Wednesday, December 2, 1998

U.S.A., Minnesota, St. Paul

Called Leonid and Galena. Hadn’t met with them for several weeks, because Leonid’s mother was sick. Talked with Leonid. He said, “Many things have changed,” and that his mother was dead. Told him I was going to Russia, leaving December 28. Then graduating. Probably won’t see them again for a long time.

Friday, October 30, 1998

U.S.A., Louisiana

"Chateau des Cocodries"

"Le Premier Puits de Petrole"

shadow of 1986 Buick Century

"Mad Butcher"

Sunday, August 23, 1998

U.S.A., South Dakota

U.S.A., Wyoming




"The Sweetwater Valley is the mid-section of the 2000 mile-long Oregon Trail.... For a week emigrants plodded this stretch of high altitude, semiarid desert.... 'How I long for a timbered country' wrote one traveler. '...In a thousand miles I have not seen a hundred acres of wood.... These everlasting hills have an everlasting curse of barrenness....'"

Thursday, July 9, 1998

U.S.A., Iowa

I’m in Iowa now, doing archaeology. I was in NYC two weeks ago, visiting Hjalmar. He’s interning at a music company, living in Harlem.

Wednesday, June 3, 1998

U.S.A., Iowa, Clinton

Working for IMAC [Institute for Minnesota Archaeology Consulting]. Smokestacks pour smoke into the air over Clinton.

Spent the last weekend in the Cities, hanging out around Macalester with Nate, Darren, Chuck, Jesse, Cameron, Dan. James arrived later. Rick was there too.

The last ten-day, was in Iowa, in Clear Lake and Manchester. On the way from Iowa to the Cites last Wednesday, passed through Backbone State Park in Iowa. Caved and rock-climbed for a couple hours in a cave there. I was just driving through, because the highway suddenly turns into (becomes) the park road, and as I was driving through the park I saw a sign that said, “Cave.” So I did.

Before the last ten-day, which was my first for the season, had a few days. Got done with school on a Tuesday, left on Wednesday. (Started work on the next Monday.) Went to De Sotas’ in Wisconsin for a night. On the way back to the Cities, decided to just go straight to the Boundary Waters. Went up there. Rented a canoe. Went out on a lake. First day: paddled leisurely all day, explored stuff. Went through Bass Lake, Long Lake, and then down a long, winding stream to another lake, set up camp. Sundown. Fell asleep immediately. Awoke a few hours later; I could feel the storm coming. Just as I got the rain cover on the tent, it started raining. The storm was fierce. The night was cold. I was, and everything was, wet from the day of paddling. Shivered a lot; slept sporadically.

In the morning, only thought was to get dry. The day was long. It was cold, windy, overcast, rainy. I had to paddle upstream and against the wind. It was whitecapping on the lakes. I walked along the shore and pulled the canoe for a ways on Bass Lake. Sunup to sundown, the same distance I’d done the day before. I pushed it.

Got back, got dry, got to McGeachies’ in Duluth. Pat was there. Told him about it. It had been dangerous to go alone. The situation had been cold, wet, tired, hungry, daunting. I had thought, as I was there, wet and cold and tired, was this really where I would be if I could choose to be anywhere in the world? “I guess so,” I had to tell myself.

Stayed at McGeachies’ that night.

Next morning, went to the Cities. Arrived at Macalester, during graduation, just in time to see Kofi Annan speak. He began speaking as I walked up to James and Nate. Went to Iowa the next day. Spent one night out in Iowa City. It was the first time I’ve been in a bar legal to drink in the U.S. No, the first time in a bar legal Stateside was the bowling alley in Manchester, also that last ten-day but before Iowa City.

Sunday, March 22, 1998

U.K., Scotland, Edinburgh

From Heathrow Airport in London, rode the tube for maybe 45 minutes to Kings Cross station and took the train from there to Edinburgh. That was on Friday. Got to Edinburgh, called Mike. Then I walked up to the street from the train station. Was surrounded by grand old buildings. Mike, his flatmate Chris, and a friend Jarred, met me at the train station. At Mike’s flat then, hung out a while, lots of foreigners dropping in, coming in through the window. Mike’s other flatmates are Inardo, a Spaniard from the Basque country, and Peter, a German forester. Went to a ceildh – it’s a Scottish dance, like Cajun dancing or square dancing. Traditional Scottish. Went with Christina, Peter’s cousin who’s visiting from Switzerland. Had fun.