Sunday, July 31, 2005

day 9; mile 001309

we have spent the last two days "technology-free". it hasn't been by choice necessarily, because there are no cell or wifi signals for several miles up here in the woods near montello, wisconsin.

the hubbard cottage is perfect in many ways. there is room to sleep as many as seven or eight comfortably. there is a beautiful, bright sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides. we have been enjoying sitting and looking out over the lake (and running down to swim in it).

christie's brother (jeff) and sister-in-law (anne) are here with their adorable daughter estelle, 4 months old tomorrow. christie's mom (nancy), christie, and nate have been locked in a fierce struggle for control of the scrabble board each evening. christie gets away with "missie" but we all know better in the end. nate tries to get away with "finn" but nancy challenges him and he has to take it back. tension is in the air for tonight's game III.

we're here until tuesday, most likely. nate has an interview in chicago on thursday or friday, so we'll probably head back to batavia (as home base) instead of traveling further north and west right away.

Friday, July 29, 2005

day 7; mile 001133

about ready to set out for the cottage in wisconsin, hence no change in mileage. it will be rather difficult to be in contact given the lack of cell phone coverage in the area, but i'll do my best to sneak away at least once to check email and such. we will stay probably until tuesday. cheers.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

day 6; mile 001133

we've arrived in batavia, il, and are taking some time for tea and fiddle and relaxing at nancy's place (christie's mom). tomorrow we head up to wisconsin to meet up with jeff and anne (christie's brother and sister-in-law) and their beautiful infant, estelle. scrabble will be played. food will be cooked. mosquito repellent will be applied.

mrs. hawsie sanchez is doing fine - she isn't burning oil at all, and appears to be running well (and not hot). she's a good vehicle, and will carry us far.

day 6; mile 001108

yesterday nate had two phone interviews back to back - a double header if you will - both went extraordinarily well, or so he says.

i had a fever last night, but felt much better in the morning. nate, however, was not doing well this morning. attempting a 7:00 wake up is his most difficult assignment. i tried to physically roll him out of bed to no avail. i promised him coffee, but he mumbled and ignored me. i even conjured a guilt trip, "oh, you sleep a little longer, dear, i'll pack the car, cook breakfast, clean up the mess and run to the store myself". still no reaction. finally, i deflated the air mattress from underneath him. he sunk clear to the ground in 2 seconds and did not otherwise react. eventually, my riotous laughter woke him up.

we left ann arbor this morning and got on the road heading west. gaining an hour coming into the midwest set us ahead of schedule - YAY! we plan to arrive in batavia, illinois late this afternoon. perhaps a detour to the indiana dunes lakeshore for a dip in lake michigan will make us late...if there's such a thing as "late" as of late. does anyone really know what time it is? (that's funny in several ways if you know who sang it)


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

day 4; mile 000845 (ann arbor)

econ building over the trees
econ building over the trees,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
we got to sleep a little this morning, which re-charged us somewhat. today jim took us on a very nice walking tour of ann arbor's downtown and campus areas. this evening we went to a new very trendy restaurant called "eve" for dinner - good food but the thermostat was set near the freezing mark it seemed. drinks afterwards at bab's underground with jim, caroline, and his friends from the econ program. phone interview tomorrow afternoon with a firm near san francisco. cross your fingers.

Monday, July 25, 2005

day 3; mile 000845

originally uploaded by nclinton.
jim (pictured) was home to welcome us to annnnnnnnn arbor. it was a long drive from ontario, but only because we took a few wrong turns on the way west.

day 3; mile 000565

niagara falls
niagara falls,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
after the token niagara falls visit, we spent the night in ontario (not far from nate's grandmother's house) at the long shore conservation, on the north coast of lake erie. we sat on the beach, had wine and dinner, slept with our windows open. the constant sound of waves is suprisingly soporific. christie has done her yoga by the water, and is adding some vines to her tree of fertility on the passenger side door. we need to get going soon, because if we don't, i will explode from lack of coffee. christie thinks i would implode, not explode. the distinction is unimportant in my current state.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

day 2; mile 000502

greg paints the bus
greg paints the bus,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
yesterday morning we woke up early and finished packing the bus. after a few frantic hours, we finally managed to fit all of our clothes and various possessions both underneath the bed/platform and in the back luggage area. we got on the road at 9:30, odometer reading 000007. four hundred and ninety-five miles (and almost 12 hours) later, we arrived in lockport. it's great to be back here - lots of history, and i'm glad christie will get a chance to see some of it.

this morning we'll get the young cousins to help paint the bus... then lunch with grandma and we'll head off to ann arbor later this evening. our plan is to stay the night in canada on the way and finish the journey tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

day 1; mile 000000

minutes before departure
minutes before departure,
originally uploaded by nclinton.
we're leaving now. we wanted to let you all know that our bus has a name: mrs. hawsie sanchez. we can't really explain the name. it just seems to fit.

Friday, July 22, 2005

day 0: our new home

our new home has four wheels, two doors, a bench seat, 4 cylinders, one bedroom (about 40 sq. feet), brand-new maryland plates, and an odometer that reads 000000. no zip code, but plenty o' zip.

first stop, lockport. then on to ann arbor, northern illinois, central wisconsin, and beyond.

tomorrow it begins. stay tuned for stories and pictures. [i'm working on a fancy setup whereby our laptop gets online using my bluetooth cell phone.]

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

google moon

just a little item of interest. if you haven't seen google maps, check it out. while you're at it, look at google moon, an extension that allows you to see the surface of the moon in the same way, including the apollo landing site.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

almost there

my last tuesday at work. i have a long to-do list before i can get out of here. car insurance/registration stuff is on track to be completed friday morning in time for saturday departure.

the first leg of the trip will be from mount rainier, md to lockport, ny (about 475 miles). we plan on reaching grandma's house saturday evening. since we had to cancel the painting due to rain and traffic, we'll hopefully have some help decorating the bus from the weatherbee cousins and other folks in lockport. as promised, as soon as we get the bus from the shop on thursday i'll get some pictures up.

Friday, July 15, 2005

the final push towards... ?

so, we're getting down to the wire. we are struggling to get the bus repaired and registered for our target departure date of saturday july 23rd. i think we can do it, but it will take some gymnastics (figuratively, thank god; my old gym teacher used to call me "kermit the frog" after the unfortunate meeting of me and a pommel horse at high speeds). anyway, gymnatics, juggling, pick your favorite metaphor. in the words of yoda, do... or do not; there is no "try".

tonight we have dinner with the in-town clintons. tomorrow morning i'm going to try to convince the state of maryland to give me a driver's license (it's legit - my documentation is a little hazy, however) and then we're off to paint the bus. sunday we spend packing and such. the final week at work will be a hoot, and we'll also try to register the bus and get it re-titled. saturday (late) morning, we're off - rain or shine.

this will probably be the official Blog of The Roadtrip, but i'm not positive about that. if it is not, i will provide linkage to the alterate site. so keep an eye out. i found the camera cable, so we'll get some photos up here posthaste.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

p(L) --> 0

...where p(L) = the probability of attending law school this fall. after hoving in the 0.9 range, the last month has seen it plummet to less than 0.05 due to financial obstacles beyond my control at the present time.

rove/plame story gains traction

it seems that several years after the fact, karl rove is finally in the hot seat for what appears to be his role in outing an undercover c.i.a. operative. today's nytimes discusses the resounding silence coming out of the white house and the republican congress. yesterday's white house press briefing is particularly comical (full text; excerpts). indications are that rove might not have actually committed a crime - the 1982 law enacted to protect covert agents' identities was designed to be very difficult to break. only one person has ever been prosecuted under the statute. it is not clear that all the conditions for guilt were met.

the whole case presents an interesting dilemma for a liberal thinker such as myself. on the one hand, i'd love to see someone in the bush administration actually held accountable for their unethical and/or illegal behavior, of which i believe there are plenty of other examples. on the other hand, i don't want to lose the protections that principled journalists are able to provide their anonymous sources. if it weren't for the fact that time magazine already gave up the goods, i would say it's worth letting rove off the hook to defend the sanctity of the secret source and keep open the door for whistle-blowing. mad props to judith miller of the ny times who is in jail at this very moment protecting a source who might have already been revealed by cooper and time. you don't get much more principled than that.

Friday, July 08, 2005


lots going on. we leave d.c. two weeks from tomorrow, rain or shine. route and destination still not 100% certain. transportation still not 100% certain. visitors and family coming in and out of town. odd jobs dog-walking and house-sitting to scrape together extra money. i'm not complaining - moving is always crazy. trying it with two people adds another dimension. i'll just be glad to get out of here.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

cycle of violence

the cycle of violence continues, with london commuters the latest victims. this cannot continue indefinitely. "free" society does not function well without trust: trust that my money will be accepted at the gas station (and that there really is gasoline coming out of the pump), trust that i will (most likely) not be randomly attacked, trust that the tylenol in the bottle isn't poisonous, trust that the pizza guy didn't sneak some sausage onto your veggie lover's pie. there are many degrees of trust that serve to smooth out our daily existences and give us the peace of mind to enjoy ourselves once in a while.

trust is a luxury. it is not a priori. it must be earned. therefore, the policy of fight-violence-with-violence is perhaps a bit too blunt. it certainly succeeds in some areas, such as deposing foreign despots. but it does nothing to facilitate trust. what we need are some creative solutions, possibly pride-wounding solutions. there are casualties on both sides of this War on Terror. why is one zealot more righteous than the other? here we have a bunch of ideological extremists butting heads, each purporting to have god on their side. and innocents (civilians and soldiers alike) are caught in the cross-fire.

the goal, dare i say it, is for us all to love each other, is it not? i'm sure i read that in an old book somewhere... when we have love, the violence will disappear. trust come before love. we will not succeed if we just "hunt them all down" - this will not build trust or love. cooperation, compassion, forgiveness, care, generosity, selflessness, LISTENING. these all inspire trust, which can grow into something more. look over that list again and ask yourself how much of any of them is happening between the extreme crusaders and the extreme jihadists. then ask yourself which takes more courage: to care for and love and forgive your enemies, or to send more young men and women to die for a vendetta.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

why you should donate money

in response to a comment on my most recent post, i see that i need to elaborate on my request for donations. thank you, backwardation for pointing that out.

1. my name is nate clinton. my partner, christie, and i are moving from dc to san francisco in a few weeks (beginning july 23rd, hopefully). we will be driving a completely mural-ed 1983 vw vanagon, stopping along to way to visit friends and to keep the engine running. this blog will be full of pictures and tales from our trip. donations will help us buy gas.

2. in san francisco, christie's dream is to attend a three year midwife program (which has offered her admission). although entitled to receive the montgomery g.i. bill after 5 years of military service, her midwife program is not approved by the u.s. government for this purpose, though the nascar school of auto mechanics receives g.i. bill money without problems. donations will help christie pay tuition and become a midwife (currently $5,000 per year).

3. my dream is to go to berkeley law school, to fight for the first amendment rights that enable these blogs to be such powerful forces for positive change in our society. i was accepted for this fall, but i am in danger of not being able to raise the necessary funds to cover living expenses, books, etc. donations will help me reach my goal.

this blog will carry all the news, all the links, and all the pictures, as christie and i brave the rocky mountains, the u.s. army bureaucracy, student loan offices, broken fan belts, exams, and much more in the next several years. you will see your donation in action!