North to Alaska: The Mother of All Roadtrips

I’m truly the king of road trips, having first driven cross country when I was 18. Since then I’ve made at least 30 round-trips from coast to coast. But by far my most ambitious journey was in summer of 2005 when I drove east from San Francisco to Boston via Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. On the westward return trip, I drove as far west as Montana, took a sharp right turn and drove to Alaska before working my way back down the coast to California. During the trip I kept a detailed journal of my experience, and so ride along with me on an adventure to our most remote and northern state.

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A study in blue and green… en route to Alaska

Follow the north star and read on!

The Road Back Home: A Little Bumpy and Leading to an Unexpected Detour

After a wonderful Christmas holiday in New England, it was time to head back across country. It is always hard for me to say goodbye to so many friends there and return to the routine of another semester of teaching, but when I saw that a huge winter storm was barreling up the coast… not just ANY storm, mind you, but something called a “bomb cyclone”!

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Sometimes life takes us a little off-course…

-Let’s hit the road!>

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

The popular song, “No Place Like Home For the Holidays” was published in 1954 and was made famous by singer Perry Como in 1959.  The lyrics talk about our desire to be home for the holidays, especially at Christmas time:

I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was headin’ for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie.
From Pennsylvania folks are travelin’ down to Dixie’s sunny shore…
From Atlantic to Pacific…Gee, the traffic is terrific!
Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays – you can’t beat home, sweet home…

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Read on!

No Place Like Home for the Holidays – Preview

Hello Everyone and Merry Christmas!

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I have been very remiss about writing over the past month. First there was Thanksgiving, then a solid two weeks of grading papers and exams and then I hopped into my trusty car and drove from San Francisco to Texas to Charleston, S.C. to Virginia Beach and am now in Massachusetts hoping that an approaching storm changes track and brings us snow instead of rain. If it happens, my friends and relatives may kill me, but I will die happy if we have a White Christmas.

I intended to chronicle my trip east on my blog, but problems with internet connections, some 12 hour days behind the wheel, and the chaos of the holidays has gotten the best of me. So I decided to send out this Christmas message to assure you I am still here and next week I will start to post the whole story of the trip. For now, a few glimpses of Christmas from across the USA on the route that I took.

See you all in the New Year… if not before!

Matt

 

Wildflower “Superblooms” and an Unpredictable Earthquake Fault: Exploring the Heart of California

When I was young and growing up in Massachusetts, I had an almost scary obsession with California. Perhaps it was the influence of TV, beaming images of the “Golden State” into my living room on a daily basis, but to me, California seemed like the Promised Land, and from an early age I dreamed of going west.

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The Golden State is even more golden this week with a wildflower “Superbloom”

Explore the heart of California… read more: