Archive for July, 2008

Not-So Sleepless in Seattle

Well, we finally made it up to the top of the West Coast into the great state of Washington! After finding a pretty sketchy motel room to stay in along the way (don’t worry, Elly set up some extra security devices), we spent Friday doing a short hike up Mt. Rainier. We were amazed to see the entire mountain disappear in front of our eyes within 10 minutes as the fog started to descend onto it. If we had come a half hour later, we might not have even known where the 13,210 foot monster was. It was also kind of weird to have a snowball fight only a few weeks after coping with the heat of the desert. Crazy i know! After spending the day in the national park, we made our way to Seattle to meet up with some old friends from camp – Manny, Ewan, Tasha, and Tharp. It was great to catch up with our old pals from Cody and their hospitality was amazing (especially considering we had only let them know of our trip a couple days before). Although we didn’t “ride the duck”, our friends gave us a really good idea of what Seattle and the University of Washington were all about. The two of us also got a chance to explore the city on our own while getting lost and driving all around it for about 2 hours (not like that’s anything new). After a couple nights out with the gang – including several bars, “Step Brothers” the movie, and a Matisyahu concert (not to mention the infamous Beth’s Cafe) – we are saying so long to Seattle. We’ll be slowly making our way across the States over the next week or so, and will try to soak up as much of the countryside as possible. We’re very excited to get back home and share all of our experiences with our friends and family. We’ll keep you up-to-date on how this journey goes and keep your eyes out for some new pictures and videos soon!

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Portland has beer.

While in Portland we discovered that the great city was having a celebration, in fact it was having a festival. The Oregon Brewers festival. Naturally we figured “when in Rome” and grabbed a skyphos.

Here we met many other wondering Michiganders and chatted over samples of beers like “Dragons Milk” and “Hell or High Watermelon.”

After the festival we went to hear some spoken word poetry soaked with music and art. It was such a great time hearing those vegans play, and meeting Svetolskcki, a Latvian journalist who was traveling in the US for a little while.

The only downer about Portland was the friendly parking ticket that was left for us on the car window shield. We had decided to spend the night in the car, but wanted to make sure we parked it in a safe spot, across the street from Tiffany’s. But it seams Portland’s parking meter enforcers wake up pretty early, at least earlier than us. We guess we wont be parking in metered lots anymore. Lesson learned.

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san franciscohasbeenovertaken

So we are sure we’re not the only ones in Generation Me to have thought about traveling to San Francisco in hopes of seeing just a smidge of what life was like in the golden years, when hippies were prancing down the streets carrying protest signs and shouting lyrics of love. But when we marched down to what I thought was the mecca of the past, Haight-Ashbury we found a McDonalds. No no, I mean there were your standard overly priced vintage stores and progressive bookstores but besides that the street was overtaken by tourists who had way to much money. And yes, there was a McDonalds.

So we realized that the street has reflected a generation, and has changed in the same way many of those dreamers have.

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upload

Just in case you can’t tell, we’ve uploaded more movies and pictures! If you want to see them just click “more photos” or press the arrow in the videos section,  in the side toolbar under pics or vids (ya, we enjoy how it sounds when you shorten pictures and videos, its like  comp lingo).

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Hot cocoa

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more about "Hot cocoa", posted with vodpod

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by request


 Earlier some of our friends asked for us to post  our responses to the questions we were asked by roadtrip nation as to why we wanted to go on this roadtrip and what we hoped to learn. Well after being on the road for almost 3 months we have started to reflect upon different aspects of our trip, what we hoped to gain and what we’ve already achieved. Here are our early answers to these questions.

What is your team’s purpose for going on this roadtrip? What is it that you hope to discover on your travels?

We are the kids next door, we played in little league, went to college, became camp counselors and now graduation with its life decisions and opportunities beckon. Frankly we’ve had a hard time with this idea. We are not looking for an answer, but for alternate options to the road that has been paved for us. We hope to learn about the decisions other Americans have made around our age and how they have been effected by their decisions. We have toyed with the idea of traveling abroad, but have decided that its benign to look for answers in far away places when we can learn much more in our own backyard. We hope to better know our own culture and the people who have influenced our lives, or at least understand people and America in a new way.  The American culture is a hodgepodge of ideas, customs, and differences; we hope to find ourselves in its mixture without following the given recipe.

In the search for these new meanings and answers, we find it hard to ignore the fact that it is an election year.  At a pivotal time for our country, it seems this election is as important and as popular as ever.  From Bourbon Street in New Orleans to route 66 in the west, we will read similar billboards and yard signs promoting change and will talk with people who hold diverse ideas about its direction. The election will follow us on our trip around the nation.  We want to get a better understanding of how different American cultures are affected by this election, and in turn, what impact this election has on these cultures. 

 What is your individual purpose for going on this trip? What do you hope to gain from this opportunity?

Elly’s answer:

I’ve spent the past couple of months thinking about this question. You know, the why. Why do this, why stray off the path already written, why not take the 50 grand with benefits and be happy with the job a college degree can get you right after graduation. But there is so much I have not learned or experienced yet. College makes so many decisions for us, but I refuse to conform to its label of success. I do not want to be bound by the straight and narrow. This trip is the beginning of a different sort of education. To learn from people and to make peoples experiences not just stories in books or newspapers, but real. I recently spent five months in Thailand and there I learned that knowledge is not defined within the walls and halls of classrooms, but is found in conversation, exchanges and experience. I want to go on this journey so that I can learn from other Americans, to exchange ideas and points of view. To learn from those around me and to live in change. Because America and the world is changing, I do not want to sit in a office and let this opportunity drive by, I have so much to learn from others about life, change, family, work, culture, that I couldn’t possibly enter the illusive “job market” and be satisfied with who I am. I want to be inspired by people from Kentucky to Seattle, to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. 

Kenny’s answer:

   Just like so many of the people that are applying for this grant, I am at the first crossroad in my life where my future is not planned out for me.  I’ve been through almost twenty years of school and am ready to finally step foot in the “real world”.  Yet, I don’t seem to be driven by the same factors that many of my classmates are.  Graduating from a business school, the norm that I am pressured to follow is to choose the career path that is right for me and find the best job possible immediately after I graduate.  I can’t help but feel that this is not the right path for me.  By exploring the different cultures that form the United States, I hope to have the opportunity to learn from those I meet on the road. By talking with people on the record with roadtrip nation interviews, and more casually at parks, truck stops, and around general stores, I hope to gain a better understanding of what the true “American Dream” is.  I know there is more to my future than making money for The Man, and I believe that gaining an insight into how others have created their own path will help me to develop my own goals and outlooks on life.

 

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Avenue of the Giants

Images of my elders stare

from petrified pews

as we walk up and down

1,000 year aisles,

aged by acorns

and artificial ladders

and Kodak inc.

The path is worn, so

we run.

Cough.

To orion’s alter

 And give thanks

to Carnot’s law. 

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