Monthly Archives: April 2006


“National security, the economy, the environment and even the weather are tied to our reliance on oil. So when the leadership in Washington fails to take serious action on cutting oil use, it fails big-time. Everyone seems to get this but the Bush administration.” — Froma Harrop, Seattle Times

Have we become a nation of whiners, or what? From what I can see, GW is not using all the oil that is coming into this nation. We are! So why is it up to his administration to lessen our dependecy on oil? All these people are blaming him, but we are the only solution, as we are the problem. I am sure that this columnist is living in a house, driving a car, and consuming goods, just like the rest of us. I don’t know too many people who are ready to give these things up. I know I’m not. I can talk about it like everyone else, but at the end of the day, I’ve used my share (or more) of energy. Yes, George W is an idiot, but how does that reflect on us? We voted him in twice (maybe once). If he’s an idiot, we’re bigger idiots! A nation full of idiot whiners. Sounds harsh, but that’s the picture I see when I read these stupid articles placing all this blame in one place. That’s just my opinion.

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ByeBye Vanagon

Well, today I sold the VW, and I am incredibly happy about it. I’ve been very fortunate in meeting Keith Cox here in Bellingham. He owns a VW/Audi dealership and he has allowed me to have free use of his shop to get the van ready to sell. He is truly a great guy. My check from Bob (New Orleans) should be coming on Wednesday, and then it will officially be his. I’m planning to purchase plane tickets to Palau, and put the rest into a 3 or 6 month CD so that I’ll be able to purchase transportation when I’m done with my travels. For the next couple of days, I’ll be waxing, cleaning, polishing, etc, getting the VW ready for Bob’s cross-country trip back to LA. I’m anxious for all the adventures that lie ahead. Alaska is bound to be an adventure, and I can’t see how a summer in Palau can be that bad, especially in good company.

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Back on the Road

I just picked the VW up yesterday afternoon at the VW dealer in Bellingham, WA. It seems like they did a great job replacing the head gasket and testing all the components. This is the only time in my life I’ve paid someone to work on my vehicle (Ouch!). But, it works again, and I didn’t get dirty. Keith Cox Autobahn in Bellingham is letting me use his shop to get the van sale-worthy, and then he is going to consign it and help sell it. His idea of it’s value is right in-line with mine, and his commission is very fair, so hopefully things will work out with it. Today I just couldn’t stand it, and I went to BestBuy to get a new laptop. It is a bad-boy machine. Here’s the specs: HP Pavilion DV1000 Special Edition, 100gb HD, 1gb DDR memory, WideScreen WXGA display (beautiful), remote control, DVD/CD writer, and, it will actually etch the surface of CDs after they’re burned. YeeHah. Once I get my old Olympus camera in the mail, I’ll be back in the swing of things. I made sure to set up all the bios passwords I could, so whoever steals this one won’t be able to use it! Friday the 28th I’m flying from Seattle to Cordova, and I’ll be busy working in the shop up until then. Last night I camped west of Bellingham near Mt. Baker. Tonight, I’m heading towards the coast just south of here.

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Today’s update

Well, here’s what’s happening today. I talked to the folks in Cordova, and they definately need me to come up to Alaska for a month to set up the instruments and to train people to run them. I purchased a ticket with Alaskan Airlines today that will take me from Seattle, WA to Cordova, AK on the 28th of April. From there I’ll work through the month of May, and fly to Palau to meet up with the boat. Hopefully I’ll have my replacement camera by the time I get to AK, and I can start posting some of my pics again.

We were all born with winning tickets — and cashing them in is a simple matter of altering our cadence as we walk through the world. – Rolf Potts

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Well, No Alaska for this boy. I made it official tonight, and emailed the people in Cordova. I’ll be flying to Palau with Laura around the middle of May to live on a 1968 53′ Wood sailboat. It will be for 2 months, with a potential to sail the boat to Thailand afterwards. The pups will be flying soon to live with Grandma and Grandpa in Wayne, ME for a while (THANKS MOM!!!). That will be the hardest part for me, shipping my pups off on an airline w/o me. But, they’ll have a wonderful place to stay and should be very happy. This came up so suddenly, and seemed too interesting to pass up. Why stop such a great vacation if I don’t have to? And, I’ve got the greatest support group of friends and family saying “GO!” I’ll be posting a picture of the sailboat soon, but need help since I can barely operate a macintosh. Stay tuned.

View from the mast

Today, by the way, turned out to be one of the best of my trip so far. Let me say first that I’ve learned to ride on the back of a motorcycle and give up all control. This is a major thing for me, and definately a positive feeling. We rode the Kawasaki to Hillsboro, and worked on Laura’s older ’75 CB550, to get it ready to sell. Once that was running, we headed into the hills on the west side of Portland and it was amazing! I’ve never seen such curvy roads, for such a long distance. I got so into the turns! The CB550 is similar to the bikes I’ve always ridden, and I was very quickly comfortable with it.

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Murphy Who?

Oh, that guy. The one who ate my cyclinder head gasket at the Canadian border! Well, now I’m in Blaine, WA, parked at the RiteAid. Hopefully I can stay here all night w/o problem. Since tomorrow is Easter, I’ll probably have to wait until Monday to order parts. Then, I need to find a place to fix it. What does this do to my schedule? I believe I’m in need of a new one. It’s unlikely that I can make it to Valdez in time to catch my ferry if I stay here and wait for parts. I’m thinking of possibilities:

1. If parts are available in Bellingham or Seattle, rent a car and go get them
2. Sell this thing to the first person that makes an offer, and buy another vehicle
3. Buy another vehicle and park this
4. Park this and catch a plane

Any ideas from the audience? I’m open to suggestions.

On the positive side, I’m very happy, there’s a rainbow overhead, and the small town I’m stranded in has a really neat looking harbor that I’m about to go explore! Things are good! Maybe I’ll even find some good eats.

Posted in B's Blog

Breaking Camp

So, I’ve had the most amazing past few days in Portland, OR with my new friend Laura, who I met at the most unexpected time in my journey. Isn’t it funny how things work out? This morning, after a coffee and a walk, I loaded the van back up and continued north. I should be crossing into Canada within the next couple of hours. I found Portland to be a very welcomed distraction, but now it’s time to boogey so I can make the ferry on the 24th.
Bryan & Laura - standing in the rain

A view from the Loft

It was so much easier to leave Portland than I expected it would be. Maybe I’m finally focused enough to know where I’m going, and that I really need this time in Alaska.
Once I cross the border I’ll likely be incommunicado until I reach Valdez on the 24th. For sure I won’t be using the cell phone in Canada due to huge roaming charges. The long, last stretch begins!
Artwork from the bridge -- The Fool

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Things that make travel Good

After nearly 7500 miles on the road, I’m discovering what it is that makes travel fun. Here’s my list so far;

1. All the wonderful views and photo ops
2. A hot meal at the end of the day
3. No schedules
4. Meeting new people, mostly with similar interests
5. The freedom to sleep in, stay up late, go to sleep early, or get up at sunrise
6. Cold beer at the end of the day (or the middle)

Here’s tonights Hot Meal:

Short Ribs cooking on an open fire

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Finally the ocean!

After ~150 miles of I-5 North the other day, through northern CA and southern OR, I had enough. In Green, OR I detoured on 42 across Coo’s Canyon, all the way to Coo’s Bay, and stayed the night at the Umpqua Lighthouse S.P. Yesterday I had a leisurely drive along US101, and camped out at Beverly Beach S.P., just north of Newport. Today I’ll try to make it up near Manzanita. The west coast is a wonderful place, very similar to the NorthEast. This would make a great destination for someone needing a weekend getaway. You can rent a really nice Yurt in these S.P.s for 29$/night, and you could schedule to hit one each night. So, what are you waiting for!!

Somewhere along the Oregon coast

Happy dogs!!!

Posted in B's Blog