Cooling off in the streets of Havana.

Cuba, On The Brink

Manhattan Night Birds (and helicopters)

Prime Time in New York City (USA #2)

June 28, 2017 Comments (2) Americas, Experiences, Photo Essays

Panoramerica: Eclectic Scenes from the Wild West (USA #1)

Frosted Yosemite

“I don’t like chainsaws. I tried to use one to cut up a sofa: The polyester got stuck in the teeth and jammed it all up.”
Meet Tim, one of my oldest mates from Perth, a British-born Aussie reliably liable to quip quotably.

After completing my tour of Central Asia (which you’ve surely read all about) and some family-recovery time in Canada, it was time for me to realise one of my greatest life ambitions: To become a climbing bum, living in a van.

Tim happened to be in Canada too, with similarly lofty ambitions. He’d even acquired a $900 Oldsmobile van named Goldie for the cause.  

Sleepy Tim and Goldie

It was adventure time. 

<-> <-> <-> 

        [The journey began in British Columbia. We were standing on the deck of a ferry, and travelling between islands and mountains. Tim breathed in the scenery, and looked around at the ferry deck.]

“They should put some exercise bikes out here.”

Warning: if you’re an American with no appreciation for national self-deprecation, you may not enjoy some of the quotes… 

Only in America...

Outside a Wal-Mart, a man yells the Good Word at cars and passersby. 

     [Camping at night, I hear a loud staccato sound off the in distance]

Is that a truck engine brake?” I asked. Tim is a mechanic, after all.

“Yes,” replied Tim.

“Wow! It sounds like a machine gun,” I added.

“Wait,” Tim said. “It probably is. I forgot we are in America.” 

Outdoor store in USA

This post is not to tell you about that trip – I’ve already told the story on Facebook in a silly and wholly unpolished series of ridiculous selfies and random facts. (It’s summarised in just two minutes here).

This post is to show it to you scenes from this beautiful part of the world, accompanied by random quotes and discussions that Tim and I had during our two months and 9600km with Goldie.

And since this was a climbing trip – not a climbing-photography trip – there aren’t many photos of climbing. So please enjoy the eclectic journey of west coast scenery. 

the longest and scariest day of climbing in my life. Nightmarish chimneys which I do not recommend, and 14 hours of hiking and climbing before we made it back to camp.

Literally the only climbing photo. From the longest & scariest day of climbing in my life.

the many layers of the grandest of canyons

This is more what I mean by scenic…

     [Completely unprompted]

“I wonder if I can earn money by making dentist chairs out of old car seats.”

Found in the middle of nowhere, a creepy Mojave Desert ghost-town named Amboy.

     [After one month in the USA]

“I think most Americans would be shocked to learn that you can drink from a cup more than once.“

Car Wreck Canyon,

     [in Death Valley’s Badwater Basin, 86m below sea level, we see a sign which reads “This Is The Lowest Point in North America”]

“Hold on,” Tim said pointing to the sign. “I thought that point was Las Vegas.”

One is never enough

Vegas streets

(The other lowest point in North America)

     [We were camping in Yosemite next to an off-duty Marine. He left food in his tent, went to the bathroom, and came back to quite a surprise: A racoon sitting on his sleeping bag, devouring his trailmix. The Marine told us what happened during breakfast, and Tim responded:]

“So is that all the enemy must do to defeat the US Marines – dress up like a racoon?”
Tim Myke camoflauge

They were all sold out of racoon costumes

<-> <-> <-> <-> <-> <-> <-> <-> <-> 

The Rest of the West

Now that the silliness is over I want to show you the scenes I promised. Click photos to view them in a glorious full-screen gallery, using arrow keys to change photos.

2 Responses to Panoramerica: Eclectic Scenes from the Wild West (USA #1)

  1. Geri Golden says:

    Once again great photos…was starting to wonder where you were at. Camped in a van from Canada to Mexico several times….lovely scenery and so many little nooks and crannies to park a van making it ultra affordable and so interesting. Have fun. Love that shot of you up on the top of that spire.

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