Thursday, June 28, 2007

almost home......kind of

so krauter's sleeping on the floor. we're sitting here watching team USA against Argentina in the America's Cup of Soccer from a comfortable couch in Salt Lake City, Utah. It's been a long trip so far. Everyone's at least a little tired. Lots and lots of driving...late nights....early mornings....little bit of everything. It's been almost a week since we've even had internet and, in turn, had a chance to update this little blog. Since last post......we've been to Big Sur, San Francisco, Reno, a random campground in Nevada, and now in Salt Lake City. Here's a little run-down:

LA: we went to the beach again in LA, "El Porto" @ Manhattan Beach. Buncha people, buncha waves, buncha sun, real good time. Pego and I mixed it up with the locals and played a rousing game of beach volleyball that ended in defeat... With a bitter taste in our mouths we headed back to headquarters and had a great mexican dinner before getting some sleep and shipping out toward Big Sur.

Big Sur: Pacific Coast Highway 1 is gorgeous, and a lot easier to drive on the inside as opposed to the cliff side. Driving through Malibu, stopping on the pier in Santa Barbara, and cranking the tunes on switchbacks near San Luis Obispo highlighted out trip up the coast. Big Sur was awesome. HUUUUGE redwood trees everywhere you looked. There were actually people around too and the campsite had a bar. We only stayed one night and just sat around the fire til we fell asleep. Rather uneventful, but gorgeous as gorgeous can be. We woke up early the next day and went down to the beach, hundreds of feet down the cliff from the campsite. This beach really captured what the central coast had to offer, huge waves crashing on huge rocks. Check out the pictures on facebook, they're truly amazing. We stopped at the Monterey museum a little bit further north from here, which was quite cool. Some more cool pictures, also on facebook.

San Francisco: So the guy we were supposed to stay with in San Fran turned out to be unreachable, and we had to settle on a place called the "Olympic Hotel." Well....think of the worst place you've ever stayed was worse. Shared bathrooms with the floor, one twin bed, and overall scariness. However, not in a bad part of Frisco. We walked a few miles up and down hills to the Wharf and spent most of the night taking in the scene. We ate at a little seaside grill and drank a few coronas, overall not a bad night. On the way back we hit up a few bars, including a place with foosball, and another place that had a buffalo sabres and buffalo bills jersey on the wall!! Turns out it was the headquarters of the San Francisco Buffalo Bills Backers Club. Pretty cool. We then went to a piano bar and got laughed at by the piano player for apparently not being cool enough. San Francisco was cool, but we had to get outta there and outta that hotel. Straight to wine country!!! Napa Valley was cool. We did a wine tour for $25 and got a free tasting out of it too. Then we paid more for some more tasting. Gorgeous country. Gorgeous wine. We had a real nice dinner in wine country at a place called Mustard's Grill. More wine. Quail, Lamb, Ribs. Great Dinner. Movin on....

Reno: We stopped in Reno because it made sense, right on the way back East, and it split up the trip a little more than we expected. The hotel we stayed at (Circus Circus) was huuuuge and also very nice, for not a lot of money. It had a casino inside and all the works. We had a night on the town and then got back to our nice, double bedded room. Out at 9am, onto Nevada.

Nevada: So this place was called the Ruby Mountains. We were waiting for a sequel to "The Hills Have Eyes." 80 miles off the beaten path, literally the middle of nowhere. Surprisingly, we were met by smiling faces and a few unexpected fellow camers also. Nothing to noteworthy, just a gorgeous "lake" that was more like a marsh that was in the middle of the mountains in Nevada. Really really really pretty country, includings herds of cows that wouldn't budge from the road. Another night around the campfire and another early morning out of there.

So we're recharging in Salt Lake at a really nice place right now, courtesy of my uncle's parents. It's like staying in a five star hotel. If we can rouse Krauter awake (it's only 7:30), we're gonna go check out the nightlife, maybe Park City. Tomorrow we go to Mt. Rushmore and the next night Milwaukee. Then it's a Cleveland Indians game and home. Here's a buncha videos, including our now infamous intros. ENJOY. miss yall. VIDEOS::::

Dallas Intro, a little late

Grand Canyon Intro, also late

Santa Fe Intro

So Cal Intro

Big Sur Intro

Nevada Intro

Colin Surfing, Only cuz he was the only one filmed well

Cows in Nevada

Krauter sleeping in the canyon

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ah, ha, ha, ha Stayin' Alive

So Dallas was cool. Colin got drunk. Had a good meal. Otherwise uneventful. However, from there, uneventful is the last word that should be used. On the way from Dallas to Albuquerque, NM, sharpie-written signs were exchanged between our car and the car of girls next to us. Numbers were exchanged and we met them in Santa Fe for a nice dinner and a little revelry. One of the girls was a 5th grade art teacher. Funny to see that there are people out there as random as us. This made for a later night than expected before the Grand Canyon, but it was totally worth it.

Grand Canyon: We got to the canyon around 11. After talking to a ranger at the backcountry office, we realized we may be starting our hike a little too late into the scorching hot day. Nothing we couldn't handle though, right? Well...after driving eight miles along the canyon to the Hermit's Rest Trailhead, we waited about an hour before beginning our now legendary trek, now positioning the sun directly overhead on the second longest day of the year. Descending 2,000 vertical feet in the first 2 miles of trail, we were well into the canyon by the time we got to the Santa Maria Spring, the only water stop on the entire trail until the bottom. With 5 miles of trail (and another 3,000 vertical feet down) to go to the bottom until we reached our camp, we needed to fill up all the water we could. We pushed on and then came the scary stuff. Our little buddy Krauter began losin his edge shortly up the trail, and soon showed signs of heat exhaustion/dehydration/overhydration/altitude sickness, one of the four. With about 3 miles to go on the trail, his body began to revolt against him. Pego had to take his pack for the remainder of the journey and Colin had to make sure he didn't fall over the edge. Hours later, after trying to control the staggering Krauter, we believed we had reached our camp, only to find no water there. After three mini panic attacks, we found that we had to continue on the path to the flowing water of Hermit Creek. Putting Krauter to sleep, Pego and Colin got advice from two seasoned veterans (the only other two living souls for miles) at camp. After a night of sleep under the stars in the middle of nowhere plus a million bites from fire ants, we woke up at 530am to make it out the next day, it was our only option. We had to get out of this hole and get our friend to safety. The shade made a 100% difference, as we were able to make it to within 2 miles of the trailhead in about 6 hours (very good time). After resting for about 4 hours at the Spring in the shade, we made our final ascent. Walking up to what seemed like an impossible monolith to climb for the final leg, we all had to dig deep to get to the top, where salvation awaited. After about 500 breaks between there and the top, we finally made it and were able to say that we made it out of the Grand Canyon alive (if barely in some cases). After showering at the public facilities and rearranging our dissheveled car, we pushed on toward our next destination, sunny LA.

LA: We got into LA around 10am after a grueling overnight drive. The traffic near the city was ridiculous but the light at the end of the tunnel was sweet, and we all got to nap once we got to Aunt Nancy's house in Westchester, just outside of Los Angeles. Now the real vacation could start. After recharging, we went to the beach and surfed. What a blast. After a great homecooked meal and a little more recharging, we went to the 3rd St. Promenade at Santa Monica to check out the nightlife and street performers. It's now day 2 at Los Angeles and we are about to head back to the beach again, probably to Venice Beach at some point and then who knows at night. Big Sur tomorrow. Some pictures, videos below:

Dinner with the girls in Santa Fe

Heading down the trail

Monday, June 18, 2007


So after a brief stop in Cleveland, we finally made it into Bonnaroo around 8am Thursday morning. Forecast: hot as balls.

Reporting from a motel room in Dallas, TX, here's our views of the four day long hippie fest.

Pego: was totally hot as hell. I've never gotten thrashed by the sun for longer periods of time than I did at this festival. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. The music was unbelievable and everyone was always in a good mood. The fact that we only had pbj's and hotdogs for four days made no difference. We were up with the sun and dancing the night away. I give the experience an A+ and I can't wait to go back next year. Dallas should be fun. we'll see.

Krautsauce: It dawned on me that we hit the mason-dixie line that you stop at a gas station and the first thing you see when you walk in the door are cowboy hats and die cast metal models of semis. Once you get passed that and your only source of showering is baby wipes we had a kick ass time. Bonnaroo was ridiculous, and hippies were creeping out of corners but always cordial. Dallas has a lot to stack up to. We'll see...

Colin: First and foremost, the music.
Sam Roberts, Wolfmother, the Police, and the White Stripes all KILLED it. Gogol Bordello was also ridiculous. Naked people everywhere....100 degree heat...and loud music...what a party. Too hot to even drink most of the time, was a mostly sober occasion. And if you don't know what a silent disco is, do some research and help me get one to Buffalo. Now, about starting the celebration for my 21st birthday tomorrow......helloooo Dallas!

Have all the other pictures on facebook. Here's some links to some rockin videos:






Krauter and Pego dancing with Elvis

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shipping off

So you've probably heard about "the trip." Krauter, pego, and I have been talkin about it for months. This mobile blog is to let family and friends know whats goin on on this crazy little road trip of ours. We'll be posting videos and pictures every chance we get. It's Tuesday morning, june 13th, car's packed and ready to go. this post doesnt mean much i guess since nothing's happened yet, but had to start somewhere. As a guide to where we'll be at certain times to anyone who cares, here's a mini itinerary:
6/13-6/17 Bonnaroo - Manchester, TN
6/18 Dallas, TX
6/19 Albuquerque, NM
6/20 Grand Canyon, AZ
6/21-6/22 Los Angeles, CA
6/23-6/24 Big Sur, CA
6/25-6/26 San Francisco, CA
6/27 Ruby Mountains, NV
6/28 Salt Lake City, UT
6/29 Mt. Rushmore, SD
6/30 Milwaukee, WI
7/1 Cleveland, OH

Stay tuned for more updates. (Probably not until after bonnaroo)