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?

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