1977 Travel Log

Journal keeping
New Canaan and the Essence is Children
It is a long/short way to the promised land after all you may already be there, are you? What matters stops you in your tracks is it your job or the stock market your beating heart can you look at a very young child and not be filled with wonder of the longest line continuing human who are we and where?

June 20th—Budget—$9 hotel, $5 booze-$5 meals, $12 Lester’s Camping, $3.50 Bug-killers—too many bugs at Lester’s cannot possibly stay. Bummed out, shit, fuck.

June 21-
Staying with Nicky Koumz Lowell homey at Indian Head.
Got bombed on Molson Ale last night with Nicky Koumz watched Mark the Bird Fidrych beat Yankees single handedly then listened to jazz at Peter O’s.

June 22nd- Yesterday ran 12 miles kind of groggy spent quiet day and night reading, walking, napping watching “boob tube” counting good fortunes to be able to have this place to stay with Nicky Koumz a good host gone all day at work and I’m getting into what I came for, freedom and day to day living.
I will call Ronnie tonight and see what the poop is, but I will definitely be heading our tomorrow.

June 23rd- Ran only 5 miles today, had a good breakfast then got drunk and smoked with Sean Flynn (Acre Lowell friend) weird day.
I was re-reading Kerouac “Lonesome Traveler” and partly through “Desolation Angels” perhaps my favorite read, and Sean was reading Henry Miller “Tropic of Cancer” “You read this one Hodgie?” well no.

I told Sean “you got to read Jack if for no other reason Lowell it’s us” and he said “well you got to read this and so having read Lonesome and re read I gave it to Sean in exchange for Tropic which he had read and re read and it became official.

“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” -Henry Miller “Tropic of Cancer”

Two Lowell Acre boy’s college dropouts discussing literature, why not?

Ronny came up in the van Sean and I were sitting on the little grass knoll across from the main Indian Head Lodge when he arrived. Pack up my gear and headed out to Greenfield to camp out until the weekend Stevie coming up and there is Dusty’s party in Manchester on Saturday.

June 24th-Hitched to Peterborough today to wash clothes interesting ride. Ran 15 miles today had a good campfire and hit the feathers early.

June 25th-Got in 15 today quiet day in my monastery waiting for Stevie to come rain falling.

June 26th-Woke up hungover went for coffee and then a swim which straightened me out somewhat blew a 90 mile week but my knee could use a break any way. Stevie ran a few miles with me, and I got in an hour run. Had big campfire tonight watched the embers and thought some thoughts throughout the night.

June 27th-decided to come home for a few days before 4th of July weekend spent $2.40 at McDonalds which pissed me off when I thought about it same old thing at home.

June 28th-Took it easy at home went out shopping for groceries when I woke up there was not a damn thing in the refrigerator. I’m worried about my Dad hope they’ll be all right when I’m gone I know they can work out something. I hope. Dad and I went to track meet at Cawley Stadium which I ran then went out for a pizza and beer.
My back pages
If lost………

June 29th-spent 4th weekend mostly in Lowell working on the van, things looking good for July 18th departure date. Seems like forever but 2-3 weeks and we’ll be on our way.
July 29th-Went to Dusty’s last night picked him up and went out for beers left him off at 1 A.M. headed to York Beach ME and spent good day on beach but felt sick with bad headache. Had late afternoon nap played guitars at night and had tuna sandwiches and hot and iced teas. Plan to head for Gloucester tomorrow meet up with jocko.

July 30th-Spent night in Gloucester camping out at Cape Neddick.

“Sociability is nothing but a smile and a smile is nothing but teeth. Rest and be kind.” Kerouac

August 1st-York Beach Camp Eaton ME-went to Sand dollar last night for a few brews pretty dead. Steve, Dust, Ronnie and me. Spent day on motorcycle ride with Stevie up coast to Kennebec. Rained all afternoon. Had some Dinty Stew and peanut butter for dinner. Heading out for a run on the beach tonight and these crazy bastards are coming with me.

August 3rd- My birthday 22 headed to White Mountains NH last night could not find camoing on the Kanc so slept in van at pull out near swimming hole Pemi River. Went for a run and a swim and then to Polly’s Pancake Parlor for a royal breakfast. It was a little extravagant and off our budget. After breakfast we took some photos and then headed to Indian Head for a hike got lost on the way down and had to bushwhack our way out. Got a campground at hilltop near Twin MT where we ended our memorable hiking trip of Labor Day 76. Went for a run had a big campfire bugs ain’t too bad.

Nubble Light
Indian Head

August 4th-Laundry day Whitefield NH Coke and Molson seem to be the most popular drinks in town. “Whitefield the friendly town with a beautiful point of view.”
Laundromat in old railroad station. Had supper of burgers and rice delicious at Hilltop Campground. Heading into Manchester and Lowell tomorrow so that Dust and Ron can pick up their checks and then out to the Berkshires and on out across the country.

August 5th-Spent the night in Amherst slept in the van near Nicky’s place. Ran on UMASS Track and played Frisbee in athletic fields and took a shower at Boyden Gym. Had a case of Heineken and went to pub long enough for one dance.

August 6th- Did some food shopping at outdoor market made a salad. Watched the girls go by my oh my then took a ride to Mt Holyoke and Mt Greylock State Park practically on top of the mountain camped out had big campfire.

MT Greylock

August 8th- Spent last night at Sacandaga Lake Adirondacks in upstate NY. Had corn and soup for supper also peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Sacandaga manmade in 1928. Went for a walk in the evening stopped to talk with Park Superintendent nice old guy. Today travelling north into Adirondack Park on route 30 before heading west on route 8 out to Lake Ontario.

August 9th- Spent last night at Fairhaven Park State NY on inlet from Lake Ontario raining last three days but beautiful today. Heading out to Niagara Falls today stopped in Rome NY yesterday for groceries.

August 10th- Spent last night Niagara Falls cooked up mac & cheese in the van and made a salad with vegetables we picked up at a roadside stand. Nothing but crazy tourists here with makeup. The Falls are beautiful at night we spent .10 cents to cross the bridge into Canada where the view of the Falls was much better. Dust, Ron, and I stopped at an outdoor café and watched the lights come on the Falls and we had a beautiful waitress in her little Bavarian outfit yahoo. We headed out of there this morning and are now residing in Andover Ohio State Park and plan to move on across Ohio tomorrow.

August 11th- Left Lake Pymatuning State Park Andover travelled 225 miles across Ohio today. Tonight, we are camping at Sandusky Park Fremont OH very small campground with few facilities. It is raining cats and dogs and the tent is leaking will probably sleep in the van. Tomorrow we will hit the highway should be in Indiana end of day.

August 12th- Camping in LaPorte IN Rolling Prairie seven miles outside LaPorte Taking turns driving one and a half hour shifts. Indiana prairies land many many farms and cornfields. Tonight, spending quiet night nice campground. Starry night future bright.

Scanadaga Lake NY

August 13th- Did laundry in LaPorte this morning coffee and donuts travelled around Chicago rte. 294 and rte. 14 up just over the border with Wisconsin where we are sleeping in the van tonight side of the road. Tomorrow up to Minnesota.

August 14th- Staying tonight Perot State Park on the Wisconsin Minnesota border. I’m wondering very sadly what it must have been like when the rivers flowed clean etc. This place cost mucho bucks and is really hardly worth a penny of it. Ronnie is sitting here at the table with the expense book taking it all so seriously it hurts. The Mississippi River today we hit at about 4 in the afternoon, and I asked a very beautiful young woman to take a picture of us which she did all smiles. Really things are going quite well but I must say I am looking forward with much eagerness to the west and on back homeoh the future too much to think about. Boggles the brain. Tomorrow onward.

Perrot State Park WI

August 15th- Monday-ride to Minnesota St Paul took a walk around the city did a little shopping at a camping store we got a place to stay about 30 miles outside the city at William O’Brien State Park. Nice place on St Croix River.

August 16th- This morning went for an hour run passing through the little town of Marie on St Croix. Beautiful and later went to this town with the van and picked up some butter and eggs on me own. Would have loved to stop for some coffee but I figured the guys would be wondering what was keeping me. This being a kind of a pin in the ass. Went into St Paul to the Olympia Brewery for excellent tour and later 2 hours of drinking at the sample room on top of the brewery.

I had at least 7 beers then we went to our campsite and had a big supper of corn on the cob, rice and a baked potato. Expecting a good nights sleep.

Left William O’Brien State Park this morning and headed into Minneapolis to check out the city, which is definitely the cleanest and nicest city I’ve ever been to. Even a clean slim section of Indian bums. We bought bread $.25 a loaf. I then drove 2 hours upstate to Hennipin State Park in Isle MN. where we are tonight. A very huge lake here which I cannot remember the name of, Ronnie and I watched the sunset over the lake and took some photos.

The name of the lake is Mille Lacs and were staying today our second day at Fater Hennepin State Park. I am taking it easy today, had some French toast and coffee which I made with the Gerry stove and took a walk in the woods down to the beach area where I had planned to write some letters, but the bugs were bad so I just came right back to sit and write at the table. Just had some burgers and beans for supper over the fire which really hit the spot. Ran sixteen miles today and felt pretty good. The weather has been unusually cool for this time of year reminiscent of Fall my season back home in New England. Tomorrow we are heading to Lake Superior and camp out, then onward.

August 19th—Travelled up to Lake Superior today and are staying at Linden’s Campground in Castle Danger near Gooseberry Falls State ark. The weather is even cooler here than at William O’Brien on the Lake with the cool breezes. Had supper of Chinese Vegetables over rice and then went for a short run. Later we had tea and cheese and crackers in the truck as the fire had gone out when I went out for a run. I sat by the lake meditating and thinking for a half hour and hit the hay happy and content.
August 20th—Spent the better part the day touring the falls and cliffs and little inlets for about forty miles up the coast. It rained all day but now around six P.M. is showing some signs of clearing. Talked to some girls from the Univ. of MN who gave us beer and some food.
August 21st—Left Lake Superior today heading for another part of Northern MN. Lake Bemidji State Park. Chippewa Indian Reservation near here. Today had coffee in nice café and went back to the cliffs we visited yesterday on Lake Superior North Shore. On the way to Bemidji picked up two girls hitch hiking nice to talk to Dusty got one’s address. Rained tonight but I was tired and slept very well anyway.


August 22nd—Went out this morning and did our laundry in Bemidji also went and did some shopping at a supermarket and farmer’s market. Afterwards back at State Park went for a run. Found a good amount of wood had a good supper of beans, dogs, and baked potato hobo style. Took a nice walk by the lake to meditate a while and slept well.
August 23rd—Left Bemidji this morning. Had some granola and banana for breakfast and later stopped for coffee. Heading south on route 71. We will spend at least one more day in MN. Maybe more. Nine altogether so far. Tonight, we are staying at Sibling State Park in or near Wilmar MN. Had supper of Ravioli over Rice, weather is a little warmer here.
August 24th—We’re staying our two days at Sibley State Park. Had a pancake breakfast took a walk in the woods to an overlook called Mt. Tom. Went for a swim and a run. Had supper of macaroni with sauce onions and cheese and a salad and bread. The other day we bought a five-pound box of macaroni for $1.37. Called the old man tonight talked about the Falmouth run. Every time I call, I feel so sad afterwards, almost on the verge of tears. Tomorrow onward.
August 25th—Staying tonight Redfield S.D. in an overnight stop area. The weather has turned hot once again. On the way here we stopped to check the engine oil and were caught in a whirlwind. Went out for a run and washed up in a well. Had some sandwiches and spent a quiet night talking with some area kids.
August 26th—Went out for a run this morning with a high school kid and are heading out again, looks like a hot day, crossed the Missouri River today and went down to take a swim and some pictures. Tonight, we are staying in Faith and I’m getting to have some. We had a supper of Chinese Vegetables and Rice later went for a run. We took a walk around town and talked to some nice people who gave us info. And their address on the west Badlands, Wyoming, Montana and so forth. We are staying in a free campground tonight and tomorrow onward.


August 27—Took Rt. 73 S today and hit the Badlands at about 3 in the afternoon. We investigated the area and took some pictures and then found a campground in Cedar Pass at night we went to a nature talk with slides and I stayed up a while after thinking under a full moon. 

August 28—SUNRISE woke up at 5:30 A.M. and walked a half mile or so to catch a beautiful sunrise over the Badlands, after which we had a breakfast of hot cakes and coffee which Ronnie sleeping in the tent knew nothing about. After which we did some more hiking on other peaks and dunes. We toued through the Badlands afterward stopping at many scenic trails and areas. We also went to Wall Drug and had 5 cent coffee and picked up a few things. We are spending the night in Sage Creek Campground S.D. having a few beers with some guys we’ve met one from Iowa and one from Colorado who went to B.U.

August 29—Taking off on a hike this morning to catch a look at some buffalo. Hiked about 2 hours into the area and found a nice place to camp. We watched the sun go down and I hit the hay right away because I as so tired. Bob from Iowa found some antlers and gave them to us.

August 30—Left our camp place in the Badlands early this morning after a good night’s sleep. I actually went to bed at 8:00. We saw all kinds of wildlife mule deer, hawk, buffalo, prairie dogs etc. We got back to our camp area in about an hour and a half and went to Wall Drug for coffee and ice water and groceries. We said goodbye to Mike who gave us his address in Vail. After we drove back to the campsite and went for a run and then had a supper of macaroni and salad. We also had some donuts and rolls which Bob made for us excellent.

August 31—Left the Badlands today. We stopped at Wall Drug and had our last cup of 5 cent coffee with granola and bananas and peaches. After that we left for Rushmore and the Black Hills. We got a campground about three miles away from Rushmore and went canoeing on the lake here a nice spot where we will stay at least one more night before moving on.
September 1—Went out this morning and hiked Mt. Horney about a thirteen-mile hike a beautiful view and we took quite a few pictures and had a lunch of biscuits apples and peanut butter sandwiches cheese water etc. Saw mountain goats too. Tonight, we took a ride up to Rushmore and saw the lights come on the men. Now sitting around the table enjoying crackers and cheese and tea.
Tomorrow a few short hikes and relaxation.
September 2—Woke up, looked like rain cleared up quickly just as the day before. Had some oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast. After went down by the lake and read and thought. Bob and Ron climbed a rock formation and put a Wall Drug sticker on top which we could see from the bottom, guys are loco.
This morning a fisherman came up from the lake and gave us four trout we had for supper with rice corn and beans. Tonight we took a drive along the Iron Mountains road and the Needles point highway and saw many deer. Tomorrow we are heading to Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming.

Sept. 3— Devils Tower national Park. Spending the night here, mucho wildlife deer especially and prairie dogs. Went to see the tower and took a walk around it watching the climbers. TonighttI am sitting here at the table drinking tea and writing this in a not so peculiar mood and thinking about back home my father and family and XC season in NE. Now I know what it is to miss it.

Sept. 4— Left Devils Tower today around 10:30 after a pancake breakfast. Called home again this morning feels so sad afterwards. Drove part way across Wyoming stopping once in Sheridan to wash our clothes and once to watch some hang gliders. Bob from Iowa wanted so bad to go out and join them. Tonight, we are staying at Prune Creek Campground in Bighorn National Forest a beautiful spot. Tomorrow on toward Yellowstone.

Sept. 5— Left Prune Creek this morning, I saw two moose this morning and woke everyone up. Went for a run and had a pancake breakfast with potatoes courtesy of Bob. Arrived at Yellowstone this afternoon and are staying at Fishing Bridge Campground. We are scared of the bears. Tonight, sitting here drinking Coors’s Ron’s birthday.

Sept. 6— Left Fishing Bridge and headed north to canyon. We stopped many places along the way to take in the scenery and do some short hikes. Just a beautiful day very relaxing. I slept for two hours in the afternoon in a little Pine Grove on top of my sleeping bag. Had a good supper of tuna casserole and went to the amphitheater here at the campground to an excellent slide show on Yellowstone Park the geology. Tomorrow we are going for a hike and another easy living day.

Sept. 7—Went for a 12 or so mile hike today along the North Rim of the Canyon Trail across Chittenden Bridge up the Wapiti Lake Trail to Ribbon Lake. One of the best hikes scenery wise that I have ever been on. We stopped at many of the lookouts along the way, over the falls etc. This morning on my run I saw two Moose and this afternoon on the hike a Buffalo. I had many good thoughts while hiking but now back at the campground at Canyon my thoughts are jumbled and I really don’t know what I am going to do. Tomorrow’s another day and the future too far away but not far enough sometimes.  


Travel Journal 77

September 8—Left Yellowstone today for Grand Teton National Forest. We said goodbye to Bob from Iowa for he was travelling north and coming back south afterwards. We stopped at Old Faithful and watched it shoot off a couple of times then got coffee, gas and groceries and continued. The mountains here are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in my life. We stopped several times for pictures and just to look. At night we had supper and went for a walk over to the amphitheater for a lecture on the history of the National Parks. We are staying at Gros Ventre Campground near Kelly. Gros Ventre Campground – Grand Teton National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

It’s a cold night which we spent in the van drinking tea and just laughing at nothing at all, just glad.

September 9—Went to Jackson tonight to check the town out, bought an order of groceries and got some very good deals. We then went to the Chamber of Commerce and sat at a picnic table overlooking the National Elk Refuge. Spent almost the whole day in Jackson browsing in the shops and stores. Afterwards we went up to the town of Moose the gateway to Grand Teton and got some info on the trails where we are going hiking tomorrow.

September 10—This morning we got up fairly early and it was very cold. We took a ride after breakfast of egg sandwiches up to Signal Mountain Lodge for coffee. Afterward we drove to the top of signal Mountain.

Afterwards we took a drive to Jenny Lake and did a seven-mile hike around it and stopped for lunch at Hidden Falls. I took a run tonight and a bath in the stream and tonight a few beers. (Ronnie found $15.) and eating and tomorrow another day.

Sept. 11—Left Grosse Vent re Campground in Kelly this morning, had some pancakes for breakfast and then took a ride up to Signal Mountain Lodge for coffee. On the way up we saw a herd of elk. After we went to Jackson for gas. We had lunch at the Chamber of Commerce there. Afterwards we went to lookout on the Snake River a place where you could maybe see bald eagles, which we weren’t fortunate enough to see. Tonight, we are staying at campground at Colter Bay.

Sept. 12—Gave Ronnie a ride this morning to the Snake River so that he could check it out and see if there were any eagles there as had been reported. Stopped at Signal Mountain Lodge for coffee. Shaved beard last night, ran 16 miles today. Lazy day checking out Jackson Lake and the mountains. Spending another night at Colter Bay.

Sept. 13—Woke up ran and ate French toast. Gave Ron and Dusty a ride down to the Snake River fearless eagle hunters. I came back to Colter Bay took out my book of Thoreau and I went over to the outdoor café and ordered a coffee and sat down and read and drank it. Afterwards I went for a walk in a wooded area and sat down and read some more. A chipmunk confronted me and ran up upon my lap and down my leg and generally told me to bugger off. I went to the visitor’s center and read and looked at the Indian arts museum and history there. Went to see the film on the Teton’s beautiful. After that I went back to the truck and had a few sandwiches peanut butter, some granola and a few crackers and tea. As I was throwing away some garbage, I saw a car from MA and went and talked to two girls who are travelling cross country also. After I read did some stretching and went out for a ten-mile run. I went back and picked up Ron and Dusty in the van as I could see they had little luck hitching.  Had a supper of squash and carrots, vegetable soup and chicken spread sandwiches. Tonight, sitting around fire as usual dreaming. Tomorrow probably our final day in Grand Teton.

Sept. 14—Left Colter Bay this morning first went to Signal Mountain for many cups of coffee. Went to Jackson afterwards to wash clothes. Dusty id looking for a job there. Did some shopping for food and some reading. After leaving Jackson went to Huckleberry Spring and are now camping there. There are hot springs here that we are going to investigate tomorrow. Tonight, we have rain for the first time in a couple of weeks. Tomorrow Dusty is going to call a place in Jackson where he can get a room. If he does get one, we will take him there we shall see. Took a shower, first in three weeks.

Sept. 15– Brought Dusty to Jackson where he got a room in a trailer for $25. a week. We walked around town all day, Dusty bought a stove and mess kit. We helped him get settled and we made some tuna sandwiches and a salad and bought some beer and sat in the van and ate and drank after we had got him all set in his room and cleaned out the truck a little, we sat and talked and listened to the radio and hit the sack at 12.

Sept. 16–Got up at 9 and went to a gas station where we could get someone to give us a jump start cause the battery was pooped out after we had listened to the radio all night. After this was straightened out we did a little food shopping–brought Dusty to his room and said goodbye–adios amigo. We are now heading north to Yellowstone and are staying at Norris Campground. It’s raining outside and Ron and I are making some rice and hot tea on my stove with bread and some slices of cantaloupe. Afterwards we took a walk around the creek and talked and went to sleep early.

Sept. 17– Left Norris for Mammoth Hot Springs. We stopped a few placws along the way check things out–rock formations etc. I called my father from Norris Ranger Station, everything seems to be going very well. In Mamouth Springs we stopped for coffee and then went to the visitor’s centerwhich had a museum of wildlife and a slid show on eco-systems –we are now camping out at Mammoth Springs Campground. Tonight we went to see a movie at the motel in Mammoth on Bighorn Sheep. Afterwards back to the campground and had some tea and hit the sack.