The Trip (Part I)

The First 3,000 Miles

This is the 5th trip to Albuquerque one picture and 25 words at a time. It includes a reverse of the Villasur Expedition of 1720.

I traced Villasur’s trip in reverse

The Horse

I named her Camilla, after the hero in the Aeneid. She went 10,426 miles, 20 states, played many songs, and used 30 tanks of gas.  

A good friend.

La Push

The trip began at a favorite place with some of my favorite people. While the rain lashed the beach, we played Monopoly and ate Cassoulet.   

The girls learning about capitalism and cassoulet


My path was through Utah, Wyoming, and then Nebraska. I feel joy when I cross into Nebraska where the plains open up with an embrace.    

The good life.


Villasur’s story was written by bureaucrats covering their asses. The bridge to where he died, the confluence of the Platte and Loup rivers, was closed.

The Pawnee Trail

The female protagonist in “the story” argues that Villasur used the Pawnee Trail. It makes sense and I followed it as close as I could.

The Pawnees

I love the Pawnees, especially the Kítkehahki Band which had villages close to the Republican River. I tossed wood from La Push into the river.

The Republican River, home of the Kítkehahki band


Lebanon is the home of a central character in “the story,” and to Dido in the Aeneid. This coincidence makes me deeply happy and confident.

Lebanon is the geographic center of the United States


Spanish explorer Coronado arrived in 1540 seeking gold in a place called Quivara. The Pawnees were not impressed with Coronado. And there was no gold.

Coronado found no gold and acted like an ass

I Lost My Wallet In Wichita

In Wichita, I “lost” my wallet. I decided it was a message. Let go of things I am comfortable with. True. I found it later.

Kansas’ Dusty Roads

Kansas’ grid system of rural roads are deserted as they are reliable. They stretch in all four directions and their dust coats your car indelibly.  

A real country road


Quartalejo looks like New Mexico. Villasur must have thought he’d be fine until he rode over the hill, and then was overwhelmed by the prairie.

You’re in Kansas anymore, Villasur

The Painting

The Segesser II Hide Painting is as stunning as the Bayeux Tapestry; it is a masterful work of art and powerful and useful historical document.

Last stop: The painting in Santa Fe

South Sandia Peak

Once in Albuquerque, I always make a trip up to South Sandia Peak. It is the peak that was always present as I grew up.


Standing on red clay, shadowed by its color in the cliffs, my family married and killed each other in Coyote. One can’t escape the clay.

It is in my blood

Why I Left Angry

Whatever set me at war with my teachers in 1986, 5 years later, I had a Masters Degree. I was teaching those fuckers a lesson.

A C- in Shakespeare? You’re kidding, right?

Link to Part II