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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wow..it's been a while....

Hi all, I have been caught up in being at our home in NM and enjoying my friends here. I get so much from our conversations, playing with machinery, eating good food and enjoying fellowship.

The holidays are nearly past now and I get to see my wife for a week very soon. I am missing her a lot. This lifestyle is working out pretty well but is hard to get used to.

I have the Chinooky prepared for another trip with a rack on the back for my Honda trail bike and the bike is prepared for some good desert time. I have made some adjustments on the interior of the van, eliminated a few things and added a few things for experimenting. I recently made a small, portable fire pan so I can have a campfire when otherwise it would be illegal. I will see if I use it enough to carry it.

I like my 12Volt Burton stove and will have that along to make dinner while driving! Kit bought me a USB connected GPS so I won't get lost like I did in Pennsylvania last summer. I must say it is a lot harder to get lost out west where you can see for miles instead of being enclosed by trees. Some of my VanDweller and VanTramp friends are using GPS waypoints or whatever they are called to let each other know where they are camped so it should prove good for finding them when needed.

My friend Jon B. and I will head west around the middle of January for some desert riding, camping and hopefully meeting up with some of my internet friends. Jon has a Dodge Caravan conversion van and a Honda trail bike on the back of that as well.

I hope to head north in march or April in the Chinooky to see Kit again and spend a bit of time in Missoula with her. Then perhaps a summer of sidecaring, spending time with my sons and grandkids and catching a few Washington state and British Columbia sidecar rallies, also a real estate hunt for a campsite in WA.

Kit and I do plan to be at the AA International Convention in San Antonio the first week in July as well. This will be our fifth.

Other than that, I am feeling good, am in good general health and am in the monitoring mode on existing health problems. "I am in pretty good shape for the shape I am in"

I am ending the present year and starting the new one with a great deal of gratitude for my very blessed life. I love having you all in my life and send prayers and thoughts for your well-being and abundance as you celebrate each moment of your lives.
ManyWheels

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ahhhh...TorC....and your hot, healing waters....

So, the journey transforms now to a more grounded routine with friends and chores and my favorite little backwater town in the world.

My drive-around was a total of 13,000 miles and about three or four months of vandwelling.

I was able to see my step-mom in the care-home and say my goodbye as she is 93 and slowly slipping away. I spent time with my sons and their families, I saw a number of old friends and stayed for a while in their camps and homes. Spent a couple of days with one of my brothers and his family. Met face to face and camped with some VanDweller internet friends. I also saw some very beautiful parts of this huge country and spent some time in mourning what we have done to it in the name of progress.

I do not have anything profound to say about what I learned. I do think that as usual, I find that when I travel and talk to folks , anywhere in the world that I have been, most people are pretty amazing and kind. It always gives me hope.

Mostly what I learned was about me and my walking on this earth. Isn't that what it is always about, no matter what we say about others? I feel like I am enormously gifted with blessings. I am so grateful to have begun to awaken, to learn that what I give is returned ten-fold, that love is never exhausted and that I have enough senses left to enjoy this amazing spaceship we live on. The awesomeness of being here, now sometimes overwhelms me.


Blessings,
ManyWheels

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Along the Natchez Trace...

So now after a very nice week visit with some of my old friends from my Oregon time who have returned to their roots in the North Carolina "mountains" (?) I am officially back on the road...
They have a pretty place to do their lives in and they treat it well. Both artists in their own right and it is always a pleasure to see what they have wrought from natural and salvaged materials...
This time they played a couple of songs and harmonized a bit and it was sweet....

The Trace is an old track 444 miles long, stretching from Natches, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee that is more than 200 years old...mostly a sunken mossy ditch now it is an excuse for a beautiful parkway maintained and cared for by the National Park Service. There is ever so much history all along the trace and I don't have the time to do it justice at all....I am starting to itch to be with my friends at home in NM and my garage is calling me....

Unfortunately there have been some bruised and battered egos on my favorite forum online and it has resulted in a few of my favorite personalities leaving the group...I am stepping back for a while as I don't want to add fuel to the fire and will miss those folks...I will catch back up when I arrive in TorC and have a better connection and more time for that...if there is anyone from there reading this...take it easy and know that you are loved and missed...maybe not take it too seriously...

That's about it...I am in a free NPS campground tonight along the Trace....and camping early....
Peace,
ManyWheels

Sunday, October 4, 2009

well along the way...

Gosh, it has been ages since I have had good enough internet access to do a catch up post to my blog. I have been slowly moving down the Shenandoah Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to North Carolina and am currently in Asheville, NC

I had a great but short visit with one of my Vandweller sisters, TwoKnivesKate at a campground near the huge Primitive Campout she was going to attend in Lancaster County, the land of the Amish people. Other than my visit with Kate, the high point for me was to go to the big supermarket nearby and see the Amish buggies parked in a row with the horses tethered to hitching posts outside. I think they are so cool. The religion may be a bit harsh on women...but who's converting...I say....Whatever you can say about them, they hold fast to their beliefs.

I am just amazed at how beautiful the Blue Ridge is...maybe some of the best scenery in Virginia and North Carolina...just awesome and I can see the huge attraction to motorcyclists. The speed limit is 35 on the Skyline Drive and 45 on the Parkway so you are forced to just look and enjoy. If you do as I do and listen to some favorite spiritual music....it is very easy to be in the present and see the work of the Creator.

Be well,
ManyWheels

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Locust lake State Park, PA

A short catch up....I spent a night and some hours with our friends Joven and Sally who live near Montpelier, VT. A very nice quiet visit and dinner and a chance to see Joven's latest house renovation on a house they bought in Montpelier...they will sell it when done. They actually make their living as landlords of a few buildings there and in Mexico.

Then off down Vermont Rt.100, a local two lane that runs through my old town of Weston. I spent the day reminiscing and sort of bumming on the effects of "progress" and getting very philosophical about the demise of culture brought about by widening and building roads. I ended up in East Dorset, VT at the Wilson House, a now-restored hotel once lived in by Bill Wilson (one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous) as a child. It is now a not for profit foundation and run as a bed and breakfast with groups bringing AA meetings there every day. What a joy to attend AA and Alanon meetings there that night and meet a fella that was a couple of years behind me at Burr and Burton Seminary in Manchester Center.

I camped out at the Emerald Lake State campground and the next day drove around Manchester and visited my old high school. I went in and looked through the class of '62 yearbook and thought some about old schoolmates...I did not graduate there and only attended for half my sophomore and my junior years so did not have a long history with it. It is huge now with several large stone buildings built since I went there. It is also Bill Wilson's alma mater. Apparently a very highly ranked semi-private school with 84%+ graduates attending college. I was not one of their golden boys...that's for sure...

I then drove down the Hudson River in NY for a while, marveling at all the closed and abandoned mills and factories. Pretty much a marathon drive from there on as camping has gotten way out of hand price-wise...$23 + for state parks and as high as $33 for a space in a private campground. For me that takes away any thoughts of camping for a few days in one spot and enjoying the woods...I am actually very much missing the west at this point and am having a hard time staying in the present and enjoying where I am....No wonder there are so few campgrounds out here...who can support those costs? I can say for sure that I have no plans for any more camping trips out east.

Soon to be visiting a sidecar shop in Middlebury and then a visit with twokniveskate at the Muddy Run Rondy she goes to and then south again...

Until later,
Many Wheels

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Northeast section...

So, after Canada I was able to spend several days with Jon and Vicki, my friends in Ithaca and stayed out in Jon's camp in the hills. I had a great time and that included a day at the Sunday Farmer's market with Jon as he sold wrought iron things he makes in his blacksmith shop. Then Vicki and I spent a half day wandering around PorchFest where folks in a little part of residential Ithaca played music on various porches...all kinds and remarkably good! Ithaca wears it's status as a nerve center of progressiveness well. I also was able to eat dinner with them and another friend at the old Moosewood restaurant. I have owned Molly Katzen's original Moosewood cookbook forever it seems...well, the restaurant is a bit slicker than in the seventies, Molly is long gone and it is in a new location but the vegetarian food is excellent!

I took a couple of days to wind my way through the Adirondacks and decompress from the city life. I visited an ultralite canoe maker and fell in lust with a 12' solo canoe that only weighs 16 pounds...and is not horribly expensive....and even more with the 12' carbon fiber canoe that weighs in at 11 pounds and is twice the cost. $400 carbon fiber fiber paddles rounded out the selection..whew....amazing.

I also enjoyed miles of antique yard sale booths and all the vintage Adirondack camp gear they sold.

I stopped at the Tinckner's Canoe and Kayak tours to look at the 35+ used canoes and kayaks they had for sale. The funny thing is that it is on the Moose River...we lived near the Moose River in AK. I got a shirt....

Now at my brother Mike and family's farm house near Milton, Vermont. Friday I was able to visit my 93 year old step-mommy and she was great...still somewhat lucid and she knew me. Very sweet visit and goodbye, as I don't suppose I will see her again.

We spent yesterday at the Tunbridge World's Fair....a county fair that has been in continuous existence for 138 years! Got to enjoyed the pig races, the oxen pulls and lots of historical stuff , not to mention the ton of junk fair food....awesome.

Tomorrow off to see some friends from Mexico. They live north of here a bit and after that I will head south.

Be well...
ManyWheels

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Out of Canada and none too soon....

Dang! I guess I had forgotten how expensive things are for our northern neighbors. Gas was anywhere from 95.9 cents to $1.04 a liter. Ice was up to $2.80 for a five pound bag and I don't think it is because of the money difference. There is only about .07 difference these days.

Anyway, I am camping in Letchfield State Park in upper eastern New York state and the place is just gorgeous. I drove here through very gently rolling land, farms and fields interspersed with trees of all kinds, some even starting to turn colors...very much like New England.

Tomorrow I will meet up with Jon B. and camp with him at his camp for a few days near Ithaca....

I am feeling a bit disjointed as I dashed through Ontario way too fast and did not enjoy it like I have other places...my bad....but will slow down now.

I am thinking today, just how much I love this country we live in and how much I value the freedom of movement. We are so blessed to be able to move when and where we want and so many in the world cannot, whether it is a political or financial barrier. I am very happy to be an American today and so often I take it for granted.....I have posted this sentiment before but it is so true for me...
Peace,
ManyWheels

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hobbit....

I met this fella when I stopped to photograph his camper that was for sale along side the highway near Washburn, WI. What a very cool guy! He is a highly skilled and creative woodcarver that has built a village of hobbit house studios and a garden of fantasy on his property....I spent an hour with him but could have stayed all day...
He also built several electric motorcycles and many wagons and campers, etc....
ManyWheels


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An explanation....

It is about time I explain the name: ManyWheels Brian.

When we travel, it helps to remember the license plate on your vehicle as you are always being asked in campgrounds, etc. The NM plate on our Mazda truck/camper was 729 MWK. Kit used Many Wheels Kemsley as a way to remember it and anyone who knows me, knows of my addiction to wheeled and motorized stuff and my wanderlust.

We have also found that anyone with more than a 64th Amerind in their genes, has an "Indian Name". No Amerind in my background but there very well could be some Romany or English Gypsy on my mother's side of the family. So my "Gypsy name" is ManyWheels Brian.

Hey, it works for me, so hope it works for you...

Peace,
ManyWheels

Monday, August 31, 2009

BWCA Country and fine, fine, lakes....

I have been camping with a friend, Doug Harris, the campground host at Birch Lake Campground on, yep...Birch Lake near Ely, MN. He is here every summer and the lake could not be better for kayaking and canoing. Lots of Walleye and Crappie to be caught and a peaceful beautiful place.
Doug is a guide for a dogsled tour company here in the winter and I will link to that when I have the info at hand....
I will head out tomorrow and first go back to Duluth and Dean's camp for some brake work I need to do and then head out across the bottom of Lake Superior and up to Sault Ste. Marie and cross into Canada for a ways, crossing back into the States in Toronto....Buffalo, NY. for my next visit with Jon near Ithaca.
Once I get near Canada I will shut my phone off and rely on wifi at coffee shops and libraries for contact....
Be well all,
ManyWheels

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Minnesota! I actually love this place and the people...

It must be Garrison Keeler that drew me in, but I have enjoyed MN like few other places...well, I have a couple of very good friends here also and the AA and Alanon is wonderful...heck I think they invented alcoholism here!

So I am once again thrilled with the way the universe guides me and provides...I gave up finding a campground last night and surrendered to the idea it was Walmart in St. Cloud for me and no sooner than that I came upon "Old Wagon Campground", an old lakeside resort with beautiful grounds with dogs running around and the very nice lady said sure we have room, how about $2.00. Oh did I say I like this state?
Now, on to pasties and brats and good hanging out at Dean's zendo in Duluth....
Peace,
ManyWheels

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Where the buffalo roam...or did once upon a time

Hmmm, In a weird mood yesterday. I was thinking about how we eliminated millions of buffalo on a whim and replaced them with a far inferior, man-made substitute...beeves. A very strange people, we.
Then I went to both the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore to find they are both commercial enterprises and run by companies...the good Chief is under construction and it is done with private funds or donations and Mount Rushmore, being one of the NPS' man-made parks has given parking rights to a concessioner...ten bucks to park before you are even in and that is after driving through a traffic jammed couple of miles of tourist trap crap. Wowser...I turned tail and drove right away...
I have big issues with the NPS selling rights to commercialize the National Parks to start with and this really adds to it.
I think it will get worse as those who hold the purse strings of the government budget knock off more of the public lands budget...Damn we won't be happy til it is all gone will we...
I should not be surprised....that is just how capitalism works and it is doing it's job I guess...
Anyway, met a sweet couple last night in camp in Wall, SD and stayed up late chatting.
I walked through Wall Drug yesterday, a totally unremitting blight of commercialism taken to the level of absurdity and in that light, a wonderful parody of what makes us tick. It really was like an art film.
Onward today on a two lane blue highway and hopefully another restaurant like Donna's Downtown Diner in Newcastle, Wyoming...umm good biscuits and gravy and over easy eggs fried with a light brown lace of egg whites....I met Donna and gave her the Kemsley thumb's up on a very good little chow hall.
Until then,
ManyWheels

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

OK, eastern seaboard, here I come....

Tonite in Cody, WY...left Missoula Tuesday and slept in a nice little free camp at 6300 feet last night near Ennis, MT....I used my CPAP machine...don't always do that when alone in the rig and a few minutes of O2 before sleeping and after waking up for good measure. I felt and feel pretty good although slept fitfully. Tonight at 5000 feet and this should be better...

Yikes and wowser, Yellowstone is one visited park. The traffic was amazing. I was in a traffic jam that must have been 80 rigs long and took 15 minutes to get to where the holdup was...an eagle on a stump across the river...I just had to laugh. When Kit and I worked in Denali Park it was the moose...and they were called moose-jams.

Had a nice visit with a long time friend from Alaska and her husband in Helena . Again...right to the spiritual nut. I just love that...

We talked about how much the same everyone is when you can overlook the outside, the facade.
How much we want and need the same basic things yet the language is tangled up with ego and all the attendant stuff: anger, frustration, fear and ego....or just a different perspective...
Doug, our friends's husband once told me, that sometimes he will try to see how long he can keep someone talking by just asking them questions...what a great way to learn about someone...

So...how was your day? 8^)
ManyWheels

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just sittin'....

Getting all the little life things taken care of....connecting with friends and family, vehicle maintenance issues..Will I have AC in my rig? Monday will tell. My new thermo-cooker is coming via USPS. A better way of eating lies just ahead....Kit's meals are oh, so good but my eating on the road is pretty interesting to say the least....half good, half bad...and lots of sugar in the middle....
so...
That was Zen, this is Tao....
Brian ManyWheels

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oregon Coastal night....

Dina the doggo and I are parked in a wayside pullout on the coast highway just south of Waldport as we found the state campgrounds all full. Great, we have a choice spot and overlook a beautiful stretch of beach and hope to pass the night quietly and not be disturbed by the babylon.

It is misting rain and I am saddened by the news that our buddy, Sadie Dog, furkid of Heidi and Mike in Port Angeles has passed. Her kidney problem got the best of the sweet girl and took her after a week of seemingly good progress...what a bummer for Heidi and Mike.

Nice visit yesterday and last night in Corvallis with an old friend that I have known for 40 years .
Another long time mutual friend who lives in Juneau dropped in also and we had a great time visiting.

It looks like it is not a good time to visit with a Vandweller, Gene in Bandon so it will wait for another time...

I so love how most of my conversations with the friends in my life these days...at least the ones my age, revolves around the spiritual.

It is a very good time of life for me as I have the time and good fortune to pay attention to these things.

Be well and good travels,
ManyWheels

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vanning....

Wow, what a country we live in! I am tonight in an I-5 rest area called the Gee River Safety Rest Area in Washington State about 12 miles north of Vancouver, WA. Much nicer than the Walmart lot I spent two of the last three nights in and the cost is the same. Zilch. Thanks to the Interstate Highway system and the various states, the rest areas make a nice home for a night. Every night I sleep for free, I think "hm...another $21 for fuel, ha!" $21 being the most I saw a state park charge on this trip. I refused to pay that much to park and sleep.
I have had a great week or so with my sons, Jed and Isaac and Isaac's family. Also have enjoyed some excellent scenery. Had a short but nice visit and lunch with a long time friend and shipmate of Mine, Ted G. in Edmonds, WA as well. It was way too long since the last visit.
Met a nice couple in Kingston, WA while parked for a rest in the marina lot...part time vandwellers and boat dwellers. Very nice folks and they may pop into the Vandweller site at some point....they took the addy so they could.
So...I am tired and sleepy and will post more later...I am so grateful for my life today and appreciate the awesome circumstances that meshed to allow me to be here now...
Peace,
ManyWheels

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Next phase...

Well, a wonderful visit indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed the Vandwellers in PA. Sorry that we were unable to round up any more local vandwellers for a rondezvoo but there you go.

Thanks to Gary L. I am now looking for a nice used sit-on-top (I am pretty sure anyway) kayak so I can get on the water...Kate, Michael, Gary and Charlene have the right idea!

I am in Port Townsend camping next to another vandweller (not in the group yet) from Alaska. Enjoyable! I will be seeing my son and his mom today and tomorrow and then on to my other son and his family for a visit.

I had the pleasure of hiking out to Cape Flattery , the most northwestern spot in the lower 48. It will have to go in my records along with my riding to the most western spot on the road system.

What a magical place it is and one can only wonder what it would be like during a winter storm...yikes!

Onward into the moment,

ManyWheels

Friday, July 24, 2009

Puerto Angeles...

What a great couple of days it has been....actually meeting Gary, Heidi and Mike, Vandweller folks from our Yahoo Forum. We sat, chatted, broke bread, picked cherries..or some did...and twisted a wrench or two....

Gary the boatbuilder and raconteur supreme-o has been so very kind, friendly and entertaining.

Heidi and Mike And Mike's dad, Bill have been the best ever hosts to this wandering bozo! Sharing their home, shop and especially kitchen to Gary and I.

Bocephus and Tiberius I will not tell about as they are actually stuffed, although have some interesting powers...Sadie the dog was very gracious to Dina as well, sharing her yard and water.

I now have several friends in Puerto Angeles that I hope to have for many years....

Yay God!

Many Wheels

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The wet side....

Last night in Anacortes' Washington Municipal Park....a nice wooded park with coin showers right on the coast for $17 a night. Steep for my budget but the first shower in 3 days and nights and I needed it.

I have a ferry reservation to Port Townsend from Keystone at 6 this eve. Then on to Port Angeles manana to try and meet with some Vandweller friends and Don from TorC, NM.
Having trouble getting hold of son Jed and will keep trying.

I am amazed at how the people over here recreate. They think nothing of shoulder to shoulder campsites and noise and people everywhere like ants....amazing to me. I am way too used to the bliss of empty landscapes and camping where I never see anyone else....I think this is the future though as the population increases worldwide....it certainly is in any place I have been outside this country except for Canada. Strange what we do to ourselves.

I guess the thing that amazes me is how people pack into places where they can use their power toys no matter the cost but leave the thousands of USFS and BLM campgrounds nearly empty. I always wonder when the various agencies will see the lack of use of the campgrounds and close them down.

Anyway...I am grateful to be awake and present in this body today and to have the use of all my senses....
Namaste
Many Wheels

Friday, July 17, 2009

On the road again...

Tonight in a Forest Service Campground in western Montana that happens to have cell phone coverage so I have internet....yahoo.

Enjoyed a nice soak in a hot spring with my wife today and after a very good lunch she rode off on her BMW and I headed the other way in the lil' 'stro. Dang, hard to get used to this....we have close to a quarter century of awesome traveling and camping together and my heart hurts a bit every time we go opposite directions....I do miss her a lot....oh yes I do.

But there is something very nice about calling my own shots without having to consider somone else. Something neither of us have done much in our lives....interesting adventure this is....she is enjoying that as well.

Sure is weird out here in "wtf"- land though....it is so much easier to take the trail of no risk isn't it? Never really stretch ourselves that much...call it convention....it is interesting how a "groove" can become a "rut" depending on how deep I make it...

Anyway...lessee, what is true?...here is something: "if you know what is going to happen, it is NOT an adventure!"

Hi ho, Hi Ho, adventuring we go.......

Love to you all,
Many Wheels

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Effort

I am going to step into the blog world with this attempt and see if I can use it. I am currently in Missoula and getting ready for a trip to the coast and visits to friends and relatives....I will post as stuff happens and I discover what the universe holds in store for me.

I recently bought a wonderful CD by Krishna Das that I am enjoying and singing with . It is a Kirtan recording or 'call and response' , for those who have not heard the term before. Very simple and repetitive mantra chants or songs with which I can participate...It fills me with joy as I drive and see the world anew.

I recently watched a youtube video of Ram Dass at a kirtan with Krishna Das and it made me cry. He is such a gift to my world and this body is really starting to fail. I will miss him when he moves on.

Blessings to you all ,
Brian Many Wheels

Baja mellow

Baja Bri

Me and my buddy

Me and my buddy
Bri and "Dina Whitesocks the Dancing Dervish Dog"

B.O.B. and Dina

B.O.B. and Dina

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About Me

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well, I am a 70 year old married man with a couple of sons and 4 grand kids and am currently wending my way around the planet in any way that I find interests me. I am a retired mechanic, certified motorcycle nut, ride a sidecar rig and practice living in the moment. I am a 31 year friend of Bill and Bob and have lived a life beyond my wildest dreams.