Brother Juniper’s Breakfast Burrito that I could not finish, Memphis, Tennessee, 2013
It is 4th of July. I’m sitting in the bamboo infested backyard of a punk house in East Vancouver. So why is this even relevant? I’ve seen many paradises in the last couple of months. There were hells too. It took me forty-five days. Through twenty States, thirteen thousand kilometres on the road to get from Montreal to Vancouver. There are shorter routes. I took the long one. As out of the way as possible. Just so that i can tell what Louisiana smells like and how the sun just refuses to set in the Texas desert.
Twentynine of these days were spent sleeping outside, on my back, in a tent, in coves, beaches, mountains, deserts. When I wasn’t busy trying to stay alive amongst the rattle snakes, mountain lions, bears, heat in the triple digits, bugs in octuple, I mostly worried about an evening camp fire for warmth, a simple meal to feed my company and I, and when really relaxed, the incredible sunsets I have witnessed. each one better than the other.
“I would be very happy if I woke up alive tomorrow morning” I told my girlfriend a couple of times.
Not exactly the words a city girl wants to hear on the side of a mountain. We woke up with a twist in our spine yet smiling every morning. Couple of these nights were in motels, RV campgrounds, parking lots… real shit holes. The fear for my safety was completely fuelled by the shit movies I’ve seen. On the other hand the mexican oil workers of Sonora, TX, who were two knuckles deep into their noses outside of our room, were nice enough. Mostly just missing their families.
Old and new friends opened up their doors at times. With a couch, a room, a view. They shared their time. Busy with work, dying to get out. Vicariously living through our tire marks on their driveways. We were an excuse to try out new restaurants or revisit the old faithful.
I told them “Join me. With your wisdom and suggestions. Point my car in the right direction. Tell me where to go.” I’ll look at things you once have and tell you about my experience. Much like reading the same books and talking about them.
I met Enduron while watching an incredible sunset on the hills of Rodeo Cove in San Francisco. There I was, contemplating if I can camp out amongst the World War II Barracks and Battery that once housed a 16″ Caliber gun. Our intense interaction took no longer than fifteen minutes. During this, i received turn by turn directions to desolate beaches, hot springs overlooking inhabited valleys. Himself was on his way to Oregon. Where he would try to make it to some hot springs by 3:00am. His excitement for life was the fuel I had needed 10000kms into my journey. We shared a joint as the sun hissed its way into the cold Pacific.
Thank you America for adopting me for 45 days. Thank you to your farmer who grew cherries, peaches, strawberries. Thank you for 10 for a buck Avocados. Thank you for your crazy weather that constantly tries to kill you, while the world thinks America has it all figured out. Thank you for your incredibly diverse cities of the east-south and the west. Thank you for John Denver, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash. Thank you for Dick Proenneke.