We are camped at Dave's mom's house. Sleeping in a bed is an often
overlooked pleasure. We don't have anything on the agenda today
except for cleaning and lubricating the bearings in the steadycam
device. It got kind of messed up in the sand storm. Maybe I'll make
some pancakes this morning. Oh, the joys.
My mind is sort of blank right now. I must go.



When I packed for this trip I assumed that because it was scheduled
for the traditional beginning of summer weather that it would be hot.
With the exception of Chicago, it has not been hot. Overall, we have
been very lucky. We seem to miss major rain on all the days that we
shoot, and that has kept us more or less on schedule. Still, it is
colder than I expected. When we rolled into Pyramid Lake it was warm,
and from the road I could see a camper swimming. I thought for sure
that we would be swimming after our day of shooting. Instead, there
was a dust storm, temperature dropped 15 degrees (Fahrenheit), and the
wind became oppressive. That day we saw the weather go from a light
rain, to a blizzard, to mid seventies (Fahrenheit - Low 20's C), to
a cold and rainy dust storm in the desert. Crazy.
My point is that I didn't bring as much warm clothing as I should
have. I'm not in danger of freezing or anything, but most nights I
find myself layered to the max, and sometimes I'm still uncomfortable,
especially my feet. So, if you are going camping, do not
underestimate the power of elevation, and save some weight by not
including swimming shorts.

Yours truly,
Not Bear Grylls


Yesterday we filled up at a gas station on an indian reservation.
They gave us $5 or $10 of free plays, so we went in. I put $1 into a
penny slot machine. It was easily the most boring thing I've ever
done. $1 is 100 plays, and all you do is push a button for each play.
The worst part about it is that every so often you win a round.
Typically when you win a round you get between 5 and 15 credits or
plays. I found that it was difficult to get under 50 credits or plays.
Every time I went under 50 I would win 15 more credits. I won the
privilege of pushing the button 15 more times. Im convinced that this
would have gone on forever if I didn't raise the bet. I just wanted
the inanity to end. On top of the repetitive button pushing, it is
loud, the music sucks, and there are scores of sad and desperate
looking people inside. I am dumbfounded that people find this

Okay. Bye.



Cold. So cold.
It's hard to sleep when it's freaking freezing outside. I expected to
be a little cold on this trip, but I underestimated the extent of the
late spring chill. I actually thought I'd be swimming in mountain
streams. Boy, was I wrong. There is still a ton of snow in the
Anyway, we're going up to Crater Lake tomorrow. There will be a ton
of snow there. I will not swim.
By the way, I just joined Facebook. I feel weird about doing this,
but I think it's cool that Dave gets instant feedback after he posts
about our trip. It makes me think that FB is a good thing, and not
(only) a waste of time. I wont be able to post much or set shit up
yet, but add me as a chum, and I'll get into it eventually.



There were several notable quotes today. The most recent was, "I
found my old dog robot." We're at Dave's cabin. The cabin is not
really in a town, but it's sort of nestled between two towns called
Index and Gold Bar in Washington. I have no desire to write at length
about the days sagas because I am typing this on my phone, and also
I'm a little worn out, but let's just say that the characters involved
are zombies who may or may not be meth addicts (I'm pretty sure they
are), park rangers, the sheriff, and delinquent
To counteract a morning that was both enraging and depressing we hiked
and filmed in terrain that was rich in both glory and splendor. I'll
post a few pictures that will not do it any justice later. Now I'm
sitting in front of a burning pile of garbage at Dave's cabin. Dave's
friend Eric is on the way, and I understand he is bringing butter for
our potatoes, and root beer for me to drink. Tomorrow the three of us
will hike mount Baker. It's gonna be awesome, and hopefully everyone
we deal with will have teeth and body fat.



3 ingredients

Camp cooking tips from Dave.


Sometimes video taping can be exhausting. For instance, today was a
grueling half day of video taping. I'm not certain this has been
clear, but Dave's project involves the use of a specially designed 5
camera video rig. It is supposed to function similarly to a
professional steady-cam, and it does, big with none of the creature
comforts. While using it one must hold 5 video cameras in front
oneself while walking on rough terrain. It is challenging. Also, the
sun is beating down on you further depleting your energy. We started
taping at around 12 today, and we finished a little before 6. I was
totally wiped out.
If you think this sounds easy, I suggest you get a 15 pound (7 kilo)
weight, and hold it directly in front of you while you walk around.
Tell me how you feel after about 15 minutes. Now do it for a few
hours in dirt, mud, and on big ass hills. It will drain you.
So yeah, I'm feeling pretty mellow right now. Dave cooked some steak
up on our little propane stove, and we ate in the company of the
bison. The bison love us, or perhaps we camped near their favorite
grass. Either way, their presence is welcome. Today was the sixth
day of the trip. We may shoot some more in the morning if the weather
is nice, but if it isn't we'll have breakfast with the bison, and move
on to Seattle with an evening spent camping somewhere in Idaho.

I'll try to post more pictures and videos, but most of my pictures are
on either my fancy dSLR or my super 8 camera. I'll show you some more
when I get home and edit a decent selection.



Here is another video that I was unable to embed. I'm using my
iPhone. If anyone knows a good way to embed video to blogger via
iPhone, let me know.



Notice the bison in the background. The Badlands is (are?) rad, and so are the bison.  Today we did a lot of work.  Shooting Dave's film is way more fun than driving all freaking day long.  Unfortunately, the movie probably wont be ready for a year or so, but it is off to a good start. We spent the afternoon scouting locations to shoot tomorrow. We'll probably leave for Seattle on Thursday.  
I'm really tired, and I probably wont post anything for a few days due to lack of an internet connection.  So I bid you a good evening. 



So much has happened since my last post. Dave and I have driven from
Boston to South Dakota. We just woke up in The Badlands, and we'll be
here for a few days.
Here are a few things I've learned on this trip so far:

1) Just because something is uncomfortable and appears to be a piece
of shit does not mean that it should be dismissed outright. Rally,
aka Dave's shitty van, is not so shitty. Yes, it is primer gray. Yes,
it gets less than 12 miles to the gallon. No, its seats are not very
comfortable. Will it survive this trip? Fuck yes. That thing is
solid. And LOUD.

2) I kind of knew this already, but EVERYONE is nicer than people from
the northeastern US. I'm not talking shit here. I am from the
northeast, and I am included in this ridiculous generalization.

3) Free wifi is important. During the next presidential election cycle
we should make sure that whichever yahoo is on the winning end is
dedicated to serving that shit up everywhere. Communicating with
everyone has been a supreme challenge during this trip, mostly because
I would have to sell my first child to pay the cellular roaming
charges on my Dutch iPhone.

4) Things that go bump in the night are probably bison. We got to the
Badlands last night, and it took us forever to navigate to the free
camping area. We set up our tent, and then the growling, and
grunting, and cud chewing began. Not knowing how a freaking bison
sounds, we assumed it was an aggressive hunter looking for man flesh.
Dave left the tent to see what was making the sound, and the sound
seemed to disappear, only to return after the tent was zipped up again
. The return of the noise further cemented the idea that we were
being hunted. Slowly. Inefficiently.
Long story slightly shorter, there were a ton of bison chilling
outside our tent when we woke up this morning. They were making the
sounds we heard last night.

Okay. Bye.



The odyssey begins today.  Dave Olsen and I are driving his van across the US and back.  I'll try to make regular updates, but I'm relying on my phone to post this, and I can only use it when I have access to wifi. 
Okay. Bye.