Monday, August 24, 2009

Dr. D's Travelogue: Part I - Westward Expansion

Much love to the APT Crew for their Portland farewell back a couple weeks ago. Good times, great food, and the best of friends! Really, I'm so lucky. Just look at these fools:

So Dr. D is now residing in Dillon, Colorado, acting as Rocky Mountain corespondent for the APT Snow & Ski Report this winter - sorry W2, but I'm going to make you mad with envy - but more specifically stretching his legs after a few challenging years in the teaching game. Love the kids, love to learn, question the system, detest the grind. Taking a step back. We'll see where the road leads...

Anyway, the journey out here was the longest road trip I've ever embarked upon, and solo to boot. So many hours, so many tunes - including a sweet download of Phish's recent Red Rocks show, two thumbs up - and even a seven-hour audio book rendition of Outliers, an intriguing new piece of non-fiction social analysis from Malcolm Gladwell. Check it for tips on how to be successful. Note: He says nothing about quitting your job and moving to Colorado!

Dr. D took the 1991 Volvo, equipped with a full load and failing brakes for a stopover in Rhode Island, where he hung out with his wonderful family and proceeded to sell the car, buy a 2002 Subaru Legacy, and then reload for what proved to be a much more comfortable (and safe) ride. Volvo, you will be missed!

Props to the Delaware Water Gap for a nice break to hike Mt. Tammany and take a break from driving en route to western Pennsylvania. I never knew New Jersey could be so beautiful. Sorry Adam for doubting your state!

And props to the Hajduk family for their generous hospitality in Venus, Pennsylvania, some great meals - homemade BBQ wings from Mama Hajduk, just the way Dr. D likes 'em - and even a sweet rural bike ride with Papa Hajduk the next morning. We ran into this family, who were not too impressed with our cycling outfits, or our flashy colors:

After Pennsylvania, the trip, continuing along I-80, took me through Ohio all the way to northern Indiana. Dr. D definitely recommends the stopover at Indiana Dunes State Park, where one can hike Mt. Baldy, a giant sand drift mountain on the lake, or walk beautiful beaches like this one:

Watch out for drunken locals with back tattoos fighting to avenge the honor of their girlfriends. Or was it W2 battling Roomie in a theatrical film shooting? I didn't get close enough.

Dr. D can't send enough love to Iowa. What a place. My first stop was the WORLD'S LARGEST TRUCKSTOP. Don't be overwhelmed. There's really only one thing of significance there: They have the BEST selection of spirit animal t-shirts I have ever seen. Remember the "Three Wolf Moon" t-shirt? Dudes can get whatever they want here. Spirit whales, spirit wolves, spirit owls, or even a shirt for your special lady depicting a peaceful Pocahontas weaving a basket by a fire.

Next stop was the Iowa State Fair. Wow! Thanks to my tour guide, Briget Ganske, another great hostess in my travels, who helped keep it real. Fried Oreos, salad on a stick, outhouse racing, and even my favorite, the smoked turkey leg:

Be careful. Because if you get a better leg than the person behind you in line, fighting is common. I had to bust out some APT-style Jedi moves to save my leg, literally:

I won, kept my turkey leg, and was rewarded with a delicious (while at the same time grotesque) bite of a fried Oreo:

Twelve hours later, beyond the bustling Des Moines scene, I finally arrived at my new home here in Colorado.

And while I'm fighting off a cold, still getting settled, and currently jobless, all is well. The weather has been beautiful for hiking, and for whatever reason this is Colorado's high season for concerts. Caught The Avett Brothers in Denver the other day, then The Flaming Lips last night at Red Rocks. Tomorrow Lyrics Born will be holding it down in Breckenridge. Word.

Best wishes to the APT Crew! You're all in my thoughts, and featured in art form on my fridge! Talk soon.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great tales from the road. Great pics. Glad you're having a good time.
Luke

Anonymous said...

Gregory, you will always have my heart. Who am I going to see Avatar with now??????

King Roomie Rock said...

Another APT member livin the life...

Thanks for the update...keep it comin'...

W2 said...

Hell yes! We are glad you arrived safely and look forward to more tales of the absurd. Maine is gonna get like 700ft of snow this season, so you just better watch yourself.

All love!