I’ve been two days not “in motion”- the phrase my good friend and true Gypsy Scholar GNA Garcia describes from a life style of roaming. And I underestimated the deceleration affect of returning home from a long trip.


After being gone from October 10, 2014 through Thursday for a fantastic stint supported by a fellowship at Thompson Rivers University. Uncharacteristically, with what seems to be my weak immune system, I was not sick once in that period. Yesterday- I felt that fatigue that comes with some cold/flu/virus crud.

Boxes are unpacked. Clothes strewn. I have trouble locating items in my own kitchen. Weeds remain unpicked. Taxes unfiled. A busted bathroom faucet un-repaired (at least I got the parts). Garden is but half turned. Heck I did not even post yesterdays photos. And the blog? Untouched for a week.

When when crossing Newton’s laws for a body in motion tending to stay in motion, I am forcing that momentum, I’m crossing.

I am decelerating.

Damn good to be home.

For my own sense of map fun, I charted it old school style, using a highlighter in an Atlas that stays in my truck, first marked with the 15,000 mile loop made in 2011.


That portion of northern Oregon / southern Washington has both coming and goings marked in. Around mid October 2014, I left home for what turned out to be an 8 day drive to get from Strawberry AZ to Kamloops BC, about 2000 miles. Ironically that is almost the road distance to drive across country to my home town of Baltimore, MD.

I did not track the miles getting home, it must be the same order of magnitude, which started in Victoria, BC on a rainy morning of March 14, 2015 (almost 4 years to the day I jettisoned from my role at NMC).

The route home was through Hawaii. No, Red Dog did not get pontoons, the truck stayed in Seattle while I flew to Oahu to keynote the TCC Online conference and work on my tan.

I got to visit with the one and only Amy Burvall (first time meet)

and have a lovely Roy’s dinner with Howard Rheingold and his wife.

From Seattle on March 23, I slid down I5, had a chance to meet Mike Caulfield for a beer and conversation. I was aiming for Portland, where, with some help from the interwebz and an old fashioned letter, I had dinner with a cousin I have not seen since maybe 1972 (this is a story unwritten in itself)

I stayed overnight at the home of Randy Thorton (who is one of a rare handful of people who have visited me in Strawberry), and got a real deal Portland breakfast at Helsers on Alberta; I enjoyed my first ever Scotch Egg. I headed down towards the Ocean, getting to Tillamook in time to do a video conference call from a pizza shop.

From there it was the unbeatable drive down US 101 on the Oregon Coast. I wanted a bit of rest, so I stayed in Yachats (note, the c is silent) on recommendation from Sandy Jensen Brown Jensen Brown Jensen. By the time I arrived at the Silver Surf Motel, the grey clouds peeled back for a clear sky sunset on the beach. This was the first of maybe 4 clear sunny days in a row in Oregon, for which I take all the credit (note that during that stretch it was snowing back in Kamloops).


As almost a perfect book-ends for the trip, I stayed overnight in Eugene with my friend Tim, who I also stayed with on the way up in October. Tim was maybe the first internet “friend” I visited in person maybe in 1994. Then, work was still underway on the old house he and his wife were fixing up, by March it was finished, and is quite glorious. The neighborhood name is “Friendly” and it is just that.

I met up with my ds106 colleague Rochelle “Rockylou” Lockeridge, who was visiting a friend too in Eugene, and we drove down the coast, cutting off off I5 at Grants Pass (that stretch north of the Klamaths is maybe the most palatable interstate highway drive) and headed down the coast to Eureka, CA where she grew up. We stayed in a nice house she had found in Trinidad, and got to see those little Redwoods and some dramatic coast views, and got to meet her family.

Most of my tweeted photos were “this does not suck”.

After dropping Rochelle off at the airport in Eureka, I took a scenic route in CA 299 following the Trinity River towards Redding, then veered around Mt Lassen (I hiked there in 1989, barely saw it this time, bad light angle). I lucked out finding some authentic Mexican food at La Cabaña in Redding, cruised down through Susanville.

I then picked up a friend via #ds106radio

It’s surprising given the water shortage in California that their trees are so full of fruit:

Hank played me trucker tunes and then a fleet of Arizona music all the way down US 395 through Reno, NV.

I pooped out and stayed at a nondescript Best Western in Fernley NV.

The next day brought maybe the most spectacular driving day ever across the mid point of Nevada in highways 95, 6, and 395. You get things like a lake full of water in the desert dwarfed by an 11,000 foot mountain capped in snow.

I worked on my spots made famous in Little Feat’s Willin’ with a lunch in Tonapah (I’ve stayed and visited Tucson and Tumcumcari, have just driving through Techachapi).

They bill highway 50 as the loneliest highway in America, but that’s a lie. On Highway 6, it was so lonely, I could just stop my truck on the highway and get out to take photos, sometimes laying down on the road

And how can one pass up a drive on the Extraterrestrial Highway?

With the obligatory visit to Little A’Le’Inn, making the most of their proximity to Area 51.

Of course I recognized the cafe from the movie Paul.

From there it was almost autopilot to St George Utah, the spot the trip home pinned around as a chance to visit with my fellow photo nut, ed tech enthusiast, and all around nice guy Carl Berger.

It was via out mutual flickr streams we calculated my last trip to visit was June 2010, on the tail of what would be my last NMC conference (then in Anaheim). At 79, Carl is as active, funny, as ever. I want to age like Carl.

We went out the next day on a tour of local scenery (a lot of dust in the area ruled out the views of Zion, which we did in 2010), but St George has all kinds of places to see, like Snow Canyon State Park. There was Carl, hiking with me up the petrified sand dunes, for the sweeping views.

I have some audio recorded from a ds106 radio broadcast we made (with all zero listeners) that needs its own post.

And the next day was home stretch, powered by sheer will and a lovely sandwich made by Carl’s wife’ Shari. The darn Garmin kept wanting me to take the wrong roads, no I do not want interstates, I want the lesser highways, so I had over rule twice to get the route I knew, up to Hurricane Utah, and then across the Arizona Strip through Fredonia, passing the entrance to the Grand Canyon North Rim (still closed for winter), dropping down along the Vermillion cliffs, with a lunch stop at Lee’s Ferry along a little creek.

From this point, the closest place you can drive across the Colorado River is across Hoover Dam, way on the other side of the state.

And here, it was pedal to the medal (that means 55 mph in a 55 mph zone, officer) to get to Strawberry by 5:30pm, April 3, 2015.

Damn good to be home.


For maybe 2 weeks.

“Rocket sled track”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rocket_sled_track.jpg#/media/File:Rocket_sled_track.jpg

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Good to hear about your Epic Journey! So sorry I missed Rocky Lou in Eugene, and you and denizens of the Friendly neighborhood. We loved Utah–dinos and pictoglyphs and rocks and space, air, sun, birds, flowers, no snakes, no bugs and not ever out of the 60s. Nine Mile Canyon, The Wedge, the Buckhorn Wash, The Prehistoric Museum in Price…

    Chill out now. How does that Han Shan poem go?
    Spirit asking Body, “How do you keep up?”

  2. I have loved following your trip, Alan. What a cool way to chronicle your road trip. I’ve really enjoyed your photos and tales of the road. My personal fav is the one where you are holding up the rock in the desert with your finger. Hilariousness! Big fan of the lesser highway. You captured some of my favorite points of the West, and I love me some Trinidad. Thanks for taking the time to share the road trip for those of us who were desk and screen bound. It was a nice way to see the view from your windshield.

      1. I haven’t, but now it’s on my list. I think I have an inner long-distance truck driver in me should this whole higher education gig blow up. Thanks for the rec:)

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