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Cerulean Blue (Keturah)

Saturday, February 6, 2010
What is lucky about writing is that you can't start off by crying, or at least nobody can tell.

So our trip is over and as obvious as that is, the shock is just as strong as it was when we were beginning. It didn't fly by. I saw too much and experienced too much to be able to say that, but coming back was weird since it could somehow still feel like we left yesterday. Maybe part of that is just Lowville. haha.

Now I suppose there are three big questions looming in the air now that you know all we have seen.
1) What did you learn about yourself?
2) How have you changed?
3) What the heck are you going to do now?
This post is my attempt to answer them, although I have found these sorts of experiences to unravel more over time as they jar with whatever is next. And I realize a numerical list would be convenient reading, but all these questions overlap, so you are just going to get the concoction that they make instead. :)

I learned that deserts are as beautiful and glorious as mountains, that I love the ocean in a way I cannot explain, that the forest is my peace, and that four seasons in the Adirondaks will always be home. I learned that you make your adventures in this world. As much as some of them find you, you have to be the one who sees them coming and jumps without paying any attention to the fall. It is definitely inspirational on a colorful poster to say "Follow your dreams!" but I think it is more true that you have to create your dreams, allow yourself to have blind faith that you can achieve them (because you don't know...you never did them before...you really can't know ahead of time), and then pound them into submission. I met a lot of people on this trip who are doing something different, something unique to who they are in the world, but I also met a lot who just like to put the poster up on their wall. This was a huge shock for me, coming out of the age of young dreamers, where everyone around me thinks anything is possible, into the age of decision and practical application, where people go to college or work for money. I plan on doing both of those someday, but I am confident, more than ever, that my life and its timetable are in my own hands. Scary though, not to leave it up to a system to tell me the next step...I have to admit. I would say I learned how to be a better driver, except that I just turned down a one-way street and almost collided head-on with a semi-truck. Oh boy, Keturah. I learned that I am capable of spending an extensive intensive amount of time in relationship with another human being without losing myself or her. I learned that my favorite color is cerulean. Cerulean blue is absolutely beautiful. It silkens my eyes and makes happy bubbles in me for no apparent reason. This may seem trivial to you, but I never knew what my favorite color was and if you just happen to have always had one, you really would not understand what a predicament it is to be without. I learned, too, that I am a little tiny wee bit high-strung and stressed. I realized this because I took a free stress test that maxed out the machine. I would go into denial...I mean, I am sure it was a faulty machine, but I got so stressed about being a stressed-out person that I realized it must be true! What is scary is that I used to be amazed at other people who were very high-strung, but they always thought they were so laid back. I didn't know how they couldn't see it. Oh dear. It is alright though because I found yoga! haha.

Ok ok ok. So that was a bunch of stuff in a nutshell. Now for the doozy --dun dun dun. What am I going to do next? The truth is I didn't have a high-falootin' clue. So my ever-faithful companion had me make a list of all the possibilities. Then she asked me the bomb question: "What would you do if you had no limitations at all?" I would dance. I always wanted to dance, ever since I was little, but it never worked out for me. Timidly, I put this down on the list because who admits out loud, at age 20 that she wants to dance, and dance well, when she is really about 15 years expired? It was the most outrageous idea listed, the least likely to ever occur. So, I am currently in Seattle and will be attending classes at a dance studio every day of the week starting tomorrow...flamenco, ballet, jazz, modern, ballroom...

When we got home, I got my car and drove back across the country by myself in four days with no promise of a job or place to stay. I am spending tons of money on something that may end with the semester in June...just because I know that when I am eighty in my rocking chair, I will always wonder if I ever could have danced. So, I have no immediate plans for college, I have no career goals, I have no five or ten-year plan. And I am only saying all of this because I feel more adamantly all the time that the world would be a more beautiful, more creative, more unique place if people recognized what was real inside of themselves and were true to it at any cost. I also think that I can't really fail. This will be an experience. And that is all life is...one experience after another. At the end, we will see how they all fit together. I am coming to terms with the fact that I don't need to know that now.

By the way, I am scared out of my mind most of the time and not feeling very crazy or brave at all. Just so you know I am not a saint with flowery words. I still don't know what happiness is or who God is or why we are all here trying to stay busy on earth, but I know there are things inside of me that are itchy for whatever reason. I am going to itch them for lack of anything else to do. And my deepest wish is that you might discover what itches you, whether that be travel, building things, cooking, or wool rubbing your skin...and dare to let those things exist.

Bye for now ;)

There is Life After Hollywood...

Hey Everybody (if you haven't stopped reading this yet...)!

Caulherflower & Dandylion do still exist and not in Hollywood either. We may have gotten a little burned out with the traveling and the blogging, but thank you so much for following us on our journey, as intermittent as it may have been for you. :)

We spent a day at Yosemite and managed to only see a fraction of it...the sequoias, the half-dome. This could be an entire post in and of itself. All we can say is that big trees can really change your life. And look for the people in pictures! They are the specks at the bottom!

After California, the trip went really fast as we had to be back to New York by the beginning of February, so we'll just sum it up and throw some pictures at you. Highway 1 may be the only words necessary to do that. This highway takes you all the way up (or down) the west coast, so you can peek at gargantuan white waves crashing against enormous boulders between the openings in the redwood forest that envelops your car on every side. Absolutely gorgeous, it is a trip in and of itself. Of all the things people tell you that "you should do," this one was really valid.

We also stopped in a little hippie town leftover from the sixties, called Arcata. Sure enough, there were the old hippies lighting up in the sanctuary of the redwood trees. Then further up Highway 1 to Seattle, where we stayed with Kendra's cousin, Iris Chamberlain. That was great because Iris was great and Seattle is a very unique city. All the skyscrapers are confined to a small area near the Space Needle (yes, we watched Sleepless in Seattle) and the area is very driveable. Pike Place Market was the highlight though! A maze of small eclectic shops, fish throwers, street musicians, restaurants and fresh fruits and veggies, we went two days in a row and remained lost for hours. And even though we have spent practically zero dollars on anything (except the San Diego Zoo), we did manage to spend $12 on pastries. But, ooohhh, so good!

Following Seattle, we had our longest drive on the trip - 13 hours to Salt Lake City, Utah. (Yes, the Mormons really do run the place.) Surrounding the city, the mountains are absolutely breathtaking on every side. We went to a place there called One World Cafe, where all the food is organic and you choose your portions and what you want to pay for them. Or you can work it off in the kitchen! Their mission is to end world hunger because it just isn't necessary. Simple, huh? But it was great. If you google them, their website can tell you more.

Then we basically drove straight home through the mid west. We sort of rested and debriefed for a few days at a resort in Colorado (thanks again to Wanda). The day came to leave and we kept looking at one another, feeling so not ready to leave our gorgeous room, our real kitchen (no offense to the campstove), the big bed, the hot tub....you get the idea. Call the trip a vacation if you want, but all those new experiences wear you out. But we left because we had to. Tear. Tear. But we weren't even on the road ten minutes when we got a phone call from Lianne Turck, offering us a hotel room for the way home.....!!!! The timing was impeccable. We took it that night! That was so amazing - thanks so much Kurt & Lianne!

We also stopped in Kansas City for a day at IHOP. That was phenomenal as well. From there, it was pretty much straight home. Our worst weather was on Tug Hill our last day....ahhh, good to be back in Lewis County!

So 12,000 miles later and $1,500 poorer for gas expenses, we have come full circle (with "plans" to go global!). Stay tuned and send financial support to.....just kidding :). Thank you all so much for coming with us. Hopefully, you are left a little inspired and the world seems as accessible to you as we found it to be for us. Maybe next time, we will be going with you on your journey.

Who knows?


Friday, January 8, 2010

Now, I, Keturah, never expected such an outburst from Kend....ok, from myself. But it was totally crazy to be casually driving in California and have a noncholant glance to the right reveal a movie shot blatantly invading your eyeballs, virgin to the actual reality of TV! You guys - there is really a hill with big white letters on it that says HOLLYWOOD! Wow - hahaha....did we mention that melodrama is sort of our thing?

Roll your own eyeballs, but you would react the same way, like when I slowed at a stoplight behind a big shiny black star-carrying-like vehicle with a license plate reading: B PITT. You too would drive over 80mph in a 65 zone through six lanes of traffic during rush hour trying to peek into the window. Too bad the stupid GPS forced us to exit exactly as we approached the passenger side, but we rest assured that the spiky dark haired silhouette in the driver's seat belonged to the man, himself. You can rest assured too.

we made It To CALIFO R N I A ! ! !

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
We are here! "....purple mountains majesty....from sea to shining sea!" It was a seriously amazing drive into California, through mountains mountains mountains with the Pacific Ocean challenging the height of the horizon in the distance. Our Super-Awesome-All-The-Way-To-California-Car made it! "America! America! God shed His grace on thee..."

Our first stop was the San Diego Zoo....of course :). Not really much to say about this, hmn...so here are some pictures:

After San Diego, we drove to Los Angeles. Our first night in LA, we looked for a nice safe community and parked at its playground. We proceeded to corrupt it as we walked up the hills smoking rather effective cigars and drinking whiskey of equal caliber out of Keturah's hip flask. Oh yeah. We enjoyed an incredible view of the city. A local walked by and pointed out Hollywood, Lincoln Heights, LAX, the Pacific Ocean, Orange County, etc...he said that night was the best view he had ever had of the city. How lucky are we? The explosive orange suset confirmed that.

Of course, being the responsible girls we are, we don't have any picture of that..... However, here are some pictures of a different sunset in CA...

What day is today?.....?.....?

Monday, January 4, 2010
So, we here are. Twelve hours ago, we entered Panera Bread. What's up?

We are hear to right about The Essential Element. Welcome. We haven't showered in a week. We slept for eleven hours last night in our car. Our foreheads feel feverish. We gained five pounds each (thanks Bed, Bath and Beyond for the scale) and the ongoing conversation antagonizes us with WHY? HOW? GOD? What the heck are we eating??? Could it be our never-ending gaseous stomachs? Could it be all the peanut butter, granola and bananas? Maybe the 33 cent avacado? Or does that fact that ten leg lifts make our abs sore for three days clue us in? Regardkess we have decided that today marks the day: The Crazies are on the Loose. PARENTS: KEEP YOUR CHILDREN INSIDE!!! And if you happen to see two girls on the news, dancing down the middle of the intersate or jumping hedges across parking lots to get to ROSS: Dress for Less, do not be alarmed. It is only us. Just keep the windows rolled up and your dumpsters locked.

Oh yes, so, The Eseential Element: that which is required to initiate us into the clan of true Road Trippers: it is: SMELL, GREASE, ITCH.....the motto is: Smell like you've never lived and live like you've never smelled. It has almost killed us, but we wills urvive with the best of them!

THat makes no sense.

Sorry about the spellihng and this post in general. It has been a day.

It's been a day.

Signing off,
Danydlion, and Caulgerhflower

P.S. - Panera Bread offers free samples of anything if you can't decide. Finally, a victory for teh bad decision makers out there! Oh, and the lemons are free. And so is the skim milk if you can sneak it into your mug from home when no one is looking. ........yeah.

P.P.S>: In case you were judging from your comfy couches and clean underwear, we deserve this breakdown. It's been tow months! Congrats us!
Ok, for real now.....we gotta go. We gotta somethin....


After driving miles and miles through the desertland of Texas we finally began to sigh in relief as we approached some greeeeennn... even if it was in the form of larger-than-life cacti!

WELCOME TO ARIZONA! Where the mountains are all-encompassing, the water is scarce, and the cacti are bigger than the men who shop at the Big 'N' Tall! We drove into the beautiful city of Tuscon where we stayed with Kendra's second cousin one removed (?? still not sure about this??). What a wonderful, understanding woman. Our faces took on a glazed expression as we walked in the door and looked at the couches, the walls, the vast expanse of carpet and then *holding our breathe* the bed. Now call us overdramatic if you want, but had you been sleeping in an Impreza for more than two weeks straight save one night in a campsite bathroom, you just might feel as though you were hallucinating as well. Jennifer gave us the place to ourselves that night, letting us melt into her couches and eat anything we wanted out of real dishes from her kitchen. *sigh* glorious. Thank you, Jennifer. :)

The next morning we went for a hike through Ventana canyon, a mile drive from the apartment. This somewhat vigorous 5 mile hike was exactly what we wanted/needed, complete with wandering minds, burning buns, and a captivating view. The less-than-24-hours in Tuscon were, simply put, refreshing... a great segway into the next few days of civilization in Tempe, just outside Phoenix, where we headed next to spend a few days with Kendra's Aunt Gail..

We were treated to our first Thai experience (delicious!), toured 6 grocery stores, an IKEA (if you've never been, GO!), made 13 more pounds of granola and 4 batches of whole wheat biscotti, treked to a hole in a rock, became one with an Italian leather couch for an UPlifting movie experience (watch UP, watch UP!), bathed 6 teensy kittens, and exchanged story after story of funny life experiences. The best:

The $300 Cat Fart.

You win, Aunt Gail, you win. :) Thanks for being so good to us! The oranges and grapefruits seem to be never-ending.. an excellent source of on-the-road strength :)

Merry Christmas Day!

Monday, December 28, 2009
Christmas Eve night in warm, sunny, dry Texas in the south of the United States was eleven degrees Fahrenheit. So, we went from our cozy campsite with its breathtaking view (not Kendra)...

...to the cozy bathroom floor with its heated air. :) Merry Christmas morning everybody! A shout-out to the poor woman who had to crawl over us to take a dump at 6 a.m. Kudos to her for her lack of shame though!

After a brisk run in the chilled air (Kendra), a walk with the sunrise (Keturah) and some serious banana-honey-oatmeal eating, we went for a romp on Hueco...

...followed by a hike an hour away up part of the Franklin Mountain Range...

The land stretches flat for hundreds of miles until you enter a city sprawled equally flatly with a curtain backdrop of faded watercolor mountains. And as you are finally growing accustomed to the simplicity of landscape, the mountain range suddenly blocks the road directly in front of you. But as much as you expected it to be there and anticipated its arrival, the contrasted reality takes you so much by surprise that you are left dazed and dazzled and speechless all over again. Settling in, you realize the mountains actually maintain the simplicity. There aren't the trees of the Adirondacks and certainly not the color, but there is a glorious evolving view all the way up and all the way down. Let your filter dissolve in the altitude and beauty overwhelms you...an earth form unfathomably massive fading to the contour it draws across the sky and the pattern of snow-frosted shrubs like a fabric print laid over changing light and shadows. The sun was warm and the steep hike up loose stone heated our blood, but the wind blew chills into our parched skin. It felt as though we were phantom angels, surely about to be blown to a fine dust, forever claimed by the harsh arid land. An extraordinary experience to rest atop a mountain you hiked yourself on Christmas Day and realize the glory of existence, of the earth and the possibilities of our lives on it, in it...of it. To be free...Merry Christmas!

Christmas Dinner was on Grandma & Grandpa C at the only place open in Texas (unfortunately not a steakhouse) - IHOP. Good water. Great chicken. OK service. It looks like a lot of food, but don't worry, we ate it all!