Category Archives: Travel story

This Summer

Life update

I started out this summer living in a car in Portland. Now I find myself living in an RV in Minneapolis. So much more than a simple housing upgrade and a move went down this summer, which is something I would like to touch on here as briefly as I can in this blog post.

There seem to be three phases to any adventure. The first is the preparation and work phase which is usually the one that is hardest to do. This was what my time in Portland was like. Working two jobs so that I could afford to travel south. Good times playing hacky sack at a boring ass job, and then weekends on the tricycle delivering people to their destinations. Even though my entire life was dedicated to exploration, I still wish I had more time to explore. It was only a few months spent in Portland before I left for the next phase of my adventure.

By proceeding through the work phase it’s time for the next part of the adventure which is the action phase. My action part of the adventure got jump-started when an old friend called and asked if I wanted to ride the tricycle at a festival in Kentucky. I had about two days to make a decision on if I wanted to go or not but it only took me about 5 seconds to make up my mind. I picked up a few grams of DMT (real shit), shaved my head, and jumped on a plane within a day. Upon getting to Kentucky I realized that the festival that we had been talking about was actually the Kentucky Derby. I joined a team of pedicab drivers and we road in Louisville Kentucky for three days before law enforcement ticketed half of us and then kicked the rest of us out. There is a decent video of the entire event that I posted to youtube that you can find here.

Needless to say, we were pissed but had to pack up and head back west. To save money I hitched a ride with the pedicab guys (who were all from Utah) and spent most of the trip west in a hammock in the back of a box truck. About halfway there I realized that I had a potential RV waiting for me in Denver so I got off in Wyoming and hitched my way south. The RV was promised to me from a friend of mine who turned out to not be the most reliable of persons. To be honest, I knew this going into the friendship but stuck with it because I thought there was a chance that he might pull through. All and all, his friendship proved valuable insight into how poorly some people are put together. The fact that he never came through with the RV was the least bit of troubles. I am talking about a man who makes a good bit of money from selling prescription drugs that he get prescribed from a sketchy doctor. Never coming through on promises is something he would compensate for by making promises with more grandeur. All of these negative attributes were things that I could bear. He was funny and pleasant to hang around and for sure had a positive business input, even if his commitment was only half as strong as his word. Shortly after my time in Denver, he died of a drug overdose which is something I can never forgive him for. All that I put into building a relationship with him is now good for nothing other than to teach me to look for the red flags in people and to take action on not letting some into my life.

Flying out of Denver and landing in Seattle, I got back into my Subaru and headed south where I was to ride EDC in Vegas. I had about a month before I needed to be in Nevada and so decided to take my time going down the cost. I stopped in Pacific City to visit with a friend I had made working on the mountain. I was just looking to stop by for a night or two but when it turned out to be a hippy playground paradise home, I ended up staying for 3 nights. We had bonfires in the woods, kayaking in the ocean, surfing, bow& arrows + guns, some of us tripped our nuts off, and I even got a tattoo. After all of this, I continued to make my way south.

The rest of my trip went quickly before I landed in Vegas. I spent a few days in San Francisco but didn’t find much to do other than walk for miles all over the city. Got all the good tourist things in and made friends with a few people that walk the streets. On my way out I tried to climb half-dome in Yosemite National Park but learned that you need to apply for a permit in order to climb, and there is no car camping allowed in the park. Park security walked up on my car right after I got done smoking a bowl to myself at sundown. I had to wiggle my way out of getting a ticket and possibly searched and then quickly left the park just so that I could get a few hours closer to Vegas.

Upon arriving in Vegas I headed straight to the pedicab garage where I was able to rent a bike a ride the town. One of my favorite places to be in this world is on a bike in a strange place. The click of the mind that says “where the fuck am I and how do I figure this out?” has got to be one of the best experiences of my life. When the sun goes down Vegas becomes a lucrative place to anyone that is working a job. It’s all about strip clubs and dispensaries when on the bike. The days are hot and there is no underground because of the hard desert ground. I spent my days in delirium and my nights exploring and exploiting the town. It was a good warmup for EDC.

For anyone that has not heard of the Electric Daisy Carnival before, its a “festival” but better named as a rave. The largest rave in America. Half a million people show up for a 5-day event and I was seated on the nicest pedicab I have ever road. Two fat lithium-ion batteries were stored under the seat. With the push of the throttle, you could have that thing going 25+ mph in less than 10 seconds. The line of cars to get into to EDC camping stretched for miles. I spent the first hours of the festival driving through car lines looking for people that had too much to carry and needed a lift. I have never met a customer population so ready to spend money. Considering the ticket price was $500+ and the price to camp was more than double that, it should not have been such a surprise.

There are two big factors that go into how much money you make pedicabing EDC. They are how hard you work, and how smart you work. The working hard factor comes about by not sitting in lines. There are times in the city when sitting in a line is most likely the best course of action as it will get you quality rides quickly. At EDC there are so many sales opportunities that your best bet is to get on the hunt and to always be on the hunt. I don’t believe that in the entirety of the festival that it ever took me longer than 10 minutes to find new passengers. The other factor to working hard is sleep. Think about it like this; at any given hour of the day there is $100 potential dollars that can be made. How can you rationalize sleep when there is that type of money out here? The fact is that you need to sleep however and so the trick is to sleep as little as possible. The Uberman sleep cycle is a method for humans to get a little sleep as possible while still being able to function normally. It involves sleep for 20 min naps spaced evenly six times throughout the day. It wasn’t super intentional that I got on to something of this style of sleep but it happened none-the-less. I was also doing some experimentation with a nootropic I had just ordered called “aniracetam” which helps specifically with boosting your mind out of low performance into high performance. All of this hard work was paying bank and I continued to get more hardcore with my routine the further into the festival I got. I even stopped eating all junk food because of how much immediate monetary benefit I got from eating healthy. The second part and the much more valuable part is working smart. By this, I mean supply and demand. As I said earlier, I did not go more than 10 minutes without finding new customers but the average for finding new customers was more like less than 1 minute with a peak time new customer rating of just seconds. At first, I charged a normal city fair of $2 a block. Soon I realized that I wanted to have a good amount of people literally disgusted that I would ask so much. I would ask for the heavens and if I got rejected it would only take me moments to find another potential fair. This little trick made me thousands of dollars over the 5-day event.

The last night of EDC I worked until well after the sun came up The guy I rented my bike from came to get what was his late in the afternoon. I remember stumbling to help him lift the bike into the back of his truck, I then crawled by into the comfort of my Subaru and passed out so hard I did not notice the desert heat for even a moment.

EDC was the highlight of my summer. With the money I made I was able to pay off the last of my cc debt and go to another festival in southern California- Lightning in a bottle where I was able to send more than a few people on a DMT trip of a lifetime. After LIB I moved back to Denver where I rented a spot in Cap-Hill, continued to work pedicabs, and opened up my own business generating and selling leads door-to-door for a few different companies. Tree trimming and roofing were my bread and butter. A hailstorm hit pushing my life, for the first time, into economic prosperity. I bought a motorcycle and a motorhome and moved back home to Minnesota where I do most of the same thing but now with old friends. I road pedicabs at the Sturgis motorcycle rally and was even able to fit another festival in called Shangri-la (best festival ever). I now find myself wearing a flannel and looking out the library window at falling leaves in a chilled Minneapolis downtown. It has been a wonderful summer. The greatest summer.

The third part of any adventure is the post-trip recuperation time. It’s a time that I often become introverted and sometimes madly depressed. It can be hard to accept that in the end there you are and for all the changes that you feel that you have gone through, once again you find yourself back at your baseline, back in boredom. For me, it sometimes takes a long time to pick myself up and get back into preparation build mode but in the end, there is nothing else I can do. With every trip I get better and the past few months in MN I have been able to release myself from the post-trip depression faster than ever and have started to prepare for the next adventure.

In less than a month I will head into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where I will start my season as a Ski/board-instructor at Vail Resorts. This life would be something of a dream to me many years ago but now I am growing accustomed to it. I often feel scared and nervous but now, my excitement far suppresses any negative emotions that might prevent me from moving forward. The fun doesn’t stop there and already I am ready for the next adventure to come.

Much love,

-Chris

Advertisements

A Story of Coming Up

This is a story of coming from darkness into the light, which has been theme on this blog. At one level I wish I could stay in the good life and keep on building from there, but life is full of surprises and everyone is tossed from the saddle from time to time. The value that I hope to give people who read my blog is the moment of climbing back into the saddle. In these moments can we make that triumphant cry but only with bloodshot eyes that know there is a long road ahead and that this is only the first step of a long journey. Here is an invitation to come along for the ride on yet another first step.

The past few weeks of my life it’s been hard work just to stay afloat. Mostly adrift I have been looking for something to give greater purpose and ground me in the life of my dreams. There have been two types of people that I am working with along the way and they are the people that I know I should be around, and the people that my parents know I should not be around. When it comes to a supportive environment free of the bad kind of drugs and full of the right type of attitude, my friends are split. In my mind I know that I should be hanging out with the people that fit the mold, but for sometimes I feel more comfortable with the dirty kids. Maybe it’s some sort of superiority complex where I need to feel and act like a boss. Whatever the case my life is wild and I have been teetering on a line filled with all the good and all the bad I could ever imagine.

As I continue to get into more and more crazy experiences (see “Going into the unknown”) I start to think about grounding and the events that build character. Part of me wants to run away and go headlong back into travel, but deep down I feel that I need to build something of a community and stay in one place long enough to face my demons. I was hoping that this type of grounding and greater significance in life could be found through work. A job that I love doing and one that would allow me to attain my greater aspirations in life. At first I thought that job would come by selling cars and so I tried my hand. It was an emptiness in my stomach and a yearning for more that told me it was time to find something new. In the three weeks I worked at Subaru I sold three cars and so feel that I can say that I left not because I was a bad salesman but because I am bad at working with a team. One of my demons to be faced for sure.

Living in a car with a job can feel like a bird without a nest. Living in a car without a job can be like falling into a pit without bottom. I spent the few weeks after Subaru doing some of the worst activities. Eating cheap and unhealthy, surfing junk online at whatever library I found suitable for the day. There are a few positive things the be said about my decident path. First, my meditation has stayed with me through thick and thin. 20 min a day on the usual. These practices have been expanding into a domain I can only hint at here, on this webpage, and in this current reality, into something truly profound with a path of clear challenges to be overcome. Second, I always find time to hit the gym and work my body, and it shows if I do say so for myself! My reading has also stayed on point and I will be picking up a book called The Art of Seduction as soon as I am finished with this. On the same page as reading I will say that my curiosity with life has never come close to turning off. Constantly am I looking for new things to learn and this studious attitude towards life is taking me far. I really do love learning and what may be more, I love knowing, as little as that may be. As sick and as lonely as I can feel at times, I can always look back and say at least there was this.

Ok, now it’s time to tell you the kicker. The thing that I found that provides me with so much meaning and direction and purpose that it’s changing my life. It’s a job, the job I picked up after my job at Subaru, and it’s a job that takes me in quite the opposite direction. That job is a ski instructor at a mountain about and hour from the city of Seattle. My first day was just a week ago and it’s taken over my life by (snow) storm. On my first day the hill was so crowded and the demand for instructors was so high that my second lesson I worked solo with 12 fresh new skiers. With no training it was my responsibility to get these folks (mostly around the age of 28) from gaper level skiers to something that might be able to hit a chairlift. Dare I say that I am training future rippers capable of dreaming up their next runs in the nights before they hit the slopes. Unfortunately this is not the case for everyone.

Some of the best moments of my life have been had on the side of a snow covered mountain. Conveying this to people is the best part of my job, but the reality is that most people suck and take a learning class just so they can think that they are getting unusually good at technique when in actuality it’s almost entirely about the attitude. The attitude of pushing your limits is the thing that is going to get you super good at skiing. What I get paid to do is to hold gapers hands and tell them things that make them feel like they are getting some type of understanding. I try and enlighten people to the truth as much as I can, and the truth is that if you want to get good at something you need to keep pushing your comfort zone.

The people that go pro will go for years without lessons because they have the “can do” attitude and don’t need lessons. What anyone can do to get good fast is hit the bunny hill until they can make a turn left and make a turn right. After that has been accomplished they need to take the chair (even against better judgement) and then get something like 400 right turns and 400 left turns in. After that has been accomplished its time to take it to the gnarliest terrain possible and send it as hard as you can.So long as it doesn’t kill you, you are going to come out stronger. This is the point where something akin to the title of ripper can been attained. Here is when people are capable of loving the sport for the sport itself. But hey, that’s a tall mountain for anyone to climb and I don’t expect it of everyone.

I worked with a young boy about the age of 6 for my last lesson today. We started with boot work and then gradually moved up to walking on flat ground with skis attached. After that we worked on hiking up the mountain without sliding backwards and then bombing a short distance without falling. By the end of hour one he was making turns and even stopping mid run. When I told him that I thought he had a natural gift for this sport he shrugged and said he figured as much. After a day of teaching people, most of which will never find their passion, it felt like a gulp a hot cider after a long and cold walk through the rain to work with this kid. He had the attitude and thus had a future in the sport of skiing. I can’t wait to see him next week to we how much further we can get.

I have been saving the best until last and must say that the feeling I get from working with people that really learn comes in a close second but first the feeling I get from the woman of the mountain. Everyday I teach up to 40 different people how to ski. I am doing public speaking about something that I love and all day I get to dick off and hit on women in a sly and politically not appropriate manner. It’s clear when a girl is into me and it’s something that happens slightly less than once a class, making it something like 3 girls a day. At first I was taken in by my co-workers. The girl at the shop, the girl at the ticket counter, a fellow instructor; but as of now its all about the girls I teach. I am kickin it with one the day after tomorrow. We are meeting up near the ferry, next to the bay of the Puget Sound, downtown Seattle. I can’t think of a better place for a first time.

Life always feels better with greater meaning. Meaning may be very thing that makes life feel good. A job can be a great source of meaning and a great job will do exactly that. Money will always be a problem but now, at the end of the day, I enjoy the food more because my body is exhausted from a solid day of work. Now, leave work and feel like a made a difference in someone’s life. Now I can say I made a difference in my life. I feel good about my life and where I am going. Hope you’ll stick around to see how it goes because I will be sure to let you know. I will be here, writing, learning, living and loving. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Best blessings and I hope that you too can find something that gives you meaning.

Gangsta from the Emerald Triangle

The Emerald Triangle

Every year hippies and vagabonds travel from all over the country for trim season in Northern California. For a few weeks or a few months thousands of trimmers trim weed from morning until night in something of a hippy concentration camp. Farms pay anywhere from $100 or even up to the fabled $300 per pound. In either case the job is similar to something you would find in an eastern sweatshop. Long hours, near zero job security, virtually no skill development, and a job so mind numbing that only those so high that they cant see the pot forest through all the smoke are willing to do it.

I apologies to all those who feel that trimming is one of the greatest gifts to the lower class known to man and I must admit that if you are an illegal immigrant or cant find work doing anything else then yes, trimming weed is the perfect job for you. Not for me. In this post I will be going through my life coming away from the Emerald Triangle and the type of thing that you get into, not when you trim weed but when you sell it.

My journey started off about two weeks ago. I was living in a Subaru in Seattle working as a pedicaber making ends meet one day at a time. An old friend I knew way back from my Hawaii days gave me a call and said that he needed some help with his harvest. Something about the timing of the phone call gave me some sort of spiritual vibes and so I left Seattle without a second thought. Looking back I am a bit frightened at how far away from reason this call pulled me. It was not as if there was anything holly about my friend but in any case I left without a second thought.

I found two riders on Craigslist that helped with the gas money on the way down. They both turned out to be super awesome people and I was able to learn from them the entire ride down. Spent a night in Portland and then arrived in North Cali the following night. The town that I was to meet my friend was way up in the mountains and I could not find a place where my phone could connect and so had to drive a few (30) miles back from where I came from just to get in contact with my friend. We were eventually able to meet up and he was able to show me the world that he had been living in sense we last talked way back on the island of Maui.

Up in the mountains without service everyone was as hippy as it gets, some sort of trailer person, or reder than redneck; brown neck if you will. Without phones we spent most of our time running from house to house making deals and straitening out our shit before we bounced town, which didn’t take long for us to do. In a place where there is so much weed and no money, everyone owed someone else some money. I don’t think that we got our shit perfectly strait before leaving because as we were leaving we got chased down by a dump truck that chased us down the exit road at top speed. The only reason we made it out alive was because the truck owner was a felon and driving on the public highway would have been a huge risk for him. We only barely made it to the main road but we were off. We had no money but a fuck-ton of weed and we were hitting it off like two crazed bats finding a new mountain for the first time.

Its been four days sense we were chased down by the truck. Its been a super slow and chill journey. In just about every town we pass through we stop and try and sell weed to anyone that will have some. Because of how slow we are rolling its a great way to explore the state. Selling weed is getting much easier the further away from North Cali we get. This type of life has been gangster shit the entire way too. More gangster than I am used to handling in my everyday life.

The first night we were parked waiting for a friend to get home when a girl that looked homeless asked us for a cigarette. She didn’t look harmless at all and we asked if she wanted to smoke some weed with us. She denied us and walked away. Just down the road we saw her get into a Cadillac and drive away. My friend got sketched out and told me to get in the car and drive. Just as I had pulled out of my parking spot the Cadillac came around the corner and someone held a strobe light out the window so that I could not make out who was in the car. “Got weed bitch” I heard someone say. In less than 5 minutes we were miles away from that spot and not about to go back.

The next night we traded some bud for a little thing called Lucy. We were in a college town and were able to climb the homeless hierarchy with extreme efficiency. Around noon we were talking to street kids at their pick-neck spot, by midnight that same night we were talking with what appeared to be an ordained hippy shaman who claimed that he was three hands down from the laying of the acid. Maybe it was the acid but I was super impressed with our short work in that town.

In Cali the weed laws have changed drastically in the past few years. You can legally carry up to 28 grams and if this law is broken it’s similar to a traffic ticket in that there is no jail time. Still, it is illegal to sell and today we had our first encounter with the police. My friend ran and all the cops chased him. He was able to ditch the weed before the cops caught him but still put behind bars. At this point in our journey we are balling and so he was able to pay his own bail and we are still rolling our way down to SoCal. Lucky.

We take each day at a time and the beginning of our trip was a struggle but now I feel that we are strait kicking ass. I cant say how long I will stay with this type of lifestyle. It doesn’t suit me as well as something where I keep my head lower but its new and exciting. The payoff is huge and I might just stick with it until shit goes a little crazier. Who can say? Not me. Maybe future me can. Stay tuned and I will let you know.

-Cheers mates

Car life>hammock life, sometimes 

Car life is great. I can’t wait to take it to the coast where I will be able to explore from my super mobile home. For now, I am still in the building phase and am working on building the car into the home of my dreams. It needs a passenger window, new carpet, and there are a few cosmetic improvements that can be made. I have been watching different youtube videos that people have made that show off the different style of living that people have invented for their subarus. Some of the youtubers have solar and water collector which is a bit beyond my price point, but a wooden framed that fits into the back seat would be nice. Maybe some cardboard cutouts to fit onto the windows. A disco ball. A play for two.

Currently, I live on the outside of society. Not having a single place that I stay and call home makes it so that I am something other than main stream. Not having a mailing address is difficult in that my first check from where I work will be sent to a location that I do not reside in. All government documentation is mailed and I am currently using my mothers address who lives 5 states away. It’s frustrating that society assumes that you live in a house and if you don’t then you are going to have to figure these nuanced things out. I signed up for this however, and do not regret my decision. At this very moment I sit in a coffee shop next to people that dress like they have a house, a car, a job… Most of these people have probably been going to the same job for years and have savings accounts and maybe even a house. I am so far removed from this type of life that I now feel on the outside looking in. I am beginning to wonder if starting a career and saving up enough money to “fit back in” with the mainstream might be the things that I want to do. (Reading this paragraph through I think- classic, a guy that lives in the rough desires comfort).

The people I went to school with have all graduated and are now making more money than they have an idea of what to do with. I don’t have a way to grasp how much I owe in school loans and also don’t have a definite plan of paying it off. My school friends make plans to travel but something like three years down the road, after they have saved up enough money to make the trip in luxury. That looks like a really good idea for the perspective of my car, but there is no way I could ever wait that long.

I value the experiences that I have had so far but wonder if I might be able to choose a better path for myself. One adventure to the next is something that would be hard to give up, maybe impossible. The wear and tear of life feels like it might get to me at some point and I might then be forced into choosing something different. For now I will continue down the path of the unknown. I wish to be in Australia and that is where my sight still lies. A month or two of work and then I will be off to continue with the great adventure. I will need to figure out how to make money doing the coast over the next few months. This week will be focused on the car. Next week I cannot say. The week after that is still a greater mystery and from then until death anything could happen.

Living out of a Subaru

Today I woke up in the back of my Subaru and took 15 minutes to meditate on where I am in life and where I am going. I am literally parked in the Sodo area of Seattle Washington, close to my friends bus and close the garage that I ride pedicabs out of. Last night was the first night spent in the Subaru. I changed sleeping positions three different times throughout the night. Today I will get some proper bedding for the fold down back seat and then next week I might head south for trim work and fit myself nicely into this west coast kind of life.

My friends are starting to take off in success and I am here, getting thrown all over the United States having to rebuild from zero time and time again. My experiences come with me and I am more competent at building a life than I have ever been. Right now I feel that its time to set my sites on one plan and stick with it. Right as I make up my mind to do this however a million options open up. Only the near future seams certain. In about a week I will head south with some friends in search of trim work. Trim work is not something I am fond of but it would be a way to make money without spending. After trim season I could head even further south and explore what is going on in LA and other parts of SoCal. It would be there that I sell the Subaru and head out to Australia for the adventure that I had originally planned on making.

There is another plan however, that could push the Australian adventure back about 8 months. Here in Seattle my best friend is a guy who turns old school busses into mobile homes. He is making a great argument in my mind that  could get me to stay here in Seattle and convert a bus over the winter into a place thats able to transport pedicabs around the states to different festivals. This would involve me investing quite a bit into building the bus and also into building a pedicab that is festival worthy. After the festival season comes to an end I would be able to sell all of my equipment, take what I have earned, and head out to Australia like I had originally planned.

As I talk about great plans with different friends that I have made over the years, we all talk about what we are going to do with this coming summer and skip over talk of the winter. It seems like everyone is going to hibernate for the winter. I cannot let this come to pass. It seems vauge to head south for the winter. I would like to travel to some distant place where I can make money or maybe work another winter on the mountain but still the issue of money comes into play. Perhaps Hawaii, or maybe Australia, or maybe here in Seattle.

There is so much to do and so little time to do it and the coffee does nothing but stimulates this feeling. For now I will go and speak with my friends about great things before heading out on the town to make money and then head back to my car to sleep. Good things are happening. Good connections are being made. Life is good and it’s alwasy time to act.

Side quests 

It has been a dream and still is my dream to live and love in Australia. As some of you may know I had purchased a plane ticket for the 11th of september to fly from Seattle to Sydney where I could then buy a car and figure things out from there. By flying out of Seattle I could save 200+ on airfare and I could visit a new city; all I had to do was get from Denver to Seattle.I started the trip by finding a Craigslist rideshare to Bozeman Montana with an older guy that was heading back to school. He was great to talk with and we got to know each other well enough that I feel like texting him right now to see how he is doing. Anyways, on the first night of my trip I was able to get to the Bozeman hot springs. I spend the evening talking with mostly college freshman and soaking in the hot water. After the hot spring it was time to look for a camp spot. I do not like paying for a place to sleep, ever, and so I will usually just pitch a hammock between two trees that are secluded enough to not get woken up by anyone in the morning. This night was different. Behind the hot springs I found an abandoned camper truck, unlocked, and ready to be slept in with mattress and all. I must admit there was some old old chicken in the sink and junk on the floor, but the mattress was clean and I was able to lock the door and thus got a fairly fucking decent night of sleep.


The next morning I woke up with the sun, put my large pack on my back, my small pack on my front and started hiking to the highway by which I could throw up the thumb. It’s a 200 mile journey from the hot springs to Missoula. It took me three rides and most of the day to make the trip. The first guy picked me up on the side of the road and sent me off about three miles down the road. The second ride was with a lady that made her daughter sit in the back so that she could give me a ride a few more miles down the road. Sweet of her to be able to trust a hitch hiker even with her children present. The third ride got me to the Missoula off ramp and was with one of the more interesting persons that I have met in a long time. The guy looked like he was in his early thirties but turned out to be ott 45. He was driving from South Carolina to go camping with a few friends in Idaho. He told me of his train hopping days that lasted from a mid teen all the way through his mid thirties. Through dumpster diving and knowledge of the forest he was able to go for years without needing money of any kind. He was able to cross the American borders without a passport. Now he has his “sweety” and a son that he is raising on a farm/commune in SC. When he dropped me off in Missoula I thanked him for his stories and the ride

In Missoula I was able to meet up with an old friend who gave me a place to sleep, a shower, and endless conversation. Missoula this time of year is smoked out by forest fire to the point of not being able to see the sun. Breathing in the air makes it feel as if you’re coming down with a hard sickness and I had to leave.

For the last part of my trip I decided to take the night bus. It would get me to downtown Seattle and I could sleep for the entire ride there. I remember talking with a lady during one of our stops. We got into chit chat and I learned that this was a lady in a terrible place. She had drug problems and was being taken away from her kids. I told her, at least it can’t get any worse. She said- I beg to differ. At the next rest station it’s something like 3 in the morning and the entire bus is emptied into some random bus station. We are zombies when I hear some shouting and see an old guy get slashed in the face with a knife. The culprit dominates the bus station brandishing the knife shouting about injustice for about three minutes before an officer shows up with a fully automatic weapon and the man is put to the ground in cuffs. I see the lady I had talked with earlier who whispers- still think this day can’t get any worse. Little did I know at the time that my day was to get a whole lot worse.

The next rest station it must be something like 4 in the morning when they make us get off the bus again so that we can fill up on gas. I am half asleep when they announce that its time to get back on the bus. What I think I hear is that it’s time to get back on a bus that’s not my bus and so I stay where I am, half asleep. Minutes later I realize that my bus has left without me. I call Greyhound and they tell me that I can wait where I am at for the next bus which comes in 12 hours. I spend the rest of the night asking people if they are going to Seattle and getting what sleep can be got out of gas station bench. I end up buying a new bus ticket with a different bus company the rest of the way to Seattle.

I get to Seattle. First thing that hits me is how beautiful the stone buildings next to the water look. It strangely reminds me of St. Paul. I go to the Greyhound bus station where they give me my large pack that was checked under the bus. No one can find the smaller pack that I had carried on with me when I boarded the bus. I go through the blurry ass camera footage to see something that looks like what might be someone walking away with my pack. They tell me that Greyhound is not responsible for carry ons shoe me out the door. It’s Friday, my plane leaves on Monday; my passport, drivers license, birth certificate, and social security card were all in the pack. I’m fucked. Expedited passports are about 500 which is too much for me to spend and then expect to make a responsible start in Australia. It looks as if I will be staying in Seattle for a while.

Putting the large pack on my back I head to the pedicab garage downtown. On the way to the garage I meet two guys who are working on a school bus. They yell some sort of nonsense at me through the window and invite me aboard. Inside is covered with tools and supplies by which these guys are flooring it out so that they live in style and avoid paying rent. They give me a beer and we smoke some weed. The one guy works at the same cab company that I plan on working for. He lets me sleep on the bus with him that night and then in the back of this truck the following night. Over the weekend I make money and friends on the rickshaw. Looking to buy a subaru later today by which I can live, love, and save up some money for a trip to Australia. It’s a definite setback but I really do love my life. Seattle is beautiful and now I have time to explore. Today I interview for bartender and then will jump on the cab to get some exploring in. I currently don’t have any identification but have not yet been carded even though I frequent the bars in town. Looking forward to the Seattle jungle and have plans to visit the forest with another forest dwelling creature from Minnesota. Starting fresh in a new city is one of my favorite things to do. I feel like a baby on a mission. Everything is so new and there is so much to do. Now, it’s time to build.