It works. The parts arrive. Danny arrives, has the right tools and gets the job done. I leave Roy about 5pm, having left Danny some drinking money and heartfelt thanks.

Being somewhat wiser than I was years ago I stop in 10 miles to check the tightness of the lug nuts. Some are loose. I tighten them up and drive another 10 miles. This goes on for several more iterations, which makes driving a 1000 miles go by real slow. Eventually I screw my courage up to stopping after 20 miles. Then 30. Then 50. Then 100. Then I make it to New Orleans.

Upon arrival I was welcomed most vociferously by the local … mosquitoes. It is 7pm, 92 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Not my kind of weather. But one thing this trip is reinforcing is that there are all kinds of people and they all do not have to like or do the same thing. Viva la difference.

Saturday I head over to party. As I’m driving along one of the canals, I swear, I watch as an alligator snaps up an egret. Debating quickly on whether I should stop or whether I should not get out in this weather, I lost, turned around, grabbed my camera and went after a picture.
Interesting country.

The party was great. Lots of their friends and relatives and one strange dude that drove all the way from Washington.

Tomorrow, I head out towards Charlotte, North Carolina to a brother that is actually looking forwards to me visiting. On the road again.


So, I luck out. The clutch problem is the simplest of the possibilities, a leaking hydraulic line. There is even a replacement part in town. Colin, the mechanic squeezes me in (remember, no appointment) and I’m back on the road by 3pm. I cut across cool little mountain roads, even dirt at times and come out on the high plains of New Mexico. The sun is nearly setting as I come across a beautiful gorge cut out by the Canadian river. I race through hoping to find the right scenery, but fail. On the other side I keep looking back at the way the sunset is shaping up. Finally I stop to capture the moment. When I start up again I immediately feel something wrong with the car. I pull over, get out and OMG, my back rear wheel has four (out of 5) missing lug nuts. And by missing I mean not only are the nuts gone, but the studs they screw on to are broken off. There is one nut, barely holding the wheel on.

I jack the car up and tighten that one nut, wishing that the studs hadn’t broken. If they were still there then I could have stolen one nut from each wheel and been in pretty decent shape. But no. The next town on the map is ROY, NM, but I don’t know how far away I am. Do I walk, call for a tow, try to drive? Pulling out my phone I see I have no reception. But I did back where I just had my last photo shoot. Where I’m parked the road is rising towards Roy, so I start walking in that direction, figuring that I’ll get reception back when I get to the top of the rise. About half way up the hill I flag down a passing truck. He informs me Roy is just 4 miles from here and the road is in good shape. Thanking him I go back to my car and decide to drive to town. Stopping occasionally to check the wheel and not going over 10mph I arrive in Roy.

It is 8pm, dark and gone to bed. I literally walk down the middle of the main drag scoping out what my possibilities might be in the morning. Up at 7 I start walking around. The only thing open is a funky coffee shop run by Claudia. I begin to explain my problem when she interrupts and said aren’t I the guy who walked 4 miles to town. News travels fast in small towns. After explaining the situation and correcting the story, btw with the couple of locals that were in drinking coffee we got the story to be that no, I hadn’t walked into town. Instead I had picked up that corner of my car and pushed it into town. After all, my car was sitting just over there.

Anyway, she calls Justin to get advice, seems he’s the practical one in town. But Justin is about to leave for Colorado, but he suggests, if need be, we could probably figure a way to get towed to the next town that might have parts, because there was no way parts were to be found in Roy, not for a Subaru. At 8 I walked over to Rick’s gas station to ask if I got the parts could he install them. He said he wasn’t really a mechanic and would not be comfortable doing that. However, he was pretty sure Danny could do it after work. He’d track Danny down and ask. So I went back to Claudia’s. One of the locals, Marlin, said he was taking his uncle in to a doctor’s appointment today in Sante Fe and he would be happy to pick the parts up for me and be back by 4-4:30. I said great. Justin stopped in to see how the situation was doing. In a couple of hours Marlin called and said he had the parts. Then Rick stopped in and said Danny would do the work for me.

Isn’t it great when a plan works out. These people have been super stellar. Now I just have to wait and if all goes well I’ll hit the road this evening. Because I do have a wedding reception to get to outside New Orleans by Saturday.IMG_3850aIMG_3852a


Here I sit in a very cute coffee shop in Taos, NM waiting for a call.
The call to tell me the state of my car.
It’s broken.
There I was on a very high pass between Pagosa Springs and Taos looking over the vastness of New Mexico.IMG_3830a
When I got back into the car the clutch pedal went to the floorboard, but did nothing. I got to drive the next 47 miles with no help from my clutch. Up and down hills; fast and slow; stop signs, stop lights and traffic. Yes, I’m that good.

I hit Taos in the early afternoon and then hit the internet. I found a shop who said they couldn’t crack my hood until the 30th. I then left a message at a Subaru specialty shop and sat. In not too long Colin called me back and I told him some of my story, traveling from coast to coast, and broke down in Taos. He said he would fit me in, having sympathy for traveling souls, but not until the morning. He was just closing up and heading out to a Peter Frampton concert in Albuquerque. So, I dropped off the car this morning and now I wait.


This poem started in Washington. However, by the time I realized it was forming I was in Idaho and so I never took pictures of the original inspiration. I finally got some acceptable ones in Utah. Enjoy:

Title: Derelicts
Derelicts everywhere.
More maintenance?
Early intervention?
By the time they’re falling down, it’s too late.
Other things missing.
Big gaps.
Are they really obsolete?
No use?
Not salvageable?
Not worth it.



Being on a Driveabout gives me time to just sit by a stream.

It was high in the mountains, on a sunny day.
A cedar grove was standing guard.
A grove that was still, green, bordering on being dark.
Sitting by this stream, I was almost too hot.
Hundreds of little waterfalls were making a racket upstream.
Seems there was a hurry to get downstream,
To turn into sparkling gems.
Out in the stream in front of me stood a rock.
It was noticeable because it was different.
It was the biggest around, but not by much.
It was darker.
It had edges.
The other rocks were smooth, made up of warm browns and greens.
Next to the bank they shone like jewels.
On the bank they were different.
Still rounded but the colors were all tending towards white.
I threw one in the stream.
It splashed me back.
And then it transformed, grew, intensified.



So, I have drifted over to Yellowstone.
It is after Labor Day so I was hoping the crowds were lower.
They are. So is the temperature. And the clouds with rain.
Nevertheless, and dodging all of that, I had a great day yesterday.
I broke a record. After all my years of hiking/backpacking I had never seen a bear (in the wild). I did yesterday. I was on a narrow path winding through some woods. No buds, no bells, no bear spray. About 15 yards ahead this bear just crosses the path. I stopped. I presume he knew I was there, but didn’t even care enough to look at me. I didn’t move, but I did watch his form blend back into the trees. Oh, I didn’t have my camera out and he was gone before I could. So, believe me, he was huge. It might have been a grizzly or a brown or a kodiak. I know it wasn’t a polar.

But that wasn’t all I missed with my camera. I didn’t catch the osprey attacking the bald eagle. I didn’t even catch any of the myriad chipmunks and ground squirrels that were crossing my path, within feet, and then laughing at me. Finally, I came close:
So, life is telling me that I’m slow. So I take pictures like this:


I have repacked my car yet again, throwing more stuff out.
Most of that stuff my brother will graciously store for me for whenever.
It’s interesting the trail of stuff I am leaving behind me.

Anyway, I’m packed and I’ve picked a next destination. I’ll be leaving in the morning.

But Sunday I went back over to my niece’s place for a crawdad boil. It was great. These little crustaceans were so big that most of them had claws big enough that it was worth the trouble to crack them. I also had time to wander their yard and believe I have a couple of new additions to my impressionist collection. Enjoy.


What to do, what to do?
So, my soulful house has tried to kill me.
I have, yet again, disposed of my possessions.
It seems, there is nothing I can do but hit the road.

I queued up an Airbnb place so I had time to clean out the House of Irony. I retained all the kitchen items, and a few other things, for my son. I de-stressed for 15 minutes then I reloaded my car. Turns out the things I kept for my son completely filled my car. What was I to do with my personal traveling items? Well, a solution presented itself. The Airbnb place I was staying at was also a miniature horse farm. Further, the hostess was scheduled to trailer a miniature horse and a goat over to Seattle. Which was good because I had scheduled myself to visit a friend over there for a couple of days. So, I loaded my personal stuff into her trailer. Then I drove down to Portland and dropped of my son’s items and then headed up to Seattle that same day. The next day I met my new friend and picked up my traveling gear.

After a nice visit in Seattle I headed on down to Portland. I’m staying at my older brother’s place. Last night we had a nice dinner over at his daughter’s house and my son was able to come over.

Today me and my brother hiked up to Ramona Falls, at the base of Mt Hood. Terrific weather. Great hike. Here are some pictures from it.