blog

  1. the alps, version motorcycle

    28 Jul 2019
    I continued to be reluctant about the full-time address, and I never fully unpacked. I was transient. Nothing felt like it was truly mine. I liked it that way though. Owning things seemed like signing up for a burden.  I found a flight from Seattle to Zurich and back for…

  2. the long road from los alamos to vancouver

    28 Jul 2019
    A brown landscape stretched into sky blue. The ground looked thirsty; scars of streams cracked the hills like tendrils. Below, suburbs sprawled, the houses neatly spaced with a swimming pool here and there. Low-rise commercial buildings sprouted from the city centre, and through it all was a bright yellow ribbon…

  3. grand canyon: tanner, escalante & tonto trails

    03 Jan 2019
    Rick suggested a trek in the Grand Canyon between Christmas and New Years. I suggested Rim to Rim, and after a little bit of research he came back with a veto, and countered with the Escalante Route. The Escalante Route doesn’t connect to any part of the rim, so you…

  4. flight 30: a brief return to the pnw

    21 Oct 2016
    A year and a half ago, I left Vancouver looking out of the plane window, not really believing what was happening. Seeing isn’t necessarily believing. It was so terrifying to me that I refused to think about it. I was scared about how to get my bike to the hostel…

  5. india: kindness shouldn’t cost anything

    21 Oct 2016
    If Hanoi’s Old Quarter was a wave of culture shock, then Old Delhi was a Japanese tsunami. Total destruction. In its wake, 30-some hours after arrival, Addie and I shuddered in our dark little room battling a violent round of food poisoning. There are few things that will bring two…

  6. riding motorcycles across the states

    20 Jul 2016
    When I left home last May, I didn’t think I’d be coming back to North America for anything. I’m wrong about everything – it’s becoming a trend. Flying all the way across the Atlantic for a month seemed stupid. And the cherry of stupidity on top: spending the most money…

  7. this is not a hiatus

    01 May 2016
    Exactly one year ago, I was on the way to the airport in Vancouver, bike in the boot. I had meticulously planned and prepared but it didn’t make this move seem any smarter. Like everything else I do, once I’d gotten the idea into my head, there was no way…

  8. 13 day kiwi roadie: 4 strangers got into a car…

    30 Apr 2016
    From “work” at Franz, I hitched a ride to Kumara junction with a woman who lived in Franz Josef. She’d spent years being a travel guide in Eastern Africa and places like Lebanon, Russia and Estonia. She told me to bring sand mats on the Mongol Rally and so many…

  9. new zealand’s south island: tramping burnout

    30 Apr 2016
    Here’s my route all over the South Island. The red is bussing/hitchhiking. The pink is the Routeburn Track and the blue is a big road trip (next post!). The pins are all the places I spent time in.  I stopped overnight in Christchurch. The whole city is still under construction…

  10. new zealand’s north island: tramping virginity gone

    07 Mar 2016
    Here’s my route across the north island. You’ll notice I skipped most of it, but I have a feeling I’ll be back in New Zealand at some point They wouldn’t let me board the plane to New Zealand without a ticket straight out of the country within 90 days. So…

  11. that rapid aussie fix: the great ocean road, melbourne & sydney

    03 Feb 2016
    A long long time ago, I traveled with an Aussie and he undersold Australia to me. He told me, “Skip it, there’re no mountains, go straight to New Zealand.” I wholeheartedly believed him, but since I had to fly over Australia to get there and would probably have to touch…

  12. beached: indonesia, singapore & the philippines

    29 Jan 2016
    It was a strange feeling, alone for the first time in months, in a cab, hurtling down the freeway away from Bangkok, no seatbelt on. That feeling of imminent change was pooling inside me, coupled with a distinct taste of desertion, because I’d left an Aussie back at the hostel…

  13. laos & thailand: same same but different

    23 Dec 2015
    “The good news is that to get from Siem Reap to Vientiane, the bus won’t cut through Thailand, so we only have one border crossing to do. The bad news is that it’s going to take 18 hours. You OK with that?” I asked a sleepy could-not-care-less James after the…

  14. cambodia: tropics, temples & tarantulas

    13 Nov 2015
    Here’s the route from Ho Chi Minh City through Cambodia and out into Laos I’d heard all sorts of horrible things about the overland border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia, but it was simple. Fingerprints, show pre-acquired e-Visa, get back on the very long bus ride to Kampot. Cambodia’s road…

  15. vietnam ii: no more motorcycle

    08 Nov 2015
    Here are the stops and routes I took after I dropped my motorcycle back in Hanoi. The red is a small motorcycle ride from Hue to Hoi An, and the green is all the fantastically exciting bus rides I took When I first arrived in Hanoi, it was overwhelming. Chaos,…

  16. 13 tips for planning a cycling tour

    20 Oct 2015
    A long bike tour can seem intimidating at first glance, and planning one can either be a big headache or very exciting. Here are a few things that I’ve learnt when planning my bike trips, and on the road (most likely the hard way).  1. Plan (but not excessively) and

  17. northern vietnam by motorcycle

    13 Oct 2015
    If you mention riding a motorcycle in Southeast Asia to someone, chances are the first thing they say is how dangerous it is. “So many tourists die doing that.” Well, let’s look into that quick fact for about 30 seconds, because I absolutely love ripping apart quick facts. Most…

  18. sailing in croatia

    26 Sep 2015
    Here is the Croatian “island hopping” route I spent a couple of weeks in Switzerland with family. I had no idea where to go next. I wanted to do Italy, Greece, Croatia and Eastern Europe but the weather wasn’t going to hold through November. I toyed with the idea of…

  19. over the alps

    05 Sep 2015
    Here is my route from Paris to Menton (it’s not exact, Google won’t display bike coverage) On my way out of Paris I biked past a homeless man who was sleeping in a tent pitched in a bike lane. Is that legal? Can I do that? I struggled out of…

  20. 8,015km: italy, switzerland & excess tornanti

    05 Sep 2015
    Here is my route from Menton, France to where I am now The Mediterranean heat was unbearable and I headed north to flee the heat and vacationing tourists into… nothing. Long distances between waterspouts and further distances between grocery stores had me stealing grapes from vineyards. The freak storms that…

  21. the loire valley & my parisian birthday

    05 Sep 2015
    Here is my route since I left off at Mont. St. Michel For whatever reason, dogs chase bikes and I had a number of farm mutts chase me from Mont. St. Michel to Nantes. You see why I am a cat person? When a cat sees me on a bike,…

  22. holland, belgium & france

    05 Sep 2015
    Here is my route from Giethoorn to where I am now. This is Google’s route. I took a few detours due to construction and Google being less than ideal. A Dutch cyclist told me he doesn’t use Google anymore: “Google thinks that your goal is Point B, but really, the…

  23. iceland ii: the name of the wind

    05 Sep 2015
    After recharging in Reykjavík (one day and two entire packages of pasta), I set out on my backwards adventure north along the west coast. In Hvalfjörður, “whale fjord”, I set up in Hvammsvík I had no urge to make an attempt at going further north than the western peninsula, The…

  24. iceland: round i

    05 Sep 2015
    I’m calling it a round because it was a battle I lingered long enough in Reykjavík to eat half my weight in world-famous hot dogs, which took about two days and two hot dogs. I then set out southeast, had a grand old time on a freeway trying to get…

  25. halló, iceland

    05 Sep 2015
    I wrestled my bike into its box and lovingly wrapped it in packaging tape. My luggage and bike were plunked onto the airport scale, the number creeping up to a total of 114 lbs. Cringe. I was charged zero for heavy bags and zero for bike shipping, courtesy of a…

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