Monday, March 8, 2010


I've been back in the (mainland) states for a couple of days now. I'm spending the night in Sheridan, WY, now, after picking up my best bud in Helena. Conan has been patiently waiting for me while I've been working and traveling abroad. This our third reunion. He always is very glad to see me, but not particularly surprised. It's literally like I just left him for the weekend, and is quite happy to resume our routine of hiking around dog parks. I still have my wee house in Livingston, MT, though I haven't actually lived there in a long time. They have the BEST dog park there. Bounded by the Yellowstone river and Fleshman Creek, with nice woods. As a matter of fact, we had to stop using the park a couple of years ago because a bear took up residence in the wooded part. Nice views of the Absaroka and Crazy mountains from the park. On the way back to Colorado-- should be hangin' at the Louisville, CO dog park tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Travelling Back to the Real World

Now I'm back in the states. My travels took me to New Zealand, Australia, Tazmania, and the big island of Hawaii. The end of my travels was a little weird. Hawaii is not really geared toward economy travel, in my estimation. The resorts are definitely not my style, so I found my own way. I stayed in hostels, but was driving a red Mustang convertible (the only rental car available with I landed there). I learned that a traveller in a hostel with a car is a very popular guy, especially in Hawaii, where you really need a car to see the sights. I travelled around the island with an Italian tourist and a Japanese woman, splitting the gas and negotiating our travel plans as we went. I dropped of Daniella at the airport a couple of days before my departure, and ended up spending my last full day on Hawaii in the company of two Japanese travellers with limited English. We ended up going down to Kalapani at night, where you can see the lava glowing from the last eruption. All in all, it was a good trip. I was dying when I realized that I lost all photographic record of my adventure, including some really cool photos from Tasmania. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to go back there again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Photo Nightmare, Drama

I'm just now getting ready to leave Hilo after about a week on the Big Island. Most of my travels here have been very positive, with some huge exemptions. One day after arriving here, the big earthquake hit in Chile, and we were evacuated for the pending huge tsunami. Much of Hilo was wiped out by previous tsunamis, and they take it very seriously here if there is a large earthquake that might inundate the town. I was staying in a mixed (co-ed) dorm at a hostel here in Hilo when the tsunami sirens begun to wail. It was about 5:30 in the morning. A dorm-sharer got a phone call from the states that there was a huge earthquake in Chile, and there would be huge tidal waves. Shortly after that call, loud tsunami sirens went off in Hilo. I dragged out of bed and went to my rent-a-car. I drove to a spot about a hundred feet above sea level, and just waited in the car until the authorities gave the all-clear about 1:00PM. There was no tsunami at Hilo, but such a huge earthquake in Chile could have easily taken Hilo off the map if conditions were right. People were scared. I was disoriented, being awakened so early in the morning, and misplaced my main rain shell that I had been using. It wasn't particularly raining the day of the "tsunami", but I probably took it with me, just in case. We had good weather for a few days, and it wasn't until two days after the "tsunami" that I realized that I no longer had posession of my trusty jacket. Turns out I had put the SD card out of my camera in the jacket pocket, and hadn't gotten around to backing up those pictures to my laptop or hard drive.

Now, the jacket is gone, and all record of my vacation, including leaving the ice and the work I did there, is gone. I have pictures of working on the icebreaker, the fuel tanker, and the container ship, all gone. Tasmania: gone. New Zealand: yep. I guess I've learned my lesson, but it was a painful one.