story of my roadtrip across the US, a solo voyage between San Fancisco and New York City,
and then on to spend a week in Monterrey, Mexico.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


As someone said on the forums, "soon, the whole thing will seem like a surreal dream" and it's true, I look back and see the pictures and wonder if I really was there. It's funny how things can get fuzzy so fast, not that the memories aren't there, but it just seems so unreal. Of course, the perfect weather I had 99% of the time, the hypnotizing nature of long-distance driving, and the absolute lack of incidents (ok, I had a very minor fear in SLC but that's about it) make it even more so.


If I had to pick my absolute favourite place in these two weeks, I would have no hesitation, that would be June Lake, California. On this first day, after passing the splendors of Yosemite and the Tioga Pass, this little town just looked and felt perfect. It is such an adorable location, nested in that valley with the lake mirroring the surrounding mountains, you can't not love it. There is a silence, a peace that I didn't find anywhere else later.

June Lake

My second-best, a very close second actually, was fulfilling this dream I had of seeing the Devils Tower in Wyoming. This oddly-shaped volcanic column was as outstanding as expected, and the hours I spent there watching the climbers slowly get to the top and the eagles play in the wind currents, listening to that same wind going through the columns... I had a great time there. I think the fact it is still sacred ground adds a lot to this atmosphere. Respect and humility are two words that fit the place quite well.

Devils Tower

Other favourites would be the Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, and hiking down the Navajo trail for a while in Bryce Canyon.

The journey's low-point, for lack of a better word, was kind of expected. It's the Mt. Rushmore Memorial. Least exciting may be a better way to say it. I know engineering is on the scale of the pyramids, but I can't get past the fact they utterly destroyed a perfectly good-looking mountain and then gave up before even completing the job. It is such a waste of resource that for me it's more a symbol of the futility of pride than the symbol of a nation. I won't even mention the other memorial since it is such a complete nonsense in my opinion to destroy another mountain to celebrate Native American culture. It's like a contradiction in terms. I didn't even want to see it, and it's even more incomplete than Rushmore anyway.

Such a waste. I will admit the Fluffies were a nice unexpected touch though.

From a technological point of view, I have to say here that my GPS (a TomTom 910 for those interested), on which I started preparing the whole trip last May, gave complete satisfaction on all accounts, and apart from a short period in Sioux Falls, never let me down when it came to looking for a motel or a gas station nearby. Or points of interests, for that matter. As far as the car is concerned, well, Molly can be summarized in one word: perfect. It's not a muscle-car, it's not a SUV, but I couldn't care less. This ride was reliable, comfy, and not thirsty, in a word, a perfect companion.

Highlights of non-touristic moments, driving 80mph on the Great Plains freeway, at night, all windows open, with a Diana Krall CD playing full blast and a full moon on a cloudless sky. I had this fear of hitting a deer all day, and the days after, but at that moment, I didn't care. I drove into the black, there was only the road, and the Moon. Nothing else. One perfect hour. Here's a short Browncoat's summary, courtesy of Joss Whedon ;) "Take me out, to the Black / Tell'em I ain't coming back."

One last tech anecdote, in Bryce I had no mobile phone, but I managed to get a faint WiFi signal. Don't ask me how, it was there. That was quite strange.

Places I want to see again, Yosemite, Bryce, SLC, Madison, NYC. If you wonder why I left out San Fran and Monterey that's 'cos I don't want to go back there. I want to live there! ;)

San Fran

San Fran and the MJF technically weren't part of the road trip, just a starting point, and if I didn't mention them so far, it's because they would deserve a category of their own. I could ramble on and on about how I loved the atmosphere of SF and the Festival, now I want to go to the MJF every year. It's that good. Rather than ask me to explain, grab tickets next year and go, you'll understand what I mean. I think it's pretty clear from my blog pages about it that I kinda liked the event somewhat.

Highlight of the Festival, Terence Blanchard's tribute to his destroyed hometown, and seeing these guys replay a recording of Django Reinhardt not only note by note but in unison to boot. Impressive feat, for sure.

A tale of God's will CD cover
A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) will be released on 29 Oct 2007

One last note, there will be extensive behind-the-scenes rework to link all the pics to their original fullsize version (Like this post). I don't know if I will have time to finish that before the start of this year's NaNoWriMo though, so the intended completion date for this is next Christmas.

And now... well, now comes the moment to close this blog. I chose the pic of Sammy. She's just too cute.


Next year, Australia. See you there... Stay shiny!