Category Archives: The U.S.

Road Trip Across the U.S. (Dec. 12-23, 2008)

Before I could even begin my journey through Latin America, I had another short jaunt to make…a drive cross country.  After pulling several consecutive all-nighters of packing, cleaning, and preparing my thesis for publication, I hopped in my jam-packed Subaru with friends Nick and Johan and said goodbye to Corvallis Oregon.  Not knowing for how long I would be abroad, and unsure of where I’d be returning to, my safest bet would be to transport my car and my belongings to my parent’s house in upstate New York
    First stop, Mount Hood, Oregon.  After two years of research on this mountain, it was time to pull out the equipment and say goodbye.  In a miserable rain storm, the three of us, waded through streams, only to find my sensors thrashed by November floods.  Oh well, my research was over anyhow, and now the trash was of the mountain.
    Stop #2, Cross Country Club Nationals, Spokane, Washington http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/USATFClubXCChampionships/ .  Nick, Johan, I, and four other women from the Corvallis Running Project had been training and preparing for this race all fall.  But with a fresh dusting of snow, temps in the teens, consistent 30 mph winds, and absolutely no sleep, it was the hardest race of my life, and I had the results to prove it.  Running mile 1 in a tight pack of 300 runners was absolutely sweet, but sensitivity to the environment and fatigue caught up with me.  A couple of snotsicles later, I was in absolute misery, and finished the 10k alone in the rear of the pack.  Unhindered by our performances, we celebrated our last race with Thai food and dancing at the after party.  With the exception of Johan, who was going to continue with me on my road trip, I said goodbye to my wonderful running friends of Corvallis.
Stop #3, Bozeman, Montana.  We continued east through the Rockies.  Johan, my Danish friend who was studying for a term at Oregon St., would join me for my travels and celebrate Christmas with my family.  It would be a wonderful way for him to see the country and for me to have good company on the road.  Johan, easily fell into a carefree LTD (Living the Dream) attitude, and it was an absolute pleasure traveling with him.  Arriving in Bozeman with temps at -18 Fahrenheit, we were soon warmed up by the cheer of my wonderful college friend, Ms. Piper Platte.  Struggling to leave paradise, we remained in Bozeman for three days, skiing, running, ice climbing, cooking, and baking Christmas cookies with the Platte family.
Stop #4, Somewhere in the central Utah Desert.  Several years removed from Colorado, the landscape I missed most was the nearby Utah Desert, one of my favorite places on Earth.  We had very poor directions for an intriguing slot canyon in the San Rafeal Swell, not far from I-70, so we hopped off the interstate, got ourselves lost, and camped under the stars.  Covered in six inches of snow, I had never seen the desert like this.  We reoriented ourselves the next morning, hiked an absolutely stunning canyon, and finished the day with a run around the Fisher Towers.
Stop #5, Leadville and Boulder, Colorado.  No road trip cross country would be complete without a visit with Danny and ugggh, Jones!  In just 3 days in Colorado Johan would get a glimpse of my past.
Stop #6  Rest Stop, Indiana.  After 20 straight hours of driving, I had to get horizontal for a bit in the rest stop garden.
Stop #7  Home Sweet Home, Niskayuna, New York.  After avoiding some fierce storms, persisting through absolutely frigid temperatures, and running at awesome sites such as Niagara Falls, we arrived at my parent’s house just a day before Christmas.  I would spend the next six weeks in the East, preparing my trip, connecting with old friends, establishing another teaching credential in Physical Education, running the Disney World marathon, and most importantly, catching up with mom and dad!
Before I could even begin my journey through Latin America, I had another short jaunt to make…a drive cross country.  After pulling several consecutive all-nighters of packing, cleaning, and preparing my thesis for publication, I hopped in my jam-packed Subaru with friends Nick and Johan and said goodbye to Corvallis Oregon.  Not knowing for how long I would be abroad, and unsure of where I’d be returning to, my safest bet would be to transport my car and my belongings to my parent’s house in upstate New York.
First stop, Mount Hood, Oregon.  After two years of research on this mountain, it was time to pull out the equipment and say goodbye.  In a miserable rain storm, the three of us, waded through streams, only to find my sensors thrashed by November floods.  Oh well, my research was over anyhow, and now the trash was of the mountain.
Stop #2, Cross Country Club Nationals, Spokane, Washington http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/USATFClubXCChampionships/ .  Nick, Johan, I, and four other women from the Corvallis Running Project had been training and preparing for this race all fall.  But with a fresh dusting of snow, temps in the teens, consistent 30 mph winds, and absolutely no sleep, it was the hardest race of my life, and I had the results to prove it.  Running mile 1 in a tight pack of 300 runners was absolutely sweet, but sensitivity to the environment and fatigue caught up with me.  A couple of snotsicles later, I was in absolute misery, and finished the 10k alone in the rear of the pack.  Unhindered by our performances, we celebrated our last race with Thai food and dancing at the after party.  With the exception of Johan, who was going to continue with me on my road trip, I said goodbye to my wonderful running friends of Corvallis.
Stop #3, Bozeman, Montana.  We continued east through the Rockies.  Johan, my Danish friend who was studying for a term at Oregon St., would join me for my travels and celebrate Christmas with my family.  It would be a wonderful way for him to see the country and for me to have good company on the road.  Johan, easily fell into a carefree LTD (Living the Dream) attitude, and it was an absolute pleasure traveling with him.  Arriving in Bozeman with temps at -18 Fahrenheit, we were soon warmed up by the cheer of my wonderful college friend, Ms. Piper Platte.  Struggling to leave paradise, we remained in Bozeman for three days, skiing, running, ice climbing, cooking, and baking Christmas cookies with the Platte family.
Stop #4, Somewhere in the central Utah Desert.  Several years removed from Colorado, the landscape I missed most was the nearby Utah Desert, one of my favorite places on Earth.  We had very poor directions for an intriguing slot canyon in the San Rafeal Swell, not far from I-70, so we hopped off the interstate, got ourselves lost, and camped under the stars.  Covered in six inches of snow, I had never seen the desert like this.  We reoriented ourselves the next morning, hiked an absolutely stunning canyon, and finished the day with a run around the Fisher Towers.
Stop #5, Leadville and Boulder, Colorado.  No road trip cross country would be complete without a visit with Danny and ugggh, Jones!  In just 3 days in Colorado Johan would get a glimpse of my past.
Stop #6  Rest Stop, Indiana.  After 20 straight hours of driving, I had to get horizontal for a bit in the rest stop garden.
Stop #7  Home Sweet Home, Niskayuna, New York.  After avoiding some fierce storms, persisting through absolutely frigid temperatures, and running at awesome sites such as Niagara Falls, we arrived at my parent’s house just a day before Christmas.  I would spend the next six weeks in the East, preparing my trip, connecting with old friends, establishing another teaching credential in Physical Education, running the Disney World marathon, and most importantly, catching up with mom and dad!
A loaded car in the Fisher Towers, Utah
.
Before I could even begin my journey through Latin America, I had another short jaunt to make…a drive cross country.  After pulling several consecutive all-nighters of packing, cleaning, and preparing my thesis for publication, I hopped in my jam-packed Subaru with friends Nick and Johan and said goodbye to Corvallis Oregon.  Not knowing for how long I would be abroad, and unsure of where I’d be returning to, my safest bet would be to transport my car and my belongings to my parent’s house in upstate New York.
First stop, Mount Hood, Oregon.  After two years of research on this mountain, it was time to pull out the equipment and say goodbye.  In a miserable rain storm, the three of us, waded through streams, only to find my sensors thrashed by November floods.  Oh well, my research was over anyhow, and now the trash was of the mountain.
Stop #2, Cross Country Club Nationals, Spokane, Washington .  Nick, Johan, I, and four other women from the Corvallis Running Project had been training and preparing for this race all fall.  But with a fresh dusting of snow, temps in the teens, consistent 30 mph winds, and absolutely no sleep, it was the hardest race of my life, and I had the results to prove it.  Running mile 1 in a tight pack of 300 runners was absolutely sweet, but sensitivity to the environment and fatigue caught up with me.  A couple of snotsicles later, I was in absolute misery, and finished the 10k alone in the rear of the pack.  Unhindered by our performances, we celebrated our last race with Thai food and dancing at the after party.  With the exception of Johan, who was going to continue with me on my road trip, I said goodbye to my wonderful running friends of Corvallis.
Stop #3, Bozeman, Montana.  We continued east through the Rockies.  Johan, my Danish friend who was studying for a term at Oregon St., would join me for my travels and celebrate Christmas with my family.  It would be a wonderful way for him to see the country and for me to have good company on the road.  Johan, easily fell into a carefree LTD (Living the Dream) attitude, and it was an absolute pleasure traveling with him.  Arriving in Bozeman with temps at -18 Fahrenheit, we were soon warmed up by the cheer of my wonderful college friend, Ms. Piper Platte.  Struggling to leave paradise, we remained in Bozeman for three days, skiing, running, ice climbing, cooking, and baking Christmas cookies with the Platte family.
Old friends meeting new friends, Bozeman, MT
Driving through Yellowstone
Running the Great Salt Lake, Utah
Stop #4, Somewhere in the central Utah Desert.  Several years removed from Colorado, the landscape I missed most was the nearby Utah Desert, one of my favorite places on Earth.  We had very poor directions for an intriguing slot canyon in the San Rafeal Swell, not far from I-70, so we hopped off the interstate, got ourselves lost, and camped under the stars.  Covered in six inches of snow, I had never seen the desert like this.  We reoriented ourselves the next morning, hiked an absolutely stunning canyon, and finished the day with a run around the Fisher Towers.
The San Rafael Swell
Getting lost in the canyons
Sunset Run in the Fisher Towers; Castle Valley in the background
Stop #5, Leadville and Boulder, Colorado.  No road trip across the country would be complete without a visit with Danny and ugggh, Jones!  In just 3 days in Colorado Johan would get a sobering glimpse of my past.
Jones and Johan
Stop #6  Rest Stop, Indiana.  After 20 straight hours of driving, I had to get horizontal for a bit in the rest stop garden.
Stop #7  Home Sweet Home, Niskayuna, New York.  After avoiding some fierce storms, persisting through absolutely frigid temperatures, and running at awesome sites such as Niagara Falls, we arrived at my parent’s house just a day before Christmas.  I would spend the next six weeks in the East, preparing my trip, connecting with old friends, establishing another teaching credential in Physical Education, running the Disney World marathon, and most importantly, catching up with mom and dad!