journey journal, our travel tidbits…

journey number one – henderson, nv to fremont, ca to walnut creek, ca to spokane, wa to henderson, nv – approximately 2,501 miles and 39 hours sitting in the car driving – approximately 10 hours outside of car walking dogs for potty stops.

     clients:  two different clients.

     passengers:  (1) dog named – olivia, a chocolate lab. (5) cats named – bear, claude, and i don’t remember because they didn’t throw urine on me or barf.

     number of states driven through: (5) nevada, california, oregon, washington, idaho.

     number of nights slept in the car: (2) fremont, ca (denny’s parking lot) and pasco, wa (walmart parking lot).

     number of nights slept in a hotel: (2) spokane, wa (rodeway inn, our grade – d) and jerome, id (comfort inn suites, our grade – a+)

     highlights: mt. shasta, shasta lake, klamath falls, crater lake, twin falls, great basin

     low points: my middle of the night meltdown, pet odor in car, sweating in hotel room with broken a/c, backing into another car, loss of reception and road construction in great basin, google leading me astray, and losing a contract due to reception

journey number two – henderson, nv to south lake tahoe, ca to puyallup, wa to gig harbor, wa to laurel, mt to bozeman, mt to idaho falls, id to murray, ut to cedar city, ut to henderson, nv – approximately 3,024 miles and 47 hours sitting in the car driving – approximately 12 hours outside of car walking dogs for potty stops.

     clients: one client.

     passengers: (1) dog named – asia, a pit bull terrier.

     number of states driven through: (9) nevada, california, oregon, washington, idaho, montana, wyoming, utah, arizona.

     number of nights slept in the car: (3) south lake tahoe, ca (raley’s grocery parking lot), ellensburg, wa (flying j/pilot truck stop parking lot), nephi, ut (pump and park truck stop parking lot).

     number of nights slept in a hotel: (5) fife, wa (motel 6, our grade – b+), bremerton, wa (super 8, our grade – a-), bozeman, mt (super 8, our grade – a), idaho falls, id (quality inn suites, our grade – a-), murray, ut (baymont inn suites, our grade – F).

     highlights: lake tahoe, klamath national forest, gig harbor, bremerton naval yards, puget sound, tacoma narrows bridge, lake couer d’alene, whitefish, red lodge, yellowstone animal sanctuary, bozeman, yellowstone national park, idaho falls, hell’s half acre lava field, cedar city, yuba state park, the virgin valley.

     low points: seeing beautiful forests on fire and animals fleeing their home, crying as i drove through portland and vancouver, being stiffed $100, being 2 hours late for brunch and for repeating the past, getting sick, hurting my back, being hospitalized, being terrorized by behemoth spiders, seeing someone that i care about do hardcore drugs in front of me and cutting them out of my life, salt lake city at night, the baymont inn suites in murray, getting another speeding ticket, losing my phone in the sand dunes of yuba state park (but finding after two hours of wandering), being so sleep starved that i knew nothing when i woke up in the back seat of my car in nephi, falling asleep in the virgin valley and waking up with multiple very deep burns on my abdomen and flank.

journey number three – henderson, nv to vallejo, ca to wendover, ut to sidney, ne to fort wayne, in to albany, ny to niagara falls, ny to erie, pa to columbus, oh to st. louis, mo to weatherford, ok – approximately 5,147 miles and 77 hours sitting in the car driving – approximately 19.5 hours outside of car walking dogs for potty stops.

     clients: one client.

     passengers: (1) dog named – lex, a white german shepherd. (2) cats named – l.o.g. and bofurd.

     number of states driven through: (15) nevada, california, utah, wyoming, colorado, nebraska, iowa, illinois, indiana, ohio, pennsylvania, new york, missouri, kansas, oklahoma.

     number of nights slept in the car: (1) st. louis, mo (love’s truck stop parking lot).

     number of nights slept in a hotel: (9) vallejo, ca (motel 6, our grade c), wendover, ut (super 8, our grade b), sidney, ne (america’s best value inn, our grade c-), fort wayne, in (motel 6, our grade d), fort wayne, in (motel 6, our grade b-), albany, ny (red roof inn, our grade a+), niagara falls, ny (motel 6, our grade a), erie, pa (comfort inn suites, our grade b+), columbus, oh (magnuson grand, our grade b+).

     highlights: seeing golden gate bridge lit up at night, revisiting donner pass in the winter, the great salt flats, driving over the mississippi river, chicago lit up at night, tuffy’s automotive in fort wayne, the people of fort wayne, cleveland old architecture, beautiful rest stops in ohio and pennsylvania, seeing the waves and beaches of the sea that is lake erie, the lighthouse on the lake, the beauty of upstate new york and being in jamestown home of lucille ball, the tiny little hidden towns and villages between albany and buffalo, little italy in niagara, niagara falls, the cave of the winds, seeing the maid of the mist, the tiny little hidden towns and villages in the pennsylvania countryside, fried cheese curds at sheetz, seeing where my dad was born in columbus, seeing an old time drive through dairy store like from when i was a kid, the gateway arch lit up at night, driving over the “stan span” (the stan musial veteran’s memorial bridge) lit up at night, having a white castle adventure at 0300 with buggs, touring the price building designed and built by frank lloyd wright with my friend e**c, and making candles at the keepsake candle company with my friend l***a and her son d***n.

     low points: my square card reader not working to accept payment from client, my phone crapping out on me, being stalked and attacked by bofurd continually, not being able to get bofurd back in his carrier for two hours in utah, starting to nod off while driving, having to pull over and take cat naps, my alternator crapping out in fort wayne, saying something to j**s without thinking that was selfish, having to give lex back to his owners, having my funds be frozen by my bank because i had used my debit card in so many states in just a few days, waking up in the car freezing in st. louis, getting sick to my stomach after drinking 6 – 20 ounce black coffees to stay awake from missouri to oklahoma, and accidentally getting onto the turnpike without any cash or checks in oklahoma.


our second journey, part two…

…well, after taking tons of photos and walking buggs to each big rock, so that he could pee on it…we got back on the road. what was left of the day, became night and once again, i was driving in the dark (which now seems to be a recurring theme in my new driving “career.” it seems like each of the scariest, curvy roads through mountains and passes appears at night.).

the temperature in the air was dropping and it was precipitating…sometimes it was rain and sometimes it was snow and sometimes it was freezing rain. well, i really love my “new to me” car…she’s really bad-ass. one of the features that i did not know that she had until she suddenly “told” me…when it became thirty-one degrees outside. i was driving and all of the sudden the word,”icy” appeared in big red letters on my console…how cool!

we arrived in hawthorne, ca to get gas and walk. i pulled around to park to get buggs out to walk and happened to catch a good glimpse at my surroundings. i had the makings of a miraculous photographic moment. in my side mirror, i could see the gasoline pumps behind me and in front of me, i could see the tesla electric fueling station. i got a pretty awesome photo that i called dual fuel, gas and electric. it was pretty cool to see.

the city of south lake tahoe was beautifully illuminated and very quiet as we pulled into the parking lot of a supermarket at about 0100. we parked by some trees and walked. i noticed that i really wasn’t feeling too good and my lower back was hurting. we got back into the car and prepared to “go to bed.” buggs of course drifted right off, was quite comfortable, and snoring like a buzz saw.

i was awake, very awake. i could not sleep. my phone was nearly dead and so were both my tablet and ipad. j**s would not be up for another three hours, so i just sat there and “wrote” in my mind. the last time i remember looking at the clock in my car, it was about 0530. i had set the alarm for 0600 and sure enough, it sounded after giving me about thirty minutes to rest my eyes. oh god…i was tired and my eyes were tiny little slits.

we got up and did our walk, stopped at mcdonald’s for sausage burritos, and made our way to pick up our passenger, asia. k****e, asia’s mom was a total flake through the entire experience. she gave me the wrong address to pick asia up at. she asked me to transport a really big box full of her crap that would not fit into her moving truck. and, she gave me the wrong address to drop asia off at. but, she promised me $100 more…

of our time in south lake tahoe, i only got two photos…the ones that i took as i was waking up. as we were driving through a pass in the carson city, nv area, i stopped and took photos of the forested valley below. my passengers were not too thrilled with me, as it was not a safe location to get them both out of the car and do a potty walk. also, asia was carsick. her mommy must have let her eat a lot of grass that morning..,

we arrived in actual carson city around noon and i needed a coffee. i was really tired. i happened to see a starbuck’s and i texted j**s to find out what kind of coffee it is that i like there…i can never seem to remember. it is the hazelnut soy latte. so, i got my delicious, expensive, designer coffee and slurped it right on down. it might have last a whole of seven minutes, if that. anyway, i was caffeinated and good to go for a few hours.

until tomorrow..,.





photos of our second journey…set two…goldfield, nv to hawthorne, ca to south lake tahoe, ca to carson city, nv…

police station and joshua trees – goldfield, nv – september 2017
pallet pile – goldfield, nv – september 2017
old goldfield high school – goldfield, nv – september 2017
as day becomes night – goldfield, nv – september 2017
serenity now – goldfield, nv – september 2017
dual fuel station…gas and electric – hawthorne, ca – september 2017
waking up in the car in south lake tahoe – south lake tahoe, ca – september 2017
good morning – south lake tahoe, ca – september 2017
sun rays in the forested valley – carson city, nv – september 2017
forest – carson city, nv – september 2017
all apologies – carson city, nv – september 2017
old age – carson city, nv – september 2017
whoopsie! – carson city, nv – september 2017
asia – carson city, nv – september 2017
count buggula – carson city, nv – september 2017

our second journey, part one…

after returning from our first journey, it took me a good long while to return to functional homeostasis. i have a sleep disorder, so, usually i sleep when i can (when it’s “proper sleep time.”) and i sleep best when using my c-pap (but even then, i am usually up and down all night.).

my main problem for a week or so, was waking up in a cold sweat, thinking that i forgot to pick-up someone’s pet. my first night/morning it took me two hours to figure out who i was and where i was. this has happened a handful of times in the last year and always when i am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. i am absolutely terrified when this happens and i know that it scares buggs, too.

i knew that i had another journey approaching quickly. i did not feel good and i was altogether anxious. i talked to some friends that didn’t think that i should cancel, because i had given my word, and that i should treat the trip as a “vacation.” they thought that i should “go home,” see my dogs, and visit with friends.

j**s and i discussed it and thought that i should cancel, because i just was not myself. so, i cancelled the contract and talked to the client. at the time, she was very “nice and understanding.” i told her that i would give her a list of drivers to contact and i gave her twenty-five names and numbers.

halfway through the day, she began texting and calling me in a panic, saying that she could not get a response from any other driver. so, i gave her a list of twenty-five more drivers. at almost midnight, she called and offered me $100 more. looking back now, i don’t think that she called anyone. i think that she played me and i felt bad and gulity and “took the bait.”

at the time, i had to wear a heart monitor for ten days. and i am sure that it registered all kinds of stressful things. i had not done laundry or packed, filled my pill box, shopped for toiletries, water, snacks, or dog food. oh…and i had no cash. i had to borrow $170 from richard, to embark on that fantastical, magical, never-ending journey.

i ran around like a chicken with my head cut off for most of the day trying to do chores, errands, and pack to leave. it was nearly 1600 when buggs and i made our very hasty departure. i opened up my wayz app and she began navigating us from henderson, nv to south lake tahoe, ca. (i broke up with google after our last journey and the great basin debacle.).

i was bleary eyed, exhausted, and just didn’t feel good. i was worried about buggs getting away from me. i was worried that he might get dog flu (he’s vaccinated for it now.). i was worried about what would happen if i got “sleep sick” and didn’t know who i was or where i was. i did not feel good and i lacked all of my fierceness and confidence.

before we left, i ran into circle k to grab some sour patch kids. i felt myself beginning to fade maybe an hour before the amargosa valley. i reached over and grabbed what i thought were the sour patch kids. i opened the package and put one in my mouth. i was unexpectedly disgusting…not sour, not sweet, kind of flavorless, and filled with very unpleasant liquid. i was very dissatisfied.

we stopped at the amargosa valley rest area, so that i could get that taste out of my mouth and so that i could walk. my body felt stiff and tight, but i tried not to think about it and pressed on. we stayed at the rest area for quite awhile, as it was a “virtual treasure trove” of photos everywhere just waiting to be taken. i took lots and lots of photos…

…until tomorrow…


photos of our second journey, set one…amargosa valley, nv to goldfield, nv…

this journey was supposed to be henderson, nv to south lake tahoe, ca to puyallup, wa to henderson, nv.

our second journey was way crazier and more overall fulfilling than our first journey.

we went places. we saw and did things. we met interesting and fascinating people. saw old friends and loved ones.

we experienced both the absolute best and worst of humanity. i cut an addict out of my life for good, “love and light.”

i was stiffed $100, late to brunch, sleep sick, sick again in mt, hospitalized, unable to move…

…with three bulging discs, faced with behemoth spiders, blatant drug use, actual “roid rage,” pulled over again…

…given a break on a speeding ticket, charged twice for a hotel, checked into a filthy room, caught an “et” on film…

…woke up not knowing who or where i was, got burnt badly through my clothes in the virgin valley, lost my cell phone…

…in the sand dunes at yuba state park, put my last $1.65 in the gas tank in overton, nv and “kramered” it back…

…to henderson, nv with the gas tank on empty and the car’s “computer” telling me that we were going to run out of gas.

but, fuck…buggs and i did all of that along with j**s, our co-co-pilot. we had a fantastic voyage and look forward to many more!!

will begin actual stories tomorrow.

the end of the story of our journey back from trip one…

buggs and i left la grande, or. we were using google and google took us on little two lane highways and lots of road construction. it was getting dark. we were in idaho. we were both exhausted and just covered in “road dirt.” j**s talked us into making a reservation for a hotel.

it seemed like they were working on all of the roads in idaho. we crawled through boise at forty-five miles per hour on the freeway. suddenly it was pitch black and four lanes became one with an abrupt edge on either side. there were orange pylons down the middle of our lane and the oncoming traffic’s lane.

everyone was using their bright lights and i just couldn’t see. i noticed that the gas gauge said thirty miles worth of gas left. i was just trying to make it to twin falls, which was forty-five miles away. i saw a rest stop and stopped. we walked around and formulated a plan.

we got back on the road and exited to get gas. we stopped at a tiny town outside of jerome. it was a really strange town that made me feel uneasy. we had been driving with the windows down and they still were down. something hit my forehead and pinged off. i looked around and realized that there big, weird looking bugs flying around everywhere.

and, oh god, they were going into the car, too. buggs absolutely hates bugs!! they freak him out. i hurried to get into the car and frantically waved a magazine around trying to extricate the bug from the car. i saw one up close and realized what it was…a may fly. yuck!! i felt eyes on me. i stopped and looked around and people were staring at me…in the gas station, from the bar, and as they walked across the street.

i felt creeped out and we sped off. i was able to pull over to the side of the road and use priceline to get a room at the comfort inn suites, in jerome. we headed toward jerome and i felt something inside of my shorts buzzing around. i had an idea of what it was…a may fly, but i didn’t want to upset buggs…so, i tried to push it out of my mind.

we arrived. i got out and checked in. i went to get buggs out and the may fly flew out of shorts. it landed on the back of his neck and freaked him the fuck out. he tried repeatedly to get it, but just couldn’t reach it. i got him settled down and extricated the thing from him. we hurried into our plush room.

i will say that the staff and people that i met in jerome, id were wonderful!! the comfort in suites were fantastic!! our room was clean and cozy and luxurious. buggs and i snuggled all night long.

we checked out and decided to drive over to twin falls to see if we could see anything. oh my gosh the sights that we saw!! the snake river…the valley…the bridge…the falls…the rock formations…the tesla car charging station. this was also where i found my “lucky ticket.”

twin falls had the friendliest worker working the drive through window at mcdonald’s and the very best cheeseburgers with the perfect ratio of ketchup to pickles to onions. i loved twin falls. i would live there!!

it was this last leg of the journey that tried my patience the most and caused me to forever and always part ways with google navigation. “she” lead me straight into road construction, in the middle of the great basin, where there is absolutely no signal whatsoever…and delays of two hours or more.

i will say that the state of nevada has the absolute worst rest stops that i’ve ever been to. they are unlit and all have pit toilets and are absolutely filthy. the roads are also of poor quality. gas stations are few and far between, so, pay close attention to your gas gauge. nevada just sucks all the way around!!

after all of that road construction, we arrived back at the apartment after 2200. only r*****d was up and he wanted to chew me out for having a messy room. such a nice and kind welcome…it made me feel really comfortable and happy to be back.


the last photos from our journey back from trip one…