Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Traveling Liberally, Packing Conservatively

After spending a few days with a 30 pound pack in the Tasmanian wilderness, it made me seriously consider what I want to carry with me for the ten weeks of the Un-Road Trip. For the four days at Walls of Jerusalem National Park I was schlepping a tent, sleeping bag, foam pad, rain gear, food, water, clothes, and some other odds and ends. I'll be sticking mostly to homestays and hotels for the Un-Road Trip, so that eliminates half the weight right there. I will need to bring along some snacks, water, clothes, toiletries, a shaving razor, and all my photo/video/editing equipment.

Speaking of clothes, I'm wondering what I can get away with. I should have a few different options available to be prepared for colder/warmer/dryer/wetter conditions. I think I can probably stick to one pair of pants for the entire trip- anyone care to recommend a favorite pair of pants? I'm pretty open, although I don't like those pants that can zip off into shorts. If I want shorter pants, I can just roll the cuffs up. Otherwise I never know where to put the zipped off cuffs. And then maybe two or three T-shirts, a long sleeve shirt, and some sort of waterproof parka. Wearing the same few shirts for two and half months may pose a few problems. The main problem I'm thinking of is me stinking. That may not be a problem though. Ibex, a friendly outdoor clothing company, has offered to provide me with some wool apparel for the trip. I was a little skeptical at first, but their merino wool is actually very soft, thin, and keeps cool in hot weather. And here's the really amazing thing- it's anti microbial which means that it does not stink. I don't want to get into details here, but I'll just say that I've experimented with a pair of their wool boxer briefs for a number of days in harsh conditions and they stayed as odorless as they were on day one. So maybe I really can get away with three or four shirts for ten weeks...

And now a few quick pictures from last week's Tasmanian adventures:

Sheep traffic on the way to the national park.

Our first look at the Walls of Jerusalem.

Climbing up Mt. Jerusalem.

Hanging out with Elmar at the top.

A wallaby invades my personal space at Freycinet National Park.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Roundabout route to Florida

I couldn't find any ways to get from New Orleans to Florida, so it looks like I'll have to take a roundabout way... through Chicago. It may not seem like the most direct route, but it's the way that Amtrak goes. While in Chicago though, I'm excited about meeting up with Redmoon Theatre, who are generously letting me take a spin on their Wine Bike:

I'm also on the lookout for any other vehicles to check out in the Chicago area. This detour will also take me past Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Kansas City, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. So I'd certainly be up for getting off in any of those cities if I could get some mileage on an alternative vehicle.

And the map of Un-Road Trip options is continuing to fill up:

View Larger Map

Now it makes sense why California and Florida are such major stops, but your state could be next. I want to keep adding to this until the map is completely blanketed by little blue placemarks!

And in Australia news, I'm off to hike through the Tasmanian wilderness for a few days. I'll be backpacking, (or bushwalking), in Walls of Jersalem National Park. I'll post some pictures next week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Update from Down Under

After hearing about my expedition, a number of have people expressed interest in doing some wombat surveying of their own. So here's an informative video I made to teach the basics.

A Guide to Surveying Wombat Burrows from Boaz Frankel on Vimeo.

In Un-Road Trip news, things are really coming together. I've got the whole first month of the journey planned out, although I'm making sure to leave flexibility for any last-minute modes of transport that may present themselves. The first month of the trip will take me down the West Coast, across the US and through Florida. I'll probably head up the East Coast after that, and then I'll work my way through the center of the country. I've got some especially cool segments of the Un-Road Trip forming in Kentucky, Arkansas, and South Dakota.

I also just signed up for a motorcycle basic training class, so I can really be prepared for any vehicle that comes my way. And it's never too late to get in touch if you have an idea for a transport or destination.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Orleans to Florida- any ideas?

I'm trying to get across the Southern US as part of the Un-Road Trip, but I've reached a hitch in the plan. The train doesn't seem to be running between New Orleans, LA and Jacksonville, FL anymore. Now I need to find an alternative mode of transport. Any ideas? Anyone have any relatives who own boats in the area? The other option would be trying to take a cruise ship. Although no one runs ships that depart from New Orleans and arrive in mainland Florida, I could see if Carnival Cruise Lines would let me take one of their ships from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico and another ship back to Tampa. I'll get in touch with them this week.

In other news, I think I've made it into a documentary about Tenacious D, (the rock band fronted by Jack Black and Kyle Gass). It's on the new DVD, Tenacious D: The Complete Master Works 2. Watch the first minute of this trailer:

If you've memorized every interview I've ever conducted, that should sound familiar. Take a look at my interview with Jack and Kyle from when they were promoting the Tenacious D movie at about 2:20

I'm not sure if I actually show up in the documentary, but I'll have to watch it when I get back to the states. Or if someone else watches it, let me know...