Sunday, April 15, 2007

From a post about the past, we turn to a post concerned with the future. (As you can see, I'm not particularly good with the present!) I've always wanted to drive cross-country, and am in the unique position of having the time, and a nominal reason (getting my car to Cleveland) to do it. So, beginning on Tuesday, I'll spend somewhere in the neighborhood of two months going from Denver to Los Angeles to Newcastle, ME. The first bit is going to be primarily camping out/hiking through Utah's National Parks, where as the last bit will be essentially a whirlwind tour through places I have friends. (I know, you thought you were my only one...) One of the advantages of this road trip is the flexibility---if I love a place, I'll stay a few extra days. My primary goal for this trip is to not get ahead of myself. Now, a VERY rough itinerary, and highly subject to change. Basically, a best guess.

Depart Edwards, CO through Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT
The five National Parks of Utah, roughly 3 weeks, me thinks. (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion, plus Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument)
Hoover Dam/Las Vegas
Death Valley
Los Angeles---for a bit, I'll definitely need some civilization at this point, plus I have family/friends there. This is also likely where my sis will meet up with me for a bit.
Joshua Tree
Grand Canyon
Mesa Verde/Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Flat, boring, nothingness
Custer State Park/Rushmore/Badlands, maybe a jaunt to Pine Ridge if I feel like getting depressed.
Acadia if I'm not passed out yet
Newcastle, ME. Nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake

So, there it is....I'm pretty excited, provided I don't get bitten by a rattlesnake in the first 24 hours. Incidentally, I'm hoping to write a decent amount of postcards---I got one from my Aunt Shell the other day and realized how nice it is to get something hand written. (Plus, what the hell else am I going to do??) So, if you want one, e-mail me your address.

Once I get to Maine I'll take a few weeks to relax, then I'm heading South. As in, I'm moving to Argentina, most likely Buenos Aires. This hasn't been fully fleshed out yet, but the basic plan is to stay down there until I can speak Spanish. Living in a foreign country is something I've really wanted to experience, and I am in the unique position of having essentially no commitments, making it an ideal time in my life to up and move to a foreign country. I really think having a fluency in Spanish in today's America is an invaluable skill--it also allows me to get back to an intellectual challenge. I think I'll take intensive language courses for the first few months until my Spanish is passable, then move somewhere and devote a few months to doing humanitarian work. (Something else I've been committed to doing at this highly flexible stage of my life)

Needless to say, most National Parks don't have WiFi, so my blog posting may fall off precipitously. When I do get a chance to post, I'll make sure to include a link to pictures as well.

A couple of travel-related quotes before I go, ranging from quasi-pretentious to geeky:

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
- Marcel Proust

"A good traveler has no fixed plan and is not intent on arriving."
- Lao Tzu

"The world is a book, ,and those who do not travel read only a page"
- Saint Augustine

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. "
T. S. Eliot (Oh Shaker Theatre, you follow me everywhere. And, resolve.)

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost"
- J. R. R. Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"


Deborah said...

A few other quotes for you..

"You don't get to choose how you're going to die. or when. You can only decide how you're going to live."

"We are the hero of our own story."

"It is not down in any map. True places never are".

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

and remember:

"A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it".

Have a great time Mattie. I hope I get to catch up with you. xox

Deborah said...

p.s. a jewish mother's quote...
"Carpe Diem...but be careful". xox