Thursday, July 14, 2011


Thailand. The land of everything and anything, of bargaining, steaming hot curry, noodles, rice, whole fish roasting on each street corner, of humid sticky nights and long hot days. Bangkok is a sprawling, endless, bustling metropolis that's both captivating and overwhelming. Crossing the street is no simple task as tuk-tuks, buses, taxis and cars obey no laws but their own. The Thai people, from what I have experienced in only three days, are amazingly generous and kind. We greet each other with our hands in prayer, bowing our heads and smiling. My father spends his days in Chinatown, bouncing between electro- acupuncture treatments, Thai massage and open air markets boasting dried Chinese herbs, fresh fruit, whole duck, chicken, sticky rice, luck dragons, crystals, incense, flowers, candles, shoes, electronics, clothing... Dad is "sweltering hot" and struggles to get through the rising midday temperatures. Ethan and I are constantly exploring, walking, taking in all that we can. We ride skinny boats through the polluted canals of the city. We sip mango smoothies and sweat. Though it's monsoon season here there has been very little rain. Even if there is a passing shower, the heat always returns, swampy, thick, engrossing. This is a city that offers a tourist everything they could possibly dream of for cheap, cheap prices. Tonight Dad, Ethan and I will be taking a overnight train south to Krabi, to the quiet beaches where we can rest. Though I have so much more to see in this city, I am ready to leave Bangkok and head towards a sleepy shore. We will climb there (we have climbing shoes, ropes and quick draws) and in the evenings I will read my manuscript to Dad. I will have photos of Thailand to share, but it might be a while, since I no longer have my computer with me. We are free and flying, wandering this earth with eyes wide open, learning to listen, to see, to taste, savor, grateful for this ongoing adventure together.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

California Reunion

                                                  Ethan, Dad, Aiya, Abra

Moab, Utah

There is nothing but red-eroding cliffs in all directions. As far as I can see there is only red, red mountains, red canyons. We are up early, with the sun, to explore the desert before the heat of the day. Arches National Park is a sea of burnt-orange boulders stacked on top of each other, precarious, beautiful, ancient. In this crumbling landscape, once an ocean floor now a dry and brittle expanse, I feel overwhelmed, small, in awe of nature, time, geology. Moab, Utah, is carved by two rivers, the Green River and the Colorado River. The pressure of water over stone for years and years and years has sculpted these canyons, chiseling and carving magnificent shapes into the land. This journey, this cross-country trip, has instilled in me a profound sense of appreciation for the earth, for the ecological diversity of this country. Here, in the desert, water has never tasted so sweet. Shade has never been so cool. A breeze has never been more refreshing. Time is still. There is nothing but heat, sand, stone, red mountains and canyons reaching into eternity.
                                                           Delicate Arch
                                                          Devil's Garden
                                                                   Blue in Red
                                              Dead Horse Point State Park

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

INT 70

West from Boulder we travel through the endlessly beautiful state of Colorado. Rocky Mountains, towers of snow and Aspen forests, fold into deep canyons of crumbling brown stone. We push on. A gorge of rock opens, morphs into yellow mountains of sand. Inspired by all I see, by the colors of the West, the open sky, the power of a shifting landscape, I refuse to close my eyes. This is all unbelievably new and absolutely breathtaking...
                                                     Royal Arch Trail, Boulder
                                                         Flat Irons, Boulder
                                                       Flat Iron Close
                                                 Ethan, Rocky Mountains
                                                         Interstate 70 West
 Tower of Stone
                                                            Southwestern Colorado
                                                              Yellow Sandstone

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A very long haul

1,500 miles, two times zones, two days. Yesterday: We woke at 5 a.m. in Nashville and went to bed at 1:30 a.m. in Boulder.

Flat Lands


In muted predawn light we drive west, through rolling hills of Tennessee. The world is quickly  illuminated as the sun, a pink orb rising in the east, casts long, crisp shadows over the countryside. We wind through Kentucky and drive on through Illinois and Missouri. Missouri's midday heat turns our minds to mush. We stretch and do yoga at a rest stop, splay out in the dehydrated grass and pant. Even the birds are overheated, clinging to their perch, beaks wide open. Then to Kansas, to an endless and amazingly flat land decorated with hay, cows and fields of grain. A storm is brewing on the horizon. Clouds swell and lighting ripples in the distance. I lean over the wheel. "We're driving right into it." There is a blanket of darkness ahead of us. All of sudden it sounds as if my car is being assaulted by stones. Hail and rain beats down on us and I can't see a thing. We are surrounded. The sky is electric, intense, glowing and lightning falls from the sky in every direction. We inch along, swallowed by lightning, wind, by a dark veil that stretches into the distance.

                                                                   Storm Ahead

In Boulder, the landscape in more dramatic. Mountains and snow-covered peaks gleam in the distance. It is hot, dry, and amazingly beautiful.


                                                      Red Rock Trail