Welcome to Moments of Clarity Are Not Answers. My name is Dave. When I was 23, I slung a bag over my shoulder and hit the road, traveling by car, bus, train, foot, and thumb with my pack and a guitar and rarely more than a few dollars in my pocket, guided by intuition, dependent upon providence, wandering aimfully, adrift in the world and rooted within myself. Here you will find some fragments of the story of my journey.

Most of this blog documents my first two years on the road, during which time I traveled some sixty thousand miles across North America, coast to coast seven times, as far north as Alaska and as far south as Haiti.  I’ve lived in a gazebo on the banks of the Yukon River, fasted in the desert of south central California, been arrested in protests, played music on the streets, trekked to the bus from Into the Wild, slept under bridges, and seen the northern lights.  I’ve laughed with people I just met, cried on the side of the road, tried to learn how to live without money, explored ideas like home and freedom and truth, challenged myself in new ways, fought fears, written poems, eaten wild blackberries, and cultivated deep roots within myself.  I’ve trusted people I didn’t know, made friends, lost friends, called ambulances, planted seeds, prayed, stood beneath the cold clear Milky Way, and meditated beside the sea.

The more recent writing comes from the sedentary chapters of the journey and explores things like living and working in one place as a seeker, the path of creative development, and the Broken Ankle Renaissance.

If this is your first time here, check out the About page for a little more about my journey and this blog.  The F.A.Q. section contains responses to some common questions about traveling by thumb and with little money.  The Resources page includes a collection of other hitchhiking blogs and some resources for low- and no-budget travel.  For a short summary of past entries, month by month, see the Archives.

I hope you find what you need here.  Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to reach out.



Some Favorites:

More Adventurous Pieces

Fairbanks Bus 142 (Alaska – Oct 2011)
“As I strap my pack together beneath the unfurling gray Alaskan sky, sheets of wind billow across the marbled taiga into which Stampede Trail disappears…”

The Road to Inuvik (Yukon Territory – Sep 2011)
“The falling sun cracks open upon gray shards of mountain and spills into crevasses.  The last of the sunlight fades just before midnight…”

Grand Tetons (Jackson, Wyoming – Aug 2011)
“I limp into the ER with a bloody napkin pressed to my leg…”

Rockies (Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado – July 2011)
“Finally, the rains pass. I emerge from my tent into a raging mountain sunset…”

 More Inwardly Focused Pieces

Other Unfamiliar City Streets (Edmonton, Alberta – Sep 2011)
“We all need sometimes to walk alone and barefoot down dark and unfamiliar streets…”

The Birth of 2011 (Joshua Tree, California – Jan 2011)
“At dawn I rise and begin fasting.  The scent of fire still lingers as light fills the sky…”

Questions of the Soul (Gunnison, Colorado – Jul 2012
“There is a problem with this blog.  It has become stale and unoriginal…”

More Artistic Writing

September (West – Jul 2012)
“Hitchhiked a thousand miles and I’m still Here…”

Feathers (Tappan Zee Bridge – Jun 2011)
“The ones who came here on some moonless night, to park their cars at the center of the bridge, to stand at the edge with the wind in their faces looking down into the dark river…”

Greyhound (Florida coast – Apr 2012)
“The paramedics are squinting at the label of an empty pill bottle.  Droplets of rain on the bus windows flash red and blue…”

wind-feathered rivers&tides (Northern California coast – Sep 2012)
“Bones of the pier looked ghostly poking from land, algae hanging from decaying crossbeams in the swirling fog…”

Fun Pieces

Letter to a Judge (Oct 2011)
After a minor car accident north of Seattle (I actually sent it)

Falling In Love with a Girl on the Subway (New York City – Feb 2012)
“We could get a cup of coffee and exchange numbers and maybe make love for hours and hours…”

Tribe (Aug 2012)
“Why sleep in a $300,000 house // when you could sleep under a $6 million bridge?”

Hitchhiking Stories

4 Days, 970 Miles, 24 Rides: A Hitchhike from Memphis, TN to Washington, D.C. (part 1 of 4) (Apr 2012)
“In under 30 minutes, a black Nissan SUV skids to a halt into the shoulder ahead of me, gravel crunching beneath tires…”

Dead Bird Bridge (Wyoming – Jul 2012)
A hitchhike from Rapid City, SD to Boulder, CO

Colors and Light (Idaho & Oregon – Jul 2012)
“Strummed ukulele at 70 miles an hour in the back of the pickup truck…”

Companions on the Road

Banff (Banff, Alberta – Aug 2011)
“…from the speakers of the Escalade as the three of us stand outside with our plastic cups of red wine, shivering under the mad raging night sky…”

Missoula: The Place Where I (Really) Start Feeling Like a Traveler (Missoula, Montana – Aug 2011)
“There are at least ten of us sitting in a circle, half of us barefoot, half dreadlocked, we’ve got guitars and harmonicas, the mandolin, an accordion, a washboard, a ukulele, my jug-drum…”

The Yukon (Dawson City, Yukon Territory – Sep 2011)
“We commandeer a gazebo in the campground across the river, and we live out there amongst the aspens on the outskirts of society like woodsmen of the old days…”

Down the Alaska Highway (part 2) (British Columbia – Oct 2011)
“’You boys should try some of this moose sausage, eh?’  He throws another dozen huge slices onto the stove…”

Down the Grey Coast (Oregon coast – Nov 2011)
“In the dark, beyond the “Caution: Dangerous Waves Possible” sign, we drank IPAs as the sea snuck up on us…”

Beautiful Moments

Storm (Wheatland, Wyoming – Jul 2012)
“I spun around and around in wonder, taking it all in, the blue-gray sheets of rain falling through bleeding orange light…”

Breathing with the Universe (New Mexico – Jun 2011)
“At first I do not comprehend what I am seeing. And then, as it grows, I realize with a start that this is the moon, the blood orange moon…”

Roots (Mount Shasta City, California – Aug 2012)
“The moonlight fell through the redwoods into the clearing…”

Shortest Pieces

Wildfire (Colorado Rockies – Jul 2012)
“Colors of dusk, filtered through smoke, bleed into the horizon: the fiery moon rises through silver wisps of cloud…”

Here (Mississippi coastline – Feb 2011)
“Here I am, where I have always been…”

i sat outside a truck stop (Mountain Home, Idaho – Jul 2012)
“i just sat there for 3 days slumped on the ground leaning against my pack strumming my ukulele absently, laughing…”

3 Responses to

  1. Dear Dave, Nice blog! David Korn, Tacoma WA

  2. jim Failor says:

    Wow! i found this while doing research for a paper on the movie ‘Into The Wild’. It seems you have had quite the run these last few years. So cool you made it to the bus # 142 AWESOME. I also found myself profoundly moved by this story. You ARE an incredible writer, laughing, i now wonder if i should put a comma here. I wish i was better at this. Good luck in your travels (i hope you are doing so because that is where you are obviously happiest) Sadly you realize what Chris ultimately did that going it alone leaves one pondering the moments of your journey in great lengths instead of living the greatness of each moment. Having those awesome times alone limits them to some extent because to truly remember and revive the memory is to recount it with the person you shared it with. Be safe, and god bless the traveler.. .

  3. Jeff says:

    I stumbled upon your site due to my searching of Tupahn. I too was in Boston listening and bought his CD. I an listening at work today only to find your article and many others. I wanted to have that lifestyle, those experiences such as you. The INTO THE WILD feel. But love called me, romance…relationships. Now Married and with an 8 month old baby I have contemplated what path was right? But I think of my wife, my daughter and I wouldn’t change much of anything. I have the feeling of creativity and the out on the town (and or road) inside me. Deep inside. I’m at peace.

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