Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm still with Aunt Mary Lou, waiting here to see if a ticket to New Zealand will miraculously materialize. If so, I'm crossing that ocean! If not, I'm backpacking sequoia national park, we'll see what fate has in store for this old boy.

Never before have I felt so connected with my family as on this trip. I actually miss people back home! A phenomenon that never occurred at the Big Red pain in the ass. And I'm getting to actually know my Aunt and cousins on a personal basis, where we understand each other as more than just relatives...as...friends? I'm going to try to make it down to visit my Uncle Harry and his family in Tuscon before coming back to Ithaca. My cousin Micheal is a handful to euphamize excessively, but it'll still be fun. I like putting him in his place when he needs it.

Every night I've been here, Mary Lou and I have had amazing talks, about everything from spirituality to food to psychology and of course family. And she talks about my Dad Jeff. I'm so glad, and it means so much to me. I've not heard nearly enough about him, it was always a topic that was a little bit weird in my family for some reason. I think because my Dad Dave always thought he was being compared with Jeff, and really, how can you compete with the dead husband and father? No one talks bad about the dead. But even if they did, I don't think anyone would ever have talked bad about Jeff. Mary Lou says he was calm and grounding, he didn't even need to say anything and you just felt better being around him. She loved him, and so do I, and being here is so good, I soak up every word.

I feel like I'm growing in a very similar way to Jeff, following his path three decades later, and I want to be like him. Best of all is that Mary Lou keeps saying how I am just like him :) Not only because I look like him (if you've ever seen the picture of me inset with the picture of him you know what I mean) but because I act like him, and calm her manic-depressive craziness. She's been manic the whole time I've been here, but stable. And being compared with my father is the greatest compliment I've ever received. Thanks Mary Lou.

I can't really know for sure that I'm like him, I take people's word for it. But I still have this sense of who he was, even though I only have a handful of memories, like riding on his shoulders and he had to duck to make it under a doorway with me. And riding a little red wagon, steering with the bar, and something about fruit cocktail. No matter, I found some of his books growing up and got to read those, and I love sci-fi and the sorts of stuff he did *cough, green, cough*. It's all good :)

I'm eating amazing food and sleeping in a great bed, she has a little basement room that I would love to hole up in and write for a decade, but I need to finish my trip before I go Vonnegut on everyone. I can't wait to get a little space and write until I have carpal tunnel. Ithaca's going to be great this summer! Until then, I'll keep blogging.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Haight 'n' Clayton

Actually San Francisco's been loving me lately. Not in that famous San Francisco way per se. More in a sleeping in the sun with hippies all day kind of way.

The road trip down from Olympia was great. We stopped in Arcata, my second time, stayed in Humboldt State for a night. Met up with some people that Luke, Ben and Henri knew. Meanwhile, I found some people I knew from my last stop, groups joined, we left the next day.

Made it to San Francisco, stayed on Sasha's floor on the corner of Haight st. and Clayton st. . . . appropriate.

Next few days we spent cruising around Haight Ashbury meeting hippies we knew from all over the west coast. I found four people from evergreen that I knew, all chilling on hippie hill in golden gate park. I also got to know a few travelers really well and stayed with them after Ben Luke and Henri left for LA, then San Diego, then South Carolina, NY, Colorado, etc. Dead Tour. Best of luck guys!

I went to a Bob Weir show at the Fillmore, it was sweet. Then I crashed with Layla and Turtle, and Driftwood and Sunshine.

Oh I just need to mention Captain and Mama Cat. First night I was in SF, an old hippie with long graying dreads, a beard and aviators asked me if I had 73 cents. I was walking with Sasha and the group to his apartment to sleep, and the guy was standing right on the corner of the Haight and Clayton, leaning on the Clayton st. sign. I didn't think I had any money left (Except for a lucky 50 cent piece Rob gave me about a month ago, which I'm not spending. As long as I have my lucky 50 cent piece I'm never broke) So I just said "sorry man" and kept moving, Ben gave him the rest of the butt he was smoking and the guy thanked him and said we'd meet up tomorrow. I didn't think much more of it until the next day, I always feel bad not giving people change who ask though.

Next day, Ben Henri and I are sitting at a table outside an overpriced greek food place right on the corner by Golden Gate Park. I didn't buy anything, as I only had change, and I don't much go for restaurants unless I'm buying food for someone else too. But as I was sitting at the table I counted out my change (excluding the 50 cent piece) and with all my pennies nickles dimes and a quarter, I had exactly 73 cents. I remembered the night before, I hadn't opened my change pouch since then, and felt really bad for not giving him the 73 cents and I was just blown away by the "coincidence". I sat there for a while, made sure to point it out to Ben and Henri and just said "I wonder why that guy asked me for 73 cents." They weren't as excited about it as me, but that's ok.

We went back into the park and took a little trip around the world under the sun, seeing the arboretum blending from Australian Eucalyptus Forest to American Coastal Redwoods. Eventually making our way back to Hippie Hill. It's easy to find, just walk into the park from the entrance by Haight and Stanyon and go under the bridge, keep straight for about 3 minutes and after you've been offered buds by about 4 different people the hill should be on your right.

Anyway, on the hill I saw that same guy sitting with a group of other people in the sun. So I thought about it for a second and then crab walk scrambled over to him and said. "You asked me for change last night, how much did you ask me for?". At first he shrugged and so I smiled invitingly, he said "73 cents." Laughing I said "You got it right!" and I gave him the stack of coins and everybody in the circle started laughing and clapping. The woman he was with introduced herself as Mama Cat, behind the greenest eyes I've ever seen. She was ecstatic that I had the change. Not for the change's sake, but because of the meaning. We met and it was all love, all meant to be. Then I rolled over backwards down the hill and a bunch of other people started rolling racing with me. Turns out they'd just been talking about how someone should roll down the hill right before I got there.

His name was Captain, and they both have bumped into me everywhere I've gone in this city since, and I doubt this city will be the end of it.

Mama Cat is a healer, and reads minds. Enlightenment, get ready, Captain will bring cookies.

Yesterday Turtle and Layla left, with another guy named Turtle, so I had no one left to stay with for a moment, then my Uncle Harry called, as soon as I plugged in my phone. He called my Aunt Mary Lou, who lives here in San Fran, she picked me up down by the park, and I got to meet up with her for the first time in years, and shower for the first time in even longer.

She cooked an awesome Mac 'n Cheese dinner, we talked for a few hours, and I set it up to meet my cousin Mark for the first time for breakfast the next morning (today).

I went to breakfast with Mark and his partner Ric, at Savor on 24th. It was delicious! They're awesome guys and know the city really well, so they drove me around a little bit and we talked about so much stuff. We ended up at the twin peaks overlooking the whole city, the ocean, Alcatraz and Berkley, stunning...

Then I slept with Mary Lou's cats for the rest of the day, ate soup, watched some shark week on the Animal Planet boob tube plug in zone out static brain not think listen pictures move make feeling like you have ideas really just sit think nothing sit watch listen obey the moving talking box look box look it tells look look flashes of buy buy buy.

Disconnected from Comcast, I decided to plug back in, mercy me, to update you poor lost souls as to the merry wanderings of the voyager named Clayton. It's been great! Sorry it's been so long all.

Love you

Friday, March 20, 2009


On cobblestones
I hobbled home
Having found no place to go

Underfoot passing rocks
Clarifying realization knocks
Reaffirmation back into my muddled head

Wandering without goal
Essential to know
Is that seeking drive keeps you from whole

Long Stop Worth It

So I'm finally leaving Evergreen tomorrow.

I found a ride down to San Francisco with some guys, Luke and Ben, and Henri, a girl. Maybe someone else too. Details are forthcoming.

This will be a sweet trip, we're camping down the coast again! Humboldt and the redwoods part deux.
We're planning on stopping in Arcata for a little while, and selling T-shirts out of the back of the car.
We're throwing tie-die parties to make shirts along the way.

I'm only staying with them until SF, but these guys are following the Grateful Dead touring around the country. They're going south, then to S Carolina, then back to Colorodo.

Anyway, sorry for the short update but this computer is dying.

Wish us luck, we're leaving tomorrow after celebrating the equinox all night tonight : )

Happy Spring Everybody!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Evergreen, then white, then sunny, then wet

I'm using the same computer only its a few days in the future. How much have you all changed with the many many experiences you've had since last we met?

Unfortunate (Fortunate?) to say I still feel just about the same. No monumental revelations, just very content. Which is always nice.

I've met many many students here. The Evergreen State College is unbelievably cool and I kind of want to stay here and just not leave ;) But I'm catching a ride back down to Cali with people leaving for spring break on Tuesday. I definitely want to come back though. They do grad work in environmental studies that is really interesting.

This was an interesting time to visit, the quarter is over so everybody was stressing to finish stuff and then running around celebrating being done. So naturally I've been helping everybody to celebrate and enjoying all the extra dining meals people need to use up before the end of the quarter :)

The woods are beautiful here, but I can't upload pictures until I get back, I sent home my camera cord with my laptop. Sorry. Heres a douglas fir made out of pixels <---
and some more douglas firs.
There are many many trees all around. Basically you cant be more than 50 feet away from a large tree anywhere you go here. It's awesome.

They also have a beach where we have fires. Oh! and Tree Houses. There's a three story tree house I'm going to find today.

I'll let you know more when I do.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Standing, Blogging, Tired

Hellooo all, I made it to Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

This school is big! And right in the middle of the woods. This morning it snowed. That was cold.

On my way here I met one of the greatest families that I know, the turtle family. Guy and Ashley are about my age and they have a little 4 month old baby named Lotus. I stayed with them for the weekend, getting to know them and playing with the baby, she is so friendly and cute and full of life :) I know I'll be staying in touch with them for a long time.

We saw a bit of Woodbury, and then Ashley's Grandpa gave me a ride up to Olympia with his wife Helen. He's a WWII Vet that flew cargo planes in Burma and over the Himalayan Mountains. He's a great guy and it was about an hour drive he made with me. He told me about publishing and he gave me a copy of his memoir. I read the first couple hundred pages already. I want to have it finished before I see him again on my way back down the coast.

Well, now I'm checking out this college, it is really cool, other than the cold. And the courses seem really specialized for ecological system work. The campus is mostly gardens and preserved patches of the surrounding woods. You can tell this place was built in a rain forest. All of the buildings are concrete and made of super-waterproof stuff. Hopefully I won't get caught out in the elements while I'm here.

I'm off to wander, be well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Alec's Houses


That was a little bit of a wandering homeless ordeal, but I finally found the illustrious elusive Mr. Eason :)

We never did meet up the day before yesterday. I waited at the OSU library until around 10pm then packed it across the city to his mom's house that I looked up on google. I slept in some cedar trees behind his house. A gang of birds woke me up around 6 yesterday and I went in for breakfast a little while later. I've managed to stay with Alec more or less since then.

I'm at his Dad's house now, having gone for a hike and run today, then soaking in the hot tub out back. This was a very good stop :)

Tomorrow I'm going up I-5 to visit the Evergreen Inst. in Washington. Wish me warmth.

Well, the computer's dying, that's my cue.

Much love all!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lost and Found

So I finally got in touch with Alec!

Turns out he'd lost his cell phone and I got lucky calling him at his dad's house. Unfortunately, when I called him I was doing my laundry and couldn't go over right away. In the meantime, he got picked up and went to his mom's house, but he told me he'd meet me today at Oregon State University and pick me up to go hiking around 11 . . . . It's 2 now.

So I went into the library to do internet stuff. Unfortunately, I can't access my email on these computers, but I can blog.

I've called Alec's mom's house a couple times, no one has answered, I'm not worried though, at least I know he's around here. Maybe I'll walk.

Another man lives with Dunbar, I spoke with him last night for a long time.
This was the result:

The man without a name cried two tattoos.
He fought the desires that he couldn't choose.
Wide eyes shone his spark of life.
Transcending the implanted strife.
And that knowing smile of his.
Tiredly conceded, this is the way we live.
But his life is his.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oregon State

So now I'm in a library, I've been in lots of libraries lately.

Corvallis is a really nice city, everything's going really well, and it's only been raining one day since I've been here. Today there's a beautiful blue sky and sun. Everything seems pretty fine except I STILL CAN'T FIND ALEC.

I found a listing for a Dr. with Alec's last name in the phone book, so I called him and left a message yesterday, I hope he knows him. I think I'm going to give him a couple more days before I head back south.

When I finally leave I'm going to go to the Sacramento area, then San Francisco bay.

In the meanwhile, I met a woman named Denise here in the Corvallis public library. We got to talking and she showed me a couple places I could go to get food if I need it and a place to sleep, which was so sweet of her. I have all my packing gear so I'm ok if I'm on my own for the night, but I still really appreciated how much she wanted to help me out. She's living in a shelter here when she can, but they don't let her stay if it's over 40 degrees out that night.

I ended up talking with Denise for about 6 hours day before yesterday, and it turns out she's wanted to write a biography about her life. What are the odds I said, that we would meet in a library, me wanting to write, her wanting to be written about, and to top it all off, I almost forgot my big writing pads so she reminded me, before I had even met her. Her life is fantastical, and the stories are very real. I'm looking foreward to this. I can't quite draft a whole book on public computers, so I'm going to establish an outline by hand and take quotes.

Yesterday however, Denise never showed up at the library, so I read a book, wrote a bit and finally went to a big sunday church dinner. Denise eventually showed up and I left the table I had set my things at to eat with her.

After dinner, an old man, 6' 5" tall, with a long white beard hair came up to me, he had the sort of hair you could tell hadn't been cut in over a decade and an eye that was a little bit crooked. He had been at the table I'd left to eat with Denise, and in a friendly way asked if he had scared me off. We got to talking, and he showed me a board/card game he had developed in the 70's called the glass plate game. The game is easily the most thought provoking I have ever seen. Basically, it guides a conversation to various topics (city as artifact, joy, symbolic handles, death etc.) and maps how the topics relate to one another as they are discussed. You need to play it to really get it, but there's no winner or loser, just disussion.

I ended up going to Border's to play this game with him for a while, Dunbar is his name. He has lived an extraordinary life, he is a 75 years old gay man that lived in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Fransisco through the sixties to the mid seventies. He talks quietly because he cant hear how loud he is, but it's well worth the extra attention to listen. Ultimately, he let me stay in a spare room he has in an apartment right next to campus here. We ended up talking until 3 in the morning last night, and now here I am, a couple blocks away, Dunbar is somewhere in the Library too. I think we're going to watch Zeitgeist and discuss it today, as well as making a deck of the glass plate cards on his printing press. You've never met a more youthful 75 year old.

My buddy Dunbar.