Gear Report:

Rowallan Collapsible Cup
Brunton Flask

Rowallan Cup & Brunton Flask

Everyone should have a pair of these: A Rowallan collapsible steel cup and a Brunton flask. They make a camping trip! Unfortunately, the Rowallan cup has been discontinued. I received mine as a gift. Thanks MBA!



I’ve used quite a few lightweight backpacking stoves in the past, but this beats them all in my opinion. It boils two cups of water in less than two minutes, has a built in wind screen and the burner and fuel fit back in the cup for storage. And perhaps most importantly, two cups of boiling water in a package of Mountain House and…wa-lah, no clean up!


I ran across these notes from earlier in the trip:

Bugs are bigger in the mountains.

People will approach a single person on a motorcycle more often than when two are traveling together. I’m not sure why. Either there is something about a single motorcyclist that invites conversation, or maybe having “Robert De Niro” along on the early part of the trip was just too intimidating.

When all you’ve seen hit the windshield are bees and yellowjackets, a bug flying up your sleeve at 40 MPH will increase your heart rate.

No matter how hard you try, or how clear it appears to you, you just can’t predict where a wild animal is going to cross the road.

Tips for spring travel at high altitude:

• When the sign says “Watch for Falling Rocks,” assume they are already in the road. When there is no sign, assume that a rock has knocked it down.

• When the sign says “Wildlife in the Road,” assume that it means more than “they occasionally cross said road.” They stand in it, lay down in it, and congregate in the road. When there is no sign, assume that some bison pushed it over while scratching.

• When the sign says “Rough Road Ahead,” assume that there are potholes the size of Rhode Island, washed out sections that have been replaced with gravel the size of golfballs, and miles of groves from ripping off the top layer of asphalt. When there is no sign, just assume it’s the normal rough road.

• When you see a sign that says “Motorcycles use Extreme Caution,” just turn around and go back.

Days 24 & 25, Friday & Saturday, May 25 & 26, 2007


The property my friends have in Sedona, or more properly Oak Creek, has an amazing view. Here is the patio view mid-day and again in the evening.

View from the back deck

View from the back deck at evening

And the patio

The Patio

Jeff and Darlene

Jeff and Darlene

own this incredible vacation home with Mark and Michelle.

Mark and Michelle

Either couple could give lessons in hospitality and generosity. Together they are almost overwhelming. We had a grand two days exploring Sedona and Oak Creek, searching out new restaurants, smoking cigars, laughing, watching movies, enjoying the view from the patio, and perhaps most importantly engaging in conversations that were encouraging and even visionary.

Other miscellaneous photos from the two days:


This is rumored to be Nick Cage’s home in Sedona:

Nick's House?

It is right across the road from the Chapel of the Holy Cross

Chapel of the Holy Cross

This sculpture, “DEFIANCE” by Lloyd Pimay was outside of Visions Fine Art gallery:


And for the record, I did not eat both of those lobster tails. One of them was Darlene’s!

Surf & Turf!

I left feeling rather well fed — body, soul, and spirit. Thanks guys for a memorable Memorial Day weekend! Now to balance all the calories I’ve taken in it’s back to a diet of beef jerky, trail mix, and Mountain House dinners…

Day Twenty-Three: Thursday, May 24, 2007

SF to Phoenix to Mesa to Sedona, AZ

Interview Report: I seriously considered whether or not it was a wise idea to interrupt my vacation for an interview. A conversation with one of the founders and their willingness to fly me back in to SF convinced me that it was a worthwhile “break” from the ride.

After the interviews I’m sure it was a wise decision – regardless of the outcome. This team has set some high standards for their work and their culture. More importantly, from my brief exposure, everyone there has bought in and is working hard to live up to those standards. I’d consider it a privilege to join their team. Whether or not I get a job offer, it was an encouragement to know that there are still advertising firms out there that care just as much about growing people as they do producing great work.

But now I have, as Pete put it, “my back out on the highway, smelling air that taste like freedom.”

A non-eventful flight (the best kind) landed me in Phoenix around noon. I picked up the bike from storage and left for Mesa, AZ to see Jeff and Darlene. We caught a movie and then dinner to catch up. If you are in Mesa, The Red White & Brew restaurant was excellent. If you have never had “Alaskan Lobster” (Halibut cheeks), I highly recommend you do. It is a bit less “rubbery” than Lobster and has a similar texture and taste.

Jeff and Darlene have wonderful home with a vast view:

The Pool


Phoenix at sunset

After dinner we loaded up and drove north to spend another day at their vacation home in Sedona. While I enjoyed the drive through the desert at night, it became obvious to me that I need some new headlights on this machine if I’m going to make a regular habit out of this. The high beam just didn’t provide enough coverage for me to feel completely safe at highway speeds.

Today’s Route:

Day 23 Route

Day Twenty-Two, Monday, May 21, 2007

Sedona to Phoenix, AZ

One of the great things about a trip like this is the people you meet. Breaking camp this morning I met Jim MacDevitt and Pat Shoemaker. Jim is a retired social worker and Pat had just taken second place in a billiards tournament in Los Vegas. With two weeks until the next tournament they were taking advantage of the time to see some of the surrounding country. I asked them which direction they were going and loved their answer: “Well, we’re not sure yet.” Enjoy the ride guys — and good luck in the next tournament Pat!

Jim MacDevitt and Pat Shoemaker

The ride to Phoenix was short and I only stopped for a couple of photos.



Arriving in Phoenix I purchased a backpack for the trip home, rented a storage facility for the bike, and caught a cab to the airport. I’ll be back in Phoenix on Thursday morning after the interview. I’m impressed with this company so far and hope that my first impressions bear out. It is a privately held agency (i.e. not owned by a network) and that scores big points with me. I’ll resume the blog when the vacation restarts on Thursday.

Today’s Route:

Day 22 Route