I can’t believe an entire year has passed since I set out on my driving adventure. Well 12 months and 32,000 miles later I’m still at it. Lets look back at the best road trip ever!
May 1st 2011 my first stop was at West Point Military Academy
On the second day I ran over a hillbilly woman named Jenny Sue
Acadia National Park
Stephen King’s house in Bangor Maine
Quebec at twilight
Afternoon Techno party in Quebec, that was a FUN day!
Who could ever forget flying pig hat lady on Mackinac Island!
At the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the first early amazing surprise on the trip. I planned on a 3 day visit to the U.P. and stayed 2 weeks
The Stone Arch festival in Minneapolis
Welcome to the Mall Of America
Fargo North Dakota
My first bison sighting in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Hiking the Spanish Peaks in Bozeman Montana, one of my favorite places on the trip
Yellowstone National Park
July 4th Weekend in Cody, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park
Bear Tooth Pass Montana
Glacier National Park
Mile Marker 0, The beginning of the Alaska Highway
Panning for gold in Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Arriving in Alaska!
Driving 1500 miles up the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek Yukon to Fairbanks Alaska was one of the best parts of the entire trip!
My favorite bear picture on Kodiak Island
So glad Ben Franklin didn’t get his way otherwise our national bird would be the wild turkey
Oh Alaska, you flaunt your beauty everywhere and why shouldn’t you?
Hiking the Wild Pacific Trail on Vancouver Island
Beautiful black bear on Vancouver Island
Spider in the sunlight
Mount Rainier National Park
The breath-taking Crater Lake
A total freak snowstorm hit Crater Lake the night I was there
Yosemite National Park
Driving through the giant sequoias in Northern California
The afternoon before I crashed the ATV, I was driving around Kauai and I saw this sign and thought it was the best street sign I’d ever seen
So after crashing the ATV in Kauai, flying home to NYC so they could put Humpty Dumpty back together again after his great fall, I flew back to Los Angeles and started the drive home back East.
Moonrise over Marfa
Oh Marfa, Texas how I love thee!
Driving through White Sands National Monument is the closest I’ll ever come to setting foot on another planet. What a surreal experience
The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. The surprise hit state of the trip.
One of my favorite things is wandering through all the small towns across America, where it seems like time is at a standstill
Visiting the historic city of Selma where my father marched for civil rights during the 60’s followed by a visit to the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery was a really special day
I arrived back in New Jersey on November 24th where I spent the next several weeks catching up with friends and family, eating real bagels and taking some time to reflect on the months that had passed before heading off for a little European jaunt to visit friends. Isabelle, Karin, Darragh, Hiro, Jen, Peter, Paula and Sarah (and of course Franco who flew to London for Xmas) thanks for a great month abroad. So many pictures and fun times, but I’m just going to post one photo of me lovely girls who I spent most of the time with and who I just adore.
Sarah and Paula on our hiking excursion to the Lake District
Then another month back in NYC before hitting the road again on March 4th 2012
A tour of the Civil War battlefields in historic Fredricksburg
Fort Sumter where the Civil War began
The Apalachicola region of Florida was not like any place else in the Sunshine State, remote and natural, loved it
Banded Water Snake in the swamp
This turkey vulture spreading his wings on my return trip to Marfa, TX was a hugely memorable moment
Big Bend National Park, 5 great hikes in 3 days and a few fantastic drives at sunset too
A second stop at White Sands National Monument deserves a second photo especially when I was able to do a 5 mile hike barefoot
A month spent in Tucson hiking and exploring all of the city’s natural wonders, saguaros, and the flowering desert everywhere
Saguaros at sunset, Saguaro National Park
You know you’re close to the Mexican border when….
Trick photography in the hippie enclave of Bisbee, AZ
Petrified Forest National Park
Driving along the iconic highway the last few days has been great. What could be a better thing to add to my road trip experience than the most famous highway of them all
So one last photo before I wrap up The Year in Pictures. The photos I’ve chosen so far are a random selection reflecting back on the last year on the road, pretty much in chronological order. I could have done 100 different variations on this post with just as many photo combinations. Are these “the best” maybe, maybe not, but they are a good representation of what this road trip has been all about, travelling around and seeing beautiful things everywhere and learning something new every day.
May 1, 2011, a year ago to the day that my Terrain pulled out of NYC with just a few hundred miles on it and my desire to go and explore. This trip has exceeded my highest expectations and I know it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. When I set out this morning I really didn’t know where I was heading exactly. I drove over to Second Mesa on the Hopi Reservation and met a man by the name of Gibson who’s family had lived there for generations. Then back to Tuba City and nothing was really grabbing me. I thought this is not turning out to be a fitting day of adventure for my travelversary. Then all of a sudden it dawned on me, maybe it wasn’t about me at that moment, maybe it was time for a moment of appreciation. I sat and talked with Gibson for a while noticing the box of crafts under his arm. I had driven to the highest point in Second Mesa and he was there by his house looking at this visitor in his shiny new black car with NY license plates. I knew he was going to ask me to buy something and I was happy to help this unassuming man in a small way, but in the end it would mean a lot more to me probably that it did to him. After our encounter he was $20 richer, I was a lot richer than that.
The item that I bought from him was a circle of life carving that he had done. On a small piece of paper written by hand was the following description:
Circle of Life, Four colors represent the four directions, stages of life, cycle of seasons, races of people, center (white) earth symbol divided into four parts, which represent the four worlds, dots represent the eras of human life, East-knowledge, South-life, West is the power to change, North-wisdom.
Was it just a coincidence that this message came to me from an elder native american who happened to be waiting on top of a bluff when I arrived on this particular day or was it something more, who knows, but I’ll take the message and the words of wisdom that are so very clear to me at this point. It’s a short dance on this planet, so dance it well.
My trusty chariot, knowledge, life, power to change, wisdom and the mountains ahead of me, pretty much all I need
You have come so far.
I think I will call you Guru Heft he who has seen and done and reminds me to listen to life’s whispers.
Jen Riley Jen Riley, you’re the best you deserved the Jen Riley dance at pims and you still do. I think I’ll do it high a top a mountain today in your honor 🙂
Hope to see you Peter and Sammy again soon xoxo
Boobala- what a wonderful journey you’ve had. Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us. The photos are amazing, and the car still looks good too 🙂
Keep on truckin!
Thanks Paul, your voice on the other end of the phone has provided hours of fun conversation on some very long roads! Glad you are enjoying the ride 🙂
Now that just made my day. Photos are stunning, the experience outstanding. I am living through you!
By the way, some of those animals can be seen in Suffern, NY during my dog walks…..
I still laugh and think of you when I see that scene in The Proposal where Sandra Bullock is running with the dog in the air trying to get her cell phone back from the hawk! Thanks so much for the compliment. It means a lot knowing my friends and family are seeing some of what I’m seeing. The sound of your voice has made me smile countless times on the road. see you soon!
Dora the Explorer-
you have made us all richer by having the courage and hutzpah to take this journey (too few people do) and sharing your gorgeous photos and experiences with us.
Finally, “keep truckin’ ” is apropos.