Elliott Graeme

...A BLOG DEDICATED TO MY WALK ACROSS AMERICA...


March 12, 2014

(CLEVER TITLE FOR) THE TEXAS POST



Last October, when Graeme made it back up to Flagstaff, we decided on a Southern route for the winter. We had remembered hearing about a nice Buddhist Temple, a Vipassana center called Dhamma Siri just over 1000 miles away in Kaufman, Texas, just outside of Dallas. Their was a ten day sit starting January 8th, with 2 and a half months till then, we would have to walk an average of just over 13 miles a day to stay on schedule. Our route would take us along the I-40, out of Arizona, through Northern New Mexico, the Texas pan-handle to Amarillo and down HW 287 until reaching the other side of Dallas. By Kaufman, the trip will have clocked in at over 2,000 miles by foot. This post will pick up from the last post around Santa Rosa, New Mexico...



















Small boneyard near Goodnight, Texas. These are actually the remains of Bison.









































SNACK ATTACK! this first rattle snack here was actually dead and laid out in in the entrance of a decayed building we crept into one chilly night. Later on it became obvious that under the floorboards was a large pit of rattlers. Just down the road we spent Christmas Eve in the Chillicothe Volunteer Fire Station, Thanks guys.















These two guys got dibs on the on the spot up under a bridge, out of the wind. Again, Graeme and I came within about 2 feet of them before catching their outline in the dim light. When it's so cold they don't bother to rattle, or even move away.
















I become Balthazar also when I get bored.







Though the worst of winter hit further north, we were in the middle of nowhere on HW 287 when a 3 day ice storm blew in. These Silo's above are where we took refuge for those few days and mastered our throat singing skill set. The following photos are what the world looked like on that first sunny morning.















































The winter had delayed us from the 13 mile average to a point of over 20 a day for the last week -- too reminisant of the last Vipassana sit. On the homeward stretch we got a call from an organizer at the center, They needed more servers for the overflowing set of students that would be sitting. So we took the call and picked up another few miles each day to arrive early and help prepare. It was my first time serving a sit, I will write more about the experience when I have a moment, but all in all it was great.







Stephanie and Graeme, Dhamma Siri's most focused bell ringers.







..This is your (unfocused) mind on Vipassana meditation..







This is August Personage. A good chap and accomplished musician we served with at Dhamma Siri. Shortly after the sit he tore off from the Garden of Eden at Arlington on his time machine (below) to travel with us for the next month through Austin. It was only the other day that his adventure split North. Best of times pal, don't forget to kill everything, till our paths cross again!































This is hawk, we met her on the side of the road while she was finishing up a meal. Hawk let us chill with her and we all meditated on the circle of life and how cool it was that she ate a whole foot at once.































He said he'd wear them until they fell off.







In Salado, TX, local artist Mike P. invited us to stay at his studio and art galley SIRRIL. Quite accommodating, raaaally. Graeme's stencil, and then a finger painted self portrait I was working on before passing out to JPop on full blast, repeat. If your ever in Salado check this place out. Thanks again Mike, see you in the future.























Mike P. The man behind Sirril Art Gallery.







































Graeme & Jesus get feral fo real.























Dhamma Stephanie and the Pink Palace made our stay in Austin a bit warmer (literally and figuratively) when they took us in for a few nights -- One of which happened to be the Mardi Gras Unicorn Ball! Thanks Stephanie and all you's at the Palace.. Man, Austin is weird...



















Looking forward to the Gulf Coast and the last chapters of the journey...



November 23, 2013

SNOWED IN




Everything you can imagine is real


-Pablo Picasso





Much of the footage from the trip has been destroyed or stolen, yet here's a video that Graeme & Julio cut while down in Phoenix with what was salvaged. All video, images, visual effects, music and sounds have been created, recorded and edited by ourselves, of ourselves and others, during the trip.










CONDITIONS IN SANTA ROSA:



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November 15, 2013

GOODBYE FLAGSTAFF




Roses : The flowers are easy to paint, The leaves difficult.



Shiki's haiku (R. H. Blyth's translation)



I had spent nearly three months living in Flagstaff by the time I left. In my last week, I turned twenty four. So, up to that point, I have spent approxomately 1/100th of my life in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Though I haven't spoken with him personally, Julio has stayed down in Phoenix and will be travelling on his own terms. I hope to see him again down the road. It's been a fun 6 months and 1,000 miles with you.

Graeme and I have decided to make the next destination a Vipassana sit, 1,000 miles from Flagstaff, AZ, to the outskirts of Dallas Texas. We're trying to make it by January 8th, so roughly 2 months and a week. After the second sit we will have 1,000 more miles, south into New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast until we finally reach Florida and the Atlantic sometime in late Spring. The trip will total somewhere over 3,000 miles, all by foot.

A few shouts to my peoples, Shy & Ty and their homey Shane for taking me into their home for the last few weeks I spent in Flag. Good times kicking it down on the square and trying to help you guys make and sell jewelry! Hope to see you guys in the future!

This shout has been a long time coming but big, big ups to Ben at Kelty for hooking me up with a new backpack when a small piece on my last failed (mostly due to me hauling snow shoes from it). I'v actually had the new pack since Pahrump, Nevada and would like to think it's fairly broken in by now, "At first, it's constrictive, but after awhile it becomes a part of you."



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Best friend in Flag, Rachel



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Amoaa, then and (relatively) now



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Miss Shy (every picture including Ty turned into a gloomy mist)



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Shane, Birdie and TJ



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My "three favorite girls in Flag"



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Lemurian phantom quartz



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Flagstaff's most suave



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Nearly walked on top this bugger coming into Winslow, but my cat like hearing alerted me to it's rattle and my fish like reflexes led me to leap away from it's deadly strike just in the nick of time!



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Standing on a corner in West side Winslow



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Marvin, championship bull wrestler who took us in at the continental divide (not original photo).



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American Wild Canid



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This post was done a bit hastily, however, if it weren't now it might not be for months.. It's been a wild road out of Arizona, low teen temperatures, sunburn, sleet, hail, snakes, lice, blisters, food poisoning and virus have been beset by the generosity and kindness of the people along the way. It all makes me stronger anyways. Thanks to all the people who have gone out of their way to help us in the past few weeks.



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SEE YA ALL IN TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!11111111one



September 1, 2013

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA

This post has been a VERY long time coming... Metaphorically, I'v been waiting for the storm to pass before I reflect and journal the whole thing -- but it's only kept coming, stronger and stronger. Finally I feel things calming down. It's been approximately 1,000 miles by foot from San Francisco to Flagstaff now. Graeme and Julio have gone South to visit peoples in Phoenix, While I have chosen to kick it around the beautiful Flagstaff until the time comes. I'm fortunate to have been taken in by some of the chillest cats around town; Sydney, Rachel, Cole, Allen and Professor John. There's some good people out here, the place really reminds me of my hometown Ann Arbor. Soon I'll post some tails of the lunacies coming up route 66, and around town, but in the meantime, here are some of my favorite shots of the area.



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Many mornings I woke with my hand sprawled into her cobby webs and thought: "there's nothing there", until this morning


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Puppy Koda at the 'Bohemian Refuge'


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Tienming while camping on a ridge of Mt. Elden, overlooking Flagstaff


One of my best friends Tienming came from San Francisco to kill some time with me in Northern Arizona. That time flew by too quick. Really when it comes down to it, the quality of my life is often directly related to the people around me and the experiences we share, you brought me back all the little things that made for some of the best memories past, and present -- and really it's the little things that count. Thanks for coming and bumming around Flag with me Tien, wish you were here bumming the rest of the Country with us. Love ya man.


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Buffalo Park, Mt Elden in the background


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Super duper secret local's only spot near Winslow that my friend's took me hostage to


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Petroglyphs and Datura


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Cole being super


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On the night of the Full moon, Blue moon, Red moon, Grain moon, Sturgeon moon we threw a ritual jam, under ground on the outside of town. I'll post some sound files when I get them. Thanks to James for taking some fotographies while he was around, everyone else was a bit preoccupied to do something crazy like that. Love to everybody who came out and put on a show, fuckin rockin time!


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"Leprechaun 2 'cause Leprechaun was taken"


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Last night was my second full moon in Flagstaff, and it's starting to get cold out here.