Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What just happened?

At this point...I'm not really sure that the trip could get any better.

We're 3 days in, and it's already in the top 3 weekends of my life.

Saturday: 4 hours of non-stop roller coasters at Six Flags over Georgia

Sunday: Camping & Rafting at the Ocoee River

Monday (Memorial Day): St. Louis Gateway Arch & Pappy's BBQ, followed by Kansas City & Lawrence (the home of the KU Jayhawks) Nightlife

So, rafting on Sunday was incredible. We just had time for 1 run on the lower, but it was one of the most breathtaking runs I've ever been a part of. There's one rapid named "Flipper," and, well, let's just say I got knocked off twice in a row and I have a newly found respect for the river.

Met a few new OAR members and went to El Rio for dinner in Ducktown, TN. Great place, awesome friends, and hilarious times! TD is the best entertainment in the world! Camped out and sang by the fire for the rest of the night.

Headed straight to St. Louis Monday morning, for an incredible 2-3 hour city tour. The Gateway Arch (pictured), while being extremely appropriate since I'm moving out west (look up why if you don't know), was also the most astonishing piece of architecture I've ever seen in America (along with Millennium Park in Chicago) . We traveled to the top of the arch in tiny pods of 5 (pictured) that felt indescribably futuristic and, at the same time, extremely old-fashioned. The view was incredible. I couldn't help but think about the ESPN commercial every time I looked at the Cardinal's park: "I am not a machine. I am just Albert"

Then we came down from the top, and decided to hunt down the infamous "Pappy's Smokehouse" featured on Man VS Food. We arrived there around 4:15pm, unknowingly intruding after they had closed 15 mins beforehand, and also encountering the best beef brisket sandwich ben or i had ever eaten, FOR FREE! That's right, for FREE! Seriously the most delicious smoked beef brisket sandwich I've ever had (pictured).

*note* If you are ever in ST. LOUIS, go to PAPPY'S SMOKEHOUSE!!!!

We then made our way to Kansas City, which ended up being a ghost town, so we decided to drive the extra 45 minutes to get to Lawrence, Kansas, home of the KU Jayhawks, for some collegiate-style nightlife. We had an interesting night to say the least.

First things first, though, Kansas is not that cool. They charge you 10 dollars to drive on the only major highway through the state and if you don't pay, you have to stay and farm 40 acres of corn for 20 years (just kidding, but the 10 bucks is serious!). Oh, and while we were approaching Lawrence, we saw a spotlight around 5-7 miles ahead of us, so we get extremely excited to see that there's something exiting enough to deserve a spotlight! No, it's not a VIP event for Lil' Wayne, or a Club Grand Opening, it's a..........mcdonalds! We knew just how lame Kansas could be after that incident.

As we were driving, Ben felt the urge to see what Odessa, Missouri was like (pictured). We took the exit and found one totally, ridiculously creepy road. We left as soon as possible (after Ben's 30 minute photo shoot with the "ODESSA" sign hahahha.


What will tomorrow hold? Who knows.

Actually, tomorrow holds Denver, so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Day

We've been out of Tampa for 24 hours now....and we've set the bar pretty high.

On the way up to the river, we couldn't get in touch with our friends at the river. We weighed our options and, seeing as we don't have a tent and we're werent even sure where they were on the river, we decided to make a pit stop at Six Flags. Best move EVER!

In 4 hours at the park, we rode 6 coasters including the all-new Superman coaster where you LAY DOWN (That's right, you LAY DOWN! I'll elaborate later.) and Goliath 3 times (including the last 2 runs of the night which we chanted and screamed for as we pulled into the station and saw that no one was in line anymore).

It's 6:30 in the morning at some cheap hotel, and I can't help but notice the 30 nasty strippers that we've seen while we've been here for under 12 hours. We must be in Atlanta.

Anyway...we're headin to the river now. I'll try to make another post in St. Louis or Kansas City.

Monday, May 18, 2009

First Post!

Hi Everybody!

So if you don't already know, I'm moving out to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah to work as a Resource Conservation Management Intern for the whole summer. Since graduation and working with PURC in February, it's taken me almost 3 months of waiting and applying to find something that I'm truly excited to be a part of....and this is it. "When it's right, it's right," my Dad kept telling me. This feels so right it gives me goosebumps and an ear to ear smile on my face. The wind has finally picked up, and I'm raising my sails and goin where the wind takes me...it's taking me out west! (that was for your Dr. Berg)

My friend, Ben and I are taking 7 days to drive out to Bryce and I'm going to do my best to keep making posts throughout the trip when it's his turn to drive.

We leave on Saturday, the 23rd, to meet up with a good buddy and an outdoor group (Outdoor Adventure Recreation, OAR) that I was pretty active with in college to camp out for a couple of nights and raft the Ocoee near Chattanooga, TN! (If anyone hasn't had the opportunity to raft some white water, do yourself a favor and do it ASAP! What a rush!)

Then, from there, we're driving through St. Louis, Kansas City, and the whole state of Kansas to hopefully make it to Denver in 1.5 days of driving and some sight seeing. We're planning to go to the top of the Gateway arch and hit as many restaurants on the "drive-ins, diners, and dives" list as we can! I'm hoping not to see anything exciting in Kansas, because I fear that the most exciting things that happen there involve tornadoes (haha). Hopefully the Nuggets will still be in the playoffs by the time we get to Denver!! We'll probably stay there for a few nights with another buddy of mine from Birthright back in '06! Gotta love old friends!

Then we plan to get to Bryce on Saturday, the 30th with enough time to get acquainted with the park and settle into my new place. The park service is putting me up in an apartment for free! I have one roommate, his name is Alan. I don't know very much about him yet, but he seems cool.

If anyone wants to plan a visit, don't hesitate to shoot me an email or phone call!

This is the start of something special...

Until next time, I'll leave you all with a quote i read recently...

"If you take care of the person on your left and you take care of the person on your right, the person that benefits the most is the person in the middle."