Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9/30 - Aliens and Alfalfa Fields

301 miles.

Thank you, to Mikey and the generous residents of Rachel at the Little A'Le'Inn, for your kindness to wanderers.

Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29 - The first fire I started myself

231 miles.

Between the cost of firewood and the inconvenience of hauling it by scooter, I never bother with a fire when camping on my own. It was a happy coincidence to meet Bex and Petey, and share a site and tell stories. Usually someone else starts the fire, but this time I got it going!

Also, I had a stomach bug and fell and chipped my tooth. But anyway.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Plan: The Grand Canyon and Vegas, baby

Heads up, I'm going to drop off the internet for a little, but hopefully not off the canyon edge! Changing gears from fulltime traveler back to something of a weekend warrior was much needed for the first week, but the Roar was just saving itself up. Winter would soon limit mountain travel, and next spring seems so far away. That's when I saw that Sash and Steve would be in Vegas, for Sash's birthday. Time to start planning a mini-trip (a scant 2,000 miles, ha) to see her, and perhaps swing by some of the sights in Nevada and Arizona before it gets too cold.

Apologies that posts have fallen behind a bit, I was rushing to finish work-type stuff before I go!

After all this time, I still have anxiety before traveling. I know I'll feel better once I'm on the road, but getting started means overcoming the inertia of staying in one place. It never seems to get less-inertia-y.

9/28 - Vespa SF group ride!

160 miles, roundtrip.

So many Vespas today! Plus, we visited Half Moon Bay, and had a cheerful ride along Skyline Drive. Happy happy.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

9/27 - Bounce back

Get in line behind me, kid, I'm not someone's parent watching you little turdlings have all the fun.

Feeling better after some trampoline park with cousin and friends today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

9/26 - In-n-Out driving party

Peter rides a Triumph Street Triple, and can appreciate the luxury of eating and driving at the same time. Also, In-n-Out Burger fix en route to San Francisco for APAture's gallery opening, with Lisa's watercolors. A lovely evening of friends, art, and 90s nostalgia music at the hipster cafe down the street, Citizen's Band.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

9/25 - Can't sleep

Fernweh is strong, I had too much anxiety to sleep so I fixed the tent poles. Well, not fixed entirely. The elastic broke and I merely threaded what I could and knotted it so it wouldn't immediately fall apart.

Gear Talk: What's in the pet carrier?

What's in the Pet Carrier?
Mash it under the seat!

The pet carrier is a nickname for the under-seat storage bin on a scooter, because in the US they come with a 'No Pets' sticker. Go ahead and make assumptions based on that information. My pets gave up the ghost years ago, so here's what I keep in mine.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

9/24 - My scars have scrapes

I should start wearing long pants for climbing.

My legs are not pretty, because I use them for stuff.

Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22 - Gotta go for a ride

Riding helps me get out of my head. Sometimes I need to just do something.

The search to make travel sustainable continues.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why So Beautiful, Part 1: Wyoming, Montana, and some Tetons edition. August 6-10, 2014.


This post is all about the scenery. I feel like a changed person; there was the me before Wyoming, Montana, and Beartooth Pass, and now there's a person who is ruined for this world. Okay, that's a bit dramatic. I was simply lost in the scenic beauty in this part of the US. Prepare your monitors, this is a photo-heavy post.

9/20 - Out of juice at the ninja playground

I couldn't resist trying the parkour gym I found online. Happily, everything is padded.

Friday, September 19, 2014

9/19 - Simple luxuries

Oakland day trip to see some of my favorite people you may recognize from last post, Lisa and Eric! We hung out, explored markets in Chinatown, and dined at Classic Guilin Rice Noodle - a totally new noodle style for me. They serve a fantastic bowl of meaty, savory, spicy, pickled goodness.

Also, haircut. Desperately needed to happen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

9/18 - Bone and skull exhibit

Caught up with Lisa and Eric today, for Nightlife at the Academy. Way back in the planning process for this trip, I met them in Boston while they were on their worldwide tour. It's so great to see them again in the Bay Area! Check out her writing in the anthology, The Places We've Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35, or her blog, satsumabug.com.

It was Feline night, but too crowded to see the live cats so Kevin and I went to the Planetarium. It was my favorite destination for elementary school field trips, but I haven't been to a planetarium in over 20 years. They've really upped the ante.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16 - Still feel like a bandit

Split all the lanes!

Met up with Peter, a friend from middle school in Beijing. He just moved to Japantown in San Jose, and has a Triumph, bwahaha.

Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15 - Inflight to Hayes Valley

Thank you to the fantastic folks at Vespa SF today! They hooked me up with a new front tire (switching to Power Pure, hopefully will reduce wobble) and a rental GTS 300 while I waited. I followed Pete to lunch, and I swear he was airborne going over those hills. I wish I could have captured his fantastic bowtie in this drawing.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

9/14 - Less than ninja

Encouraging to remember that if my cousin lets the rope slip, I'd land on his head.

I met a number of rock climbers on the road, often heading to some awesome climbing destination I had no idea about before. It reignited an interest in me, and I've been looking forward to finding a regular-ish place for when I'm stationary-ish. Maybe one day I'll revisit Red River Gorge and the Bighorn National Forest... and pack my topcase with rope and harnesses and stuff (for climbing, pervs).

Anyone want to climb with me in San Jose? Must have a tolerance for swearing.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

9/13 - It's Saturday!

This Saturday feels like a Saturday.

Days of the weeks are mostly meaningless on the road.

Friday, September 12, 2014

9/12 - Thanks, benevolent overlords

Gettin' fat, stuffing my pockets with Google bounty. Chicken and waffles food truck for lunch.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stats: Where Do I Stay?

I love charts.

An often asked questions has been: Where do you stay? Since I've now crossed the four month mark and am staying put for a while, here's a pie chart.

9/11 - Lane splitting!!

93 miles.

If I were a cat, my tail would be puffed out super huge the first moment I pulled in between the lanes. After a while though, the freeway became one huge, moving obstacle course and it was super fun!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9/9 - Costco, horrify and amaze

Every summer growing up, my family would return to the US for appointments with our doctors, dentists, optometrists, and our annual trip to Costco. We carried an empty suitcase for the expressed purpose, and our stay with family in the Bay Area wasn't complete without buying in bulk from Costco things not available in Beijing (less so for Hong Kong). For me, Costco has always been synonymous with California.

But all the oversized foods still look comically indulgent to me.

Monday, September 8, 2014

9/8 - Homeowner returns

I had sort of settled into Kevin's place before he even got home. Yay, family!

Sturgis for Sturgis, Who Knew?! Aug 1-5, 2014.

Sturgis for Sturgis, Who Knew?! Aug 1-5, 2014.
Trying something new with the maps.

My plan was to head west through South Dakota, rather than its northern counterpart. I wanted to ride around the Badlands and see Mt Rushmore, that sort of thing. Come to find out, I'd be passing through right around Sturgis. The motorcycle rally. One of the largest in the world. The one with the reputation. That one. In such a situation, what else was there to do but embrace it in all its tasseled, black-leathered, eagle-spangled glory?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

9/7 - Tourists one more day

111 miles.

Giraffe's flight was bumped, so I rode into San Francisco to get touristy. The hills are intimidating. There were motorcycle parking spots on some of them, but the bikes perched in those spots seemed to defy gravity.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hello, San Jose!

Apologies for the lapse in posting. I've just arrived in San Jose, almost exactly four months after setting off from Providence. I'll be here or around here working, catching up on drawings and blog posts, and hanging out with friends and my cousin in the coming weeks. Please say hi if you're in the area, and keep an eye out for all the catch up posts - I'm working on it!

9/6 - To the West

227 miles.

All this time, and I still feel a little nervous before riding anywhere. Giraffe and I picked up my scoot and he followed me to Stockton before parting ways. For what it's worth, it kind of sucks to literally ride into the sunset. It's very hard to see.

Friday, September 5, 2014

9/5 - Mesquite Dunes in Moonlight

Other activities included a stop by Badwater Basin (120 F), and poking around ghost towns Rhyolite and Ballarat. If it had been another time of year, I would have preferred to take the scooter. But for right now, AC in the car is totally alright.

Also, I can't listen to Welcome to Night Vale in my helmet, which seems like appropriate listening for Death Valley.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

9/4 - No Bugs At All

I'm used to being devoured by insects when doing anything camping related out in the open, but tonight was so still Tim and I fell asleep with the van open. It's nice and cool at altitude. My shampoo bottle popped from air pressure.

Lots of scenery today, including a family of bears at the General Sherman tree that just didn't give a shit.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

9/3 - Natural Playground

For this leg of the journey, I've joined up with Tim (the Giraffe). Sadly, I opted to leave the scooter at his friend's home - the front end wobble is tiring me out, it's first on the list of things to look at once I reach the Bay Area. For now though, I'm taking a break in the rental Dodge Caravan. Car camping time, for a change!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

9/2 - My helmet smells like...BBQ?

161 miles.

I think it was from smoke from the campfire in Leggett, but I couldn't tell the day before because everything smelled like smoke. Or it could be that it felt like I was about to burst into flames, like any of the dry shrubbery I rode through on the way to Nevada.

Why the beeline to Gardnerville? A Giraffe from Providence was waiting for me there at his best friend's place!

Monday, September 1, 2014

9/1 - Riding Buddy for a Day

239 miles.

I struck up a conversation with Joel from the campground in Leggett, and it turns out we're going the same way at least part of the time. California Route 1 is absolutely breathtaking.

Somewhere before Woodland, CA I hit the highest temperature I've seen on my dash: 42 C (~108 F). I was exhausted by the time I rolled into Hong Kong and seester's friends Patty and Will's home. A shower, heaps of Chinese food with their family, and playing with their cats helped.