hitchabouts abounding – rolling into one another

Several weeks ago I hitched to Taos from Santa Fe several days after the SantafeSki basin closed. Word on that last day by many locals was that Wednesday was going to be a powder day…and the lift tickets for that week only were $20, instead of $90 +. I went, standing there in flurries on this corner holding my skis, poles and boots by my feet. I quickly got a ride the whole way from a man who was doing some business and had done his Trader Joe’s stop etc., heading back to Taos. He and his wife have Taos ski passes. We had plenty to talk about social, political, economic and environmental subjects. My host phoned me to give an update on the meeting point because he was leaving his current location. The call came when the vehicle I was in was within less than a minute from where my host was standing.

The following week I hitched the 90 miles again, to be present for a dinner with my host, a friend from my home town in Pennsylvania whose mother, a friend of my parents, was making her trek across the country to visit several of her kids. I made it just after the cocktail hour and before the Palmyra crew were sitting down at the dinner table. The ride I had that day was with a woman who picked me up at the same corner at the DeVargas Mall. I had just started to dial my host to apologize that perhaps I was not going to make it in time, when this young woman put down the passenger seat window to say she’s driving to Taos. I always have a sign! I would have been on time, if a female police officer hadn’t kept us for 20 minutes after waiting in her car at a speed trap.

I hitched to the peoples climate march, the 1,877 or so miles, and after about 9 rides, leaving 1pm on Wednesday, I made it to the grounds of the event at the Mall in Washington D.C. a bit after the opening speeches had begun. I was among them as we approached the White House to surround it. Although I later learned and saw that the Prez was indeed there, because there was a very long and loud motorcade for the visiting dignitaries…I assumed that this particular weekend he might have chosen to go golfing on a high-rise rooftop in Saudi Arabia with Marine le Pen and Putin. En route, I pretty much barely caught any sleep. The night of the climate march, by the time I’d wandered to the Starbucks at Dupont Circle to plug into electricity and the world, after having taken 300+ photos after the march of all of the signs laid down in a field spelling out words from a mandala, I realized it was too late to phone my friend. Oh yeah, I had to go to Starbucks to look up her number. I thought it was in my phone. I wound up chatting with a guy outside of a bar on this pleasant Friday evening, where all these people flowed out from the club above. They were mostly gay men, of mostly middle eastern decent; Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt…I wandered into a different club to dance, and when that ended, asked a man on the street where I could find a place open to eat dinner. A tall, elegant AfroAmerican, we somehow got onto the topic of the award winning deserts he makes, marketing in other countries. He steered me to a restaurant bar where I could find his dessert which was near. I was still in the Dupont Circle area. Not knowing where I’d sleep that night and figuring that I wouldn’t, I wandered to go splurge on dinner. I say splurge, because by virtue of my lifestyle, I rarely have spare money to go ‘out’ to eat. However, turns out that I was given numerous donations along my hitch to D.C. I believe I left with $13.00 in my wallet. By the time I reached D.C. had about $90, and returned with about the same amount I left with. Seems the money went in multiples of $7, each time I’d buy anything.

So I walk into this restaurant at about 5:00 in the morning. It’s packed. I’m seated next to a bustling table of gay men, mostly the Middle East, like a different country represented by each of the six. Turns out the guy next to my elbow was very communicative. We chatted, chattering and and laughing. I had a nice rapport with the waiter, a gay man from Tunisia. He asked after the gang next to me left and I was finishing up my meal if I had anywhere to sleep. I accompanied him just a few blocks away after his shift ended. He was genteel, made sure that his alarm clock was additionally set for when I had to rally to catch a 5:40 pm flight. He was proactive and is kind and a great sense of humor. He explained how I needed to walk back to the metro and catch the train, in case he didn’t get up. I noticed the clean, sleek black sheets as I was leaving the following afternoon. He also articulated the two possible train routes I could take to the Ronald Reagan Natl Airport, in retrospect very helpful, because the Blue line was not functioning on this particular Sunday. I got to the domestic flight with still half an hour to spare.

driving directions from Taos, New Mexico to Tucson, Arizona

Now I’m hitching tomorrow, Friday morning for Tucson. It’s a quarter of the distance of the last, according to google maps about 9 hours. I was asked if I wanted to be among the cast of female producers for this ‘all female producer’ electronic music producer’s open mic sort of thing. It takes place every month at a bar in Tucson called the Flycatcher. I participated in it twice before. I figured yeah, I’ll go 578 miles to play 20 minutes or so, why not?

Pushing Buttons -Monthly Producer Getdown Sat May 6 at 9pm

Pushing Buttons -Monthly Producer Getdown Sat May 6 at 9pm

I flew back to Albuquerque after the march on sort of a standby. I didn’t know how I’d make it back to Taos by 10am the next morning to meet the person driving me to move my stuff from Santa Fe to Taos, but knew I could wake up early and hitch that distance easily. In fact, after having a bit of a rapport with a man sitting right behind me, I then saw him walking together with the man seated across the isle from me and overheard Santa Fe. I asked them, and they were happy to give me a ride that night, right off the plane. We had a very in depth conversation, carried along by my continued questions about the Ba H’ai faith. They were coming from a conference in which the driver is the Santa Fe representative who is eligible to vote for a National member of their ‘clergy’. I will have to talk about that later. I am still on the learning curve of creating music with these programs, though learning short cuts and continually learning by doing, how to use the programs Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason. I lost the original material of a chunk of songs when that laptop ceased and I couldn’t transfer the content from one to another Software version. I had heard of this before, hadn’t realized until the man informed me that it originated only about 150 years ago in Persia. Ironically, Persia is also the origin of the particular meditation tradition the South African Pediatrician studied originally (a Sufi tradition). He guides a ‘Heart Rhythm’ meditation presently at the Hershey Penn State Medical Center in Hershey, PA.

Interesting, Ba H’ais except and wish to support and respect all religions, they don’t proselytize, they don’t have a hierarchy of clergy with mega bucks holding sermons in mega churches. There are no ‘leaders’ but an elected group who pass things by majority rule. They believe in love, kindness, acceptance and service. They are very Green.

I got that flight back by virtue of walking along the same sidewalk the day before I booked the flight, and running into a guy I’d known years ago in Taos, when he was a customer at the Cafe Tazza where I was employed. We chatted for a while, catching up there on the corner where a man with a stark white long beard and cowboy hat had just ridden across the crosswalk among the midday car traffic. My friend mentioned that he’d give me a call. He did the following day, and I hopped on my bicycle and he met me to donate funds towards my vision, to get to the peoples climate march. He gave me the money, I found a one-way ticket after lots of searches that was guaranteed to leave the day I wanted to leave, but not revealing the time until after it was booked. I hoped it would give me time to get to the airport from D.C. It did.

I came back to move into a yurt so that I can live the life of a starving artist with a roof over my head. I’m not starving either. Although I worked 7 days a week throughout all but the last month of the school year as a substitute teacher booking often 4 and 5 days a week of work and taking weekends and holidays to commit to working as a ski instructor for the local ski basin in Santa Fe, I have barely any money saved; trying to pay off a credit card debt. The yurt residence is not far from the center of town of Taos, New Mexico.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/21261638@N03/albums/72157680301250213

yurt

new residence in a yurt

I have to stop writing now and get onto arranging what I’ll be doing. I just started a new song a week ago involving Penguin calls that sound sort of like horns. I still have more composing and sound editing to do.

In the meantime, I have had two landlords rip me off here in New Mexico, land of enchantment. Astoundingly, after verbal promise to reimburse my security deposit and not cash the check for the rent I paid in advance, which was paid by another woman for the same month and same room, and from whom I received a security deposit, David Michael Carman who owns this property in Santa Fe among others in his residential city of Albuquerque, stole over a thousand dollars from me. Just sayn’. The following landlady, where I had to move in on sudden notice, also itemized the deductions from my security deposit to squeeze as much out of it as she could. What happened to honesty?

Here’s the blog I never got to post about the hitchabout to Taos.

The ride down, actually, up, north to Taos, was flawless. The word had been spreading among all of the locals and employees of Santa Fe Ski Basin on its last opening day of the season, Sunday April 2nd, that the coming Wednesday will be a powder day at Taos Ski Valley, not only open for still another week, but lift tickets reduced to $20.00 from over $90. No brainer.

Ride – hitch to Taos $20 – powder day = fantastic ride > direct to Chris at phenomenally the exact time of his call

I phoned my friend living in Taos from the same hometown in Pennsylvania next to Hershey. He hadn’t planned to ski, but wasn’t on a project at the moment. Sure, he’ll join. It had occurred to me the day before that hitching, I can’t feasibly wait until the day after the storm, because I’d have to leave while it’s still dark. Lift lines open at 9am for the 90 mile drive.

The whole point of a powder day is to be there as the lifts open to get freshies – fresh tracks – before the snow gets chopped up by people skiing moving the snow into little digits and channels and mounds. Virgin powder conditions are like floating. Each tiniest weight shift creating a little arc of a turn. “No Friends On A Powder Day” – No Waiting. No Stopping, for anything.

I walked out prepared with my backpack, sign on the back of my ‘SKI’ sign created on a paper bag which I used all season from the tryouts to be an adult ski instructor with the Santa fe ski school to the work days; hitching up to the Santa Fe ski area. ‘TAOS’ was an easy fit on the back side of the sign.

http://350pacific.org/pacific-climate-warriors/

I chose each place where I lived in town specifically for the ease with which I could hitchhike to the ski area, to access the main roads en route to the only road going up the mountain- Hyde Park Road. People trying out for skiing or snow boarding positions are obliged to attend the training clinics, leading up to the opening of the ski area. Those hired were expected to be bodily present during prime times – winter and spring breaks – I scheduled myself to work weekends. When I wasn’t up at the ski area, I was mountain biking on a lent bicycle throughout the entire Santa Fe district from the previous autumn throughout the winter, working as a substitute teacher for all grades. This for the Santa fe public schools, many of which were located on the periphery of the town. When I still lived in the hills on the way to the ski area, my commutes were for example, 22 to 28 miles round-trip. Once I moved, they were reduced to 15 and less, taking biking trails south through the town district. One can schedule jobs online independently. There was only once that I looked at the snow report for the ski area moments after clicked ‘accept’ this job, when I saw that the there were 6” of new powder. I cancelled the job for the following morning. Being a night person who typically starts preparing dinner after 10pm, that was now my curfew.

April 1st was the send-off party, more than the final day, the 2nd of SkiSantaFe. On the 1st, many locals were in costume, there was a treasure hunt, dj’s on the deck of the mid-mountain Totemoff lodge, and just lots of partying. It kept flurrying as the sun was still visible through this veil of clouds. The following last day, were phenomenal conditions. Fresh untracked powder everywhere. The decision to return to ski at Taos, especially when this inexpensive, was full-on. I phoned my friend in Taos who also had worked at Taos Ski Valley previously (I at the Kinderkaefig and Chris on Ski Patrol). Our paths had crossed that time, each having lived in California at different times and each raised in the same town in Pennsylvania, next to Hershey.

I walked quickly to my starting point, with no place for cars to pull over on the main drag heading north to Taos. With skies propped on my shoulders and poles and ski boots next to me, I stood in the flurries of late afternoon. I felt confident I’d get a ride the 90 miles to Taos. Within about 5 minutes, I heard a beep in the parking lot behind me. Someone driving by who couldn’t stop, turned around. He was coming from business meetings and a Trader Joe’s stop. His non-profit work focuses on the health of people in relationship to their environment in specifically rural areas in the rocky mountain area. For example the planning of land, community spaces, looking at resources such as water in particular and thinking not only about the health and attractiveness of the town but also improvising ways to make the town more attractive, to persuade inhabitants to remain there or return; explaining that there’s been a trend of people magnetically moving towards cities.

The Santa fe ski area had closed on Sunday, with fabulous conditions of fresh powder and sunshine in the morning. It was mild and beautiful and there was no work, just skiing and socializing. I was very happy with each of the different new and newly rediscovered ski routes that I discovered and created. I felt super happy, feeling very happy with my turns.

fantastic return trip after turning down 3 of them, each scarier than the prior. Mr. Bill (with 6 daughters) a climatologist and I had very much information to exchange in conversation.

I found out hitchhiking back from Taos, NM with my ski equipment in tow several weeks ago something alarming and astonishing from the Climatologist who gave me a ride. He had worked for years for the State of California. He said that back in the early ’90s, he was warned numerous times by the state of CA – uh, a progressive state in the USofA – NOT to mention the word Climate Change – at this time I’m sure the dirty word was Global Warming. So, Chump is just a reflection of a much larger horrific state of consciousness lead by the corpocrisy, in which science, truth and actions in defense of what is right, and the words of scientists, are dismissed completely, in the name of profit of the oil oligarchy. So this denial and hushing up of facts, the facts that Al Gore revealed 10 years ago then shown in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, have been hushed, denied, kept silent to the public, while we’re distracted again and again by other ‘news’.

Now I just found an article in the Rolling Stone

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-of-denial-20110622

I Believe in the People’s Climate March Washington D.C. On My Way

And since the Climate March, this is current. Here’s a link for you to sign to send a message to Trump about how important it is to be a leader in the movement towards a healthy climate, and to specifically honor the Paris Agreement. http://act.350.org/sign/paris-response “The Paris Agreement is the backbone of international action to tackle climate change. Donald Trump is considering withdrawing, standing with the fossil fuel millionaires and billionaires. Stand with us to show that political momentum for climate action is unstoppable.”

Make America Cool Again

Make America Cool Again

This guy's tiny, tiny sign said "reduce" LOL

This guy’s tiny, tiny sign said “reduce” LOL

Together with the Sierra Club, WWF, Defenders of Wildlife and all of the other groups and the masses of people who have the will to make the effort to stand up and out (worldwide), I will be marching in Washington D.C. For those who wish to see a dramatic exodus and transformation from the Profit-Over-Everything-Else attitude of our Oil Oligarchy and Corpocrisy run government >

People's Climate March April 29th, 2017

People’s Climate March April 29th, 2017

NRDC National Resource Defense Council says, “It’s time to stop the backsliding on climate change; it’s time to meet the most urgent challenge of our generation.”

time to stop the backsliding on climate change; it's time to meet the most urgent challenge of our generation.

On Saturday, 300,000 people came together for the Peoples Climate March in our nation’s capital, and in communities around America and the world.

Here’s a link http://act.350.org/sign/local-action for what we can do to continue local action towards a movement of sustainability rather than oil dominated environmental futility.

Here’s 350.org’s Facebook page of pics. facebook pics of march

Below are the pics I took en route hitchhiking from Santa Fe, New Mexico and many of the signs at the march.

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C.

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C._2

I’m in! Peoples Climate March April 29th, Washington D.C. >
Packing up my residence in the next hours to move May 1st (from an apt to a yurt), with help from a friend with a pickup and dentist appt in Santa Fe. I’ve booked a flight one-way from DC to ABQ Albuquerque {not knowing until after paying} when precisely it was going to depart that day. Calculating the earliest DC Metro Rail to the airport only arrives at 6am, I breathed a sigh of relief when seeing that the flight was leaves late afternoon. Ran into a friend yesterday I hadn’t seen for many years, who spontaneously gave me the money today to cover the flight. I only realized two days ago looking at the calendar, that there was another day, the 30th, between the March and my move-out day. Anything’s possible. I merely have to get to DC hitching, leaving uh, mañana?

– 27 h 1,877 miles according to google maps.

google directions Santa fe, NM to Washington D.C. People's Climate March. April 29th, 2017

google directions Santa fe, NM to Washington D.C.

I just spent the afternoon, boxing, packing, organizing so that I’m ready upon my return to move to a yurt, since working 6 to 7 days a week still hasn’t afforded any kind of saved nest egg.

I then worked on creating my newest song which I just started yesterday. Streamlined and packed with beats.

I’m on my way to the Peoples Climate March April 29th in DC. peoplesclimate.org There’s a whole niche of my music all about animal rights, wildlife protection, creating animal bridges and preserving animal corridors…So I’m passionate about making not just Trump, but the Oil Oligarchy listen.

And I went.

Here are another page of pics I took at the march.

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C._3

Peoples Climate March Washington D.C.


I’ll be playing at the Flycatcher in Tucson, Arizona, Saturday May 6th for their monthly music producers showcase ‘Pushing Buttons‘. This next month features all women producers.

And releasing much more music as it flows.

Soundcloud Playlists More_NomadbeatZ Eco Echo

Soundcloud Playlists More_NomadbeatZ Eco Echo

The Flycatcher
340 E. 6th St.
Tucson, AZ, 85705
Phone: (520) 207-9251

https://soundcloud.com/you/collection
PayPal: carolkeiter@gmail.com

People's Climate March April 29th, 2017 WWF

People’s Climate March April 29th, 2017 WWF

Looks like I’m in!

Race to Save the World Dump Trump and Oil Oligarchy

Race to Save the World Dump Trump and Oil Oligarchy

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol Keiter, blogger, selfie, hitch, skiing, aos

Carol Keiter the blogger with a selfie prior to getting the ride on return hitch from skiing in Taos

Factory Outlet by George Monbiot posted in the Guardian | Expeditionary Learning

Mass conformism through propaganda. George Monbiot’s words continue to pierce me with his insights.

http://www.monbiot.com/2017/02/16/factory-outlet/

Posted in the Guardian 16th of February, 2017

He talks of the educational conformism that drains teacher’s and students of creativity, and speaks of several systems that move away from the old model, that was designed to produce workers in the 19th century industrialist cultures we lived in.

One educational model that stood out to me, the Reggio Emilia approach, is only because I happened to visit there when I hitchhiked from Berlin to southern Germany, destination Rome.

It was just today that I took a picture of this Expeditionary Learning description on the wall of an 8th grade bi-lingual school science class here in Santa fe.

Expeditionary Learning, hands-on learning, all senses on

Expeditionary – hands and all senses on – Learning

Reminding me of a blog I wrote, after discovering the concept on a hitchhiking journey in which two teachers coming from a conference picked me up and informed me about it.

Why kids need to move, touch, experience to learn, Expeditionary Learning

Why kids need to move, touch and experience to learn Expeditionary Learning

Carol the blogger, Italians, Reggio Emilia, Italian Hitchabout

Carol the blogger among Italians in Reggio Emilia on Italian Hitchabout


Carol Keiter, aka nomadbeatz, welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol the blogger's contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol the blogger’s contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer '16

Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer ’16

PayPal Donate Button

Halloween nYc Hitchabout ’15 | Travel – Golden Elixir – Sharing Information & Hearts | Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I have no income. I love Halloween. I love New York city. So, I hitched to celebrate Halloween in nYc. I work all the time – I simply don’t receive any money – YET – putting together my two blogs, food podcast, photographs I take, music that I play and compose or the book that I will complete within the next 7 months … ! I hitchhiked to nYc from Central PA for Halloween, and back the following day. I spent about $5 dollars over the weekend. Naturally, hitching in NYC drew some attention and comments (and I noticed some pics from peoples’ iPhones) down on Canal street in Lower Manhattan at the unusual site of seeing someone, anyone, standing along the three lanes of traffic inching towards the entrance to the Holland tunnel, holding up a “PA” sign. I had conversations among passersby with a French couple and an Austrian family, among others. I love languages and always go out of my way to interact with people when I detect a language with which I’m familiar; just to have the chance to interact and share information and smiles. I conversed with a French couple on my way back by a gas station along interstate 81 who had purchased a car upon arriving in the U.S. 3 months earlier. They were on their way to Quebec, where they will sell the car, after their months of traveling.

I had great rides, a fantastic time in Gotham city and tears of joy in the experiences that I had with the peoples’ whose lives touched mine en route.

The irony, is that barely a cent needed to be spent. Sure, I was hungry and sleepy, ha, but that’s part of the fun of it.

I had a wonderful time. Sure, I didn’t dine in the fashionable places or name drop who I sat next to at such and such club…but did happen by a synchronistic explosion of serendipities, upon the New York Village Halloween Parade which I knew nothing about until I discovered it would be starting within minutes of my arrival in Manhattan. I had already started to assemble my costume that was in my backpack and was talking with a woman standing before me who asked if I was going to the Parade. What parade? When does it start? It was starting within 20 minutes. I found out about where to go and was among thousands of people corralled in an area waiting to launch into the parade, which consisted of 50, 000 or so costumed people. That rearranged my plans entirely, a no brainer. I intended to go to a party in Brooklyn, but the parade took front seat. It was great timing, intuitive attention and open and friendly contact with people right next to me.

Village Halloween Parade NYC 2015

Huge display of every imaginable Halloween costume

http://gothamist.com/2015/11/01/91_photo_village_halloween_parade.php#photo-1

Gothamist, wild costumes, Village Halloween Parade nYc  2015

Gothamist 91 wild costumes Village Halloween Parade nYc 2015


“Thousands of people descended upon lower Sixth Ave. for the 42nd annual Village Halloween Parade. Lasting well over three hours and featuring dozens of mobile dance parties doubling as floats …. and approximately 60,000 often-outlandishly costumed revelers strolling, dancing, lurching, running, roller blading …. the parade is thought to be the largest such celebration in the world. The weather was perfect, the atmosphere festive, the costumes usually handmade and often pretty incredible…”

I can’t believe that I had no knowledge whatsoever about the ‘Village Halloween Parade’. Wow, was I glad I discovered it. My costume was a ‘Mermaid caught in a fish net in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I was wrapped in bubblewrap as the mermaid’s tail (walking in tiny steps like a geisha – or a fish outa water), tangled in fish net with plastic dripping off my costume – having gotten stuck in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This article mentions the young man who is doing something about it. There are vortexes of garbage archipelagos in every ocean. The GPGP is larger than Texas, and deep.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

tip of the burg Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I didn’t have my camera with me nor a smart phone to document my 48 hour hitchabout. Yet Yougourthen kindly sent me the pic he took of us at the G bar in Manhattan hours after the parade had ended. G bar, indeed a gay bar, was packed with people, had a great ambience, good music and dancing and a fantastic array of costumed gorgeous men. he he.

Carol and Yougourthen at the G bar Manhattan halloween

Thank Yougourthen Ayouni for the pic of he and Carol at the G bar Manhattan halloween

Sure, with a working schedule, dependents, less time available and any other constrictions, one can’t just dart of hitching for a trip thousands of miles away for a couple days. However, I’m pointing out that since travel and discovery is about learning about the spirit of the place and its people and the other creatures and life that inhabit the area, it’s not about consuming, and spending, but finding joy in discovery and social interaction. I have done many hitchabouts which I’ve written about, particularly interesting when I lived based in Berlin, Germany. Here’s a string of these writings on my blog. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/?s=hitchabout . I love sharing information and smiles with people. I meet such wonderful people during my rides, that this in itself is as enjoyable and exciting as the destination. People whose lives I otherwise would not necessarily come into contact wtih. Sure, i realize that this is not everyone’s thing. but travel doesn’t need to always cost so much! i better stop now. I discovered by synchronicity (timing and intuitive attention and open and friendly contact with people right next to me) that the Village NY Halloween Parade was happening, and joined in with my costume that was in my backpack and ready to be assembled.

And because my heart was sickened every time I saw the body of a dead dear along the highway en route, I’m writing a corresponding blog about animal bridges / wildlife crossings. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/animal-bridges-wildlife-crossing-witnessed-way-too-many-dead-deer-en-route-to-new-york-city-through-pennsylvania-and-new-jersey/

which provide means for animals to have their habitat extended, rather than blocked, by human construction. Why do I care? Because I care about all creatures which are awesome and beautiful inhabitants of this planet.

nYc Mid Summer Hitchabout Bliss | Sleepless in New York | The Strangers Project

highline, graffiti, einstein

highline_graffiti_einstein

With a new impetus to travel, I worked hard for the week – much of my tasks involved with proactively preparing for when my current residence, the family home where I grew up, will be sold. And as I’m not ready to depart just yet, I decided that a weekend adventure in New York city would fulfill that desire.

I decided to make the plunge.

highline_graffiti_plunge

highline_graffiti_plunge

This title could also be Sleepless In New York 🙂

NYC hitching sign

NYC hitching sign

I went on two of these hitchabouts within two weeks of each other. The first was on the 21st of June, to celebrate the summer solstice with the Make Music New York.

Here’s a flickr link to the pics from this trip. The pictures pretty much describe most of my journey, with the exception of dancing the first night in the Meat Packing district!

flickr link to the nYc July hitchabout

flickr link to the nYc July hitchabout

building juxtapostion

building juxtapostion

As New York is unlike most other places in America, one visits the entire world as people wander by in their full traditional wear from whatever culture, especially the older generation. One can see saris of India, elegant midwestern wear in burkas, Central and South American passengers on the streets along with various African cultures passing you in turbans along with Jamaican…basically you name it, you will see people from all over the world. I’m merely talking about Manhattan. Of the five boroughs, I know that Queens has one of the most dense concentrations of people living in the same congested area, resulting in the highest concentration of divers languages in one area, in the world.

 

My best discovery of the last hitch was the the High Line, which is much more maturely grown with its extravagance of wild flowers than the wiki-link description pic reveals, as then it was just being born. It is now one of my favorite getaways for silence and nature and a healthy sprinkle of people from all over the world who are also visiting these lovely gardens imbedded into the former overhead railway. This former railway carried trains to transport meat and finished products back and forth to the Meat Packing district.

highline_looking_south_midtown_plexiglass_stadium

highline_looking_south_midtown_plexiglass_stadium

 

 

highline, flowers, bees

highline_flowers_bees

highline water walkway

highline water walkway

 

 

 

Colin Huggins playing the grande piano in Washington Sq. Park NYC

Colin Huggins playing the grande piano in Washington Sq. Park NYC

Colin Huggins, grand piano, Washington Square Park

Colin Huggins playing the grand piano in Washington Square Park

The other highlights of this trip both took place in Washington Square park. A surprise classical piano recital played on a grande piano that Colin Huggins rolled up and played.

washington_sq_pk_the_strangers_project_stories

washington_sq_pk_the_strangers_project_stories

Another fun discovery was the Strangers Project, an interactive event in the park where people came to read other peoples’ stories, and were invited to share their own.

the Strangers Project on Facebook whats your story

the Strangers Project on Facebook whats your story

the Strangers Project whats your story

the Strangers Project whats your story

what's your story? the strangers project

what’s your story? the strangers project

Here are a few stories !-)

washington_sq_pk_the_strangers_project_story_dont_forget

washington_sq_pk_the_strangers_project_story_dont_forget

the Strangers Project

the Strangers Project story How things are supposed to work

the stranger project my story in nyc

the stranger project my story in nyc

 

On the way back, I made my way to my town square in three rides. An Egyptian driver taking his rider through the tunnel to New Jersey, picked me up because she asked him to. His attitude towards me changed abruptly once she left the car; he was now a bit hostile and asking me for a faire. However he calmed by the time we talked a bit and took me next to the road where many cars could head onto the route I intended to take. The next was a man born in the Dominican Republic, whose parents moved to the Bronx when he was ten. He claimed that there’s way too much corruption there and high presence of gangs. That this transformation has been taking place as a result of the economic fallout, with a high percentage increase compared to what the United States population has taken. These poorer countries feel the hit ten fold. He brought me to within feet of the border of Pennsylvania from New Jersey. There I discovered two gas stations across the street from one another, with both of the gas station attendants barely English literate young me from the Ukraine. I sort of drifted back and forth investigating rides from both. One of the men was all smiles and brightness. The other looked continually sour and preoccupied. I thought he was going to ask me to leave, then when he finally said something to me, it was to complain that people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania don’t tip. I offered to make him a sign, and with time on my hands, did so. I showed him the sketch and said I could make a substantially larger one with my marker on cardboard.

Tips R Welcome

Tips R Welcome

After that, the few times that I suggested holding up the sign, he waived his finger gravely, no no, his boss definitely did not like the idea of having a sign encouraging tips!

I was about to pack it up for the night, mean walking around to investigate the area, when after getting no response from the two cars at this station, I looked at the less busy one across the divided road, and saw two cars there as well. I was 90 miles from home and it was dark for a while now. I suddenly noticed cars at the gas station across the street and immediately started walking there carrying my pack. I then started to run with a bit of an urgency. I arrived there just as the customer had paid, his window was open. I approached the driver sitting in the car about to leave holding up my

Hershey sign

Hershey sign

as I spoke to him asking if he happens to be going towards Hershey, and he answered, “As a matter of fact, I am.” The conversation with him now started to pull together what the previous conversation with the Dominican Republic man had started to hint at; economic injustice causing most of the problems of the world today. Captivated, I listened as my young driver quite articulately expressed: ‘that the current world problems of injustice and inequality and the subsequent violence and disharmony are all a fall-out of the fact that as the economic powers that be – corporations which are growing larger – grow more wealthy and dismantle and crush mom-and-pop stores around the country (world) have the effect of decreasing the circulation of capital, which normally would take place as more and more people contribute their business and flow of money. These large corporations have the tendency to keep getting richer, as they also suck the money out of the populations. And the years of growing phat monopolies and outsourcing have basically ‘desertified’ the home grown economies.

Yep, well, there it is in a nutshell>DIVEST< from petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, dirty industries, from the Starbucks, Walmart, CostCo and all of these huge business chains that are gobbling up all of our local businesses. 🙂

I had my good luck charm with me, which seems to have done me well.

elephant_necklace_gift_from vendor in Berlin

elephant_necklace_gift_from vendor in Berlin

Hope walks through the fire and faith leaps over it.

carol_the_blogger_safe_n_sound

carol_the_blogger_safe_n_sound

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Bar Harbor, Maine hitchabout via Massachusetts | Plum Island, MA | Acadia Nat’l Park, ME

At the edge of autumn, September 2014, I planned a visit with friends and family in New England in the northeastern United States. I would be hitching from Pennsylvania.

So I googled to get directions, and tweaked them with my sister Barb's route suggestions.

So I googled to get directions, and tweaked them with my sister Barb’s route suggestions. 

opted to follow my sister's suggestion to take route 81 in PA through to 84 in NY

opted to follow my sister’s suggestion to take route 81 in PA through to 84 in NY

 

The reason for my ‘hitchabout’ to Bar Harbor, Maine was to visit family friends who lived in the same hometown, Palmyra, Pennsylvania. Visiting Byrne and Bill Erb was a warm and first class visit with fine homemade meals, lots of art and inspiration. It was a fine introduction to this lovely seaside island town in southeastern Maine and Acadia National Park located on Mt. Desert island.

hitch_description

hitch_description

trip_booklet

The entire trip was in essence; wisdom, positivity, education and enlightenment of the heart from the rides to my stop with my sister in Massachusetts en route and the time visiting with friends in Maine. We worked out the time convenient for my hosts. I was happier to go during the warm days, stoked to go for a swim.

 

One of the rides I had with a woman from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts was mind bending, mind opening that is. I felt that the information exchanged was in itself, worth the trip. She was articulate and educated. It was a 2.5 hour ride with a psychologist turned policy maker at the Veteran Administration hospital region of NJ and part of Manhattan. It was a life-changing interchange. We talked of her work and all that veterans face. She was warm and intelligent. In response to mentioning to her that I’m writing a grant proposal for my book, (which I was about to send) she had much to offer. She explained (as a person who has written several grants and reviewed them) that you must ‘cut to the chase’ in the 1st 3 lines, or you’ll lose them. “They’re sitting on a plane on their way to the meeting with a pile of grants on their lap”. The grant will go to that material demonstrating that the person is finely tuned, showing competency and already demonstrating that they’ve worked through the recesses of their plan.

She made it irrevocably clear that one must be very detailed about the entire process. “Not that you plan to find appropriate translators to translate the text into the other languages…but describe the process of deciding upon them and who the translators are – you’ve identified them already.

She mentioned several times that you’ve got to think of the ‘we’ factor, the village. The more people you bring in, to introduce your material for them to critique and contribute, the more depth this interconnected fiber will be. Certainly it depends on the context of the type of proposal you’re writing. Her savvy lead me to realize that you have to communicate to the grantor as completed of a worked-through plan as possible. She said that if it’s not you, it’s someone else who is going to be deserving. The village factor is in the direction of transparency, the more open-sourced and openness of the plan, the better.

She asked “What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?” Leading me in to recognizing how important it is to clearly delineate one’s plans, if one is going to reach and actualize even a portion of what one sets out to do. She offered the information that those who are successful, often map out in detail – in writing – specifically what they can imagine for themselves. It’s not so important whether it takes place in exactly the way that you imagined these steps to go, just let them fall into place. But aim high. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you’re going to get closer than if you’d done nothing at all.

It was like having a session with a life coach. She offered information for me to contemplate and digest, as mentor or advisor. She chose to direct her questions to subjects that caused me to think differently, see things from a different perspective; which she has encountered in her experience. It was certainly invaluable information for me to be exposed to. She mentioned the gap between vision and reality, that one is continually arching over, as an idea becomes executed. I came out of that ride realizing I have a lot of work ahead of me, and really feeling very grateful for having had this intelligent and genuine conversation with someone who reached out. She also mentioned the value of each of us to reach out to exchange ideas with people who are more successful in whatever it is that you wish to accomplish. These people can act as mentors, and will be happy and honored to share their successes and habits as productive and fulfilled people.

After I was dropped off by her at a rest-stop where I figured I’d be staying for the evening, I went inside to orient myself, borrowing a map in the shop to identify where I was on it.

the woman behind the counter let me take a photo  documenting where i was

the woman behind the counter let me take a photo documenting where i was


The peeps behind the counter at the rest-stop let me do this (open up a map and take a picture of where I was). I had pretty much concluded in my mind that any further rides would probably not be too probable. Yet I approached one man whom I’d seen pass me as he was getting into his car. I mentioned that I was going to a small town on the northeastern tip of Massachusetts. As I was saying this a woman approached the passenger door. I know as a hitchhiker that couples rarely pick up hitchhikers. It turned out that these two were colleagues, not a couple. When she heard me repeat the name Georgetown, she said immediately as she walked to the trunk to move things around, “Put your things in the car”. I asked incredulously, do you KnoW where Georgetown is? He answered, it backs-up to the town we’re going to. It’s literally another small town next to my sister’s town. They were environmental engineers, something I’m very keen on, as a growing environmental activist myself.

I needed to return from the Maine hitchabout to attend the Climate March in New York city the following weekend, September 21st, 2014. Right on! good hitching Karma!

Therefore I was able to make it to stop in Georgetown, about 5 miles from the New Hampshire border. I visited my sister’s home there. She lives close to the Interstate highway 95 that continues into Maine through New Hampshire.

 

They were environmental engineers returning from a conference that day in Philadelphia, PA. Their company purchases thermoplastic pipesthermoplastic composite pipe from manufacturers in Germany and the United States. They talked of these as being much more ‘green’, in that they don’t have seams that can crack with pressure or become unsealed at their joints, risking leaking deleterious toxins. They also spoke of the technique of directing storm water runoffs into pipes channeling the water into the ground where it can be naturally filtered, and out of streams that would be carrying all the toxins and garbage that heavy rain water floods can sweep along with them. Here’s a link from Ohio State University in which the US Environmental Protection Agency further explains the subject; “Stormwater runoff has two major adverse impacts. One is related to quantity. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff entering sewers, lakes, rivers, and streams may cause flooding. Second, stormwater runoff often carries pollutants that may severely impact water quality. These discharges can result in fish kills, the destruction of spawning habitats, loss in aesthetic value, and contamination of drinking water supplies and recreational waterways that can threaten public health (USEPA, 1999).” Let’s not even START to talk about the deleterious effects of the impact of fracking on groundwater. In an article written for the Rolling Stone, “The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind Aubrey McClendon’s Gas Boom“. Jeff Goodell states that “McClendon dominates America’s supply of natural gas the same way the Tea Party-financing Koch brothers control the nation’s pipelines and refineries.

I offered what I know of a hotel in Taos, New Mexico that treats its own sewage into becoming grey water that is further used on the property. They do this through a system that includes a lovely terrarium type room ‘biolarium‘ where water filters over rocks. The Living Machine, is the “El Monte Sagrado” resort in Taos, New Mexico. The building is a recycling machine; collects rainwater, has energy independent heating and cooling systems, utilizes an ecological treatment of sewage to reuse wastewater, has environmentally friendly water disinfection, composts and re-uses organic waste material, which feeds their onsite food production and use of earth-based building materials.

the biolarium of the  El Monte Sagrado resort in Taos, NM

the biolarium of the El Monte Sagrado resort in Taos, NM

We met my sister at their office, in the next town around midnight. The following day she and I visited Plum Island, a lovely protected wilderness area off the seaside town of Newburyport.

Newburyport, Maine

Newburyport to Plum Island MA

Newburyport to Plum Island MA

Plum Island is a nature reserve that my sister Barbara drove us to where we walked around among tempestuous waters during the high tide and moody skies.

These pictures Plum IslandIMG_0013
IMG_0015 It was at the tail end of our walk that we came upon this fence there.
fence Plum Island

There was a reddish hued sand on the beach. red hued sand Plum Island

Later I took pictures of my sister’s home, particularly her art work displayed in different rooms.

artwork created by Barb Keiter

artwork created by Barb Keiter

Barb Keiter's illustrations

Barb Keiter’s illustrations

and her Hearth with a hand painted cloud mural behind.

Among her painted furniture is this mural painted by Barb Keiter

Among her painted furniture is this mural painted by Barb Keiter

More pictures of the entire trip are here. The shots are chronological;from the beginning of my trip with pictures of the sunset in Pennsylvania

sunset in the Pennsylvania skies on the eve of my departure.

sunset in the Pennsylvania skies on the eve of my departure.

then the trip heading northeast through Pennsylvania via New York state to Massachusetts.

After being dropped off at a rest-stop along I95, I noticed this bus, and wound up riding in it.

my ride through New Hampshire to Bangor, Maine.

my ride through New Hampshire to Bangor, Maine.

The bus is to transport the two piece band, the Hornitz. This was a great ride with the driver of the Hornitz bus, coming from a musical festival where he left the band behind in Massachusettes, and was preparing for an upcoming music festival in Maine.

Bar Harbor hitch sign

the magic bus of the Hornitz

the magic bus of the Hornitz

sketch with ink of shade coming through trees while driving on the bus

sketch with ink of shade coming through trees while driving on the bus

My ultimate destination was to visit family friends from Pennsylvania who now live in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Maine Notheast US

Bar Harbor – Mt. Desert Island – Maine Notheast US

Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Maine Bay Fundy

Bar Harbor – Mt. Desert Island – Maine Bay Fundy

Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Maine

Bar Harbor – Mt. Desert Island – Maine

The town of Bar Harbor is located on an island named Mt. Desert.

Mt. Desert Island, Maine

Mt. Desert Island, Maine

I was treated graciously by my friends and hosts with wonderfully prepared meals from breakfast

beautifully prepared scones and fruit

beautifully prepared scones and fruit

to dinner

dinner in Bar Harbor, Maine

dinner in Bar Harbor, Maine

in lovely ambiences.

The protected land of Acadia National Park stretches over most of Mt. Desert Island, of which Bar Harbor is just on one corner.

Here’s a photo of a map of Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Mt. Desert Island

The area was originally inhabited by the Wabanaki people.

Acadia National Park reaches over most of the island, preserving the beauty of the wilderness.

Acadia National Park free shuttles

Acadia National Park offering free shuttles throughout the park.

Here’s a wiki link regarding more details and history of Acadia National Park.


from  the town of Bar Harbor
sandy beach in Acadia Nat'l Park

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island

rocky cliff Acadia
rock ledges Acadia Natl. Park
water through pines Acadia Natl. Park
rock water  Acadia Natl. Park

 Acadia Natl. Park

Acadia Natl. Park

rock ledges Acadia Natl. Park

rock ledges Acadia Natl. Park

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

geological coolness

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

I swam by this beach, verrrrrryyyy cold water.

scattering from the rocks everywhere I looked were these tiny black spiders sunbathing. I swam by this beach, balancing on the rocks and in verrrrrryyyy cold water, even colder (in September) than the waters by San Francisco.

It was just a great time!

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

more pics of the entire trip as the link above indicated.

Return sign towards Hartford from BarHarbor to Pennsylvania

Return sign towards Hartford from BarHarbor to Pennsylvania

I encountered police en route a number of times. All were pretty chill. The first actually rescued me, after a driver had left me at an inopportune spot at dusk next to the highway. It was along the correct route, but literally in the middle of nowhere along the highway, with the next gas station 10 miles away. Two highway patrol officers helped me out by delivering me to the next restaurant/truckstop. However, they had to handcuff me to do this, because they were driving with an automatic weapon between them and no glass between their passenger and themselves. I was grateful. That’s where I got the excellent ride with the psychologist policy maker. The other time was being transported to a ‘more appropriate location’ a ‘non-private’ gas station, with a cordial and interested police officer. On the way home at an odd place a police officer was alerted to the dangers of stray cats walking into a place late at night, another all night gas station. That’s the one I walked to along this unlit road through a field that was lit by fog rising throughout, before the sun had risen. It could have been spooky, yet it was hauntingly beautiful. Somewhere in Massachusetts, I watched the fog snuggled against a field as the sun rose.

Massachusetts dawn

Massachusetts dawn

Great trip.

Love over Fear – Jim Carrey | Supermoon Hitchabout | Lakota Sioux – Secret Within

I came across this through a FaceBook wall posting, and feel the need to share.

Jim Carrey’s Secret of Life – The Journey of Purpose

His words paraphrased:

Choose love as the lens to look through, make decisions based out of love rather than fear.

Jim Carey’s Secret of Life The Journey of Purpose

Jim Carey’s Secret of Life The Journey of Purpose

We are not only viewers, we are projectors of our reality. Fear can write a lot of this script; when one is leaning back into the past or leaping towards imagined thoughts of the future. Yet, all that is happening, is in this moment, not in the past or in the future. It is your choice to make decisions that are based in either love or fear.

Herman Hesse

There is no reality except the one contained within us…Herman Hesse

Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us. It’s about having faith in one’s vision, and letting the universe know what you want, working towards it and letting go of how it arrives.

You always have two choices, love or fear.

Cape May sunset

Arriving at the Atlantic, as sun was setting.

And on that note, I chose love over fear, to follow through with my desire to watch the Supermoon rise over the Atlantic Ocean. This prompted my “SuperMoon Hitchabout”. Destination, exploring the marine reserves; the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. Not having realized just how vast this area I wished to explore is, ridiculously underestimated, I wound up staying at my designated starting point, Cape May, New Jersey, and not venturing any further. My aim was to arrive at the Atlantic ocean to see the Supermoon rise, and I did. My last ride brought me right to the Cape May ‘boardwalk’ (made of cement), as the sun was lowering in the sky.

Turquoise waters of the Atlantic setting sun.

Turquoise waters of the Atlantic setting sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The setting sun.

The setting sun.

Pencil water color of the waters as the glowing orange sun was setting.

Pencil water color of the waters as the glowing orange sun was setting.

Supermoon rising over the Atlantic Ocean

Supermoon rising over the Atlantic Ocean

I left earlier in the day with the necessities: a backpack equipped with a sharpie, tooth brush, bathing suit, sleeping bag, sunscreen, lipstick…digital camera. Didn’t take a credit or debit card, nor had i bothered to look to see if I had ANY money. Turns out I had a 5 dollar bill and change. Packed some baked sweet potatoes, bread, cheese, fruit and a water bottle. I felt like a beer the second night, which is when I discovered I had a five on me.

 

My trip costed $1.57 all inclusive: the PBR ‘tally’ that I bought the second day, travel, accommodations, running water access (rest houses on the boardwalk), ocean-side sleeping. I might add that this included these high-tech beach sweeping vehicles which would have ground me into a pulp, had I not made the rational decision to lay the sleeping bag between the search and rescue life boat and fence at the dunes.

Due to self-imposed lack of finances, I had little choice but to catch a ride with someone. The morning I decided to go, I glanced at the local city’s craigslist rideshare and responded to a person’s ‘anonymous email’ asking people to accompany him to Niagara Falls. I suggested that my intent is to go to the ocean and explore the marine wildlife of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays…Minutes later a text arrived on my phone. Adverse to giving out my address randomly, I told him generally where I live. It turned out that within minutes of my departure, the phone rang. I told him to meet me at a corner.

As I turned to that street, in the distance I saw a vehicle parked and someone walking around it, a vibe of commotion. As I approached, I was certain that this was him. As I got closer through the glaring sun, I saw an array of newspapers lying on the ground at the rear of his nondescript van. I leaned towards the open passenger window and before introducing myself, asked if this stuff, motioning to the ground, was his? He hastily offered to pick it up. He had driven from a neighboring State to offer me this ride. A large round man, archetypal Jewish with his scull cap perched on his thick head. I glanced at the filth in his car, the seemingly glued-on pile of coins on the floor by the passenger seat. I turned and picked up the littered papers from the ground and floated them through his window. I told him that this isn’t a good sign, and basically said, thanks, but no thanks, and walked away.

I ignored his call minutes later as I had grabbed my sharpie and was making a sign for my first destination, the entrance to the PA Turnpike. The first car that stopped was a man even scarier looking than the one I had just walked away from. I declined, “I want to get a ride all the way to this point. thanks anyway”. I rarely turn down rides. This was peculiar. The next ride was a woman who turned out to know my sister and brother, once I had offered more information. She went out of her way to bring me to my first drop-off point. The remaining rides were equally smooth and interesting, during which time I chatted with the drivers’ and listened to their stories.

 

sign so small someone would have to be close to see it

sign so small someone would have to be close to see it

Coast sign

The last ride was a Filipino American man who lives in Cape May. He drove me directly to a central point in town by the boardwalk. He spoke very clear English and had a lot to talk about. We each smiled and laughed as I was leaving his car, knowing that I had just the sleeping bag on my back and no plans.

Dusk before moon rise

Dusk before moon rise

When I arrived the air was still, barely a breeze. I climbed onto the lifeguard chair (vacated at 5:30pm) and sat my stuff down. Two young couples were sitting on a blanket nearby visiting for the day from Philadelphia. The water was smooth, silky, lovely. The air moist, the ocean’s rhythmic breathing muted thunderclaps.

Glowing Supermoon over the Atlantic  Cape May, New Jersey

Glowing Supermoon over the Atlantic
Cape May, New Jersey

What was astounding, was the color of the water as I swam, facing the glowing setting sun. The play of light was incandescent orange on a turquoise blue, mirroring the sky. I was compelled to make this water to remember it, since I couldn’t bring my camera into the water to capture my point of view.

That first night after having played a beach game on the sand for hours with a family of cousins, I then went to the boardwalk to sit down. This parlayed into a bed that first night, after meeting a Bulgarian kid on the ‘boardwalk’ where I sat on a bench. He asked with an obvious accent if I’d like someone to join me, to which I answered no. Hours later, except for his intermittent phone conversations in Bulgarian with a girl in Wildwood, we were still talking. I wound up crashing at his group house that night. I was wondering why I kept hearing people speaking Russian around me that day, then discovered first-hand, that it was probably Bulgarian I was hearing. huh? Luckily, the next evening I was already familiar with the built-in tent structures on the beach. They came in handy as I slept in a sleeping bag under the stars, when rain drops started falling at 6am. I was near these built-in tent structures (not those below) but smaller and more portable ones, easy to unravel and fasten the tarp, under which I could just listen to the drops along with the driving breath of the ocean. ‘-)

Fixed tent structures that became my makeshift home.

Fixed tent structures that became my makeshift home.

I visited the Cape May Bird Reserve, of which I have some shots too. I visited a concierge of this local Cape May Hall, where I picked up a map and started to make my way first to get information from a local reserve.

Cape May cartoon map

Cape May cartoon map

The map was dramatically off in terms of leaving streets and distances out. Trudging down the street towards the first place in tremendous heat, I wound up turning around, deciding rather to check the reserve. Hitching back to the center of town, an SUV with two plain clothed policeman informed me that “it’s illegal to hitchhike in New Jersey”. I walked the rest of the way. When I got to a traffic light to take the road to the bird reserve, I looked into the distance, and decided to hitch. A guy with his surfboard in the car picked me up. I asked what kind of work he does here, as he had a pretty fancy vehicle. He’s in the navy. The visit to the reserve was quite significant, not so much because of the birds, but because of the people who were there at the same time. We hadn’t seen each other there, yet I had glanced at two couples making their way at the end of the trail. I later recalled that the arm of the one woman was the same as that who was driving the car on my journey back to PA. They wound up leaving and arriving at the Pizza place near the reserve where I chatted briefly with an employee there, at the same time as me. They noticed me, how friendly I was. Later that employee told them that I was going to Pennsylvania, where the couple live as well. The following day the man in the couple was standing at a vendor stand, when I approached to ask if the guy had cardboard. Half an hour later, it was he and his wife who picked me up after my first ride brought me to the edge of town and entrance to the bridge connecting to the major highways.

I had been standing there in the sun and some rain drops with a sign with the letters, PA. I watched as numerous NJ, DE and PA license plates drove by, leaving the beach behind. When they stopped, they announced that they’d seen me twice over the weekend, and that they intended to pick me up if they saw me. I didn’t learn until a little ways in that they were going to within 40 mi. of my town. The three of us communicated animatedly about all sorts of things the entire drive. It was the ensuing rain drops that prompted them to leave as well, and at times there were heavy downpours en route. It was a valuable exchange for each of us, synchronistic for sure.

Orange glowing moonrise night after the Full Moon.

Orange glowing moonrise night after the Full Moon.

As I approached the beach this second night after the sun had set a while earlier, I was stunned to see this deep orange moon rising up into the low clouds. Here are the rest of the pics of the trip.

Cape May

Cape May

On the final day, sitting on the beach as I ate my last food before leaving for my journey home, suddenly something hit me on the back of my head. It was a seagull. He was doing more than just nudging me because he wanted what I had in my hand. I threw up a tiny piece of bread, and within 3 seconds there were 17 seagulls flapping their wings right within feet of my head, some just inches away. It was a little daunting.

I just got these shots.

IMG_0045 IMG_0048

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we got to the eastern outskirts of Lancaster, PA, we passed an Amish buggy with a trailer transporting a baby calf in back. My shot missed the trailer, but wow, amazing to see this juxtaposition of Plain people and their traditional ways intersecting with modern life, where they live in farms scattered around the countryside. They let me off at a convenient place and we said goodbye.

Amish buggy on the road approaching Lancaster PA

Amish buggy on the road approaching Lancaster PA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seagull through glass

Seagull through glass

A picture I took in Wildwood, NJ through a glass roof.

A picture I took in Wildwood, NJ through a glass roof.And a Lakota Sioux Indian creation myth to leave you with.

 

 

 

 

Lakota Sioux Creation Myth

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said;

“I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it.

It is the realization that they create their own reality.”

The eagle said, “Give it to me. I will take it to the moon.” The Creator said, “No. One day they will go there and find it.”
The salmon said, “I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.”
The Creator said, “No. They will go there, too.”
The buffalo said, “I will bury it on the Great Plains.”
The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there.”
Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said “Put it inside of them.”
And the Creator said, “It is done.”

ocean_sunset_framed

blurry selfie

blurry selfie

hitchabout San Francisco | Expeditionary Learning |

If this appears to be a drastic left turn from plasma cosmology theory, you’re right. However, one of the first rides that I had on my journey was quite familiar with the concept, working at the same laboratories which I’d linked to in my blog on the subject, Los Alamos National Labs. After flying to the Denver airport from Pennsylvania, and promptly starting my hitching journey to Taos, New Mexico from the airport – level 4, I was soon on my way. Though getting out of the airport took some investigating and leaving Denver was not so easy. The first driver described how he had reinforced this nesting place of an owl from the year before in the pine tree next to his house, because 3 of its babies fell out and died. Frank reinforced branches and placed a large deep basket there, explaining that owls find places to nest in things that already have a structure, they don’t build them. He showed me a picture on his phone of the present nest, with several baby owls’ eyes peering over the rim. Adorable! What a worthwhile investment of time and love! The next was a female nurse, Kerri, leaving her shift at the hospital, picking me up in her jeep with the top down, no, for the 1st time this year. It was something ridiculous like 82 degrees in Denver! The following, an IT network engineer who produces switches for different pods in East coast regions. Rob has a family and two young sons into baseball. He was on his way to meet up with a friend and his brother. Was told me the names of the more distinctive mountains that we drove by. Has a commitment to try to climb one mountain, somewhere each year. Described this ‘keyhole’ on Long’s Peak, a big mtn near Denver. Said that years ago he got his sister to go on a climb with him. They had to get to the base by 4am or something, because the rangers would not allow anyone to remain on the peak after noon. He described climbing through the keyhole, which is cylindrical hole cut out of rock on the face of the mountain, about the size of a 21 wheel truck (ha, now i have new analogies in my repertoire). The wind moves so swiftly through this hole in the rock, with a tremendous howl, that it was a powerful experience that they will never forget. And that he was really proud of his sister. He pointed out the Air Force Academy stadium and grounds as we were passing Colorado Springs. I fortunately scored a long ride with this guy! He pointed out the Air Force Academy stadium and grounds as we were passing Colorado Springs (where Pike’s Peak is). I fortunately scored a long ride with this guy! He pointed out NORAD, which the air defense built into the Cheyenne mountain, housing radar. He mentioned that they built it so deeply, as a defense against the Russian’s gaining any knowledge about it. Said that his dad was very intrigued with this and introduced him to it as a child. Funny thing, as I’m sitting here editing this story, i have to once in a while pause writing to clap, because i’m sitting in Caffe Trieste in North Beach which is at the moment ‘leider’ practically empty, yet with a jazz duo who set up and started playing a little while ago, with me tucked kind uv behind the piano player. I feel like I should be singing back up vocals sitting here. Hit’s hysterical, i’m laughing out loud. It’s this free entertainment, swing jazz kinda sound. ha! MTUNE is the name of the song that i recorded, the name of the African percussionist i believe circa 1973 ‘miles electric band’, conga drum player.

After, a young couple picked me up, precisely because they weren’t a ‘couple’. I’ve learned from experience that couples typically do NOT pick people up. Yet, because each were sort of colleagues with their joint interest and each had their significant other within reach of their cell phones, giving me a ride wasn’t going to impinge on their intimate drive home. Tim is a 30 something guy who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Amanda is a geologist also 30 something, I’m guessing. She had a lot to contribute, fueled by curiosity and capability in wrapping her head around the concepts. They were returning from an all day conference in Denver, back to the same New Mexico town. Each are on the school board, educating themselves in order to present to the rest of the community this new approach in education. They along with a few others, have the intention of opening a school, specifically modeled after the EL approach. Expeditionary learning integrates different subjects into the same learning scenario context. Adding some dimension to learning outside of the dry regurgitation of facts, expeditionary learning is an organic approach which incorporates different subjects, presented together within the framework of a situation ‘problem to be solved/puzzled calculated’. It involves more of the senses and is more of a localized, rather than abstracted approach, by incorporating different subjects. They both were impressed with the conference they attended national conference about expeditionary learning in Denver, and were driving right through Taos. They left me off at my request, in front of the Taos Inn, my meeting place, since it was en route to their destination. We had an enjoyable time and tremendously rich conversation covering an array of subjects; mostly segues from talks on the subject of EL – the need to bring a person’s local history and community into relevant scenarios to make learning more meaningful – and plenty of conversation about the nature of plasma, electronic systems, subatomic experiments… and a mention of how a lightning bolt (plasma phenomenon) can in one strike, erase all of the geological history that is coded into the layers of rock (from different alignments with the ‘north’ pole over different ages as this magnetically shifts) in one instant. This is a bit of a description from http://elschools.org/our-approach/what-we-do. We all talked pretty animatedly, discussing different subjects, along with descriptions of some experiments the driver does at the labs (without divulging any top-secret information). I’ll add more content to this blog, elaborating on the subjects. Come to think of it, my hitch-abouts are often a kind of ‘expeditionary learning’ experience, since I often come across all sorts of subjects, introduced to me through conversations with drivers’ who know a lot about the subjects they have the most experience or interest in, such as; geography, history, economics, anthropology, business, science… However, before I go into more depth on some of the information I came across and which I want to investigate more, in haste to post some pictures, I’m skipping the travels and information along the way, to the most recent pics taken on the streets of San Francisco, another intended stop off/visiting point.

Shamelessly copied from my FB account below:

I have to point out that the last two truck drivers, now wait, i better not broadcast this, oh well. they were very nice, but clearly revealed symptoms of having ingested way too many methamphetamines during their driving lifetimes. The last guy’s entire body seemed to be inadvertently going into spasms, and the 2nd last one talked so fast, jumping from one subject to another, that I was exhausted just by trying to actively pay attention and maintain his wavelength. I was frankly, by this time over, riding in a truck. ‘-)) one of them pointed out that formerly in the 80’s, 90’s (?) when working in the cattle industry for a trucking companies, the dispatcher would tell 7 trucks to go to such and such a cattle farm to pick up a load, and wouldn’t let each of them know that 6 other trucks were also vying for the same load. that would push them (through this inhumane work environment) to compete on a (1st come 1st serve) basis, to get the job. Then if they’d arrive and it was gone, they’d have to bail to reach the next possibility. he blatantly said that they would have to do drugs to stay awake. Since then, the rules and regulations have changed. Now they are so strictly regulated by having everything electronically recorded from their truck computer. Their boss’s know each time that they turn the truck on, move it, know its position, etc, and they are authorized to drive maximum 14 hrs/day and no more than 70 hrs/wk. They’re fined if they break the rules. It certainly helps them out, but the reforms hurt them in other ways. Oh yeah, one of the truckers referred to the ‘rag heads’, mostly Pakistani (excuse me but these were his words) who acquire grants from the US Govt, to easily obtain a loan, work for a trucking firm for way below the going rate; consequently taking the jobs of other truckers.

I caught a bus after the last truck, to make it to the Howweird Street fair on time to see old friends. It was the bus ride from “de light”! Suddenly I was among several fun people, and we all had fun hanging out! I have never had such an oddly enjoyable bus ride. It was from a county that had to transfer in Los Angeles and was heading to points north.

More to come!

Guess i have to plug some art: http://carolkeiter.artistswanted.org/atts2012

the missing dimension | Quantum Consciousness |

In January of 2010, I blogged about an earlier ‘hitchabout‘, which I mentioned then, is a wordplay, aligned with the concept of the Aboriginal Walkabout.
During this hitchhiking adventure, a number of synchronicities took place. I recognized then, two repeated themes which surfaced during this journey. One of these was on the subject of Native American spirituality which came up repeatedly. One with respect to a dreamcatcher that was present which is a Native American legend. The other, my introduction to a hint of the concept of the changes that are taking place presently in the world, through a meeting which took place among North and South American Indians in 2003, with some of their insights captured in “The White Road“.

The other recurring theme was neuroplasticity.

In “The White Road”, the indigenous people describe that they are certain that not only is all past information of the universe stored in our bodies, but that we are constantly provided with new information from the Cosmos. It flows through us so that we can consciously perceive the information, tune into it and learn to understand it.

Within the concept of neuroplasticity, I mentioned to one of the driver’s a book written by a professor of Neuroscience, Antonio Damasio, “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain“. In the process of formulating new thoughts or tasks, the neurons involved are not located in specific areas, but the brain creates convoluted neural networks spanning different lobes, encoded across different regions, depending on the different associations that are being built in the process. Ultimately, the author talks about the interdependence of emotions, in the reasoning process.

In the field of Neurology, it is understood that in the process of creating thoughts, and specifically, the essential nature of the meaning behind a thought, can not only expand our minds, but also in essence, affect the rest of our body, either beneficially or harmfully.

I mention these, because at the time of the writing, I was compelled to delineate a germinating theory of mine, explaining the how and why of incidents such as synchronistic events, precognition, ESP extrasensory perception, clairvoyance and telepathy as well as multiple discoveries…

I proposed then “that in the formulation of a thought that is taking place within my brain, and a similar meaning pattern that is outside of me; that those concepts, resonant in meaning and intent, intercept one another.”

But first, let me backtrack and relate one perspective that radically shifted my focus. My intention then was to make a point of the power of “thought”, until I read some words on the subject of thought by Sri Chinmoy. In this paper he distills the difference between ‘thought’ and ‘mind’, saying that the former is typically generated by the ego, involving ‘desire’ – among typically a lot of chatter and noise – and the latter, more to do with ‘aspiration’, typically involving silencing the mind and opening the heart.

With this in mind, allow me to introduce the missing dimension: “quantum consciousness”. I’ve rewired my theory, having been introduced to the work of a theoretical quantum physicist, Dr. Amit Goswami.

Deepak Chopra, an Indian American physician, states that “we live in the Age of the Higher Brain, the cerebral cortex that has grown enormously over the last few millennium, overshadowing the ancient, instinctive lower brain.” He has been among the pioneers of quantum medicine. However, it was from the writing of Amit Goswami, in his paper, “Signatures of the Divine“, that I learned of his concepts, and how they can be applied to illuminate my theory.

In the introduction to the paper, Amit says “This entire paper is an exercise in how to take the straightjacket of scientific materialism off our back.” Parallel to what the Native Americans stated in “The White Way”, with reference to the fact that “They perceive that at the present time, doors are opening to different dimensions, and as multi-dimensional beings, it is up to us to now move through them, and leave the prison of our limited consciousness behind.”

In the world of sub-atomic particles, a new dimension is introduced, unlike the causal laws in physics, in which the “observer” affects the outcome of that being measured. With respect to the ‘double slit experiments‘, (believe me I’m no physicist nor mathematician) within quantum physics, this link contains a basic explanation for the lay person like me, to get an idea of the terminology that Dr. Goswami uses.

The conclusions drawn in the double slit experiments, is that “the electron leaves the source as a particle, becomes a wave of potentials and interferes with itself when it hits the wall. This phenomenon is known as a wave-particle duality, the concept that matter and energy exhibits both wave-like and matter-like properties…The electron once leaving the source goes into what is known as superposition, (in which) the electron takes every conceivable and inconceivable path, through both slits, through one slit, through no slits rebounding against the sheet, around the experiment. However, upon measuring this, the wave function collapses, and is forced to go through a single slit; going back to behaving like a particle, no longer demonstrating the interference pattern of waves. Quanta, the discreet bundles of energy that basically, in the form of electrons or protons demonstrate not linearly moving from one energy level around the orbit of an atom, but jump; discontinuously appearing in this or that orbit.

In Signatures of the Divine, Amit “argues that quantum physics shows us the way, by giving us back downward causation and its agent—Quantum consciousness (popularly called God) acting through the observer. In Newtonian physics, objects are determined things. But in quantum physics, objects are possibilities for consciousness to choose from. When an observer looks, the observer’s consciousness chooses among the quantum possibilities, to collapse an actuality of experience. Quantum collapse is downward causation.” Upward causation would be for example, describing “a flow” experience, as occurring because of “muscle memory” or some other biological/chemical function occurring in the body.

My intent in correlating his concepts with my paper, is not to attempt to prove the existence of God; I have more of an allegiance with the concepts of the psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, who coined the term “synchronicity” as well as “collective unconscious” and illustrated in his theories a world of archetypal images that are essentially meaning. I see the quantum aspects which Dr. Goswami alludes to – the “supramental”; as consisting of archetypes of meaning, describing what we experience when collapsed into biological functions as intuition.

Amit further states that “We create our own reality through quantum collapse involved in making an observation, but there is a subtlety in consciousness. We do not create reality in our ordinary state of consciousness, but in a non-ordinary state of consciousness.

Here is where the distinction between “thought” and “mind” arises, and where intention, coming either from conscious or unconscious processes, over-rules. Amit describes the results of the Nobel laureate physicist who first thought of the paradox of Wigner’s friend: Goswami stated that “After many decades, three physicists at different places and times, Ludwig Bass (1971) in Australia, myself (Goswami, 1989, 1993) at Oregon, and Casey Blood (2001) at Rutgers, New Jersey, independently discovered the solution of the paradox: consciousness is one, non-local and cosmic, behind the two people’s local individuality.”

Amit talks of the ‘speed limit’ imposed on the universe by Einstein, in which no thing can travel faster than the speed of light. “Quantum physics, besides discontinuity, gives us another amazing principle to operate with–non-locality. The principle of locality says that all communication must proceed through local signals that have a speed limit.” I concur, adding that thought is not limited by this, but instantaneous, moving from past, present to future. As you read, and actively think about what I’ve written, you will process the ideas through images you create. Creating new links from the outside, or drawing from within; memories, dreams and reflections of ideas. All of these imprint the screen through which you are looking.

However, Goswami, as well as Chinmoy specify a distinction between ordinary thought and a consciousness within which we are all enfolded. “Quantum non-locality is–a signal-less interconnectedness outside space and time… The situation is saved by the idea of unconscious processing, a part and parcel of the creative process. It is conscious processing that costs time.” He writes about this also in his book Quantum Creativity (Goswami, 1999).

My guess is that when you have a sudden flash of insight or intuition, that this is an a-causal, non localized, immediate apprehension or grasp of a concept; connecting the web of neuro synaptic connections within our brains, along with the entangled hierarchical relationships with events and people – experiences – outside. A leap occurs, discontinuously triggered either from outside or inside – it doesn’t matter – at which time the energy that is oscillating at the same frequency from both sources, coalesces. Sort of the same concept as having receptors in our brains that are similar to the chemical makeup of a substance outside of the brain, thus triggering the response. If the receptors weren’t there, there would be no perceived affect. And in the case of the subtleties of meaning and intent within conscious awareness, when a symmetry occurs with similar archetypes, a concept can be received and ignited, occurring as a sudden realization.

Even more elegant, perhaps information goes back and forth through a conduit like an umbilical cord, or worm hole, from what we see and perceive through our senses of matter, connecting with meaning structures, instantaneously, in another space-time, thus explaining the phenomena of intention manifesting in matter, and information received expressed as intuition.

What does this mean? In terms of free will vs. determinism, nature vs. nurture… both are true. Regarding the emotional/physical/mental aspects of a human being; your physical body is pretty much limited by your skin’s surface on the outside, though even this can be influenced and permeated by the mind. With respect to the emotional/mental sphere, ‘thought’ processes ‘appear’ to occur localized within the brain. Yet, regarding the ‘mind’ and the supramental, this is as much a part of a gigantic fabric of energy wave particles that permeate all of matter; and when one has the experience of a realization of an object of knowledge, without thought, it simply is there in the mind anew.

Just as our physical body contains miles of DNA, encoded with information from the past of all life, so does our conscious (potential), consist of an energy fabric of waves, in which we are immersed, and through which all archetypes of ideas, present as vibrating possibilities, like seeds of meaning omnipresent in all energy.

We only recently discerned that as the oceans that cover three quarters of the surface of the planet, our bodies are also made up of 75% water. And until also fairly recently in history, man did not have much of a grasp of what air is and what the earth’s atmosphere is made of, nor realized that much of the chemical make-up of our bodies consists of the same elements found within the soils and rock of our planet. Scientists still haven’t figured out why the mass of the universe, surpasses the weight of all of the planets in the cosmos, revealed through calculations measuring how fast the universe is expanding.

We are however creatures living within the limits of our world(s), with lots of ‘noise and clutter’ of information all around us, much of it we don’t need or use. Therefore, we remain more or less distracted and confined, within the world we perceive with our senses. Perhaps every thought or idea, discovery or invention, is part of a supramental | a priori | state of existence, in which all concepts have always existed, and it has been only through various triggers, that these became ‘conscious’ throughout mankind’s time on this planet; erupting among different people(s) during various times. Perhaps all “ideas/concepts” mathematical laws… already exist within themselves, and are the basic building blocks of consciousness; archetypes of truths which have always been present within the kernel of the entire ‘becoming’ of the universe. And this web of consciousness, present within the seed of all life that ever did and will happen; a blueprint not contained with a particular space-time location, but everywhere at once as a hologram of possibilities. An idea which could potentially be ignited, to collapse into an event, when the leverage occurs to unite the connection; of which the essential element must be a similar meaning. Meaning or intention, as energy in its purist form.

Therefore, when Native American Indians of the Amazon talk of being directly given information from indigenous plants upon ingesting them, or Aborigines ‘becoming’ or ‘dreaming’ the thing which they need to be connected to, this has nothing to do with the traditional material/linear way of thinking. This has to do with directly apprehending something, through a matching of intent. The intention, conscious or unconscious, transported and arched to the concept, via the ‘waves’ of emotion. A conception, is already present within the cells and systems of life on the micro level, within animals plants. So the world as we know it, with homo sapiens and their ‘brains’ at the top, is actually ‘upside down’. Humans are conduits to intelligence and highly sophisticated processes, that appear to be conscious, yet occurring readily and immediately, within the minutest fabric of life. We appear to be the last to ‘get it’. In a funny circular kind of way, science is finally showing the head of the snake, it’s tail.

As I was somehow coming to an intuitive conclusion, that the lines that I describe within my dream (in the caption of this worm hole diagram below)
are energy, no they’re space-time, then I thought, could they be all of these, and I linked to this information.

http://www.grandunifiedtheory.org.il/book/time01.htm

“The three media — time, space and energy — are waved together. Each has its own properties and behaviors, but one cannot exist without the others….Energetic activity means space and time…In space, different energy levels appear from time to time. Their activity brings about the appearance of swirls, which cause changes of time and space (phase transitions).”

The connection between “Space, Time, Energy & Matter” are discussed clearly for the layperson in this paper, in which Bernard Cloutier reveals the unfolding of our understanding, through scientific discoveries. In his description:

“Quantum mechanics deal with the way that energy exists only in discrete packets, or quanta, at the ultra microscopic scale of the fundamental building blocks of the universe rather than in the continuously varying amounts we are familiar with in classical physics. For example, the single electron of the hydrogen atom flies around the nucleus only in certain orbits that correspond to specific energy levels. The electron cannot occupy intermediate orbits but it can jump from one orbit to a higher or lower one by acquiring or losing a quantum of energy in the form of a photon.

Quantum mechanics describes how the electromagnetic force, the weak force and the strong force interact with matter. The model on which quantum mechanics is based uses the same idealized concept of dimensionless points used in the model of an ideal gas. It presumes that the fermions that make up matter (electrons, quarks and their antimatter partners), and the bosons that transmit energy (photons, gluons and weak gauge bosons), are dimensionless entities that differ only by their various attributes such as mass, charge and spin. ( Later, it became evident that a new concept called ‘string theory‘ was the only way to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics.)

According to this theory, fundamental particles are the manifestations of the vibration of extremely small regions of space, various modes of these vibrations giving rise to all the known fermions and bosons.

String theory eventually postulated the existence of six “curled up” dimensions in addition to the four “extended” dimensions we know, (right-left, up-down, front-back and past-future) to provide all the vibration modes required to give rise to all the known fundamental particles.

What does this last string of references have to do with my point about consciousness? That’s precisely it, consciousness is not a point from my ego localized here, and your ego localized area, but is a multi-dimentional interwoven mesh of energy waves, that together with sensory perceptions and awareness, which we (I and you) perceive as “subjective”, in so far as we are only consciously operating within the four dimensions of space-time. Consciousness is perhaps like a primordial soup of collective unconscious and/or a supramental reservoir; from which just as the DNA in every cell has the blueprint of the entire organism encoded within, our “mind” taps into this collective “consciousness”, within which we are contained. Consciousness is not ‘in our brain’, which can spin off all sorts of debris (some of you may think of my ideas as just that !-) called “thinking”, but a channel, tunneling into this multi-dimensional vibrating entity that encodes information regarding meaning which is implicit, to and from which we all have periodic lapses. ‘-)

Ironically, what has taken me 7 pages to describe (and still working on simplifying), Bill Hicks, the now deceased comic, was able to convey with humor and eloquence in 60 seconds, in the 8/8 part of a live show recorded, called Revelations.

hitchabout Paris

hitchabout from Berlin to Paris, frankly, i think this particular time i took a bus back!-) but definitely had a good experience hitching there ‘-))