We were going to do it cheap: wave our thumbs and crash in random peoples homes. For a number of reasons that never happened. The planned hitching adventure turned into a comfortable and classic rental road trip with daily motel shelter. It was a terrible choice for our thin wallets but with only twelve days to play with it gave us freedom and time; we avoided quite a lot of stress and sweat.
In general it’s not very rare that Rustan is late but his 36 hour delay to Los Angeles was actually not his fault but the airlines. We spent an evening in Hollywood and then set off eastbound to Las Vegas. Plans were grand and we were going to win huge on roulette and upgrade our fairly lousy rental car to a convertible with power. It was going to be a night for the books but bible studies would’ve been more exciting. We behaved way too well which is all on me; I got super sleepy and had to return to hotel bed not long after midnight. Slightly embarrassing and I know it. We considered extending our stay in the city of sin but with tight schedule and thousands of continent kilometers ahead of us we decided to keep going. It took us almost three driving days from Nevada to Denver in Colorado. The surroundings were rich in contrast. Vast dry desert in a multitude of color variations, a very grand canyon and lush green spring in rocky mountains.
In Denver we stayed at a city central motel and compensated for the lack of festivity in Las Vegas. After a late night out we were invited to a house party by a bunch of local hippies and ended up at a filthy crack house with pitbulls running wild, walls full of graffiti and random people in sleeping bags. An interesting experience but we were glad returning to the luxury of slightly cleaner accommodation. It only took us a day and a half to burn through dull farmlands in Kansas and Missouri. Our next break: Nashville, Tennessee.
We never did Vegas but there is no doubt we didn’t do Nashville. In the country music capital of the world we jumped between busy bars packed with white people wearing mandatory hat and boots. We came in perfect time for the weekend and the bar strip was truly boiling. Every single place had loud live music from lunchtime to late night. A generous amount beautiful local girls didn’t make us like Nashville any less. We stayed three nights and didn’t spend many hours at the expensive hostel we’d invested in. Unfortunately we had too much fun and unless strict budget travels, the US get’s pretty expensive. Our last night was fueled by ice water with lime. We had a blast.
Rich with memories but financially ruined we left Nashville for freeway travels eastward. We hit Washington DC, Baltimore and eventually New York City where Cecilia and Erik Lorenz-Palma were kind enough to offer shelter on inflatable mattress in their children’s room. Saved! We strolled Manhattan, Brooklyn and at a crowded sports bar we saw New York Rangers beat Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL playoffs. A few days ago we both returned to Scandinavia from JFK. Rustan is back in Stockholm and I’m enjoying a final travel week on Iceland. Our US trip did not turn out as initially planned but I couldn’t care less, I was just happy hanging out with my very close friend.
I like to think that photos on this very fine part of the web usually hold decent quality. Not from the past two weeks, I’m pretty sure they might just be the worst vacation pictures ever. I’ve got four terrible examples, enjoy! Above: Hollywood sign and a slice of The White House. Below: Luigi the Marmot and Rustan in front of Congress.
In Hamraborg, a Reykjavik close suburb I’m staying with fellow paraglider and tandem instructor Gísli Johannesson. Once again I’m spoiled with hospitality and new friends through a cool and keen flying community. Gísli, Anita, Sammi and Robert run Paragliding Iceland, if you’re planning a visit, make sure to give them a shout to get the chance to explore this mythical and picturesque nation from above. Two days ago I had an hour or so at a local site called Úlfarsfell but since, the weather has been rainy or too windy. Tomorrow and the day after are looking more favorable so hopefully I can get a few more hours in the air before returning to Stockholm.