waked and baked on the island of the House of the Rising Sun (Haleakala)

4:00 a.m. and all's well... I'm back on Maui after a few weeks on the Mainland.  I move to Istanbul in one week.  I'm in that zen space of embracing the future and anticipation of embracing the next stop on my magic bus. I'm in this weird 'move to a new country every 2 years' mode and you know what, I'm pretty cool with it.  I now have additions to my family of me; Master Sami Bey and Shaika Spot.  The felines will make the moving process a bit trickier as I've never traveled, let alone moved to a different country, with pets before.

I'm Upcountry right now and the sky is awash with this agitated hue of blackness that bruises so beautifully upon my psyche right now.  I think about rain.  I want to run amok in the rain.  (oh look at this site I found while spell-checking 'amuck', which is actually 'amok').


I was recently flying from Portland to San Francisco and I was uncharacteristically looking out the window; I tend to never sit at the shitty window seats because I need the extra leg space that the shitty aisle seat offers. Such great satisfaction watching the world go by from 30,000 feet up. We flew right over the southern Oregon and northern California fires.  Strangely beautiful in an unsettling way wold be how I would describe the experience.  The force of nature is so strong and we humans always feel we want to conquer this; this something.  

I should have been flexing my eyeballs watching the world go by from Medford to Iron Mountain, Michigan as well, but that plan didn't materialize so Plan B was put into action and my brother and I drove.  We managed to do it in about 48 hours I believe.  Not that I was much help... The sugar-free Rockstar worked for me the first day... I diluted it with a lot of water and took over the wheel somewhere in Idaho in a narrow canyon on US 20; past Boise, near Mountain Home if I remember correctly.  Curt was sawing logs so there I was alone in my thoughts with the night sky cruising past Craters of the Moon and Atomic City (wow, what a unique history of "Atomic City" folks(see link below)).

Just a quickie back-line into this story:  We were supposed to fly his 2-seater experimental airplane he built.  Unfortunately there were too many forest fires burning in the southern Oregon region that we never had a 3-mile radius of visibility necessary to take-off.

But Plan B was pretty cool as well.  I fondled quite a few sage bushes out near eastern Oregon off of 395 before it meets up with US 20.  Curt was doing reconnaissance on some tiny, old airstrip so I got busy with my spiritual requirements and procured some sage for me.  I was thinking about Istanbul, of course and smoking the sic shit outta my new pad there with the stuff upon arrival. Sage kept wafting throughout the rest of the journey back east, as well as at our family home up in the U.P. Everybody was happy. 

I had many thoughts while driving through Klamath Falls.  I never went there much, but there is something about the area that just resonated with me.  I like the wildness of the earth there.

At West Yellowstone we turned north and headed up to Big Sky.  Awesome territory.  We pulled out off the road somewhere and slept for about 2 hours late in the night.  My leg of this part of the journey was from 7pm to 1 am.  Curt took over then for a few hours before pulling over. 

It was around 5:30 am when we took off again.  Big Sky was just waking up. We pulled into a gas station to fill up.  I filled up my eyes with all the interesting tchotchke inside (so that's how you spell that word). (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tchotchke)

We drove out and just enjoyed the crisp, fresh air. Soon enough we came upon patches of snow.  Apparently it had snowed a bit the previous day.  We were hoping to see some local wildlife but alas...

Speaking of wildlife, the entire trip was spent with butt gripping seat because your eyes have to do double duty (scanning horizon for deer all the while driving, or co-piloting). My eyes were getting all spun out... which brings me back to an earlier thought that I didn't finish writing out...

So, back to the sugar-free Rockstar.  The first application went smooth enough.  Nit a hitch.  I drove my lame 6-hour stint without a hitch.  A coyote did run out in front of the car, and owls were eerily swooping down and nearly dive-bombing the front of the car near and around Atomic City in the eerie midnight hour.  I'd like to think they were trying to impart some information to me about the secret events of Atomic City residents back then...

The second application of my now-trusted sugar-free Rockstar energy drink didn't go down so well in history, or my lower intestines to be more exact... Curt put in another 10-hour segment. We were traveling on 94 through Billings; Custer (Yes! of the famous 'Custer's Last Stand '); Miles City; Bismark, North Dakota; and finally to Fargo.  Here in Fargo it was PISSING RAIN.  It was dropping from the sky so violently that it was thrilling- unless it was your turn to drive...

I mixed up my concoction and set off.  It was like an acid trip.  Let me explain; torrential downpour, thunder, lightning, road construction fluorescent-colored barrels all the way down for miles and miles and miles in the right-hand land of the 2-lane sometimes divided highway.  There was so much florescence reflected onto the road it was like a carnival. What should have been good-trippy was bad-trippy and I had to get off that trip.  The Rockstar made me drowsy for some reason so it was just double shit.  I could hardly find the exit to get off the highway and have Curt take over.

I did recover a bit later and drove a 4-hour stint (yea, I know I'm still a lame driving partner). We opted to bypass Duluth (smart move) and head into Minneapolis and catch some rest at a rest stop.  It was still raining hard as we kept up the same trajectory with the storm moving eastward. We took 35 to 8 to 2 into Iron Mountain and ended our journey in our mother's driveway- unannounced.

She had no idea we were coming. She thought we were the roofers coming to check out her roof!

Well folks, I hate to leave you all hanging now but I've waked and baked and it is 5:30 am now and I must catch some more beauty rest.



Atomic City:


Custer's Last Stand:


Miles City: