This Ones for The Ladies Out There Tonight!

Brians cell is 910 546 6133- Incase any of you ladies might be interested ;)

I suppose you can only appreciate the sexiness of these photos here, ignoring the context of how "well deserved" a nice swim was for me and Brian. We just had to put them up here because of all the female fan letters we have been getting. Yes that’s right, we have been getting fan mail from 90% females, and the bottom line of most of their letters isn’t; how we feel about this or that, or, why we decided to blah blah blah, this- its, “why isn’t their any damn photos of you sexy travelin’ men in your skibbies!?” Well here it is ladies, so no more letters with threats OR proposals any more- I’ve got a women, and she treats me better than any man deserves to be treated.
You would REALLY appreciate the fact that me and B.O. are enjoying ourselves in a nice indoor/outdoor pool, and basically described as, sweet ass house- after getting trough all the shit we went through from Daytona, to Orlando, and then finally, lovely Ft. Meyers.
I don’t feel like telling you about the whole story now either, so if you don’t like it- tough shit. I wrote a whole big ass post for you guys today already, what am I getting paid for this or something?!
Well, keep following, and hopefully within the next post or so, I will have you filled in on all the lovely hitch-hiking, ditch sleeping, fire-ant, and beer shot gunning type fun we had in the sweltering heat.

Joseph R. Reeves Esq.


HOW-TO: Charge Your Phone When Your Homeless

Hey all, just had some valuable information for you all from the road; asides from fast food restaraunts, gas station bathrooms, the sides of establishments, lamp-posts in hotel parkinglots, and in any manicured garden that has presentational lighting set up- you can ALSO apperently plug into pillars underneath interstates! Who'da thunk it?! We found this out excitedly in downtown Orlando and were excited to share this news with you- as you can obviously tell by the look on Brians face...

STATUS UPDATE: Spending Time In Daytona Beach

Tent? What tent??

You must be stoned, I dont see anything...

Ohhhhhhhh, there it is- damn, what a stealth disguise!

(Once again, I will explain that althogh this is the account of our time in Daytona Beach, there was alot more to it that will be explained much more colorfully in the THE LAST GREAT american NOVEL- this is just a bit to make you hungry in the meantime)

So lets see here, where did I leave you fine people off...

Oh yes, after being entirely defeated and really just wanting nothing more than to go home, I awoke after sleeping the day away, and as the moon shone above our lovely little corperate field, we drank our beer, and quitely howled at the moon; still in depths of contemplation. These adventerous excursions were what we really had been craving, and yet, everytime we embarked on them- it seemed to be such a bending test of willpower and endurance- that not having a home to comfortably receed to, was one of the most troubling things (for me at least). Overcoming this problem isnt as simple as I will break it down to be, but one major aspect is to find some sort of comfort zone, and where we were in Daytona, it was the little 2 man tent we had set up. Slowly but surely, we were abandoning all of these comfort 'pillows' though, and to really just 'be,' was a lot more difficult than I ever really imagined.
After our night of drinking and thinking, I rested pretty comfortably in our tent, and we slept until around 9 or so. This was actually pretty late for us though, because I will tell you without exaggeration, that I am one of the worst people at waking up in the morning, and one of the worst people at falling asleep at night- but there is a certain phenomenon that occurs to you when you do not have electricity. You begin to get tired as it gets dark out, and you begin to wake up as it gets light out. SERIOUSLY! its amazing! Maybe it has to do with how little you have to do besides think, or drink once it gets dark out; and maybe you wake up easier because of that root that happens to grow along the side of your spinal cord in your sleeping spot- but no matter what- I found that I was up most mornings by 7 without having to try, and I was out most nights by 12 or 1 without any problems either.
So the next morning after sleeping all day and hoping to have recovered my terribly hurt knee caps, we decided- not only because it was necessary to keep pushing our bodies in order to keep them from becoming so sore again; but because it was about damn time to actually go and hit up the city of Daytona Beach and see the ocean- that we would hike to Daytona Beach.
We had no idea BILL had dropped us so far from the actual beach, but as it turned out, we walked about 10 miles til we finally hit the beach. By the time I had made it there, my knee-caps were completely on fire again, and I was limping quite uselessly. This was something that really got me down- I was begininning to worry that I was simply so out of shape, that my knees had gotten some permenant damage from our ambitious march from fayetteville to Daytona, as well as the excruciating weight bearing down on my knees- but alas, I kept moving, and dispite my paranoid complaining, we hiked another few miles up the beach.
It was amazing to finally really see the ocean (not counting the wierd marine base ocean beach we visited for ten minutes)- THIS was a beach. It was the off season, so the beaches were filled with old people who were enjoying their time on the beach before the young people came and flooded it dring the summer and spring time. We bought ourselves some cheap beer, and since alchohol is entirely prohibited on the beach, we ended up pouring our beers into big gulp cups and wading through the cool ocean water with the gigantic cups in hand. It wasn't quite hot enough for us to swim, and that was probably a good thing, because after our big gulps of beer, we were both likely to offend all those old tan floridians by having a nice refreshing swim/bath in our skibbies or maybe even birthday suits.
Even being there at the beach, ten miles from our camp, I felt pretty re-assured about our hidden tent because we took everything that was worth COMPLETE value to us, and either brought it with, or stashed it in a bag in the middle of our dried up swamp quarters. That way even if our tent was discovered as we were gone, I would have the laptop and camera with me, and my medications and Brian's boots stashed in the woods. The only other thing was our money, and aside from the 20 or so in our pockets, we had the bulk of it in a plastic bag in our boots. This garaunteed absolute safety unless we were robbed of all of our clothing INCLUDING our socks- this prospect seemed unlikely, but in such cases, we did both carry a blade for a reason.
I was feeling a bit down about the condition of my knee-caps, as well as the situation we had concerning the tent and how far we were from the actual beach, and how much shit we had on our back and so on and so on- such is life. I was beginning to feel a bit better though as I waded through the ocean, picking at shells with my bare stark-white toes.
Brian needed to piss, and both of our phones were on empty, so we decided to find a fast food type place to plug in, and eat a few dollar menu items. I could also get a coke, to chase some of this pint of whiskey down that I had.
So we proceeded up Atlantic avenue, the main drag of Daytona Beach- and as we made it further and further, we finally found a nice little pizza place for us to go in and charge up our phones.
The pizza surely did hit the spot, and although we bought a 5 dollar pizza to split, and both drank ice water- the owners were curteous to us indeed. I was starting to feel alot better about things at this point in the evening- I do tend to be much more optomistic at night- and although my knees were sore as hell, I saw the moon shining bright. After a few sips of whiskey encouraged me to find something else to drink for the night- I insisted to BO that we stop at an LQ (liquor store). There was one on the way back to mason ave. which was a 4 mile hike, then mason itself was the 7 mile hike we had from atl. blvd all the way to our tent. At this point, Brian was about ready to head home. We had seen the sights and had our fun in the sun, and now he wanted to get back to the tent; I on the other hand, was having the exact opposite response. I wanted to drink a half gallon of wine, and hang out by the ocean. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to go back to the tent tonight.
Me and Brian decided to part ways for the night, and while he had a nice adventure learning the bus routes of Daytona Beach- I got good and smashed on my wine, and found clever places to sneak around to and plug my phone charger in so I could make drunken phone calls to so many of my family and friends that I missed. It was a perfect night though and after I ran my battery dead while listening to the crashing waves of the ocean, talking fondly to friends, and basking under the glistening light of the moon with my un-tamed shine of blush wine- I snuck to the side of a hotel to plug my phone in, and passed out right there in the plush grass, face first. It was wonderful.
Several hours later, I awoke and walked to 7/11 to get 2 hot dogs. I loaded them up, and found a nice hidden spot underneath a walkway from a hotel pool, to the beach. I hid the computer in the weeds, cut several stalks of grass to use as a pillow, and slept having wild dreams until the sun began to rise.
It was a pretty good night, although it might not seem that way to you fine people, but I found contentment; and although this journey seems like an ultimate vacation to readers- simple contentment, really isnt as easy as one might think to find out here.

I walked all the way back the next day, and it rained on me half the way. I really didn't care, I just wandered into a Burger King, got a cheap sandwhich, asked them for a garbage bag to waterproof the laptop, and I relaxed while charging the phone up and watching Obamas accceptance speech of the nobel prize.
After the rain let up a bit, I began walking through the scattered showers and reflected a bit more optimistically about my previous night. I seemed to be having a deeper spiritual moment in my walk, and as I watched all the curious people drive by, wondering about the strange kid in the cowboy hat- I felt like I was seeing something divine in their faces. In their laughing, in their taunting, in their curiousity, in their friendly smiles, and in their aparent confusion. Everyone seemed to have their purpose as they stedily drove along, and although I felt isolated in my sense of purpose, I really felt like I loved people; and that I was somehow finding love in every reaction I saw.
Also, I was starting to feel a bit more optomistic about my knees not being permanently damaged, and with that realization, was the nudging urgency I felt to keep moving on, and to leave Daytona.
After I got back to the haphazzard camp to meet Brian, we were stuck in the tent most of the rest of the day because of rain. I apprecciated the sleep very much, and really had some proliffic dreams that day.
The next day, we found out there was a wal mart, and a shopping type plazza about 3 miles away. We walked there, and since we were both getting tired of our spot in the field, we decided to hit wal mart for some essentials we would need to get the fuck out of Daytona Beach and back on the road. I bought ace bangages for my knees, sharpees to make signs for hitch-hiking, post cards, and a 5 dollar super microfiber blanket that wouldnt be very comfy, but would cut off about 10 pounds from my bag.
We hit a starbucks so I could do some writing, and use their bathroom to shave; and then we went to Denny's for more coffee because THEY instead of STARBUCKS had free WiFi. We stayed a while drinking coffee, and putting up some posts for you wonderful folks to read. After we were done, we were both feeling like zombies because of the caffeine crash, and the 3 mile hike home was pure misery. At midnight that night, it would be my birthday- so I decided I was gonna get a bunch of beer at the 7/11 on the way back to the tent, and Brian who was also feeling pretty crappy, said he was determined to find us a joint to smoke. I really didn't think he would do it, but as Brian usually tends to do, he proved me wrong.
He asked some rough lookin girls who had just bought lotto tickets if they knew where we could score some grass, and much to our luck, they had some right there in their car! We bought 10 bucks or 2 joints worth, and had one to smoke that night, and one to smoke the next day, for my birthday!
I know that a certain amount of my audience here is frowning, but you know what? Get with it already! Im not saying its the greatest habit or something, but its no different than a damn beer or cigarette- its something I enjoy in moderation, and thats all there is to it.
Me and B.O. hadn't smoked in a month nearly, so after smoking most of that first joint that night- we laughed and talked foolishly in our dark tent, just like newbies. I managed to chug down 2 beers before resting my head, and then we both slept soundly until the rising sun woke me up.
It was my birthday, and I had two things in mind. I wanted to make the 3 mile hike to Dennys, not only to keep my knees working and healthy- but to treat myself to breakfast and write up a new post for you guys. You see how it goes? I spend my Birthday trying to please you guys. (sigh...) I hope your all happy. Anyhow, I enjoyed my coffee and Breakfast, and then Brian met me up and we both wrote up a post-card or two since we were near a mailbox. We really had nothing else to do in town, so we made the long walk back to the tent sullenly. I always get depressed on my birthday; its inevitable, and this birthday was no different. I went back to the tent, and I slept until the sun began to go down.
I ate my last M.R.E. and me and Brian decided that we would leave for Orlando, Tampa, and then Ft. Meyers the next morning as the sun came up. We smoked that second joint, and I slept lazily until the next morning.
I had such incredible dreams the whole time in my tent in Daytona, and that night I had this EPIC dream of an evil whitch that stole my mother, and then me and my father had to defeat her with these awesome swords! believe me, although it was scary, it was really sweet too! Im sure I don't need to tell you, but me and my pops defeated the old hag, and rescued my poor mother.
The next morning, we departed; and that story my friends- is the beginning of a new tale...
Until we meet again...

Joseph R. Reeves Esq.

Heres a view of the world through my small tent flap, and also a view of Brian's ass. Terriffic.


ART FROM THE ROAD: "One Box of Tooth Picks" (soon to be 100 boxes of toothpics, and than 1000- and then...)

So as I was staring at the Computer screen writing for hours and days on end- I started to go a little crazy, and needed some fun relief that could serve as another form of artistic release- thus, the toothpick sculptures were born!
I made it as far as One box of toothpics before I left NC, but you just wait and see- someday, this will be a large-scale outdoor sculpture! Think of how crazy it would be if I could get 1000 boxes of toothpicks together! What fun!!!

Start small, and be patient!


AGHHHH, Yessss- Good old Jim Scotch, what a guy...Kinda... Back when me and Bryan were in Jacksonville NC, and traveling across town in Mark's Jeep- we saw a guy walking down the lonely road, on a grey day, and figured WTF, as might as well give him a lift. We can't be trying to hitchhike through america, and not give back to the hitching community right? That just wouldn't be fair.
So we told Jim we could only give him a lift across town, but he was still gracious of the ride and was happy to get any further then he was on foot. He got in and scooted next to me in the cramped back of the jeep, and noticed I had quite a nice camera around my neck. He was genuinely impressed with its quality, and I must admit, I was genuinely concerned that he might grab it haha.
So in this short ride, he told us he had grown up across the street from a prison in Indiana, but most of his family was here in Jacksonville NC. He hated Jacksonville, as he exclaimed through a run on slew of cursing- this was right before informing us that he knew a bit of french, and apologized for speaking it (of course none of us foul-mouthed guys cared, but I still thought it was funny). He said that he had been looking for work in the area, and had no luck. Such seemed to be the case for most people we came across who were hitch-hiking. I felt strangely about this, cause the last thing I wanted was a job- we were doing this by choice.
We dropped good 'ol Jim off in a gas station parkinglot, and when I asked him if I could get a picture of him- he began to get out of the car nervously before saying, "As long as your not gonna jerk off to it later or something..."
Thats why this is such a quality picture here- Good old Jim, was genuinely worried that we were going to go home and masterbate to his picture, and you can see with the blur, and the expression on his face- he is getting the F out of this car pronto haha.
Most of these hitch-hiking scenarios are like the rules of animals- they're more scared of you, than you are of them. I must admit though, that Jim sure is a handsome fella... Very handsome...


STATUS UPDATE: “The Un-Bearable Weight of Travel”

(This is an account of our travels, but not an excerpt from the novel- Just thought I'd let you fine people know)

So me and Bryan are here and safe in the sunny state of Florida- Daytona Beach to be exact. How we got here, was of course- quite a journey in itself.

We were dropped off by the great MARK OLSEN, an essential character, whose profile will be up soon, but must be done with perfection and thoughtfulness. Me and Bryan found a ride share on CRAIGSLITS (as always) from a guy named “BILL,” who was on quite a road hall himself. He was in S.Florida the day we contacted him, and was taking I-95 ALL THE WAY back up to Philly for a court date he had, involving the custody of his children at 9 in the morning. We packed our bags and waited all day, because he told us he would be calling us as soon as he left Philly and was on his way back down I-95 again (this is REALLY quite a long drive, to make it back to FL again)
Where we were, in Jacksonville, was about an hour and a half or 2 hours from Fayetteville. Fayetteville was the closest city that I-95 ran through, and we would have to make it to I-95 in order for BILL to pick us up, since it would be way out of his way to go ALL THE WAY to the E coast to get us in Jacksonville- we’re a bunch of broke moochers, what the hell would be his incentive to do all that if we didn’t have extra money to give him?
Mark was good enough to give us a lift to Fayetteville, and with me and Brian having our bags packed to the brim, and our stomachs a bit unsettled with the reality of finally being left to the forces of nature- he took us to a liquor store to get some much needed whiskey, and dropped us off somewhere near 95 and a set of railroad tracks.
Me and Brian could barely walk with these bags on, and we looked at each other with unsure apprehension. Bill wasn’t answering our calls, and we had no clue what we would do since it was past nightfall, and therefore- practically impossible to hitch-hike. We found a patch of woods near the train tracks, and settled our fears with a few good glugs of cheap whiskey.
Our plan at the time, was to just start walking down 95 headed south, and possibly pick up a ride, even though it wasn’t likely. If need be, we would duck into the woods and pitch our tent, or just rest until the sun came up. What other options did we have? Get a motel? HA not in this life.
We sipped at the whiskey a bit more, and before putting the bags back on, we figured it couldn’t hurt to try calling BILL one more time. Luckily for us, he picked up his cell this time. He said he had finally gotten out of court, and that he was being escorted out of the state. This seemed kinda funny, and most people would have freaked after hearing this; but I’ve been in my fair share of trouble with the law, and I’m a pretty decent guy. I shouldn’t judge any more than I hated being judged. PLUS, what the hell else were we gonna do? I had talked to him on the phone a bit the day before, and he seemed like a straight shooter who was just going through some shit with his wife. The REAL problem, was that he was hitting the state line for Pennsylvania, and wouldn’t be getting to Fayetteville NC until around 2 am- it was about 6:30 or 7 at the time.
We figured fuck it- we had to get used to walking with these bags anyhow; we weren’t planning on taking rides everywhere, so let’s do some backpacking, and hike to 95.

95 ran outside of Fayetteville, and not just a mile or so- it was QUITE a walk, at least ten miles. So with a new challenge now in mind, and a serious consequence if we didn’t make it- we started hiking.
I cannot even begin to describe what it was like walking with these bags, especially with this sort of distance, and it being our first day. What I didn’t realize, was that what I was feeling then, would be nothing compared to the next day.

The first half hour, I thought there was no way I would be able to endure this journey with the setup we had, but I kept on walking. After the first half hour, I began to feel a spurt of energy, and even inspiration upon realizing I was capable of actually doing this, I just had to keep going. This went on another 2 hours or so, before I began to really start hurting.
It helped that within that first short grip, where I was really feeling hopeless- a kid in a pickup slowed down at a turn, and bent out his window to ask us what we were doing. We explained that we were planning on traveling around america, and seeing the sights and meeting the people. He really dug the idea, and was very excited for us- you could see it in his eyes. He had said he just finished reading a book about a guy who had done the same thing, and I laughed telling him that I was writing a novel about our travels too.
He reached into his pocket fingering through different odds and ends, and he handed me 2 wrinkled up dollars explaining that he was sorry he couldn’t give more, but he really wished us good luck and happy travels.
This really helped fuel me in moving on, and I thought about what it was exactly that made so many people want to read about other people that did something along the lines of this journey we were after right now. I was no different as a youngster, books like that fueled my current determination in fact. I also considered the fact that the excitement and dream of doing this sort of traveling, was something that was so fun to dream about, but not nearly as “fun” to actually do. I have found countless rewards in our journey so far, even though we have much to do yet; but something I learned very hard in Minnesota, was the fact that it wasn’t a vacation, and that misery and discomfort were just as prevalent in these experiences, as joy and enlightenment. There is very much I have to say on this whole notion, as it is such a complex experience to endure, but I will cut this idea short for now, in order to give you guys the low-down on me and Brian’s current position.
So we gladly took the two dollars, even though we really wanted to ask him if he knew where we might score a joint for our travels- I simply couldn’t do it though, for fear of us damaging his admiration of our spirits and determination.
We walked and walked and walked, and after spending a good 2 hours walking back in forth through Fayetteville in search of the highway, we FINALLY made it, and began hiking down the highway.
We hiked into the night with our thumbs limply extended, and eventually, I just gave up on it. I was determined to make it to 95 on foot. Everything was hurting, especially my hips, ankles and knees. On the bright side though, when I am done with this expedition, I might actually have a butt! Something that just doesn’t seem to run in the Irish male side of my bloodline.
Finally, after hiking through the dark highways and pine-tree lined roads for long enough- Brian was ready to collapse, and I was painfully trekking on with an adrenaline buzz that ended up seriously damaging my knees for the next few days. Brian was convinced that we were on 95, and I had somehow missed the sign. Although I was as beat as can be, my head was rushing with the excitement of finally being on the road and moving again.
We decided to rest our legs so I could take a look at our atlas and figure out where we were, since it was only approaching midnight and we had a while before Bill was going to be coming past our neck of the woods. We defeatedly climbed a steep hill covered in pine trees, and up at the top, sheltered from the traffic below, we put down our bags and got out the atlas. I began to look at the map, and Brian who had seen the sign and was sure we were on 95- fell asleep in a bed of pine needles within the first two minutes of lying down.
We had a good hour or two before Bill would make it here, so I decided after finding out that we had in fact made it to 95- that we should hike our way to the next exit, so we could give Bill a simple coordinate to pick us up at. I woke Brian, who unhappily rose from the comfortable spot, and assured him that once we got to an appropriate pick-up point, we could sleep until Bill got there. Before heading back down to the road, I called him to make sure he was en route to Fayetteville, and he confirmed that he would be rolling through in the suspected time frame of 1:30-2:00. We put our packs back on with an all new type of pain and soreness and with that- we trudged down the hill which we had climbed with difficulty, and I felt my ankles beginning to weaken and my knees start to wobble.
We walked until finally we came to exit 44, which was an identifiable spot for Bill, and after ducking into the woods, we found another spot that seemed to be cushioned just for weary travelers such as ourselves. Brian tactfully arranged the pine-needles into a shape that would fit him properly, and after about 5 minutes he was once again comfortably snoozing.
I knew that with Bill’s trips between Florida and Philly, he would need someone to be driving for him. I stopped sipping at the whiskey and managed to keep myself awake for the next hour or two, whereupon Bill picked us up right next to the #44 exit. I took over at the wheel and me and Bill made small talk until he managed to share the same sleeping state as Brian.
I drove on and on, stopping once for coffee and Mountain Dew, and by the time Bill woke up, we had made it all the way to Jacksonville Florida. Daytona Beach was only an hour and a half from there, and Bill woke up and took over. I had driven the tank from full, all the way to empty, and when Bill woke up and filled the tank, I told him all I had was 20.00. He said that was fine, and Brian continued to sleep in the back.
Bill went on and on about his domestic/financial issues as we drove to Daytona, and as nice of a guy as he was, I was sooooo tired and not really lending him a very thoughtful ear at this point. Plus, the last thing I cared to hear about was celebrity divorce details that of course, transitioned into his own problematic financial situation with his wife.
I realize this was a bit insensitive of me, but I was as beat as a person could be, and when Bill dropped us off at a seven eleven just off the interstate, I really didn’t give much of a good-bye. For a 20.00 ride, I could have been a bit friendlier, like I had been the night before, but I just couldn’t concentrate on anything except the bones in my knees grinding against each other with the weight of these packs, and where I could possibly set up my tent and rest as soon as possible without any disruption.
We didn’t know how far we were from the actual beach, even though we were in Daytona beach- but I literally couldn’t make it much further than a few blocks. I was completely defeated.
I limped with throbbing body and mind, until we came across a huge commercial type field that was near some giant bland corporate ant-hill type place. In the very center of this vast field, was a football field sized patch of palm-trees, and miscellaneous foliage- and we decided to go around the island till we were out of sight, and than set up our tent on the outskirts of this patch. We set up our 2 man camouflage tent, and as Brian decided to go head for the beach- I laid down my blanket, took off my shirt- and as I poured sweat like a pig in the blistering sun, I fell asleep NEARLY wishing I was as cold as my friends in Milwaukee.
At the time, I think I was at my ultimate low in how badly I wanted to be home, and how absolutely stuck I felt. I was so sore, that there was no chance of me putting that pack back on, and I just fell asleep with prayers that I would wake up feeling differently. I slept all day, finally feeling relief as I woke up periodically with the florida breeze cooling my back. As the sun began to go down, I saw Brian squatted down just outside the tent flaps- he was eating a Military grade M.R.E (Meal Ready to EAT)- a meal that marines are not too fond of, however me and Brian seemed to really enjoy.
I cracked open one of my M.R.E.’s, and slammed down quite a glug from my 2 quart canteen. As I saw the orange sun setting behind Brian’s silhouette, and looked around at our tiny 2 man tent- I sat up and realized that I actually did indeed feel much better. The temperature was starting to cool off, and the sunset slowly fell through the triangular opening of our tent as I ate my MRE. It wasn’t so bad at all I began to think to myself.
That evening, I put my boots back on, and me and Brian stealthily snuck away from the tent to go get some cheap beer. I could still barely walk, and as I limped along, I began to worry that maybe I had hurt my knees seriously instead of just being really sore. I tried my best to ignore that possibility, and we came back to our site with nice cold tall-boys of highlife, and a can of cola to use as chaser for the whiskey we still had. I put on the tight pair of green marine sweatpants that mark had given me, and with bare feet and callused blisters, we drank there- hidden among the vast fields, and underneath the bright stars. It was idyllic in contrast to my earlier feelings of hopelessness- and I began to really understand the bi-polar nature of life on the road.

Brians first little resting spot- he looks so adorable dosent he?

For lack of anything better to do, I started taking pictures from the woods haha. This one is the lights of a truck flying past.

The only thing cooler than my one dollar cowboy hat from wal-mart, is the same hat with a flashlight attached! How 'bout that Blair Witch type photo?

Heres B.O's second little resting place. We were so beat, that even if I HAD reminded him of the possible dangers of spiders and snakes, I don't think he woulda cared.

Heres a nice little shot I got as I was resting my head and managing to appreciate the looming forest-top above me. The moon was really quite nice that night, although it isn't in this photo...

Heres BILL as he enthusiastically raises his coffee in spirit of the "excitement" of being on the road. What he's really wondering, is if Im somehow going to use the photo against him, and take him to court. Bill wasnt too trusting,(he asked me several times over the phone if I was going to murder him- as if I would tell him if I WAS going to haha) but if he ever reads this, BILL- I Promise, I Won't Be Using This Photo Against You...

As you can see, I cant even contain my excitement for eating this M.R.E... For those unfamilliar with the "Meal Ready to Eat" I will soon have a HOW-TO photo manual on the site, for how one properly eats an M.R.E. I bet your excited too now!

Brian drinkin some beers at our hidden "camp site"

From far away, its pretty damn hard to see aint it?! Those marines are sneaky folks.



STATUS UPDATE: Geared Up and Ready to Go!!

So finally, it is time for me and B.O. to depart for an entirely different portion of THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY! We arranged a rideshare on CRAIGSLIST (of course) and should be able to get from Fayetteville NC, all the way down 95 to Daytona Beach. From there, we will be backpacking from the E.Coast shores of Daytona, to the W.Gulf Coast, and will then be backpacking down the Gulf shoreline of N. Florida-ish, down to S.Florida until we reach Ft. Meyers, where Brian has us lined up to work for his buddy for a few weeks doing DEMOLITION! As if our backs wont be sore enough from carrying our massive setups eh?
This truley could not have been done so well without our brother marine, Mark Olsen who hooked us up with REDICULOUSlY nice boots, backpacks, canteens, knives, M.R.E's (Meal Ready to Eat), along with hosting me and Brian the past few weeks and giving us tons of pointers and tips that we badly needed.
I will try to post the next time I have a chance, and Im not exactly when that will be, but it might be sooner than you think. i've been known to be pretty shameless about freaking out those starbucks folks, and stealing their internet. Hopefully soon though, I have tons of pics, and as we have been moving around more, TONS of new and interesting Characters to add to what will eventually be quite the archive. Til then, we will be backpacking and hitchhiking our way across sunny florida, to collect more and more stories for what is really starting to feel like THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY!
Until We meet again...

Joseph R. Reeves

ART FROM THE ROAD: The First Tree I've Ever Made (Jacksonville,NC)

It was a bit frustrating being in Jacksonville NC- a Marine town with nothing to do at all, AND, Brian and Mark were working most days. I stayed productive initially by writing for the novel until midnight most days, and then pounding cheap beer with Brian until 3 or 4 and passing out, and then doing it all over again. I did get a bunch of work done on the novel, and I actually don't mind that sort of life- but after about a week I realized there was something missing in my life- I was feeling unfulfilled.
I decided to stop staring at my computer screen for hours on end, unless I was ACTUALLY writing, and decided to change out of Marks sweatpants, and go walk around outside.
It was a beautiful day out, and there were these wonderfully cute little lizzards running around all over the place. I began to go explore the back of the camper, and ended up just playing around with the nature that I saw, which eventually got me thinking about what kinds of art I could make out of it. The way I approached it reminded me of being a kid, and how much time I spent just goint and "playing" in the woods. The revitalization of that spirit began to inspire me, and as I came across a big dead tree that had fallen, I started to jump around on it, trying to get a nice piece to break off. After propping it up on a rock, and finally jumping onto it with a snap- I had a nice length of wood that I could carve or do SOMETHING with, I just wasn't sure what.
I sat there among nature and just looked at it and thought. Although I have always enjoyed earthworks, and natural installations, and that type of thing- I don't often see new concepts being explored; most of the time it is using elements found in nature, and arranging them in an eye pleasing composition. With that in mind, I began to think of how futile an effort that can seem be in comparison to the authentic beauty of nature. Put another way, nature in itself, is so inspiring that artists most often times use fragments of it as a medium to make something that is "MADE OF NATURE" but is no longer "Natural" or within the context of "Nature."
I thought about it over the next night, and when I approached the sad dead log, I suddenly had an idea. What if I could bring this dead log back to life? although I found a certain beauty in it already, I began to wonder if I could make this a "REAL" tree again. Along with this notion, is also a certain trickery that always appeals to me. The idea that I could "FORGE" a tree, or "FALSIFY" nature, began to intrigue me as a challenge.
I ran back to Marks trailer, and grabbed a pair of scissors, a box of toothpicks, and the fold-up marine standard shovel that he had given me for my trip. The results, are not too bad for my first try, and my limited materials. Although we left Jacksonville before I could really put some touches on that tree that would fool anyone- I am pleased with how far I was able to push it, and will be trying to invent new trees and plants now as I continue my travels.
A really great part about the process, is how meditative and reflective it really is to try and replicate nature in such a literal sense. It is not only a humbling experience, but it gives you a sense of inferiority that is intriguing to use as a challenge against yourself, and is at the same time, an aspect that contributes to the way you appreciate nature that isnt invented by wacky traveling artists such as myself.
the day before I departed from Jacksonville, I was overjoyed when a neighbor came over and asked- as if astounded- if we had a magnolia tree growing on the side of the trailer.


By: B.O- CHARCTER PROFILE: Carla Garrison

I was lucky enough to meet this beautiful women at a little bar called the Solstice In a art district called NoDa. where she owns a great art gallery called the Green Rice Gallery, she's owned and operated it since i believe Oct. 08' She was born in Chicago IL. She moved to Charlotte to pursue her art career about 10 yrs ago and has lived there ever since She's got a great sense of humor and a lovely smile I'm very glad we became friends along my journey She made my stay in Charlotte quite pleasant


NEW "ART/PHOTO BOOK" NEWS, AND Some Great Photographs For Y'ALL!

So heres some more pics of whats been going down here in the marine town of Jacksonville, NC. Me and B.O are going to be getting out of here between Sunday and Tuesday- we will either catch a rideshare south a little bit (if we can find one for only a couple bucks in gas), OR we will more than likely, just load our backpacks and depart on foot, maybe hitching a ride here and there along the way. Brian has us set up to do some DEMOLITION work in FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, where it will be nice and warm, and where although we may not have a place to stay- we will have the chance to put our urban survival skills to the test. Beach camping anyone? (and not in some sissy camp-ground either! haha)
In another quick note; I will try to post another group of pics before we leave Jacksonville, as we have much material to share, and it is difficult to keep up with.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, is the news that we are continuing to compile TONS of other notes, pics, stories,poems, etc. as we go, to be released in "THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY," ART/PHOTO book.

This will be a high quality, hard-cover, compilation of the many great photos that I simply do not have time to share via blog, or in many cases, are too high of resolution. It will be much more than just a photo book however, as it will include much of Brian and my notes and journaling that do not make it into the blog, OR "THE LAST GREAT american NOVEL," as well as related poetry, observations, drawings and art work made along the way, quotes from outside observers, excerpts from the novel, and much much more that will be sure to surprise you.
Think of it as a free-for-all intertwining photography, artwork, scrapbook, and a multitude of various writing forms.

"THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY," ART/PHOTO COLLECTION, will be released just as the final draft of "THE LAST GREAT american NOVEL," is in its final editing stages.
The content of this new ART/PHOTOGRAPHY book will be a collaborative effort between Bryan, Myself, and Chastaine Tallon (tentatively joining us in the spring).
The design team will be headed by emerging commercial design talent, Chastaine Ellyn Tallon, who will oversee the ambitious project and act as the lead art director in helping me achieve my vision in creating a truley unique depiction of our journey through the integration of various art forms, writing pieces; and a sleek, innovative, new approach to book design that will be as groundbreaking as the journey itself.
Coupled with the novel, you really won't want to miss these new, self-made, contemporary works.

For details on investment opportunities, credited contributions, pre-sales, publishing, or professional contributions (design, legal, photography, artist, collaborative, consultation, agency, etc)- contact JOE at:
Joemammaxx23@yahoo.com or

#1- "Sunshine Daydream"

A great photo to add to what will become a collection of self-portraits of me with my head stuck out the window. Seemingly simple, and arguably sophomoric; however I see it as a way of photographically capturing the speed, intensity, turbulance, thrill, and passion that this trip is meant to entice- and if thats not good enough for you, then dammitall, it just makes you feel excited to be alive!
An excerpt from a poem I wrote earlier this year, entitled, "But where does it go from here?" has a short passage that I think speaks to this same feeling; it is as follows:

...All while the bee nearest my foot,
The moth fluttering wind,
And my face seeking that brisk onward splash
As blows through blonde,
As bows through branch
As posed, re-posed,
And infinitely intertwined.

#2- "(Brother Mark's)Home Sweet Home in NC"
It may not be much, but it sure as hell does the job. I enjoyed invading Mark's private little world within the trailer, and in all honesty, it was Jacksonville in itself that drove my crazy. The trailer itself, is golden! Place that puppy somewhere other than here, and I could certainly call it home.

#3- "Me and Bryan's little library/studio"
I really cant imagine that I will find a better set up to do my writing, researching, Craigslisting, or Blogging along the road. I'vev been quite productive in my time here- Im nearly to page 50 in "THE LAST GREAT american NOVEL," and as Ive grown accustomed to typing in my "formal" writing process, I am a bit worried that my work on the road will be closer to notes and ramblings. Only time will tell, I sure aint gonna give up- thats for sure!

#4- "Brotherly Love, Brotherly Play #3"

#5- "Brotherly Love, Brotherly Play #4"
I've got a whole sequence of those damned Olsen boys horsing around. Some good weather comes around, and you just cant stop 'em, they're like a couple schoolgirls! BROOOOOOTTTHHHHHEERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

#6- "Red Ryders in the Livingroom (what marines do in their time off)"
You'll shoot your eye out! HAHA, not true at all mom! As a leisure activity around the trailer, mark has a little mini target area set up, along with- wouldn't you know it- THREE red rider B.B. Guns! God I feel like I'm ages 10-14 all over again- except we didn't make drinking games out of the target practice like we did here... Needless to say- and I really am a good shot- Mark whooped me good, and I drank like hell for it. Still though, even as wasted as I got- no one shot their eye out! Take that 20/20

#7- "Fish Market in N.Carolina"
This is the freshest of the fresh seafood here, and I am like a cat when it comes to ANY type of seafood ESPECIALLY oysters. It is all so tasty, and SOOOO cheap in comparison to up north. I didn't have the funds to go nuts, but me mark and Brian did splurge a bit on my favorite delicacy...

#8- "The Cheapest Half-Bushell of Fresh Oysters Ever!"
We must have gotten AT LEAST 150 (a half-bushell) fresh oysters at the local fish market, for $22.00!!! That is obscenely cheap, and when cleaning them off, we couldn't even fill BOTH sinks with all we got!

#9- "So Fresh and So Clean Clean"
That photograph makes me drool for so many reasons, and I will keep most of them to myself. Suffice it to say, I LOVE OYSTERS!!! I know a few amazing ways to prepare them cooked or baked on the half-shell- but thats really for a bunch of bitches- RAW IS THE ONLY WAY AGHHHH!!!!!

#10- "Excuse Me Sir, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?
I don't even know what to say here, except that I am going to get oysters after this blog. I can't afford to really- even as cheap as they are- but they have a mystical addiction to their unique flavor, and I've got the worst craving for them now. For 40 bucks a bushell, I highly doubt that anyone around here needs to buy viagra. We have some good stories about us taking out almost that WHOLE half bushell that same night- but you will have to read "THE LAST GREAT american NOVEL," to hear them! haha, Im so clever! BRIAN's next post, is a story about him and mark consuming a bunch of Oysters before picking me up in Charlotte- and I won't give anything away, but lets just say- you may not be very hungry for Oysters anymore...

#11- "Tank Crossing? Seriously?"
Since mark knows all the passwords and secred marine handshakes, they were able to let a couple wandering hippy type scuzbags like me and brian onto the ENORMOUS Marine Corps Military base that surrounds Jacksonville, called Camp Lejeune. It's got a town within what seems like a GIANT national forest (except that no civillian is allowed in). It seemed like it coulda been a pretty happenin' place if they were more tolerent to us civillian type folk, but im sure someday we can all learn to get along. This is where we buy our beer- actually Mark has to do it for us- but it is even cheaper than Milwaukee! You can get a 30 pack of High Life for 12 bucks!

#12- "Hmm...Beach, Ocean, somethings missing here though..."
No one ever REALLY knows what the fuck is going on in the mind of Brian Olsen (B.O.)- but since this was our first time to see the ocean, first time to have sand between our toes, and one of the best days we had seen weather wise- I can only assume it is the look of a man, who among ocean, sun, and sand- still finds no contentment without bikini's or swimsuits to compliment his beach. Oh, B.O... (SIGH) someday, you'll find whatever it is that your looking for... (probably scantily clad women haha)

#13- "Good Old Brother Mark, Smoking a Cig With a Smile."
Cancer shmancer, if you enjoy fries more with ketchup, use ketchup; if you happen to enjoy your day better with that cigarette, use cigarettes! You damn smokers cant just smoke, and enjoy yourself shamelessly. Do it or dont already, geeze! OHH, and as you can see behind Marks delicious ciggy, he is donning a lovely "Quick 50" Tee Shirt. SHOUT OUT to one of Milwaukee's GREAT emerging bands, QUICK 50! Check 'em out, THEY'REEEEE GREAT! (Tony the Tiger impression)

#14- "Just a Good Old Fashioned, Pretty Picture"
What, are you not allowed to do that anymore in fine arts? I just thought it was pretty alright, get off my back. I've got plenty of abstract, contemporary, and put into layman terms: strange, photography. So what if I like a nice sunset on the beach- your just jealus you weren't there.

#15- "Where I'm gonna go someday"

I like this corny little sequence of photos. Maybe a metaphor for existance? Maybe thats too easy...