Into Utah, I ride

Yesterday, after an awesome (and I mean A-W-E-S-O-M-E) four days riding Winter Park and Aspen with Keya, I took off for Utah. I got a little further than Price before, I pulled off at a rest stop for the night. Here’s how my Jeep looked in the morning.

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Cactus Consequences: Ojo Caliente, Sante Fe, and Albuquerque

Ojo Caliente


During our stop in Ojo Caliente, we headed up the road behind the hot springs and found some nice gnarly roads to bike on with Zag. We ended up by a neat mica mine. I had never seen mica grow that thick before. Zag also got a couple minor lessons about what cactus are and what he shouldn’t scratch his back with (he’s okay).

Santa Fe


In Santa Fe, I did a quick route up the Dale Ball loop to see if it would be something we would want to do the next day. It was a bit too gnarly so we moved on.

Albuquerque


Keya had the bright idea to head down to the river and do a bit of longboarding on the path in the evening light.

We then hit up the Elena Gallegos central loop the next morning. There were plenty of “cactus consequences” along this trail.
Photos by Keya and myself.

Highlights: Colorado Springs, Buena Vista, UFO Watchtower

Colorado Springs


Keya, Zag, and I headed down to Colorado Springs to visit my sister, Kristen. She took us on a hike in the Red Rock Canyon Open space. It’s a beautiful meandering set of loops that can be extended if your group is up for it. It looks like the open space would be a pretty fun place for beginner mountain bikers or climbers as well.

After the hike, we saw some flyers in the dirt near the Jeep for a place called Pub Dog that supposedly lets dogs hang out “inside” while you eat. Of course we had to go there! That kind of thing is rare. I think they got around the city rules stating dogs can’t be inside restaurants. Basically, they have the “main” restaurant area with no dogs allowed and the “indoor patio” area technically outside of the main restaurant where dogs are allowed. Both are indoors with full AC. Outside, there was more patio seating and a dog play area. They also had pretty dang good food for dogs and people as well as good beer! A+

Buena Vista

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After the hikes, we headed south toward Ojo Caliente. We stopped for dinner at House Rock Kitchen on the way. I have no pictures of the burger or place, but I assure you the burgers were spot on.

The UFO Watchtower


We ran out of light so we made the call to stop at the UFO Watchtower and camp. If you missed my previous post on it, the UFO Watchtower is one of my favorite places in Colorado and also has a camping area. We were there with a few other believers, but unfortunately we arrived past their bedtime. After some brief stargazing we crashed.
We couldn’t see much from the tower in the morning due to the low hanging smoke from various nearby forest fires so we packed up and headed out. Ojo Caliente, here we come!

Home sweet boat in Amsterdam

Several weeks ago, I was looking for a place for Jeff, Rick, and me to stay in. I jokingly suggested we stay in a houseboat, but in the end we decided against it thinking there just wouldn’t be enough space. Instead, I found a nice looking place for a reasonable price. They both took a look at it and gave it two thumbs up so I booked it.
Fast forward to this morning. As we neared the address, we realized it would be awfully close to a dock. Then it dawned on us. We booked a houseboat. And it is amazing. The thing is, the listing for it clearly stated that it was a houseboat, but we were all so tired we missed that part entirely. Quite the surprise.
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Anyway, now we have some pretty fantastic canal views, a super convenient location to work from, the fastest internet I’ve used in some time, and some gentle rocking of waves to lull us to sleep. Here’s to the happy accidents that make adventures even better!
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Down the west coast – part 2

Okay. It’s time to continue from where I left off in part 1 post Damascus, OR.

Cannon Beach to North Bend

I drove up from Damascus to Cannon beach to get some lunch and wander further down the coastal highway.


I ended up stopping and camping near the Oregon dunes. It was a bit rainy so I opted for sleeping inside by Jeep via my hammock.

North Bend to San Francisco

I got up pretty early the next day to hang out near the water and then continued my journey south. I ran through all kinds of bizarre weather on the coast all the way to SF. It was amazing.

San Francisco, CA

I stayed with a my good friend Hugo for a week or so in SF and he showed me around. I also got a chance to actually work at Automattic’s office. So much fun!

Yosemite National Park

After wandering around SF and Oakland for a few weeks, I headed to Yosemite. I had been wanting to check this park out for some time. It is a surreal place. I ended up staying at Camp 5 overnight and then hiking the Vernal and Nevada Falls trail the next day.

San Francisco to Big Sur to Ventura

I drove from Yosemite back to SF and continued down the coast through some of the most amazing scenery of my trip so far. I highly recommend this drive.

Ventura

Unfortunately, I took no photos here! It was amazing weather and so nice I just plain forgot! I spent a few days with my friends and coworkers, Erick, Chris, and Konstantin. Tacos. Great warm summer weather. Beer. I was so dang close to just staying there. <3

San Diego

I met up with some coworkers in San Diego. They are on another team and happened to be there at the perfect time. They had an extra room so I joined them for some fun weekend projects and the usual Automattic shenanigans.

Down the west coast – part one

Earlier this year I drove from Tofino on Vancouver Island all the way down the coast to San Diego. I took the coastal highways most of the way going back and forth between the 101 and the 1. I tried to stay as close to the coast as possible from Canon Beach all the way down. I only just now realized that I hadn’t posted a single thing about it. So here we go!

Vancouver and Squamish, BC

After my company meetup in Whistler, Stephane, Dean, and I made a quick stop near Squamish for a few photos of the crazy people who took the hard way to the meetup.
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Then, Stephane and I headed to Lighthouse Park in Vancouver to do a bit of wandering, climbing, and swimming.


 
After, we wandered back up north of Squamish where we found a great camp site for the night. We also ended up making damper (mostly) successfully for the first time!

Then it was time for Stephane to go our separate ways. He headed back all the way across Canada to Montreal to see his family and his pups.
After some hugs and tears, I went on to meet my friends and coworkers Sheri and Chris in Squamish. Sheri, Chris, Kelly (not there this time), and I tend to randomly hike or bike with each other all over the world. No planning involved. We ended up doing a short hike on the Chief. We hit a pretty good brewery after. Such a cool place!

Tofino, BC

After Squamish, I had a few days to kill so I headed up to Tofino. Check out my post on surfing in Tofino.

Bowen Island, BC

Post Tofino, I stayed with a good friend and coworker, Enej and his family on Bowen Island. Getting there from Tofino wasn’t the easiest and required two ferries. Both were filled with stunning scenery. When I got there, I was met with one heck of a surreal sunset.


I coworked with Enej the few days I was there out of his house, on a beach, and in some coffee shops. We even did some work with a few deer right next to us. We took time to hike around the island fairly often since there was such good weather.

Bowen Island is an inspiring place. I got a ton of work done along with a nifty side project Enej and I built out in a couple evenings.

Vancouver, BC

I didn’t spend too much time in Vancouver, but I did get to see two of my favorite people, Kirk and Joey. We worked out of a space called Hive (I think). After a couple days there, I head back to the US after about a month of wandering some amazing parts of Canada. ❤️
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Seattle, WA

I ended up staying with my family while I was there initially. We ended up going on a few hikes and visiting some of my favorite spots. We took the monorail to the EMP (rock and roll, scifi, and horror museum), Pike’s, and Fry’s (there’s no Fry’s in Denver, so it’s awesome to check out).




I also took the opportunity to work out of our Automattic Seattle office a couple of the days with Brooke and Beau. Both are awesome to work with.
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View from the Automattic Seattle office

Portland, OR

I headed down to Portland for a few days to wander around the city a bit with Meg and Carlos. I was too distracted by all the food and drink to take any photos. Shame on me. I did stop in at Powell’s book store and holy heck is that place massive. It could also use some serious wayfinding design improvements. It was extremely difficult to navigate.

Damascus, OR

I met a coworker of mine in Damascus. Derek and Heather graciously let me stay with them on their farm and meet the goats, the dog pack, and the flock of chickens. They even have a greenhouse filled with unbelievable carnivorous plants! It’s a fantastic place.

Whew!

Okay. Breaking this up into two parts. Here’s part 2!!!

The Trans-Canada Adventure kickoff

After months of preparation, Stephane Daury and I are heading out in our Jeeps across Canada. We have left Montreal and are heading all the way to Whistler via the TCAT (Trans-Canada Adventure Highway) and some of the main highways.
The TCAT is a trail mapped all the way from coast to coast across Canada designed for motorcyclist who want to travel off road. It normally takes weeks, so we’re only doing the more interesting segments of it.
We have no plans as to where we will be sleeping other than we know we’ll be camping the whole time if all goes well. If we are exhausted or need pampering, we may crash at a hotel for a night.
Stephane has built himself a custom rack for the back of his Jeep to carry our extra fuel, water, some wood, and a grill. I’ll elaborate more if I get to a good spot with wifi because it’s something that should be seen. It looks pretty dang nice.
I don’t have any data up here right now so I’ll probably be posting photos and updates in bursts if I come across a coffee shop or something. If not, I’ll write some recap posts. I will have normal access to SMS and phone calls where there is coverage, so feel free to text or call to send support.
We have our camping gear. We have plenty of supplies. We both have rigged up ways to sleep inside our Jeeps if we need to. Wish us luck and follow our progress on the trail!

Follow our adventure across Canada

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Stephane and I will be leaving on Wednesday on a trip that will take us on and off road all the way from Montreal, Quebec to Whistler, BC. I’ll be using the tracking feature of my Spot device to show where we are in real time (pretty cool). There are some limitations, but the gist is that you should be able to see where we are on this map. I have also added the link to my sidebar (if you can find it). I’m going to eventually figure out how to embed it, but this will do for now. The following link will take you to the map.
Follow our progress
Disclaimer: If I haven’t used it in awhile it will look broken, but hopefully isn’t. 🙂
UPDATE: Another one of my coworkers is also trekking up to Canada with a Spot device. You can follow Dean at spotdean.com.

Last Weekend: A fair adventure in Hudson, NY

When I left for Hudson, I didn’t really know what to expect. All the information I had on it was an address for my friends house. I didn’t know I was in for one heck of a great weekend.
Before I left Massachusetts, I headed into Boston to meet Mel and Kelly at the best lobster roll place in the city, Alive and Kicking. The lobster sandwich there is fantastic and I couldn’t bear to be that close to Boston and not stop there.

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They technically have the best “lobster sandwich,” but still, it was everything I want in a lobster roll.


After a casual lunch, I punched in the address in Hudson and let Google’s robotic voice guide me there. Once I left the city, the scenery just became more and more gorgeous. The road twisted through some mountains and led me past farms that are hundreds of years old and still standing strong. There were aging tractors of all types in the yards and barns that looked as if they should be on a post card. It was an amazing drive.
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Once I pulled into the neighborhood, I had a little trouble finding the house. Google’s directions led me to believe it was further down the street than it was. When I realized my mistake, I turned around and some Rick flagging me down in the middle of the field behind his house. After I pulled into the driveway, he explained that he had been combatting the huge amount of poison ivy that had overtaken the field over time. In other words, no shaking hands.
Sadly, I didn’t get any photos of their house, though I wish I had. In the short time they have been there, Ada and Rick have transformed the backyard by clearing out dead trees, mowing the grass, and gardening. They even had a hammock perfectly positioned under a big tree. The inside of the house was also being transformed, but even in its “construction” state, it still was good looking and remarkably cozy. Their plans to improve are pretty big and the next time I see it, I may not even recognize some of the rooms.
It turns out there was a fair happening not too far away, so we headed over for some evening shenanigans. We arrived to a sea of cars in the parking lot and, to my surprise, to a very large fair. There were all sorts of crazy rides, vendors, carnival food, award-wining animals, award-winning crops, and a pretty large crowd of people.
We got our tickets and headed in… to realize we needed to buy a different set of tickets. We wanted ride tickets! You can buy them in quantities of six or 22. Most of the rides are five tickets. It was at that point we realized that the entire thing was well designed to relieve us of our cash.
After getting 44 tickets, we got in line for the giant sky swing, Vertigo. Ada and Rick had no problem with it, but for some reason I felt it was swing maybe a bit too fast. That’s pretty unusual for me, but I think it had something to do with the vertical movement along with the spinning. Fifteen tickets down, 29 to go.
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We look at one called Chaos Klaus with was this huge swinging arm with a claw at the end where people ride it. The claw spins a bunch and the arm goes upside down to shake all the change loose from their pockets. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective) it looked like it decided to break down in front of us when we were looking at riding it. Pass.
We then headed for what we thought would be the main event as far as rides go: the ferris wheel. Again, it was five tickets per person, but also had a line that took us about 45 minutes to get through. Once we finally got on, we had some decent views, but got off the ride looking just as bored as the people we saw riding it earlier. Okay. So we made a mistake there. Another 15 tickets down with just 14 left.
We stopped to go eat some really terrible (in the good way) sandwiches. On the way, we saw these glowing LED shoes that several of the carnival workers were wearing. I asked where I could find them and the guy point in a vague direction. We spent the next half hour or so on the quest to find me these shoes of the future, though I think Rick was looking for his tractor of the future. On the way, we stumbled through several massive vendor tents and even into a pig race. After the race was over, we spotted more people with glowing shoes! We must be close! I asked them for directions and found out we weren’t far from victory. Rounding on more corner, I saw the tent with all sorts of glowing footwear! YESSS! I was probably the easiest sale they had all night and was in and out in five minutes. Time to find the next ride!
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This is a pig race. And it was highly entertaining.

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New kicks.

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We had just 14 tickets left. Well, what can we all ride for 14 tickets when pretty much everything costs five tickets per person? After wandering around a bit, we jokingly headed toward the big pirate ship swing that no carnival is complete without. As luck would have it, it was only three tickets per person. Perfect! We immediately hopped on. I got on one end, and they got on the other so were facing each other. It ended up being absolutely a blast. When I was up in the air, they got to watch me gleefully laugh and yell and when they were in the air, I got to do the same. It was by far the best ride of the night. Definitely give the pirate ship a try the next time you have the chance.
Before we headed out, we wandered over to check out the winning crops and animals. The crops had all been sitting out for some time so it was somewhat surreal to see a rotten pumpkin with a blue ribbon or a dead sunflower with a blue ribbon. The award-winning hay still looked pretty good, though!


The animal pens were absolutely a blast to wander through. The cows were, well, cows and doing their cow thing of eating and pooping. I wasn’t too interested in them, but they were on the way to the best section: GOATS! There were all sorts of goats with wild haircuts, different types of ears, and various postures. Some were doing their best to sleep. Others were causing terror and trying to eat anything they could including hammocks and the wooden railing.
On Sunday, we headed into town for breakfast. We went to a little coffee shop and ordered breakfast along with some pretty dang delicious sweet rolls. Afterward they showed me around town.
On the way back, we headed to The Fields at Omi, which is a large outdoor sculpture park. It was a fun place to wander around with some incredible artwork.

After stopping at a local farm to get a fresh chicken for dinner, we headed back to enjoy the evening. We had beer can chicken and a gigantic cucumber. It was way better than it looked and it looked pretty good.
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On Monday, after coworking in the morning, Rick and I headed into town where I had a lunch and a milkshake before I headed off.
I had a pretty great impromptu weekend. Thanks for the hospitality, Rick and Ada! I definitely want to stop by again.

Atlanta, Durham, Philly, and Little Compton

I’m a bit behind, but I wanted to get a quick post up on these places I visited two weeks ago while I was making my way up to Maine. It’s been a whirlwind. Here we go!

Atlanta, GA

I stayed with a good friend of mine in Atlanta and holy smokes was it a nice house. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of anything except for one meal. Sorry! Let’s just say I was preoccupied by the great food, atotes adorbs fish dog, a super goofy Seinfeld dog, tons of beautiful design objects, sweet swag, chicken and waffles with homemade bourbon pecan syrup, and coworking.
Matt took me to some great dining spots including a little restaurant called Bantam & Biddy. It had some pretty phenomenal chicken and waffles.
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Durham, NC

I met up with a friend of mine from Colorado, Dr. Montaño. He showed me all around Durham in the few days I was there. We had several great drinks, went for a hike to an old quarry that is now a great little lake. We met a very friendly guy from Serbia who swam over to us in his american flag speedo to chat a bit. It’s worth noting that everyone in town was going crazy with Pokemon Go. I finally tried it out a bit, but haven’t messed with it much since.


Bonus: we met Burt’s Bees.

Philly

I stopped in Philly for a night on the way up the coast. I stayed with Alx and his family. Alx is a friend and coworker of mine. Lula cooked us up an experimental tamale that was pretty dang good with green chile. We then hung out in their cool yard for a few hours before meeting up with another friend of ours, Tracy, at Tattooed Moms.
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Oh, and both Alx and Tracy trounced me at Pokemon Go when we were at Tattooed Moms.


 

Little Compton, RI

I was only here for one evening and morning, but that didn’t stop me from making some new friends and seeing some really amazing places during the visit. I went biking to the dock, had a wine tasting on the beach during the sunset, took maybe the best shower I’ve ever experienced (outdoors in perfect weather under the stars), had a lobster broil where I learned how to prepare a lobster, and witnessed a master amplifier maker in action using the remarkable amp he made. If you’re looking for a hand-made amp that is definitely one-of-a-kind with a super sweet sound, let me know. 😀

Upcoming: NYC and New Bedford

Let me know if you have any suggestions for places in either NYC or New Bedford that I absolutely need to go to. Thanks!