Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I am a huge Grateful Dead fan. Well, just a rather sizable deadhead in general. I firmly believe I was born in the incorrect decade for my views, likes and dislikes. I would MUCH rather jam out to some Dead or throw on some old Peter Tosh (who, in my opinion... has just as good, if not a better voice than his ex-band mate, Bob Marley) than listen to about 99% of EVERYTHING released since maybe, 1998.... well, that is pushing it. Maybe '93.

Regardless, one thing I plan to do on this road-trip, which will involve only one detour, is visit all locations mentioned in the song, 'Truckin' by the Grateful Dead. Those locations, in order as they come up in the song, are:

Chicago, New York, Detroit (it's all the same)... Dallas, Houston (too close to New Orleans), New York... up to Buffalo... and finally, Bourbon Street. Very much hopefully, sans getting busted on said street.

There are an incredible number of aspects that I hope to enjoy on this trip.... not just birds. Not just nature in general. I plan to star gaze in the darkest spots of Arizona (man one of those 'star-gazing city' houses would be amazing... they COME WITH observatories), view some of our nation's historical locales such as The Alamo, Deadwood, South Dakota, Washington D.C., etc....

I am a giant fan of history, especially my personal history and American. Even more specifically, Native American history.... and art... and folklore.... and life.

Often times when I am hiking, regardless of the location, I sit on a rock or stump, off trail, and just look. I take a mental photograph of my immediate surroundings.... then I close my eyes. In one of my favorite local spots, Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, CT, I imagine the road I drove in on is gone. The mile or so of neighborhoods that shattered the once continuous mixed deciduous forest have disappeared. The several mile long powerline cut no longer divides woods from scrub. The only thing that breaks up these woods are the waterways.

I picture how far south these woods stretch until they approach, then battle the winds of Long Island Sound, become sparse, and open up into an unmeasurable shore habitat. Barrier beaches and brackish marshes for as far as the eye can see.... not as far as to the start of the next neighborhood, or new development.

I imagine these things, and it makes me think of when the TRUE Americans were thriving. When Stratford, CT encompassed all of Shelton, Monroe, Trumbull, and half of Bridgeport. When they saw the first 'bird' that can 'fly over the waves' coming over the horizon.

I have no problems understanding why some tribes became aggressive... well, intolerant is a better word. It was theirs to begin with. Crazy thoughts by some see a world-wide nuclear holocaust, with only the jungle tribes surviving. With no 'civilization'..... in the naive sense of the word, these secluded tribes will take over, bringing us back 2000+ years when tribes battled. Not for oil. Not for resources. And certainly not because a Presidnet son wanted revenge for his father's miscues. It will be battles based on territory and survival. Tribes that those of the day called, 'Barbarians'. They already knwo how to live off the land and how to weather to weather of such dramtica places at the monsoons of the Amazon, or frigin temps at Tierra del Fuego.

I HIGHLY suggest reading, 'The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin'. It is his personal joural of his time spent of HMS The Beagle... several years before The Origin of Species.

I think of these things, and any other thing that flows into my head, and they have soundtracks. Music fills my life and I would deflate without it. I think of these things I mentioned I can only hear one band.... The Grateful Dead. Maybe The Doors for more of the Indian aspect.... =) Thinking of the crazy-theories (which, to me, aren't that far fetched.... unless the earth's atmosphere becomes cloudy and creates another Ice Age. My soundtrack to that would be be Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and 'The End' by The Doors.

Coming up next will be my plans for Leg 1 of my trip: Stratford, CT to Rapid City, South Dakota. Including my planned route, which will be mostly a straight through.... other than hitting up Chicago (got in the wrong lane 2 years ago and took the CHI loop route.... nice views. I got to see Wrigley Field) and Indiana Dunes Nat'l Lakeshore (would be nice to see some Piping Plovers out of CT). On my trip to AK, I barely did anything in South Dakota, and spent a lot of time in North Dakota. So I am only giving me 2-3 days for that leg.... if only to get to Utah, Vegas and deserts, Sand Diego and LA, and Arizona faster.

But, my last road-trip was set up the same way... chug through until I reach a planned refuge/IBA.... and time was an issue. At least I have a minimum of 40 days out. I'm hoping to stretch my budget to 60 days by doing as much camping as possible.

However, I'd be willing to lose a week to stop at some of the MLB's ballparks.... San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Arizona D'Backs, FL Marlins, etc.... the new Yankee Stadium is WAAAY to expensive. I have a Yankee logo tattooed on my leg, and I still refuse to become a stupid consumer and pay a minimum of like $80 for nose-bleeds. Thank goodness for bleacher seats!!

I can already tell.... I will never want to come home until I a done birding Cape May. Then once I get home, I'll dream (night or day) about my next trip!! That is what happened after my my '08 drive to AK.


(AKA Brian)


  1. What I said about music isn't true. I'd say 90% of music since the 90s has been awful.

  2. Very excited for you and this trip. Sounds like you need to be putting your soundtracks for each part of the journey together as well. My husband will make some "travelin music" for when we travel.

  3. Thanks =)

    The first leg of my trip is going to be mostly Moe and Keller Williams.

    I'm going to, hopefully, try and have a song for each stop.... then make a CD of those songs.