Sunday, September 30, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 16: More Yellowstone




  • I’m officially tired.  I had no energy for a long hike today.  I’m hoping the next couple of days driving through Wyoming will invigorate me.  If they don’t, I’m not sure if I’ll go to South Dakota.  I may just head home.
  • I now believe that people fly-fish because it’s fun to just stand in a river.  I mean I would love to just stand in the Yellowstone River, but I would look foolish doing so without a fishing pole in my hand.
  • Let me preface the next statement with “Yellowstone is awesome”, BUT, I would still put Yosemite way ahead of it – as well as Glacier.
  • I would admit, though, that Yellowstone has much greater landscape diversity and there are a shit-tonne more wild life viewing opportunities.
  • I’m also officially tired of buffalo.  I mean seriously people,  you’re pulling over to take a picture of a lone buffalo??  They’re all over the place.  Wait for a herd. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 15: Bozeman to Yellowstone



  • I made a tactical error by scheduling being in the most popular National Park on a weekend.  This is easily the most people I’ve seen in a park this year.  I could not even imagine how nuts this place is during the summer.
  • There’s a huge amount of Japanese here.  This must be their favorite park.
  • This place is lousy with buffalos.  It’s almost too boring to photograph them.
  • Geysers are a great place to take a date.  You can fart up a storm and the horrible smell of the geysers will give you cover.
  • Easily my worst meal of the trip at Three Bear Restaurant.  Extremely old school.  The place had a soup and salad bar for Christ sake. I had the bone-in bison steak.  It was ok.  But everything else seemed to pre-made / purchased.


Walkabout 2012 Day 14: Glacier to Bozeman


  • No pictures today.  You got more than your allotment yesterday. 
  • Besides.  I got only one comment from those fabulous pictures from yesterday. Smile with tongue out
  • Who knew you could get a great crab cake in Montana – big chunks of crab and light dusting of cumin.
  • There are more “casinos” in Montana than the rest of the world combined.  Any shithole with a slot machine calls itself a casino.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 13: Many Glaciers


  • 16 miles hiked, 530 pictures taken, four bears seen and immeasurable beauty absorbed.  Pretty nice little day there, pretty nice little day.
  • I can’t lie.  I was underwhelmed yesterday by Glacier and was thinking, much like I thought I my early hours at Yosemite, that this place was failed.  Today I became whelmed.
  • After 16 miles of hiking, I’m walking around like Mr. Tudball.
  • If these pictures don’t cause an avalanche of comments, then I’m not posting any more pictures.
  • Please to enjoy the first picture of Walkabout 2012 in which I make an appearance.  So for you conspiracy theorists, I am actually out here.  Unless I’m really good at Photoshop. Open-mouthed smile
  • And with that, it’s time to head home.  But on the way, there’s still Bozeman, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Crazyhorse, the Badlands and the birthplace of The Jester to visit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 12: Spokane to Glacier



  • Holy shit snacks!!  It’s day 12?? Really???
  • It appears anyone can open a casino in Montana.  They are everywhere and most are the size of a Denny’s.
  • It is also smoky here in Glacier.  I’ve used my considerable Adobe Lightroom skills to mitigate the smokiness in the pictures.
  • I can now add Montana to the list of states I’ve visited.
  • As with Oregon, the people in rural Montana don’t appear to be doing as well as they might.
  • Whelp.  I didn’t see any glaciers.  DAMN YOU AL GORE AND YOUR GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 11: Wenatchee to Spokane


  • A few weeks ago I saw a documentary about the Grand Coulee Dam.  The only reason I drove the way I did today was because of that, I had to see it. 
  • I briefly considered skipping Spokane and heading straight into Montana.  I’m glad I didn’t.
  • Spokane appears to be a city that was preserved in amber in 1953.  I’m not sure they have a single building in their downtown built since then.
  • With that, I congratulate Spokane on preserving and “repurposing” their older buildings and not shitting away their history like some cities.  (Dallas)
  • Nice meal at Milford’s – extremely friendly service.  My only complaint is that there were three different sauces on my entrée.  What’s that all about?
  • The magic number is 5.  #beltregreatestrangerever
  • On to Glacier.  This is going to be awesome!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Walkabout Day 10: Seattle to Wenatchee



  • Not many pictures today.  Like central Oregon, it’s very smoky in central Washington from forest fires.
  • Also, sometimes I just don’t want to stop and take pictures.  This was one of those times.
  • For those following at home, yes I had planned to stop in Coulee, but this was the closest hotel I could find.
  • But to appease JT, I have included pictures of the Bloody Mary enjoyed while not enjoying the Cowboys pathetic victory over Tampa Bay.
  • There’s a town about 20 miles west of Wenatchee called Leavenworth where their schtick is the whole town looks like a Bavarian village.  It was kinda cool and kinda weird.  I wish I had know about it.  It would have been fun to stay there instead.




Eating Seattle: The Brooklyn


Oysters to start, Effingham Inlets and Kusshi.



Scallop with foie gras.





Poached pears.

The Brooklyn has been on my list of restaurants to try in Seattle for years.  So when Michelle recommended it I had to say yes.  Certainly one of the best meals of the year.  Everything was delicious and perfectly cooked.


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Walkabout 2012 Day 9: McMinnville to Seattle


  • Wineries visited:  White Rose, Domaine Drouhin, DePonte.  Some of the highest rated Oregon wines come from here.
  • I have now narrowed my Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs down to Dundee Hills.
  • Another perfect weather Day in Seattle.  The city council really should find some way to make me permanent fixture there so they can have year-round perfect weather.
  • There’s an area in Safeco Field where fans can watch the pitchers warm up.  You are literally standing 15 feet from the pitcher/catcher.  It wass a great way to really experience the magnitude of a Matt Harrison 95MPH fastball.
  • I drove all the way up here for a 1-0 shutout!?!??!?!?!?!
  • Thanks Meesh for showing me another terrific time in Seattle!



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 8: Newport to McMinnville

  • It was a totally random that I ended up in Newport.  What a great port town!
  • There’s no way I could stay sober in Oregon.  The wine and the beer are just too good.  The fresh fruit is also great.  So at least I would have that going for me.  Which is nice.
  • Don’t that I’m a Satanist, but I’m a fan of the crazy satanic names of geological oddities.  For instance, the Devil’s Backbone in the Texas Hill Country (also the name of Real Ale’s fine Belgian Style Ale and one of the best beers brewed in Texas) or the Devil’s Postpile in California.  But I had to giggle at the name of The Devil’s Punch Bowl.  If the Devil is throwing party’s how bad can Hell be??
  • Blessed are the Tillamook Cheesemakers!
  • Rosemary in mashed potatoes.  Who knew??




OMG  the new DTE record 417!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 7: Bend to Newport



  • It’s nearly impossible to show how smoky much of this trip was.  I’ve upped the contrast of many of the mountain pictures just to cut through the smoke.
  • Literally drove through a forest fire in the Deschutes Forest which I believe is named after the brewery.
  • This may well have been the most awesomest day of the Walkabout.  It started with the best meal of so far at Chow in Bend and an nice 6 mile hike up and back down a mountain to work off that breakfast.
  • Newport OR feels very much like it could be a small coastal town in Maine.
  • Also making this a great day, the two best smells in the world, ocean and pine forest.  Both of which I enjoyed today.
  • While Georgia’s Beachside Grill was a generic dining experience.  If you’re ever in Newport, swing by and say “Hi” to Deb the spunky bartendendrix who looks like the Goth chick from NCIS and sounds like Sarah Palin.  BTW  that crazy nasally Midwest accent is the dominant accent of Oregon.  You betcha.
  • Every guy in Oregon looks like he’s Skinny Pete or Badger or knows Skinny Pete or Badger
  • While the worst thing about Oregon is you can’t pump your own gas, the best thing is no sales tax.  Oh and the great beer and wine and fresh fruit.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eating Bend: Chow

I’m not going to review many of the places I eat at during Walkabout, unless they are worth reviewing.  Chow is the first contender.  A simple breakfast and lunch place in Bend Oregon that only does everything the right way.


Bacon Lime French Toast


The Caesar -- Egg, Corn Cake, Avocado, Roasted Green Chili Sauce, Hollandaise Sauce, Queso


Both of these items tasted better than they look and they’re both gorgeous.



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Walkabout 2012 Day 6: Boise to Bend




  • Wow was that a boring drive.  Nothing to take any pictures of.  Plus there’s a huge forest fire in central Oregon making everything very hazy.
  • The people of Bend don’t look very healthy.  And it’s not surprising that Oregon was Ground Zero for our nation’s Meth epidemic.  Heisenberg would make a fortune here.
  • Dinner tonight, fresh local peaches.  Yup, peaches in September.
  • Thank You Super 8 for having real glasses in my room and not making me drink my Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with a plastic cup.
  • Speaking of Super 8, this was is largely abandoned.  Thank you Travelocity Secrets.


Whoohoo!!  My highest Distance to Empty EVAR!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 5: Salt Lake City to Boise


  • I’m walking over to the Starbucks near my hotel in Salt Lake City and I start noticing it smells like the ocean.  How can that be?  We’re hundreds of miles inland.  Oh, right, SALT LAKE City.
  • I spent the first 20 minutes of the trip this day just trying to get on the highway.  I guess Mormons don’t believe in access roads or proper signage.
  • Easily the best meal of the trip was at Fork in downtown Boise.  Cheese board, flank steak with mashed potatoes and several glasses of Idaho wine.
  • I didn’t take any pictures in Salt Lake City.  It was just too smoky.  You could not see the mountains as seen in the picture below.  Seriously, you could kinda make out that there might be something over there like  shadow.  But nothing you could take a picture of.




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 4: Grand Junction to Salt Lake City



  • Made a side trip to Arches National Park on my way to Salt Lake City.
  • I forgot to mention it in the previous blog entry, but it’s very dry in Colorado.  Humidity has been around 10%.
  • The day started out with some rain and very ominous clouds.  But by the time I got to Arches, there was nothing but blue sky.
  • Hiking most of the day in Arches made me wish I had not forgotten to bring my Nalgene.
  • Salt Lake City has an MLK Blvd.  Who knew?
  • It is very hazy/smoky in Utah.  Is it on fire?



Monday, September 17, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 3: Colorado Springs to Grand Junction



  • I’m so glad I decide to go through Aspen (where I’ve never been) instead of Montrose (where I have been before).  The white-knuckle drive through the Independence Pass was worth the price of admission.  Although I was panicking at the time.
  • Fucking Cowboys ruined my lunch in Aspen
  • Hearing a random Van Morrison deep cut on the radio outside of Aspen was very cool.
  • Grand Junction may have the worst TV news anchors ever.
  • Is it a law in Colorado Springs that everyone has to wear Northface/Columbia/REI gear no matter what they are doing?  Come on.  Not everyone is going for a hike/bike/ski always all the time.



Music Monday: I’m From Barcelona–We’re From Barcelona

Has this been a months’ long long-con leading up to this payoff?  Perhaps, but if not…

On the next Music Monday….


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Walkabout 2012 Day 2: Amarillo to Colorado Springs


  • A beautiful morning wasted in Amarillo.
  • My path to Colorado Springs follows the path taken home at the end of my first Walkabout.  I had wanted to see all those charming little towns in Colorado in the daylight.  Too bad they’re much more charming at 2 in the morning.
  • It’s been almost a decade since my last visit to Colorado Springs and two decades since my first visit.  And I have forgotten how beautiful this town is.
  • It is obligatory to consume Italian Nachos whenever I’m in  town with an Old Chicago (no longer in Dallas) as an homage to our old Wednesday Night Ultimate post pickup pizza place.  They are delicious, but something I can only do every five years.


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Walkabout 2012 Day 1: Dallas to Amarillo

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No pictures taken during day one since it was mostly at night and it would have duplicated many of the pictures taken in the first Walkabout.


  • Why is it I can hear the radio broadcast of the Rockies, White Sox and Cardinals but not the two time defending America League Champion Texas Rangers outside of Wichita Falls?
  • I could, however hear the incoherent rantings of Michael Savage on multiple stations.  Rural America loves them some Savage Nation.
  • Amarillo smells like New Jersey, and by transitivity, Houston.
  • Do the people of Amarillo choose to live here or were they sentenced to live here after abusing a special-needs child?
  • If I later find that I have been infested with bed bugs, I am 99% sure it was the Travel Lodge in Amarillo that did it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Walkabout 2012: And So It Begins


Welp.  Heading out.  Be back in three weeks.  I’ll post as often as AT&T 3G and hotel interwebs allows.  Everyone should feel free to call, email or tweet.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Walkabout 2012: Final Preparations


The updated travel schedule now includes moseying across Colorado, spending some time in the Bandlands of South Dakota and marveling at the utter flatness of Nebraska and Kansas.


Thursday Sep 13 Dallas
Friday Sep 14 Amarillo
Saturday Sep 15 Colorado Springs
Sunday Sep 16 Grand Junction
Monday Sep 17 Arches
Tuesday Sep 18 Twin Falls ID
Wednesday Sep 19 Boise
Thursday Sep 20 Bend
Friday Sep 21 McMinville
Saturday Sep 22 Seattle
Sunday Sep 23 Coulee
Monday Sep 24 Spokane
Tuesday Sep 25 Glacier NP
Wednesday Sep 26 Glacier NP
Thursday Sep 27 Bozeman
Friday Sep 28 Yellowstone
Saturday Sep 29 Yellowstone
Sunday Sep 30 Jackson
Monday Oct 01 Casper
Tuesday Oct 02 Badlands NP
Wednesday Oct 03 Grand Island, NE
Thursday Oct 04 OKC
Friday Oct 05 Dallas

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Area Blogger Prepares to Retire


As you can see, internet billionaire, Dancing with the Stars Contestant, defending NBA Full Season Champion Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank shark and receiver of uproarious courtesy laughter, Mark Cuban, has just sent me a very important email that will, no doubt cause me to accumulate fabulous wealth in the next few weeks.  So once I click that link, I’ll probably just retire from this hectic life of blogging and complaining and buy an island in the Pacific.

Farewell gentle readers.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Music Monday: Sorta–85 Feet

On the five year anniversary of the event that caused my favorite local band to stop making music, the saddest of all Sorta songs.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Amazon Instant Video Review: The Dictator


Ahhh, America.  The best place of AIDS

Synopsis Sasha Baron Cohen takes a break from Olympic Figure Skating and returns to her roots of portraying offensive third world stereotypes.  This time, a thinly disguised Saddam Hussein is lost in Brooklyn and falls in love with a pixified Anna Ferris.
What I Liked
  • Inexplicable Gary Shandling cameo
  • Inexplicable J. B. Smoove cameo.
  • The ending rant about the flaws of democracy.
  • The last funny movie I’ve seen in a theater was Borat.  This is no Borat.  Not even close.
What Sucked
  • Sasha Baron Cohen’s wife, Isla Fisher does not appear in this film.
  • And also everything else
  • We are a Vegan Feminist non-profit cooperative operating within a anti-racist anti-oppressive framework for people of all or no genders.
  • I took a feminist clown workshop once.  Help I’m trapped under a glass ceiling.
  • My Great Grandfather fought in the American Civil Jihad.
  • Wait!  What sorcery is this??
  • Menstruate with Pride!
  • Warning!  Shoplifters will be waterboarded.
  • When the thought of someone’s decapitated head upsets you.  That is love.
  • You two make a really cute couple together.  But maybe you can finish doing this when you’re not elbow deep in my pussy.
  • I’ll shave my armpits for you.
  • two breasts
  • zero beasts
  • Academy Award nomination for Jason Mantzoukas for his role as Rafi on The League, thus making his appearance in this film non-career destroying.
C- King Wally says check it out.

Feel free to check it out for yourself through my Amazon connections.