Friday, January 27, 2006

To Update

The Latest Update:

Terlingua, TX (03/13/2005 - 03/19/2005)

Just decided.....I am going to update this blog with my journal entries from the trip. It's not the way that blogs are suppose to work, but I want to document it properly of my trip in the American South, before it's lost. I need to start writing down these experiences, and organize all the pictures. All entries are in the dates of my dairy entries.

Watch this entry for more updates as time goes.

I decided to start a new blog, a sort of a new chapter in life on my new works at San Jose State University is at

Monday, August 22, 2005

I am home...

Made it...

Now what?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Golden Gate

Well.... that's all folks.

It was a long day, but I met up with my friend Brian at the end of the Golden Gate bridge just before it got dark. It was weird, but I don't want to go home! and I had tried to hold off going back to Fremont as long as I could. Soft and warm bed awaits, but just the thought of going back to the very same place that I was so eager to leave 5 months ago, just sounded so depressing.

MILES: 5033.2

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Updates.... Days since Austin

It's been ages since I updated this.... Between biking, sight-seeing, cooking, writting my journal, reading... itwas hard to find time to sit down and type up the things from my journals. I'll give you an short Reader's Digest version of it....

Let's see.... I got to Austin on the 26th of Feb. and spend the next few days there just harging out in UT Austin, checking out their graduate program in Photo Journalism. I was very impressed with the calibor of the studens and the faculty there, I was invited to sit in one of the classes, and even got a free ticket to see a movie about the Rwanda genocide with the class. I think the professor impressed me the most, being a war photographer for decades, she knew just about anyone, and anywho in the international circles, and we talked for hours.

After Austin, it was the Hill Countries. Which is where I was greeted for the very first time with the word "Howdy!" in Texas. I think I would of fallen off the bike, if that old cow hand was wearing a cowboy hat. That was just so Texas!

This is also the part of Texas, where I picked up my gun. :-) I had since upgrated to a can of high tech peper spray from an army surplus store. I found the water gun was a little hard to aim, when you were being chased by some son-of-a-bitches in full speed. (Yes, I learned that from experience). A spray can with a large cone of coverage should works out better. It's like upgrading a shot-gun, from a handgun.

After the Hill Country, it was Del Rio. Where I met John and Lyly, whom let me stay with them for tree days and fed me GOOD. It was very difficult to leave, and when I tried I managed to crashed their car and crack the bumper. Which they would not let me pay for it. I left their place in tears.

After Del Rio, I was very much distracted.... The route of Carbeza de Vaca, which I had followed since Florida was not well agreed on by historians after entering Texas, and many belived that he was all over the place in western Texas for a few year. ...and that was what I ended up doing as well. :-)

I biked up to Marathon,TX and hitchiked my way down to Big Bend National Park with two college kids in their VW van(ppl driving VW vans are way cool). They had this jar of almond butter which tasted so good with the few apples that they had. We finished it all off, by the time we got to Big Bend.

Big Bend was beautifull that time of the year, the bluebonnet were blooming along side of the road, delicate desert flowers dotted the deserts, butterflies and bees are all just buzzing around all over, and some of the priickly pears(if I were to spell this correctlly, the word "priick" gets filtered) are becgan to rippen. I could not help myself to devolved a few of them, after remembering reading how Cabeza de Vaca had followed the rippening of the priickly pears northward along with the indian tribes that he was living with at the time. I was so amazed by the color of my fingers, all stained purpled by the flesh of the fruit, that I couldn't help but to think that.... "Yeah..., that must of been the color of Cabezar's fingers, after all his days picking these priickly pears..."

It's at Big Bend, where I met Jim, whom gave me a ride in the back of his friend's truck and invited me to stay at his place in this little town name Terlingua. And that's where all the magic began....

There, in front of his porched I camped for the next 4 or 5 days, along with the other "Rubber Tramps". There we were, Suzy, Brat, Denise, Shawn and myself all camped out in front of Jim's porch, all travelers, all had been living in their vans and trucks(and a bicyle), all met on this day, in this dusty little ghost town. The place was small, but had this amazingly chaming community. I don't think we had a day gone by without something happenning. We were invited to a pre St. Patricks's Day party one day, and was in the St. Patrick's Day Parade the next... and they seem to have a party there everyday... The St. Patrick's Day Parade was great, it's one of those parade where there are are no spectators, because everyone is in the parade. Me and Jim was hanging out in the back of Brat & Denis' van and just waving to all the oncoming cars.... It was great.

This is also the place where I got my first job as a photo jounalist, thanks to Jim. One of my photos got published by a local newspaper, and I got interviewed for an article about my trip by another local paper. Didn't I said that this place was amazing!

There are just these amazing aray of people lving in town, a lot of artists, including this one beautiful lady that had been living in an school bus aliong Rio Grande for the last 20 years completely "off the grid", without electricity and running water. She paints hubcaps, which she sells in a local gallery. It's beatiful work, wish I had the money to buy one.

I left Terlingua feeling like leaving home, biking west again following the Rio Grande. It was the toughest day of cycling for me, being so remote of a place I was low on food and the hills were the steepest in Texas(18% Grade for a mile). The wind was so horricfic up the "Big Hill" pass that my vest got blown away. It's at the bottom of some canyon now....By the end of the day I was physically drained, and I was so hungary, I was drinking this can of tomato sauce I had, and ate this last half of a raw zukini I saved up for dinner on the side of the road, and I was still 20 miles from the nearest store. I underestimated the distance...

Lucly, there was Scott, an retiree living in Redford, who fed let me stay with him for the night, and cooked me the best tasting potato and egg dinner I ever had. In the morning, I met his beloved horses, whom he still races, and trvel on these long distance trips every summer. Sadly, I had to once again kept myself going...

Heading north to go back onto the Advanture Cycling route, I made the decision not to follow it again. I wanted to see some more less travel routes. I headed north towards the Guadalupe Mountains and the Carlsbed Caverns to see the bats.

That's where the miracles happened... Up the Guadalupe Pass was this hoorible climb
with monstous wind. The pass is so know for it's high winds, it even had this wind socks on the side of the road to give the drivers some ideas of the direction. The snow and hail was blowing horrizontally, and never reaching the ground. One guy feel so sorry for me, stopped and asked if I needed a ride, but I so wanted to toughed out, I turn it down.

That's before I realized I am low in ready to eat food again. This time I was scraping peanut butter out of the jar, in blistering wind. The lady who stopped at the rest stop to take a picture, just looked over strangly. I don't care, I biked on.

After a hour, I was on the top of the pass, exhaused. I came to this rest stop and asked this lady for directions. "It's not that far, just a few miles." I thanked her, and went to lie down on the picnic table. She rolled down her window again, and asked something I never though I'll hear, "Do you need any food?" I shamlessly said yes, and took the two homemade burridos, a bag of Scout Cookies, and the soft drinks from her. I thanked her, and we parted ways wishing ech other safe journeys. I was sitting there stuffing the food down my throut like there is no tomorrow, when the clowds parted, and the wind died down, and the sun lite up the whole mountain. It was gorgeous, it's like one of those movies like the "Ten Commenments" where the gods parted the clouds, and you know when everything is going to be Okay...

I biked in to the Guadalupe Mountain National Park in one of my best moods, when the park ranger handed me a note,saying: "You must be the guy heading towad San Fracisco"

Shocked, I open up the note, and it was from Suzy, the "Rubber Tramp" from Terlingua, whom had came by a day before looking for me. It was like this second mirracle. I was felling great! It was not just going to be OK, but it's going to be great.

I pulled myself into the campsite, and I noticed this familiar red pickup with a trailer in the back, and I know these folks! I had breakfast with them a few days back in Ft. Davis. and again for lunch when I ran into Kent and Kathy again a few days later, and now, again on the foot of the Guadalupe Mountain. I went and said Hi, and we were all amazed how we kept running into each other.(and the amazing thing was, I ran into them again 2 days later againg!)

As much as I like to stay in the Guadalupe Mountains, but I can't do much hiking there, because I don't have no decent shoes to hike in. I moved on to Calsbed Caverns, to see the famouse big cave. That took a day of ride, and I hitchhike my way up the cave before it closed. The cave was cool, but it's the bats that I came to see. I stay till sunset, when they streams out of the caves in tens of thousands. I stayed a nite in Mike's house, one of the park ranger who is also an advanture cyclist. It's always great to run into one of our kind. :-)

The next day, I headed west again, and made it to Hope, NM. Despite its name, the place offers nothing for me. The Wind was so fierced, I could not even stand straight the next morning. I stayed in the tent, behind their almost abandoned community center for the whole day, waiting it out, reading my new found book "The Zanzibar Chest". A book on the life of an photojournalist in Africa in the 90's. Fantastic book.

A few days later, biking trought some dangerous high passes toward White Sand, I ran into this TV reporter from Alberquqi who interviewed my for his piece on how dangerouse this road was. I don't think I made it onto TV, because I told him I had seen worse. I had.

I headed toward west again toward White Sand National Park, where I met Mark and Mellisa on their first bike tour. We camped at the park, and baked pizza on top of the san dunes for dinner. It was some good backcountry pizza we had, sun-dried tomatoes, and marinated chichen, and freshed brockly. The next morning, it was pancakes.

It was pretty amazing, that Mark and Mellisa was retracing the route of another Spanish Conquistador for their trip, and Mark was an mechanical engineer as well.

After White Sands, I was back on the Advanture Cycling route briefly, and rand into tons of bike tours, some twenty woman group heading East. They were more true to the route than I am, and I was more distrated by a local rodeo(team roping event) on the side of the road. Which I spen a few hours checking it out.

I get distrated easily, in case you don't know that already. I got sick of the route, and went off to Truce or Consequences for the hot springs. The hosel was great. Met Jessica, a planning her trip on to the Pacific Crest trail this summmer, and had dinner with Mike, a three time fellon, with some great stories.(which will no doubt find its way on to these pages later).

After a few days of rest in T or C hostel, I moved back to the official route, and did some more hills and stay at the "Black Ranch Louge" with Pete and Cathrine who ran the Bed and Breakfast place. He's and landscape architech, whih a love of bamboos and fresbee, and she is an ex Hollywood assitant direcor, now an expert on bale-house expert. For $5 I slep on their trampaleen, and used their kitchen, showered, and filled myself up on their freshly baked breads. Pete was such a nice guy to talk with, wish I could of stay there longer.

After that, I headed toward Gila Cliff Dwillings, an indian ruins in NM., where I ran into this Advanture Cycling group going east. Camped with them for a night, and passed along my "Zanzibar Chest" book, to a fellow African traveller. It's always amazing to meet people who had been to Africa, each one that I had met, are all just so captured by that continent, we are all so hunger to go back, and when we can't, we tried to read more about it.

Next stop, ... Pheonix. Where I went and hanged out with Matt. A guy I met at the "T or C" hostel. He's a vegan, and a raw foodist. I got invited to a raw food pot-luk in Cottonwood, AZ. Where we dinned with a bunch of New Aged crowd, where the evenning lecture featured a "Feng-Shui" expert. The raw food diet did not go well with my system, which is on a eat anything and everything mode. For some strange reason I was getting heart burns from it. System shock...

Next thing I did, I went to Tucson by bus, where I when to check out their famous photography school at UA. It had a great program with fin art photography, but unfortunatly, not what I am looking for. It's such a cool place, everyone is on bikes.

Staying at the Roadrunner Hostel, I ran into Dan. Whom I had met back in Austin, who is bicking around the U.S. We decided to bike up to San Diego together, but we got distracted. We rented a car, instead, and headed North to see the West!

We drove around to Walnut Canyon, Petrified Forest, Canyon de Chelle, Hubbell Trading Post, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Natural Bridges, Valley of the Gods, Moab,Arches National Park.... by this time, we were sick of indian ruins, canyons, arches, or just about anything coming out of the ground. By the time we got to Capital Reef NP, and Bryce Canyon, we just kept on driving....Then we hit Zion, which rejuvinated us briefly for a day, when we did the Bight Angel hike.

We headed to west to Vegas, and spended two days there, and that's when Dan's luck ran out. Lossing $140 to the casinos, and I lost $9 too. but we did have a buffet dinner that couldn't be beat. It costed some 20 bucks, but we stuffed ourself good.

After that, we went to the Great Canyons, save the best for last, we thought. But the canyon overdose, had not passed. We got out of the car, took a look of it, not impressed, and hop on the car and drove back to Pheonix. I would not even have a single pictures of the place, if not for some overly enthuastic lady wanting to take a picture of us, seeing that I have a camera in my hand.

We are sick of them canyons, Lady!

We do had some favorites. Mtn Biking in Moab's Slick Rock Trail was one, canyoneering in the Natural Bridges NP was another, Monument Valley sunrise was just beautiful, Canyon de Chelle was Awsome.....

After the side trip, we just wanted to see some ocean, after a 5 day, 400 miles dashed through the mountains, and a never ending fart blowing from the west. We are here in San Diego, two blocks from the beaches.

I am tired, and much more depressed than I expected(with the end in sight). Everything just looked so damn Californian! There is no more Winn-Dixie, only Albersons; there is no more boiled Crawfish, only burrito with those weird green tortillas; no more roadrunners crossing the roads, just damn squails; no more tumble weed, no more cactus, either.... and there is no one bothers to wave at you in this state either...

I think I just might keep going ....

There is only 500 more miles to go till SF, with should top off my trip odometer to 5000 miles by that time. and I thought it'll just be 3000. :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Another Day in Paradise

We went mountain biking. By we, I mean me and three other girls in town. :-)

It was fun, we went check out this piece of property that one of the gal bought with her husband. Later that night I think we all went and wathed Brett's documentry on people that lives in their cars, "The Rubber Tramps". What a wondeful film.

Friday, March 18, 2005

I Just Might Start Liking Texas

I love this place!
Bratt playing guitars with the locals.

Dennis and Suzy at the party.

Did we just invited ourselve to another party?

Jim and Suzy outside of the cemetery.

Jim Goodman

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick's Day Parade

It's St. Patrick's Day! and this little town is going to have a parade.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Terlingua, TX

I left Big Bend National Park this morning. Kind of a short stay, considering the trouble I took to get there. I love the place, the park was beautiful, but Jim's invitation to stay at his place in Terlingua was just too tempting.

Aside from the blooming flora, the road between Terlingua and Big Bend N.P. have very little in terms of civilization. I came to town in the late afternoon and called jim on the phone, but no answer. Hung aroud town for a bit near the Pourch, and find the place pretty charming. After talking to the gals at the gift shop, I was assured that Jim does live there, and I'll probably just have to wait till he gets back into town.

Terlingua Cemetery

So, I went to the two cemetery to take some photos. That's where I bumped into Shawn, a wandering biologist on his way to California. We hited it off, and ened up at Miss Tracy's for diner. Somewhere during dinner I invited Shawn to come camp out at Jim's place, a guy I still couldn't find. Luckly, Jim called.

We went up to Jim's place and find that we were not alone. There is already like three other person camping out in from of Jim's apt. There were Brett,Dennis(whom I had met the privious day in Big Bend), and Suzy.

Later, we all ended up spending the night at a pre St. Patrick's Day party at some guys place. What a day.
Suzy and Shawn, the next morning.

Our Camps, the next morning.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

When in Texas...

When in Texas, do what the Texans do... and I did. I got a gun.

Why? You asked.... Well, it is for my own safety. It is dangerous out here. After hearing these stories from the two fellow bikers that I had met so far(Thomas in New Orleans and Dan in Austin), I decided I needed some extra protection. It's one thing to hear about the near misses, it is another when someone had the scars to show you. Having some bad experiences with these sort of things myself, I thought it best I get some protection.

So, I went shopping. Unfortunately, money is a little tight, so the regulation gun shop is out of the question. I did what every common man would do in these part of the woods when you are low in cash, and needed a gun. I went to the Dollar General.

I found this nice one in the rack, it's small enough to put it in your jersey pocket, light enough to carry around on a month long trip on a bicycle, it looked like it has a fairly decent range, and god darn it, it was cheap. "Two for a Dollar", the sticker said.

So, happily.... I took my neon color water pistol to the check out line.

Looking at me oddly, the teenage girl asked.

I explained to her with a little bit of humor, about my difficulty of getting a reasonably cheap pepper spay at the gun shops, and how I needed this to ward of those dogs with some of my own home brew concoction.

"You are going to do what?!" she tensed up suddenly. "That's not really nice!!", She hold on to my pistol.

I was a little annoyed, and tried to explain again my need to keep those rabies infested dogs from tearing away my calf muscles, and how I don't want another set scar on my other leg.

"You going to hurt them!"

I was very annoyed by now...

"Well, geez.... I suppose if you see me some rabies infested dogs chasing me, you'll be rooting for the dogs... Go get him! boy."

"No,...: Reluctantly, she said " But those dogs don't really mean to hurt anyone, they are just being dogs."

Now, I am now just pissed.

"Look lady,I don't care if that's someone else's dog, my own cat, or Pamela Anderson on a mating frenzy, if they are coming at me with foam in their mouth, I am going to shoot!"

The middle aged lady behind me let out a little giggle, and gave me a much needed sympathetic smile. The clerk on the next isle, looked up and laughed.

With all the commotion, the girl relented, and gave me one of those store trained smiles, and let me have my pistol.

Having just being thought no better than a stray dog, I took my pistol and went angrily next door to the taqueria and ordered a few tacos, and made liberal used of their hot sauces. The two waitresses looked on with great interested and was no doubt puzzled. I wanted to go over there and explain why I was pouring hot sauces into a neon color pistol, but what difference would that make...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Death Wish

I uploaded some pictures to my website at . There is no links to them as yet, from the site. They are a bit of a mess, but it's best I can do without my own computer. There is no caption on them either, which kind of reduced them to bloches of color to everyone, but myself.... :-) I'll fix that later.
A bunch of road crews on the side of the road on the Lost Coast of FL. Also pic. of Diana and Steve, who took me into their nice home for a most wonderful night.
New Years Eve at Don and Dennice's home in Florida. Thanks Don for not leaving me out in the woods. It was the best New Year's Eve in a long, long time.
Misc. pictures of Camy and Lawrence's trip though the American South. The green gator is named "No-Seeums", he's a hitchhiker I picked up from Florida. He is named after those pesky sand gnats that still gives me phantom itches all over, every time I think of that fatefully night in the Long Keys.

Excuse me, I got to go scrach myself now....
Folks from Louisiana, I met on the Old Spanish Trial.
Road Kills of the American South

Well..., let see. This is going to be hard to explain.

I thought I'll branch out into doing wildlife photography with this project.... Yeah, that's it. I figure, I'll start with the non-moving ones first, then work myself to the live ones, when I get better at it.

On a deeper level(if you want to go there)... I guess you kind of get very aware of death, when there are trucks rushing along side of you at 70 mph, on a foggy mornning. With the cacasses lying all along the side of the roads, and seeing dozens of them every day.... Ideas just pops into your mind, and began to be facinated by it....

At one point, I thought about documenting every single road kill I encountered as my project, but after a few hours of stopping every three, four miles, I gave up. Some are just a little too pungent to approach, and some are just a little too messy(even I have hygienic standards, admittedly low these days, but I am very proud of myself for not approaching some of them). I need to do some cycling too, you know.

Who knows, one day I'll probably ends up on these pages too. Oh... I think I am going to start another project on cemeteries too.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: A lot of animals were harmed in the process of making this series(in the most grusome way), but not by me. In no time did I touched any of them(directly), and I did try to hold my breath for as long as possible.
A lot of this, and a lot of that... from all over.
A night with the VFW 10211 of Key Lago. I miss them so much...

Friday, February 18, 2005

"Houston, I am stuck here in Dallas....."

I am stuck here in Dallas...

Dallas feel kind of a lot like LA, a lot of of big strip malls links up with a bunch of freeways. They got the same thing here, like they got there in California; Targets, Walmart, McDonald... Some have different names, but sells the same things like they do down West.

So, after a few days here, I borrowed a car and went back to Houston for two days. It was a little better there. Got some pretty cool people to hangs out with at the hostel, a first rated bike shop just right next door, bunch of 1st rated museums just walking distance away. There is this really cool Modern African Art exhibit showing, and as you guessed, I am totally into just about anything from the African continent. Spend a good long time there, and at the museum store buying a bunch of Ugly Dolls.

Aside from the major museums, I was surprised to find that there is an Art Car Museum here, so I went down there, and ending up chatting with a few of the artist. Most of them are the Burning Man crowd, so it really made it felt like home. When I get home, I am going to turn my old truck in to one of these beauties. :-)

There is also that Orange Show , another one of the Burning Man type creations. It was in maintenance, but the folks were nice enough to let me in and checking it out. Very beautiful place, the color is just gorgeous. At the end of the day, when the lady that ran the place found that I was one of the Burner too, she gave me some postcards for free. It was very nice of her, and I couldn't help myself and gave her one of the Ugly Dolls(Wage) that I bought at the museum store.

I am going to miss Huston. Dallas, on the other hand, I can't say...

Correction: I'll miss Dallas... My sister and my neice Lisa, that is....

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Birth of the Mzungu Blog

Been at my sister's place here in Dallas for two days now. Have not spend much time going sight seeing at all. Being the first time in a while, where I have a reliable internet access for free, I thought I'll creat a Blog like the one that Thomas had made himself for his cross country trip(

I am ging to spend a week or so here to get a few things fixed up. The most important one being: backing up all the pictures that I have taken on this trip on to a CD or something. Having lost the data cable to my storage device does not help things. Ordered an replacement one online yesterday, and it looks like it wouldn't get here for a while.

After that, I still need to get a few printed out to send out to all those nice folks that had let me take their pictures.

Went out to do some shopping at REI yesterday, got a new water prof glove(my fingers been poking through the old one for a few days now, and with the weather only going to get colder and wetter from now on...). Good news was that, the Hostel in Huston had managed to found my fleece vest, so I don't have to go buy another one for $70.

Went around shopping for things that needed to get fixed or replaced. The Panniers I bought from Performance had been falling apart for a few days. It's been hanging on with a few make-shift ropes and belts. The hooks that hangs the bags to the rack come out of the plastic backing plate that it was mounted on. Need to make a custom washer to put it back on or is another $100 or so. Bought some stuff from HomeDepo to make it, hope it works.

Need to look into getting the tent resealed as well..... Arrhhh.... Everything is falling apart...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Riding the Dog

I get distracted so easily :-( .... I am going to stay with my sister at Dallas for a week or so. I rode the dog (Greyhound) from Huntsville to get here, and left my bike(which I have yet to named, have any suggestions?) at Tina's house.

Huntsville, of all places happens to be a prison town(this is also the place where they do their death row executions here in TX), so when my friend found out that I wanted to go to Dallas by bus, she suggested I may not want to leave on a Monday. She thought that they only released the prisoners on Mondays, so she kept me at her house till Tuesday, so I don't have to get on the Greyhound with bunch of released prisoners. Despite her best intensions, I learned from one of the convicts waiting at the bus station(and as I suspected), that they do released them 7 days a week. So, I was sitting alone and talking with 4 or 5 of them there at this station. All the while, the arcade machines in the room is blasting loud sounds of gun fires, and the sounds of these characters expelling their last breath of life. A full multimedia experience, indeed. :-)

Despite the nervous soundtrack, I thought the guys were just fine bunch of fellas, we talk about all and everything from Kong Fu, the difference between North and South Korea, to the Texas' legal system ....

The strange thing in Huntsville was that I ran into this boy and girl on a tandem recumbent, doing the cross country heading west as well. They are way off the official route, and with this being in the middle of winter and all, I was so surprised when I ran into them when TK and I was doing this lazy day shopping in town. I hadn't met many fellow bike tourer much, because I been off the publish route so much of the time, so when I saw this bike with a load of pannier outside the super market, I pretty much just jump out of the car and go out to meet them, forgetting all about the friend that I was with(sorry TK).

Like most of my travels, after a while... pyramids, museums, and even mountain ranges, all comes second to all the people that you have come to meet along the way. No great canyons or a multi color sunset leaves behind a more lasting memory than a nice chat with someone on the side of the road about his families, her cheating husband, or the kid's favorite Kong Fu movie....

I had a great time in Huntsville, very relaxing(Thanks, TK). This is usually what I do on my off days anyway. I remember stopping in Clearwater in Florida, and I was the only one in the Hostel that didn't once bothered to go out to the beach. I explained to the lady that ran the place: "I am in the sun with sand and dust in my face eight hours a day, for the last five days. I don't need to go to the beach for that!" After all, I had been looking at beaches and swamps for the last 2000 miles, all I wanted on my off days are a soft bed, and a warm meal, and a whole day of doing nothing.

Well, I must be off to do my shopping, I need to get a few things from HomeDepo to get my panniers fixed. It's been falling apart, like the many other things in my life. :-)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sleeping with the Dead

It's been a long week.

I think it all started last Thursday night, when I camped out on a little cemetery at Patterson, LA.

The night went by with little problem, but it started to rain the next morning, I joked with myself: "this is what you get for disturbing the dead, Lawrence". Despite the occational showers that day, I was able to put in some good miles that day. By the nights end I camped out in the woods like I had been doing for the last month near Jeanerette, but this time I think I may have stepped on some poison ivy, and with the rain, the poison seeped through the wet shoes, and before it started to itch I wiped myself down(a mini bath) with my wet towl, which pass the poison on to the rest of my body. It started to itched that night, which expended much of my remaining tubes of anti itch cream. It itched on to the next morning, and by Saturday night I am all red and itchy, but luckily, another red-neck couples took me in for food and bed, where I got to a chance for a long shower and do laundry.

Unfortunately I have left those shoes untouched. How on earth do I suppose to know where the itch had came from... ticks, fleas, spiders(caught one in the tent that night), could be a lot of things. And not having useing my brain for a while, it was having a hard time working out the poison transfer mechanism.

By Sunday, most of the itching subsided, except my feet, which I apply plenty of anti-itching cream(which BTW, I am on my second tube). By this time I began to realized that there are more and more spots on the side of the road that is nothing but poison ivy vines, and most of these vines hugs closely to the ground, some have these small leaves which made them hard to spot on lawns(which is where I usually camped). So, slowly my brain began to piece together these little pieces, and came into the realization that I am having a case of poison ivy, because I walked on them. With poison ivy, and fleas in my mind, I stated what i called "poison isolation" control to my clothing. I started to put my used clothing in a plastic bag, isolating them from the fresh ones.

By Monday morning, it rained. Only for a few hours, but nothing really got through the rain covers. Everything is reasonably dry. Just enough rain for that false sense of security.

The next day i biked in the rain for six hours, and by night fall when I checked, All my clothing are wet except the ones that I have put into the "poison isolation" bag the previous night. The tent was still dry, the sleeping bag was only 70% dry or so.

With the 5 piece of dry clothing on me, I thought I still can rough out the night, so I camped behind this library. But as luck would have it, it rained and rained(with thunder and lightning), until the ground is so saturated, the water gotten just a little bit higher than the ground cloth, and water started to seep into my old tent. No amount of wiping can stop the water from coming in, a small puddle started to form in the corner of the tent...

By now, it is either spending a night sleeping on a puddle or admit defeat and go to a motel, The problem is, I passed by that motel 10 miles back, and it is now pitch black out there and raining cats and dogs. So with the tails between my legs, I packed up everything, took down my tent, and biked to the village across the freeway, and hope to find someone with a little sympathy. This unfortunately, is no big village, with only 40 beach house/shack in it, and being in the middle of the winter, only 3 or 4 of them are occupied. it was pretty eerie to bike in this "abandon" town in the middle of the night.

Luckily, the guy at the second house that I came to knock on, was brave enough to open up his door....To make the long story short: he and his wife put my bike on the back of the pick-up and the wet Chinese in the front and drove him to that motel, where he stayed for the night, and the next.

So the moral of the story, don't go disturbing the dead, unless you really have to.