Monday, May 31, 2010

Pictures and a Bear Story

It has been brought to my attention that the privacy settings on Facebook haven't allowed for everyone to view my photos. I believe I fixed the problem now and anyone should be able to see my photos from the trip.

Album 1
Album 2

If not, please let me know and I'll work on the settings. Either way, once I get a chance to really sit down (most likely after the trip) I'll upload all the photos and video directly to my website to download. I'll also geotag the real cool ones so you can see exactly where we were (it takes way too much time to upload them when you only have 15-30 minutes of internet every few days).

To keep to blogging I'll say a brief few words (it is now 1am West Coast time where I'm in Portland, Oregon now and I need to get to bed because we have a long day in the city tomorrow!). This trip already has been quite an amazing journey. We've just about crossed the 5,000 mile mark on how far we've traveled. We already slept under the stars in the desert-like landscape of the Badlands, scaled numerous mountains, camped in snowfall, heard wolves howl and coyotes yelp in the distance, seen numerous wildlife numbering aplenty and of those nearly extinct, journeyed to the tops of skyscrapers in Chicago and Seattle, eating delicious cuisine both at the campfire and at mom & pops across the country. On this trip alone I've already camped more than I have ever done before in my life put together.

I haven't found myself able to sleep in the car at all because I've been too excited to see what is around the next bend; afraid that I might miss something. There are similarities across America in the way we live our lives, but there are also subtle differences in design. The green neighborhoods of Portland are vastly different than the sprawling suburbs of Chicago compared to the shanty town in the Indian Reservation we journeyed through-- all of which is in the same country we call home. Often there are McDonalds, Wal-Marts, Safeways, Home Depots, Starbucks, and countless other stores cookie-cut across the landscape-- I was rather startled to see a Safeway layout exactly the same as the one down the street from my house 2,300 miles away in Canada.

There are also differences in how communities find their identity and values and how they want to be known. From tourist destinations such as Wall Drug Store in South Dakota to a rusting 1927 Model-T with a fake skeleton in it parked on the shoulder in a backwoods community in Washington State. This is only a hint of what we've seen.

We're only two weeks into the journey now, and have around 25 days to go. I'm excited to see what else we're going to learn!


So far the most interesting story was that we were stalked most likely by a Grizzly Bear in Glacier Park. After going on a 6+ hike up the mountain to Glacier Lake, we noticed huge fresh bear prints over our foot prints that had been following us for at least a mile (you can see the bear prints on the left, I guess grizzly judging by their huge size; bigger than our biggest shoe prints).

Highly nervous by finding this out, we started to hurry down the mountain path only to come face-to-face with another bear:

This is what ensued:
*Note: "Everyone" is supposed to be able to see the videos but apparently Facebook doesn't publicly publish them unless you have an account?

Friday, May 21, 2010


We're just outside Yellowstone National Park in a public library at Cody, Wyoming. You can already smell a hint of sulfur in the air.

Unfortunately time has been drastically short in terms of being able to connect to the internet on the trip. I've been able to continue uploading pictures to facebook, but haven't had the time to fill in details or geotag the photos on Panoramio.

We're going to be juggling where we are in the next couple of days, but we'll be hitting up Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park (U.S.), Glacier National Park (Canada), Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quick Update!

We're just west of Madison, Wisconsin today! We've now gone through Charleston, West Virginia; Frankfort, Kentucky; Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana; Bloomington, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois within the last two days.

Now we're in a straight stretch for Badlands National Park in South Dakota!

Can't talk long because we have to get on the road, but you can check out the latest pictures on Facebook here:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Fit is Go!

Despite the late night rain, we're in high spirits to begin our grand cross-country journey early tomorrow morning! Honda's slogan, "The Fit is Go," is holding true as all of our stuff has been fit in the Fit.

Here Matt and Graham are proud of their packing accomplishment.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Graduation, Wise County Project and Roadtrip

I am now officially an alum of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. After four years of devoted work as an organizer and student, I've somehow managed to graduate Cum Laude.

Also after three years of video work, and one month of intensive video editing, I finished the Wise County Project. You can view the 40-minute documentary at

On Monday four of us will be embarking on a nearly 40-day, 10,000 mile long road trip across the country. As shown with the map in my last post, we'll be making a large counter-clockwise circle across the country. We intend to blog regularly and also hopefully utilize a really cool way to show where we've been with GPS enabled photos.

You can see the geotagged photos I've already uploaded, such as those from graduation, here. I hope to have a similar map on the main page of the website but I'm having some issues making it only show my photos.

Stay tuned!