This week I’m at home visiting my parents before Joey, Tom and my long journey out west. My mom has come up with a bunch of great little afternoon excursions for me to see as much of my own little part of the world as possible before I go trying to see as much of the rest of America as I can manage in one summer. What she came up with for this 65 degree early May Tuesday afternoon was to go to Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts to see The Bridge of Flowers and the Glaciated Potholes.

The Bridge of Flowers is the only one of its kind in the world (according to the literature I found at the Shelburne Falls visitors center). The bridge was originally a trolley bridge, but when the trolley line became obsolete in 1928 the bridge became more or less abandoned. Antoinette and Walter Burnham transformed the concrete eye sore into a beautiful horticulture project. Over 500 varieties of flowers are planted and tended to by hand by dedicated volunteers and as my mom and I walked across the bridge enjoying the gorgeous flowers and lovely smells there was one such volunteer hard at work in the middle of the bridge.

Right near the bridge are the Glaciated Potholes. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect- the only explanation my mom gave me was that they were potholes in the river which didn’t make any sense at all. As it turns out the rocks are very cool colors and designs and the potholes are actually still being formed today. About 13,500 years ago the last glaciers were melting and as a result a local river flooded. When that happened large rocks and gravel were swept down into the river and as these rocks were turned over and tossed around by the current they actually bore into the riverbed below and created large holes. Looking down at the riverbed today you can see the actual rocks that are creating the holes still inside the potholes. It was pretty cool. Tomorrow we’re off to a large famous antique fair with my mom’s friend Cindy. I’m not sure what I’ll see there, but if it’s interesting you’ll be hearing from me soon!

Until then America.



Skilled as I may be at living my life to its fullest extent, and finding joy in even the most egregious of moments, I can't do it on my own. Instead, I have a wonderful girl named Bernadette (shown here) who gets me through every day, with her lovely ginger hair, snow white skin and a smile that could slay a dragon.
We met at my work, when she joined our wait staff about a year ago, and I had the pleasure of training her on her second day at the restaurant. This was right around the same time that Joey, Sarah and I were formulating our plan for our big trip a year later, and with my departure in mind, I was going out of my way not to get romantically attached to anyone.

But who could resist that face?
After a few fickle months working together over the summer, the two of us found our way together, and stuck quite well. We both love eating food and watching movies, and we both stink like sweat and garbage after a day at work. Really, who could ask for more?
But as the time progresses, the day of my departure draws nearer and nearer. While I'd hoped that this day would be a strictly joyous occasion, it will also mean a temporary departure from the everyday company that I've come to love so much.
Don't get me wrong - I'd be a fool to let go of a lady like this one. Our relationship will simply have to be of the long-distance variety for a while, as I cascade across the country on my way to Oregon. While it'll be painful not seeing her all the time, and living further than ten blocks away from her (as I do now), we won't have to wait too long before we cross paths again.

To be exact, we'll have to wait until July 17, as Joey, Sarah and I drift casually into Chicago (at right). Our first stop in town will be at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, where Bern will be flying in and meeting us for an 11-day furlough into our crazy adventure. She'll be with us for our two days in Chicago, followed by Minneapolis, the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, Minn., and two days in Badlands National Park before flying out of Omaha, Neb. She chose Omaha because the price of a ticket was roughly 1/3 the cost of her original departure point, in Fargo, N.D. Smart girl.
Without a doubt, it won't be long afterward before she's out in Portland for a visit, or before I scoot myself back to the Philly area for a visit. But I miss her already.

That said, you've all now officially been introduced to Bernadette, my lady back home who I love very, very much. Look forward to Bern visiting at the halfway point, and for my mood to improve by leaps and bounds when she does.


(From top) Photo by Kelly Cotton; photo by Ian Jansen; photo by fusionpanda courtesy


You may have noticed that our Where We're Going pages are filled with fantastic photography, much of which we're using based on Creative Commons licenses from Generally, these licenses allow people to use the work in question, provided the photographer is credited properly and the work isn't used for commercial purposes.
Concurrently, it became clear that the best way for us to share the full extent of our photographic endeavors this summer would be on Flickr, where a modestly priced pro account gives us license to upload as many photos as we want, in as high resolution as we want. By posting our photos here, we can maximize their exposure and keep our nice, clean website here from getting too cluttered with photos.

So I've done just that. I created an account for America in 100 Days over this weekend, and gave it its first two contributions. Joey, Sarah and I were joined by some fantastic people down in South Philly on Friday and Saturday, where we enjoyed two nights of The Dead at the Wachovia Spectrum. Above are some highlights you can peruse, or you can click here to check out the America in 100 Days photostream on Flickr.
These, of course, are just the beginnings of a massive collection of photography that is to accumulate over our journey this summer. And please note that all of the photos on our Flickr page are featured under Creative Commons licenses - so feel free to use any of them for your own non-commercial purposes.

We believe very strongly in the virtue of sharing, and in the importance of a global community of voices - and cameras. Think of this as our way of helping along mankind's progress.