United States of America · 24 Days · 63 Moments · September 2015

Alastair Keith

Road Trip 2015!

24 September 2015

And 3,227.5 miles later I am home! I had an amazing time! Thanks to all of my friends for their hospitality!
On my way back home to CO!
Had a wonderful time visiting friends in SLC! Can't wait to come back in January!

19 September 2015

The house I grew up in!
Welcome to Nevada!

17 September 2015

John Muir National Historic Site! Really excited to visit John Muir's Home, where he wrote his articles that influenced the establishment of Yosemite, the National Park Service, and other National Parks and his masterpieces that have influenced conservation and preservation of our Natural world for 100 years.

16 September 2015

This is a street name?!
Crab and the sea! Oh, and Alcatraz too!
Walked 4 miles to the wharf and back today. What a wonderful way to see SF! I suggest taking a hilly street at least one way. I took Leavenworth, and it went up up up, down down down.

15 September 2015

While wandering through China Town I happened upon what I thought was the same tea shop where I tasted tea with some of my coworkers on our day off three years ago. But it turned out to be the same company. (See last photo) I had a great time tasting tea today and talking to Zoe, the Chinese girl who was serving me. Ended up with some really delicious "Royal Puerh", a smooth earthy tea. Vital Leaf Tea 3 locations: 509, 905, & 1044 Grant Avenue, San Francisco
This afternoon I toured the cable car museum with Rianne from Holland. It was very interesting, well worth seeing, and Free! It was very loud inside and the displays were fairly repetitive, but overall something I would suggest visiting.
Daniel Burnham Court Garage - operated by Douglas Parking (douglasparking.com) 24 hours for $25, 12 hours for $20, in after 5pm & and out by 8am $10.
So...two days ago I arrived in San Francisco in the evening. I was exhausted after driving Hwy 1. On the 14th I had to move my car from the street by 6:00am for street cleaning. So, I woke up early and went to find a parking spot. I thought it would take about 30min. I was SO wrong! Silly mountain girl! I ended up driving around for 4 hours, almost running out of gas in the process, looking for a spot in the street where I could legally park. I ended up returning to a parking garage within 4 blocks of my friend's Apartment. It is $25 for 24 hours, but totally worth it! What an ordeal! No wonder people don't have cars here... I then spent the afternoon grocery shopping a finding GAPS foods. Luckily Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are within 5 blocks of here. : ) In the evening We watched a film documenting the police shooting of Oscar Grant III in a SF BART station in 2009. Not my choice, but thought provoking nonetheless.

13 September 2015

Glass Pebble Beach, Fort Bragg
Golden Gate Bridge!
In my old stomping grounds. Well at least for that one summer in 2012...
Happy Cows! Organic Valley Milk
Manicured trees
It might be overcast and really smoky (there is ash falling everywhere from the fire to the East) but it is gorgeous!

12 September 2015

After an hour I finally made it to the coast. Beautiful!
And it begins! Looking forward to this winding road! Driving Highway 1 to San Francisco today.
This is one OLD tree!
This redwood and I are the same age. It's so little!
Driving the Avenue of the Giants to highway 1

11 September 2015

Oh! In Stout Grove I came upon a tree that is 2,500 years old! Respect! And it took me 32 steps to walk around the tree! 60+ feet! Wow!
Redwoods! Made the best decision today and spent the afternoon wandering Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. It has been probably 18 or 19 years since I last experience the grandeur of these magnificent giants. I was in awe. As I entered the grove a passerby even stated, "do you know what wonder looks like?" I said, "what?", and he replied, "that". I smiled. I WAS wondering at what my eyes beheld. Really wondering. I spent the next two hours or so...actually I lost track...wandering the trails, spinning in circles, and staring at the sky, which was made up of the tree tops that were so far above me I had to imagine where the ended and the sky began. Ah! It was amazing! I took some panoramic pictures to show just how tall they really were. And because of course there was NO way to fit even 1/10 of a tree in the frame. Crazy! A few people stopped to ask what I was doing, & I showed them the resulting pictures. They were quite interested, & wished they could do the same.
Meditating on Giants I eventually found my way to trail that was less trodden. I wandered 1/2 mile, passing a couple guys that mentioned how incredible the energy of the big trees was, before I came upon a trio of magnificent redwoods. It was perfect. I swung my backpack to the forest floor and sat cross legged in the middle of the trees. Proceeding to meditate, I eventually found an extremely profound, deep, and what I could only describe as heavy, place for my mind to rest. I felt deeply grounded into the earth by the redwoods' roots, connected by their interconnected roots, and lengthened by their unfathomable stature. I came to the present moment with a heavy sensation in my soul. So peaceful.
Lunch on the pier. The crisp, frigid ocean breeze was a refreshing addition. Sea lions barked on the adjacent pier and the fog rolled in, making for the perfect coastal experience.

10 September 2015

Dinner...well deserved. It's been a long day!
Gettin' amongst the redwoods. Check out the size of that tree! This is my campsite, how awesome!
The Pacific!
Made it to the 101! Not to be mistaken with Hwy 1.
Driving through wine country
Sunrise behind Mt. Scott
Left my campsite by 5:45 this morning. Took me 30 min to get packed up. What a great feeling to be exploring this area in the wee hours. Headed to see the sunrise and do a hike to the tallest point in the park mt. Scott.

9 September 2015

Crater Lake, walking the rim at sunset.
Smoke from the controlled burn. Doesn't affect these incredible views!
Crater Lake!!! Amazing!!! It's SO BLUE!
Crater Lake National Park

8 September 2015

Lucky Lake

7 September 2015

Lucky Lake for the afternoon with Marcus, Ashley, and Lamont.

6 September 2015

Homemade bike rack. This morning, Margaret and I put the 1-inch electrical conduit on my roof rack using U-bolts. I attached the bike rack to the conduit and was good to go. This will be great for the rest of my trip!
Soma Kombucha Speakeasy! What a fun and relaxing way to spend the morning. I had the cucumber lemonade kombucha, it was really refreshing and delicious!
Powell's Books It's a bookstore, but it is more than that, it's an unexpected journey, a maze, a black hole, and a zoo of a place. I have never before seen a book store like Powell's, it is definitely worth the trip. I enjoyed perusing the seemingly endless rows, happening upon travel epics, war stories, collections of backcountry quotes, vegetable fermentation guides, and the like...a great experience.

5 September 2015

We finished off the evening with a delicious dinner at the Newport Seafood Grill and a boat ride back to our cars.
A wonderful afternoon boat ride down the Williamette River!
Enjoying the morning wandering around the Portland Farmer's Market. So many delicious veggies! I even found GAPS chocolate!

4 September 2015

Mt. Rainier National Park
Mt. Rainier National Park
Today I woke up to a colder than expected tent. Luckily I was warm and snug in my sleeping bag lined with a fleece blanket. In fact, I was so warm that I stayed there for a while. It was so dark in the valley, in the thick forest, that I couldn't tell what the weather was. So I took my time, thinking that it was cloudy and I wouldn't see Rainier anyways. I packed up and drove to Paradise. I saw glimpses of Rainier through the clouds at Paradise Point and drove on, ending up stopped on the side of the road when I saw snow on the ground! I pulled out my crazy creek and sat enveloped in the deafening silence that only comes with snow covered landscapes. The soft dripping of snow melting off the tree limbs, the only sound. I waited patiently and finally was rewarded with a view of Rainier's left flank and the top! Once at Paradise I took a hike (name?) for 1.5 hrs. A storm moved in rapidly near the end and I ran back to my car. It hailed! And I heard thunder! I then drove to Portland.

3 September 2015

Managed to fit in quite a bit of Seattle this morning. And still managed to get to Rainier in good time and find myself a pretty darn good campsite. This morning I woke up early to get to Pike Place Market when the vendors were setting up their booths. Magical! I then walked to Pioneer Square, which was easy to do since it is signed. After walking the wharf I drove out of Seattle and thought the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation where I saw "corn & cows". I ended up having to turn around quite a few times as I missed turns. I was driving in circles, it got a little frustrating. Then it poured!!! It let up before I reached the National Park. I didn't have any trouble getting a campsite, but their were definitely fewer choices than the ranger had lead me to believe. It started getting dark as I made dinner (bratwurst) and then I crawled into my tent. It was a great feeling to be back in my tent, sleeping on the ground.
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market in the early morning. It's really quiet. Barely anyone is making a sound. The shop owners are busy unpacking and laying out their wares. Buckets of fresh cut flowers arranged in thoughtful bouquets, whole crab stacked like bricks in a wall of crushed ice, dried peppers hung decoratively waiting for the prospective customer. Only a few eager tourists and perhaps a few bright eyed locals wander the lane. No one is here yet. I peer into Lowell's, an institution here, hoping to get some breakfast, but turn to the spot next door: The Athenian (Sleepless in Seattle) for their smoked salmon frittata and the same views of the waterfront. Sitting with my weakly brewed tea (not the restaurants fault) I watch the cranes, that I can't help but think of George Lucas and Star Wars when I see, load barges bound for the sea. After I eat I will wander to Pioneer Square and then back to my car.
Good morning Seattle! The sea gulls are calling...it's so peaceful this morning, the sea breeze coming in through the open window. Headed to Pike Place Market to hopefully see the morning magic. : )

2 September 2015

The light at the end of the tunnel.
The Cascades! Driving I-90, from the mountains to the sound scenic byway. It's gorgeous! Would love to backpack in the cascades someday.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Till next time Moyie Springs!

1 September 2015

Gonna miss this view!