In Two Places at the Same Time

I think he had a thing for me. The fidgeting with the necklace, the puppy-eyed stares, the head nod to the side as he said "Oh you're too funny." I'd chock it up to cultural differences but I know quite a few Dutch people and they're – well they are artsy types – but they like their Dutch women and their macho attitude. I was happy to indulge the Airport's Tourist information clerk, and he was more than happy to indulge me with information, gently dropping hints like "Oh that's where I live" and offering me tips on how to cross the river to that side of town. 

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Conversations, Conspiracies and Conservatives

Three and a half weeks in, the routines became rituals, and the amount of decisions that need to be made slowly declined. Whereas my morning routines used to involve thirty minutes of phone time as soon as I woke up, followed by an automated shower, a trip to the local cafe for a latté and a pastry, then the drive to work, my new routine involves rushing out of the 30˚ sleeping bag into the 35˚ ambient temperature, popping open the stove and the pantry to get the oatmeal and the coffee prepared as soon as possible, using the heat from the stove to warm up the van and my Little Buddy (a brilliantly named propane-powered space heater I picked up early last week) to warm me up. 

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Elevation: Sea Level

Waking up to the sound of generators and crying children in a puddle of sweat wasn't high on my list for the trip. 75 degrees at 7am does weird things to me, I get irritable and frustrated. It was becoming increasingly clear to me that my plan of spending the day kayaking in Lake Mead wasn't really going to pan out. I needed to get the hell out of the desert, as soon as possible. I had my fan blowing hot air in my face, the window down with hot air hitting my side, and the blasting sun glaring down the left side of my body, stuck by the adhesive force of sweat to my shirt and seat. I wasn't happy. 

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Holy Smokes!

I've never known myself to be an anxious person. I've always considered myself a happy-go-lucky kinda fellow, not afraid to make fun of myself, and not sweating the little stuff. That was before I started hanging out with people who speed through thick trees on steep slopes on snowboards, and before I drove into a thunderstorm in the high plains of Utah in a van containing everything I own, 100 miles from the nearest service shop, and 400 miles from the nearest specialist.

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