Posts Categorized: Travel

Along the Oregon Coast

Looking forward

To the thousands of miles, we look forward with anticipation. To the thousands of miles, we look forward towards the horizon.

The Oregon coast is not a stranger to me, as I’ve traversed through the exact same route via Vespa several years back. Yet familiarity does not diminish character, as we pass through the quaint towns and say hello to fellow Bay Window breadboxes on the road and ride alongside the beautiful crashing waves of the Pacific.

Hello, 31.

Exactly a year ago, I ended my 20’s with a bang and proposed to my beautiful girlfriend by surprising her and serenading her aboard a flight that we frequented between Los Angeles and Oakland.

And in the rest of the year that kicked off my 30’s, I must say we’ve been off to a damn great start. Here we are now, a year wiser, quietly looking at the great adventures that lay ahead of us. One of the things I love the most about our relationship is how we manage to dream big, and take the small steps necessary to pave the way to our goals. In a few hours, we finally head off into our long-awaited honeymoon. The plan is to take our VW bus, Vanessa, and our curious butts all the way north to Alaska. Dream big, or go home.

And so, today is like any other. Because when you choose to live outside the shadows of fear, follow the little curious flame in your heart and quietly nurse them into the fires of passion, each day is like any other, because it will be unlike any other.

It’s my birthday. We’re driving up to Alaska. Hold steadfast in your dreams, and may the gods guide you safely to the destinations that you choose.

Thoughts from the Saddle

Scooter Morning

Before and after each and every ride, I always give my prayers and thanks to the world – first and foremost, for keeping me and my passengers safe. When you choose to travel on two wheels, you subject yourself to many risks that can very easily compound out of your control. So you try to keep hyper-aware of all your surroundings and environment, which is really part of the trance when you hop into the saddle, and ride off into the horizon.

We pulled 420+ miles this weekend, in a long awaited scooter camping exodus that led us to the fringes of Lake Isabella, and up into the Sequioa National Forest. Our buddy Gerry took his 50cc Honda Ruckus for its furthest journey yet, and marks the second time that Kat and I rode quite a distance fully-loaded. Apart from my sore ass and a very very hot ride home, it was a great weekend full of spectacular views and lonely sweeping pavement.

Gassing Up
Did you kiss your passenger yet? All day, every day.

The best part is when you lie down on your mat inside the tent after a long day of riding hard. Through the mesh, you can see countless stars peeking through the branches of the trees, and the fatigue from mental and physical exhaustion sets in. The ground swallows you whole into a deep dreamless slumber.

The road travels fast, without sound, underneath your feet. Your concentration is flush, the past and the future are forgotten. You are in the pocket, and eventually nothing will exist. And soon enough, you quietly sink, into the sunset.

Cetaceans are NOT Pets

I am a generally peaceful guy, but there are a few things that I find very bothersome. One of which, is the systematic exploitation of intelligent animals. To add salt to injury, this is done through seeding misinformation and exploiting the pockets of hard working families in the guise of conservation and education in a fun-filled family weekend.


Am I entertaining you enough?

I cannot fathom ANY educational merit to keeping these large magnificent animals in small holding pens and making them work for food. Are the sparse infographics scattered around the park enough to really impart any depth of knowledge to anyone who reads them? Does 98% of the guests who filter through the park depart with a greater respect and understanding of cetaceans? When they jump out of the water, do kids realize that these are highly sophisticated social animals that communicate in their own dialects, and swim hundreds of miles in the open sea? That their lives are greatly shortened in captivity? That some of them were taken forcefully from their parents in the wild? When a parent buys a plush Shamu ™ for her kids, all it does is cheapen their soul and commoditize our disrespect for the world in general.

Kat and I joined the rest of our family on an outing to SeaWorld, and expected the worst. She does not want me to disclose this, but she wept openly as soon as the orcas entered the waters of the show. I am never taking my children to a place like that. The only time I will be back, is to protest outside their gates and get handcuffed while wearing a Shamu outfit.

Teach children the truth, because that is the least that they deserve. Go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium instead – that’s where real people go.

More information here:

  • http://www.savethewhales.org/captivity.html
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_killer_whales#Dorsal_fin_collapse
  • http://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/exclusive-interview-former-seaworld-trainer-samantha-berg-2/
  • http://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/video-captivity-vs-wild/#more-3322
  • My Morning Commute

    Hello, Alaska

    This is categorically the most amazing view I’ve ever had outside a plane window – second only to that green wisp of Aurora Borealis I met for the first time, on a solo trip in 2003. This trip of course, came with a price to pay in the form of a 12-hour delayed connecting flight. I would do it again only if I had the rest of my team with me.

    Tired, but I need to keep prepping myself that the mission has yet to begin. Bring it on.

    Hydrating at 9,600 Feet

    Greetings from Colorado. I’m on my nth bottle of water, trying to keep my head above the altitude sickness that blew my head apart last time I was in Breckenridge for snowboarding last year. The base of the town itself is at 9,600 feet, far higher than what my small lungs are used to. The air is very thin. Sickness has been at bay so far, with only a slight throb and finding myself catching my breath here and there. We boarded today at Vail, which had too many people and long wait on the lifts. But with snow like this, what me worry?

    I think this is a good springboard to get back in shape – I’ve been particularly negligent about the poking belly I’ve been starting to nurse over the years, and my poor lung capacity. I really enjoy snowboarding. Cruising fast and bombing through powder, feeling the rush of the wind and the snow scattering underneath your feet. It’s surprising to think that I had my first season 5 years ago already, yet there is still so much more to learn, so much more of myself to know and understand. I need to go more often. We always tend to say things that we want to do, but hardly do we take the steps to do them. I hope I’m wrong.

    When we got back in to the lodge today, I tried my first “ice bath”. Basically dunking my lower body into a tub of freezing water, to prevent muscle soreness the next day and to make my balls temporarily disappear. Hell. Then we hopped into the outdoor hot tub. Heaven.

    Tomorrow is another day: rinse, and repeat.

    Two Lovers Point

    Greetings from Guam.

    Having just been kicked out of the office (I am forced out when store closes – mostly because I’d shit myself being alone in a warehouse that holds a lot of dark corners and flying cockroaches), I was on a hunt for a coffee shop with wifi to continue working when I came across a little detour on the island.

    I followed a red tram full of Japanese tourists that turned into a small road marked “Two Lovers Point”, which sounded more exciting than the continued course of the highway. And I just realized I’ve never really gone around to explore.

    There’s a little elevated outcrop where they charge $3 for an unempeded view of Tumon Bay, and the vastness of the Pacific. Of course I didn’t pay and went to a side section instead, where I found myself staring into the massive blue. The wind was blowing steadily from behind me as I leaned on the railing. I tried to look where the beach was below, but there was nothing to be seen except for several hundred feet of nothing and the gaping wide blue ocean below.

    It’s a comforting and familiar experience. I remembered with arresting clarity all the moments that I found myself staring at the massiveness of the ocean from up high. The bunker in San Francisco. Batanes. And how relieving it felt to feel so small and irrelevant.

    I love how the grandness of the world easily opens itself up to those willing to stop, look, and listen. And how it guides you away from the comfort of your own mortality and the immediacy of your problems and your needs. All become inconsequential, and special at the same time.

    That we are both nothing, and the entire universe, all at once.

    Hot and Wet

    Ran into a Thai restaurant awhile ago to satisfy a late night Pad Si Eew craving.

    First lesson of the night is to pay attention. When a Thai restaurant asks how spicy you want your dish, medium means shit my balls spicy.

    Second lesson of the night is to pay attention. When the table of 20 teenagers behind you scream in anguish when the staff tells their table that they ran out of water, medium means shit my balls spicy. I couldn’t help but overhear the commotion: “What? No more water? Call the fire department!” and “Brah look at my lips they’re so red.. It’s like I have an STD on my face” could possibly mean that the restaurant serves spicy food. Quite possibly.

    Third, is to pay attention. Never leave your car window open while you eat inside a restaurant with tinted windows because you’ll never know when it’ll start pouring outside while you’re too busy sweating it out indoors.

    Brah, call the fire department.