A Wandering American Indian Traveler

Native American cultural interpreter traveling, wandering, observing, wondering.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

JFK Airport, NYC

JetBlue Terminal
Check in, security, personnel , all were friendly, fast, efficient.
I arrived yesterday at Penn Station, Amtrak late, and
in the middle of commuter traffic.
It was overwhelming.
All those people, and they just kept coming, and coming, the crowds,
the crowds.
Very different from Juneau and its airport.
Oh, but the adventure, the excitement.
My flight boards soon.
More later.
Until later...l.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ann Arbor, MI

I leave tomorrow for New York City.
On Amtrak.
It had the easiest travel for me.
No multiple stops, no multiple transfers, and
low cost.
It isn't the most convenient.
But I travel without a car,
I don't mind the freedom of reading,
listening to music,
making plans,
and I can't do that driving.
Did some shopping, enjoyed downtown Starbucks,
the big book store, and really enjoyed watching
the diverse make up of the students and
Walked the Diag, watched fanatic gamers in a fame shop,
checked out a few small shops.
Shopping, without actually buying
anything is fun.
My prime spots are used book stores, and coffee shops.
The weather has been cool, just a bit wet,
and much better than Juneau's.
I had a fun summer, as usual,
but I'm ready for no-face-to-face contact for an indefinite time now.
The passengers on the Alaska state ferries, and the Holland America Cruise ships
are on their trip of a lifetime to Alaska, and I enjoy 'making meaning" for them,
adding to the experience.
But now is my time for me.
Now is my time to be on the other side.
Until later...

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum

Not really good food,
and a selected version of American history.
As I waited in line for my hot dog,
a vegetarian said the vegetarian bag lunch provided for her
had brown, rotting, sprouts.
I remember old sprouts that were in that condition
and slimy, in addition.
I sure wouldn't eat.
My hot dog was at an Amtrak price, and worth about 75 cents.
We went to the Michigan Cafe in the Ford Museum.
Meatloaf was really salty to me.
Maybe it's the regional difference.
Soggy vegetables.
But, oh, the exhibits.
Dymaxion House, Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, more.
The original Rosa Parks bus.
Interesting how the interpreter/guide talked about Montgomery and the
challenges non white people faced there.
But not a word anywhere about Henry Ford's
attitude about non whites, or people not of his religion.
I always search for the acknowledgement, the notice, any notice, about the
original people, the Native Americans.
The book, Lies Across America, showed me a lot.
Until later...

NPR Radio, somewhere in Michigan

So here I am listening to NPR Radio and the fund drive.
Listeners pledge the amount the announcers have been asking for.
The listeners even achieve the desired amount early.
Before the hour is up.
And their reward?
Not music only, no requests for money.
Nope, the announcers say,
wonderful, thank you,
and now,
we will keep badgering you for money,
to achieve even better funding.
Maybe we can finish early.
I'd opt for the quiet of music as a reward.
However, I'm below that infamous poverty income line,
and I don't pay for NPR Radio,
so, I take what they dish out.
Until later...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Ann Arbor, MI
Arrived Monday, midnight.
Slept in until 10.30
Napped .
Dragged around , moving slowly.
Today, went to a coffe house, book store, bought 6 computer related magazines.
Overall body aches, my feet hurt as I walk the streets of Ann Arbor.
That ride on Amtrak sure did stuff to me.
I sleep poorly in those coach seats.
Cannot get anywhere comfortable.
And my style of travel, sometimes I don't know when I'm departing or where I'm going
until the day I book a fare.
Someday, I'll be able to afford a sleeper, if I book early enough.
And a sleeper would be woth the cost.
For now,
I pack food, this time micro meals,
fresh fruit bought at stops along the way,
bottled water,
I bought Amtrak coffee at $1.50 , with a refill.
Bratwurst, and a hot dog, a pastry.
Total Amtrak food cost was about $15.00 for the three days on board.
I recommend a good pillow, or a full body pillow, or one of those
neat beads pillows.
I lost my water bottle with filter, Brita, and chanced the onboard train water.
Okay. Just tasted yucky.
But the pain, the body aches, the adventure of rail travel.
I like the Chicago train station.
When I'm there, I eat Chinese.
Check out the magazine shop, and watch all those people
hurrying someplace.
On to New York next week.
Until later,

Friday, October 15, 2004

Plan B Breakfast

Alameda, Ca
Jim's Coffee Shop, on Lincoln Ave, just off Park Street, was my breakfst discovery this morning.
A woman I know recommended it. Good tip.
Fast attention from the staff, fast waiter, and fast food delivery.
I saw linguica and eggs, which I seldom see in a mass market eatery.
I went for the Freedom toast and sausage, coffee.
My plan A was the Waffle House on Park Street.
But, three days in a row, there was a wait line for breakfast, even at 10:00 .
Yesterday, I couldn't wait, too hungry, and went to a happy dog corner spot. I had a tasty texas dog, chili cheese hot dog, and coffee.
A breakfast with nutritional elements.
Until later,

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Heading east soon

Will be out of contact soon.
Taking Amtrak east to Michigan, via Sacramento, Salt Lake City,
Chicago, etc.
Once upon a time I was returning from South America, ran low on money, and was rescued by my sister and her daughters.
I stayed with them for about 6 weeks, working with a temp agency.
I made enough to return to Alaska.
However, my sister moved, and no one in the family knew where she was.
I traveled through the Bay Area twice a year, into and out of Alaska.
I just heard that she was in a town somewhere that started with an "m".
Years went by. Seven years. And this January I finally found her again.
Until later,

On the Road , Part 2

Rode Amtrak Seattle to Oakland, Jack London Square.
Coach seats are okay for sitting, and terrible for sleeping.
Saw the new Tacoma Narrows bridge under construction.
Once upon a time I had to stay at a homeless shelter, over
As I travel, what catches my eye is tent cities under freeways, people
huddled in building doorways, lone tarps in the brush.
And if you look closely, or have an eye, like being able to see birds, or animals in the wild, or just "seeing" in an urban area, or rural,
you will notice someone has cleverly set up camp in an unexpected
spot.The site blends in, doesn't stand out.
Until later,

On the Road

Alameda, California
Park Street
NOT free wi-fi
It costs $3.00 an hour.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I need a question answered.

Fife, WA
Went to the pow wow today.
Missed the grand entry.
But later this afternooon, after 3:00 there was a blanket dance.
But a different one for me.
I've been in Alaska for several years now, but I was able to attend several
pow wows in the Seattle area.
Same regular stuff.
However today people put several blankets , about five or six, on the dance floor.
And two dancers, male, female, danced a circuit over the blankets.
They tread lightly.
I couldn't understand what the emcee announced, the acoustics garbled most all speaking for me.
Anybody know what this is?
After the dancers had passed, people went on the floor and picked up the blankets.
Well, after this week I'll head for California, spend a few days there, look for another pow wow.
After that, on to Michigan, and hopefully more pow wows on the way.
On a pow wow website I saw a notice for a November pow wow in Orlando.
I plan to be there.
Until later...,

Small World?

I walk into the lobby for free coffee, bagel and cream cheese.
I meet David and his son Nicholas, Klamath tribal members, here also for
the pow wow.
I listen as he tellls me how old growth forest has (I'm using my words here) medicinal
resources that we still don't know about. How cutting it down is harming us.
We need to take care of it, just as we should care for our own bodies.
I still don't know what the schedule is, but that's okay.
I'm feeling my way throough this day.

Bus fare

I traveled from downtown Seattle to Tacoma for only $3.75 and 50 minutes.
I had checked Amtrak and Greyhound for fares, about$20.00 from station to station.
I then asked the Info volunteer at the HI hostel, 84 Union Avenue, and he found me a transit bus that did the trip every 30 minutes.
I paid $1.25 in Tacoma for a local transit bus that dropped my about 150 feet from my Expedia booked motel.
With free high speed wireless access, and the now usual free continental breakfast.
Today I plan to visit family (more later about my lost-to-me-for -seven-years sister), ride transit, sightsee beautiful Tacoma, and make it to the pow wow.
I may even make it to the Emerald Queen Casino.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Tacoma Dome Pow Wow

Fife, WA
1 October, 2004
Here for a pow wow at the Tacoma Dome.
I heard some canoe society/journey families/groups may be here.
Grand entry, good food, good drumming, excellent dancers,
not-seen-for-years friends, I hope.