind all through the desert. Strong headwind all up the huge hills that we climbed on 62 between desert hotsprings and joshua tree.

ok bye