Ride to the ridge, camp, decend, repeat.

•September 2014 • Leave a Comment


Vietnam continued: Da Nang, Hue, and Hoi An

•August 2014 • Leave a Comment

I really

really need


pilot's license.


So we landed in Da Nang, after flying down the coast from the North. This was the area where most of the fighting was, so many decades ago. You couldn’t tell, in town. We only stayed for a minute, before hopping on a bus to Hue. My face was glued to the bus window, only partially because I had forgotten my book in the baggage that now resided in the baggage compartment underneath me.

Skills literally paying bills.

Another impressive feat. But then again, I can't even walk in 'em.

Old-school Chatterbox

And finally, a reminder not to tailgate.

Cool beach town

No good pictures because they always seemed to be around when I wasn't driving, but that's a gas station.

Duct tape canoe Mk2, here are the designs.

Welcome to Huế

Hue was mostly a jumping off point for day trips to nearby temples, of which there were many. Emperors of dynasties past resided permanently behind and beneath giant stones within. We hopped on a scooter, and were guided to three of them in our first day there.


Tomb of Lăng Khải Định

Serious as fuck.

Not so serious.

Ornate almost to a fault

I need to do this at home.

Not sure my room could pull it off, though.

Now imagine this guy


This was definitely a view to keep

Elephant not to scale




Brick bridges with ceramic tile

I see tiny trees, I get the urge to run at people screaming.


The gates that lead to the gates that lead to the final resting place of Emperor Tự Đức

There's a picture somewhere of me hanging off the bridge to take this.


Three: Thien Mu Pagoda was the home of Tich Quang Duc, famed for self-immolating in protest of the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government in 1963.  The blue Austin can be seen in the background of the photo of him on fire, and is the car he drove himself into Saigon with.

Getting the look down.




, TX

Not a bad place to throw down for.

Are you sure you want to leave this pagoda?


The next day we visited the Royal Palace in the center of Hue. A formidable sight from any angle, it was the location of a significant amount of fighting during the war. Bullet holes and blasted back steel still remain as stark reminders of what once occurred there. The palace is being restored to its original splendor by craftsmen who are doing all of the painstaking work by hand, as it was done the first time.

1000 gallon basin


Good as new


Didn't miss.

Lotuses just doesn't sound right.

Yard work on an epic scale.

Bullet-riddled wall

A reminder of how quiet it was when I was standing on that street.

That'll stop 'em!


Street food was available everywhere, along with 24-hour massage parlors and special deals for guests of our hotel.

Ok, this is really a food truck, Viet-style.

Open all night, unsurprisingly.

Night Rider

This hotel was a good choice.

If a little lawsuit-attracting.

After getting our fill of Hue, we raced a storm back through Da Nang, to Hoi An.

DaNang that's a big storm!

From there, we took a day trip to My Son, a site in the woods that was a temple, then became a Viet Cong base, and was then bombed into the ground.  Parts of it are being rebuilt with different color stone, to show the original shape while attempting to preserve its current state.

Scars on the side of a footpath

One of the few statues left in place at Mỹ Sơn


Worn details

Cell window

What it once was

Partial reconstruction, giving insight into the old without removing the reality of the present.

I think we lost the serious again.

Nothing much to see here, just a bomb crater, and a reminder not to use national treasures as a base of operations during a war.

Not much to save.

Hoi An itself is as much of a tourist trap as we could find in Vietnam, but still retained a charm not found in the many other such places I’ve been.  It still felt like a sleepy little town on the water, but it never really slowed down, active late into the night and early in the morning.

This is all about the reclining Buddha.

I like lamp.


This...made me hungry.

Daily activity at elementary school: sweeping the streets!

No street signs, but different lanterns to denote stores in a shopping district

A different approach than DC's


just a shop

just a bike

Corner gas station

The ritzy place down the street

Family vacay

Hội An, tourist trap done right.

This sums up the telecom situation


We rented a scooter and tried to get lost, succeeding only in finding a construction site on the beach and a resort hotel with a view of the ocean that brought us back again the next day.

Crazy erosion

I was curious how these boats worked. Just about how I thought.

I just looked it up, and lori is legitimate. Loti it is.

Abu's eyes on the horizon are why hotel guests and employees had a 6 minute heads up. Abu was trying to help an elderly German couple to move up from the beach when he was hit by the wave.

How 2 Citroen (Traction Cabriolet?)



That ship is a restaurant.

Night in Hoi An was my favorite, by far.

Hội An again.

Watched this from the comfort of a bar across the water

No idea what happened here, but it was fun.

I knew to jam the brakes on the rental scooter when I saw this lantern, because it meant I was about to pass our hotel.

Scooter wandering, with Da Nang on the horizon

Back at Abu's hotel. They might have thought we were guests of theirs.


…and just like that, Hoi An was behind us, and Da Nang was hardly a blip on the radar before we left it, too, and headed further south to Ho Chi Minh City.

Sadly, we missed the explanation of how to use these setups to catch fish.

Yellow thing is the Dragon Bridge. Actually shoots fire.

And So It Went, Part 5: Burning Rubber, Gas, and Coolant

•August 2014 • Leave a Comment

I turned left, away from San Francisco, and drove down the coast as far as Santa Barbara. Then, I turned around and drove back up. I spent a few nights lazily meandering up and down the 1, pulling to the shoulder to crash for the night, then doing it again. I wandered down to the water and napped on the rocks during the day. The days blurred together again, save the hundred miles I drove with a hitchhiking passenger, listening to his life story and plans for the future.

I see why people want to live here

this picture caused me to take my shoes off

My favorite sign, anywhere.

View from my hammock

some rock

You'd think it to go the other way, but Kenya reminded me of this photo.

New buddy.

I could picture the stone spinning the hole into that shape

I left many of these

All beyond the fence.


Eye level

New buddy.

Straight down

Gonna skip these buddies.




Then, one day I woke up and decided I was done looking at the ocean, and I wanted to see some mountains. I turned inland, and drove until the roads turned to dirt. There went another blur of days drinking beer near rushing streams, sleeping in windy valleys as the truck rocked back and forth, and resting the afternoons away in my hammock.


As old timey as it gets

No self service, and the gas is more expensive by a dollar?

I don't need to pay you extra for your rust.

King's Canyon


Somewhere in the mountains my motor started overheating, and I popped the hood only to be greeted with the spray of steam and boiling coolant from a busted radiator hose.  I fixed the hose, and the radiator blew its top. From there out it was a healthy mix of coasting and driving to get out of the mountains.  I arrived at a shop in the foothills at 4:50 on a Friday, and for a case of beer and $60 cash, 5 guys replaced my radiator in 10 minutes flat. Efficiency is easy when you want to get the hell out of Dodge.

Symptom of distress


Lunch break on the way down

Beer: solves what ails ya.


I decided that the truck had had enough of the mountains, and spent a night in the desert before heading back for another go at the weirdness of Los Angeles.

Next stop: middle of nowhere

You'd think it was the middle of nowhere, except for the nearby town.


This is exactly what I expect of LA

American as fuck. This is a McDonalds.


Yep, time to go.


One night was all it took, and it was East to Vegas for a night, then Hoover Dam and a straight shot back to my busted bike in Henrietta.

Vegas from Henderson

Fallout 3 map.

Lest ye forget: formerly sea bottom

Desert Desert Desert


The last of the scenery: Colorado

Now for some nothingness.




I finally got a look at the damage, loaded it up, and hauled it back to DC in a night.

Yeah, that'll slow you down.

Practically dragged it home

Crushing miles.


It had been just over three weeks since the race at Laguna Seca, but it felt like a lifetime.

Virginia Traffic

•February 2014 • Leave a Comment

GWNF population density is refreshing.

Into Vietnam: Incheon SK, Ha Long Bay, and Hanoi

•January 2014 • Leave a Comment

Its my Pic in a box.

Why am I in Korea?

Can I get on one of those now?

Even harder to read upside-down

Oh shit I'm in Vietnam

This is actually just the waiting room

Nice of them to line up for me

With a side of Mary Poppins

Call me, maybe?

Food truck, Viet-style

Ha Long will I be sitting here?

Beer makes waiting better

French fries.

Can we get a little closer?

Back it up.

More rocks.

Not the smallest town I've been in, but the most buoyant.

Not a dry county.

If you say so.

Slow down, ya maniacs!

She did all the work.

So much more.

If you say so.

Lonely boat.

Laundry at speed.

Hehe. Shaft.

It's a fossilized jellyfish. Promise.

Did you know: a Japanese 1 Yen coin floats?

It didn't.


Lots of junk.

Out the back door.

Welcome to Hanoi

Dash-pineapple. Similar to pocket-sand.



Nice sign... must be new.

I was inverted.


•January 2014 • Leave a Comment



•January 2014 • Leave a Comment



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