Archive for September, 2014

Crossing USA: Kansas & New York City

“Kansas? Really? …But why? What’s there?”

Alright, Kansas was a mistake. We could have picked New Orleans or Denver, but we picked Kansas because it was dead smack in the middle of the US. We figured we’d want to see the natural beauty in the west and just skip the east, and Kansas seemed to be the midway point.
Little did we know, all things interesting, including any form of topography, ends where DenverĀ begins. Literally. If you take a map of the US, you’ll see the mountains end abruptly and the lands turn into fields of corn and boredom as far as the eye can see. And into those fields we rode, zig zagging between road works and sunsets, for two long states, until we had to stop for gas which was about 6 times. Damn SUVs and their sub-optimal aerodynamics.


Crossing USA: Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands

At the time of writing, I am sitting in a sardine can-like airplane, beside the cutest redhead who is actively trying to look disinterested. I couldn’t blame her, I reek of sweat and overtime underwear.
Laundry and showers are one of the many luxuries we had to leave behind when we started this trip, alongside any means of electronic communication. Most of the campsites we’ve been to were pretty bare-bones, without running water or electricity. Luckily, they were nothing compared to a week in Black Rock Desert so we’re well-equipped.


Crossing USA: Yosemite & Death Valley

America is built on machine scale.
Humans are merely passengers, riding along in immense cars. No one in their right minds would cover any distance on foot, because everything is so incredibly far apart. Except for maybe in the city centers, going out to buy socks would take a whole day.
Things become easier by car. Lanes are wide, regulations are… scarce, and there is much room for human error. Queue the images of my friend standing still on the wrong lane.

So by car we travel, and somehow, things that seem far away in a place like Belgium, are now within reach. With no real hiccups to speak of, we waltz from park to park, drinking in more of the enormity on which the US was built. In my daydreams, I get to do this kind of thing for the rest of my life, I know every corner of every national park, every animal within, and every visitor’s name.
In reality, we have about 2 days at every location, just enough to see the most visited sites before we scurry off to the next place. We stink and our clothes are dirty, and the battery of my laptop never makes it above 15%. Which is why I haven’t been writing a lot. (more…)

Crossing USA: Burning Man

So how are you enjoying your first time?
-I… don’t know. I’ll get back to you when it begins to compute.

On paper, Burning Man is a cultural festival at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, where participation is essential and most of the hundreds of little events organized throughout the week are done by those who pay to attend. At the end of the festival, a large wooden installation with a statue of a man on top, is burned to the ground.

On paper, an ocean is a body of water. I hope you get my point. (more…)