Status Update: The Great B.O. Parts Ways (For Now); In The Meantime, Here's Some Classic Portraits Of The Man Himself

Priceless B.O., priceless.

With the month of September now looming ahead, Chassy and I, like most sensible mammals, have been putting our fragments of plans together, with the intent of entirely bypassing the mid-west's awful rendition of winter. With College now behind both of us, we finally have the option of heading towards a reasonable climate that will allow for us to continue living a life where shoes are mostly optional, and productive lifestyles are as simple as sunshine. That's right, we're gonna' be southbound after our hectic month in Milwaukee- at least until its warm again. Is this really some kind of surprise to y'all? I certainly shouldn't think so.
Anyhow, as we vaguely plot our course for the next half year or so, our long time brother, andpartner-in-crime, The Great B.O., has began to do the same thing, except he plans on earning his bread in the ever-grey boonies of Minnesota. I think he's F'in crazy, but he does have a better tolerance to the cold than I do, plus, with B.O.'s plush persona and legendary work ethic, he has managed to find himself a helluva' lotta' friends in the auto business. Whenever B.O. needs to earn some money, he's got places lined up like eager teenagers, just waiting to put him to work. It's magical really, and in my humble opinion- it wreaks of the american dream.
So in the "business" sense of things, our parting ways- much like the several times we have done so in the past- was inevitable, understood, and has quite honestly always been an aspect of our traveling philosophy. Not so much the reality of inevitably separating, but the truth that neither one of us can allow ourselves to fall short of our own goals, by following the other one's too long. Example: When B.O. decided he needed to try and "make it" in Las Vegas on his own, and I subsequently had to take a plane back to Milwaukee to make it back for a gallery showing I was in. He had the urge to do something that was not in my schedule, and thus forth, we both understood it would be the cause of our parting ways. The ebb and flow of a good traveling partnership I suppose.
So without getting any teary eyes here, I thought it would be fun for the whole family if I went and compiled some of the lovely portraits I have been collecting of The Great B.O. throughout our travels. Some go way back to our initial departure, back when we had 'ol Dylan rolling with us as well. It sure seems like it's been ages! It's CRAZY to think that it hasn't even quite been one year since I set out to write a great american novel. It sure has been allot to take in...

As a final request from your humble editor here at "TLGaJ," I ask that you go find a super corny slow song to play ("yellow," by coldplay, or perhaps, "You Are So Beautiful-" this needs to be high school slide-show corny), and put it on play as you slowly scroll through the laughs, the anger, the drunkeness, the concussions, and the over-all madness that B.O. is ultimately comprised of.

Remember B.O., J.U.I.C.E. Meeting in September- in the meantime, keep on living the american dream! Don't let me down. Here's to you Brother,

Until We Meet Again...
(cue the music)

After blistering in the hot sun all day along the freeway leaving from Daytona Beach- we finally caught a *ride that took us all the way down to Orlando Florida. The first thing we did was buy some high lifes, and rest our weary backs! *see CHARACTER PROFILES: "Big Urn"

One of the lesser seen faces of B.O.

Anyone who ever tells you that you shouldn't eat fresh cantaloupe with a knife in the car while driving, can shove it! This is precisely where The Great B.O. indefinitely delivers...

Almost a year ago, on the very top of the "Sydney Hih" building in Milwaukee.

B.O. and D-money brush their teeth at the auto-detail shop in Minnesota. In the very beginning, the three of us lived in a pop-up camper together. It didn't last too long...

B.O. passionately explains his latest invention to me and Chassy while on the beach just outside Portland. It's a pretty good one, so I can't say what it is... you guys would steal it...

Another instant classic, and a photographic lead-in to one of TLGaJ's first "HOW TO's: How To: Charge Your Phone When Your Homeless," Ohhh Boy were we miserable that day, man!

B.O. gets spruced up to go to the "Medical Cannabis Cup," in San Francisco

B.O. don's the legendary "gladiator" mask on our way to Albuquerque New Mexico, as two "foreign studies" ride-sharers sit in back somewhat amused, and somewhat disturbed.

B.O. and the Pacific Ocean finally meet as we make our way up the famed Highway 1.

After a dramatic fallout between myself, Dylan, and B.O.- in the very beginning- I sold my truck and the pop-up, and wen't to visit B.O.'s brother Mark in North Carolina. Who do you think is to pick me up from Charlotte NC, but The Great B.O. himself! This had been the first time we saw each other since the disastrous explosion (our initial departure), and luckily, we recovered as brothers do.

B.O. Jumps over his lil Brother "Mark's" shoulders in Jacksonville N.C.

Clearly this man deserves a ride to Tampa Bay, or Fort Myers- don't you think? Look at that convincing smile!

B.O. Shotguns beer's with me on the side of the interstate. I'm not sure it was very neccessary looking back on it now, but I got no regrets!

Here in Ft. Meyers, we washed our hair near their public library, and got scolded by the cops soon after. Apparently, if your homeless, you aren't allowed to have illustrious hair. Totally bogus...

I don't even know what to say here...

When living under the redwoods in Mendocino, we had a pet caterpillar named Fred!

An awesome little stream we camped on as we traveled North from CA, toward Oregon.

Another flat tire, and we were only about 60 miles South of Eugene, OR, our destination for the day. We actually had to spring 40 bucks and buy a new tire that day, after at least a dozen patched-flats in the previous weeks.

We spent a few days with little Olive here, in Eugene Oregon, and as most kids do, she loved playin' with B.O.!

This is actually a step or two ahead of where I've really left of chronologically in the "formal" telling of our tales, So I guess I ruined the surprise. Yep, B.O. got a concussion.

B.O. lights something up...

I think B.O. was a bit irritated with me here...

B.O. is actually a tender lil' sweetheart when you get to know him, see!

YAY! Pretty lights and wine induced mania in the streets of Portland Oregon!

"Beat," is the only word that comes to mind here... Or maybe the phrase, "Excuse me ma'am, I'm hungry, could you spare a dollar?"

I just like this one. I don't know why.

In Portland, Bad/Cheap beer is frowned upon, unless it's of a trendy label, like that of Hamm's, or Pabst. I know, I know. I'm rolling my eyes and sighing as well here.

It looks like the devil himself is about to propose to you in this picture... creepy...

B.O. wears his "J.U.I.C.E." tatoo triumphantly, and pats my back drunkenly.

Leaving Wisconsin- one of the many times...

I love this photograph here atop the highest point in Santa Fe New Mexico!

Las Vegas makes even the most un-motivated, and crummy, of photographers look like pro's; every shot is a damned postcard I tell you! The rest of the night I mostly took pictures of people taking pictures of things, because I thought it was pretty hilarious. I'm pretty sure B.O. is somewhere in the crowd here though...

This is after a few days in Las Vegas, after we've blown all our cash, and B.O. decides he's gonna try and live in the Honda, and "make it" out in Vegas. I decide to head to Milwaukee, and B.O. uses "Craigslist," on my net-book before I go. He posted the F'in car he was living in without batting an eye; ballsy to say the least. Cheers to balls!

B.O. looks like he's listening, but trust me, he's not. Rarely, we see him sitting passenger as we fly through the Wyoming countryside.

B.O. erotically puts the lotion on the skin- near the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco

B.O. with one of his many memorable expressions that will surely never wash off- San Francisco laughs in the background, but he don't mind.

You've got air and water B.O., what more do you need?! This was one of many flat tires we patched along our journey- somewhere in CA...

B.O.'s mouth crammed with sunflower seeds.

The first time we geared up to hitchhike, we took waaaaayyyyyyyyy too much stuff!

B.O. found a comfortable place to sleep, here in the woods on the side of the highway. Just outside Fayetteville N.C., as we were hitchin' south to Florida

B.O. eating our rations of packaged tuna on Daytona Beach


OLD STATUS UPDATE: A Care-free Life Beneath Mendocino's Redwoods; PART 1: "Feasts and Solitude" (Coming Soon- Part 2: "Famine and Poverty")

Initially, our lives while chasing the sun-spots in the great valley under the Mendocino redwoods, was anything but enduring. In fact, the notion of us staying put for an entire week was a challenge that we were unfamiliar with, and one that was particularly difficult for Chassy and B.O. because of the fast-paced rhythm we had been getting used to in our traveling. It took some rallying on my part, to make the agreement that we would in fact stick it out for the whole week there, for several reasons.
First, being that if we were really going to successfully stretch our West coast adventures for 3 whole months- it would mean that we would have to spend some serious down time, we just couldn't feasibly live at the pace we had been- financially or otherwise. I had art on my brain, and nothing sounded better to me then the notion of wasting the week away working on all kinds of crazy art there at our lovely camp. Furthermore, was the nagging reality that I had a lot of writing to do for a small company back in Milwaukee, that was not quite on recreational terms; in fact, I was pressing myself to finish every last bit of it, so I would no longer have to work on anybody's deadlines but my own. This is without mentioning the fact that we were on the last short bit of our funds, and needed the money from the writing so we could continue traveling north to inevitably find work somewhere in Oregon- so, said another way: I needed to finish the writing in order to continue our traveling. If Chassy and B.O. didn't like it, it didn't really matter. We were stuck there until funds came through.
So it was under these circumstances, that we found ourselves at the very beginning of our week spent in the valley beneath the redwoods at a secluded little camp next to a stream, and under the overwhelmingly mysterious shroud of the vast Mendocino forrest. I was for one, very excited.
After all the hustle and bustle of living in a car in San Francisco, I was ready to do some reading, some art, and most importantly- get that writing off my plate once and for all. I was craving the solitude that our camp seemed to guarantee, but after a few days of strange silence, I realized that "Camp X" was a lot different then I ever could have imagined.
I'm going to refer to our camp as "Camp X," because I respectfully and somewhat fearfully, agreed to keep the exact whereabout of this local gem of a campsite (a very offhanded term considering the extents of it's use), a secret to any and all. I promised this to the Okies of the valley that we later discovered we were co-existing among. All I will say, is that we were in the thick of the woods, at the bottom of the valley, and somewhere in between the coastal town of Fort Bragg, and Willits (which is inland about 40 miles from the Pacific). Folks, I kid you not when I say that this was a place where cell phone coverage, simply did not exist.
I will also keep the okie tales to a minimum, as well as the certain extent of danger that we slowly came to realize was ever-present when camping in a forrest of unspoken "development" as I will so delicately put it, as these are tales that will be disclosed in the book (along with many of the essential details that are simply not appropriate for blindly putting forth to the world wide web). Suffice it to say, that along with Northern California's Humboldt County, the infamous Mendocino County, is the highest profiting county in the entire United States, for growing marijuana.
This first part of my web-written account of Mendocino, is part 1 of 2, being our first few days in "Camp X," when as far as we knew, we were simply among a few other campers in a secluded site, that had taken a great deal of research and efforts (and hassling with the disgruntled hosts) to have successfully found and gotten. When as far as we knew, Mendocino was nothin' but peaches and cream!

Believe it or not, the cars right side, is no more than 5 ft away from a 100 foot drop to the valley below. The locals zoom around these crazy passes going 30 while yawning and smoking a joint- its ridiculous! Theres a few miles of winding road like this, to get to the top and out of the valley. Because of the rough terrain, and tremendous pot-holes, we got several flat tires going up and down this enduring road every day...

...Aside from my daily writing agenda, our time was spent with the daily trip "to town," as it is so fondly put so often down in the valley; where we would go buy cheap whiskey and cheap food, and would then go to Mc Donald's to buy a coffee while I uploaded photo's to the blog for you fine people. Mc Donald's became the primary hub of our "business" regarding the blog, any cell phone calls that were to be made daily, e-mails, and for me to check in and update the said office in Milwaukee on my progress in the writing gig.
After the first night in the tent- a freezing cold night of absolute and entire discomfort- we made it our task to find a thrift store, or garage sale to purchase a few beat up blankets, and a pan so we could cook a more diverse array of cheap food, and sleep somewhat comfortably for a change. We quickly realized that we had brought tents, but had absolutely no camping supplies, and would need to acquire these few things to make the week bearable. As our luck turned out, I ended up haggling the "garage sale folks" into giving us a good pan, a wooden spoon, two stained but perfectly thick comforters, a beetles vinyl album, three Led Zepplin also on vinyl, and finally, "good-bye yellow brick road," by Elton John, on vinyl- all for 15 bucks cash! It was the steal of a lifetime if I've ever come across one...

using broken pieces of glass, and stones from our camp, Chassy made some sweet little pieces of art!

So, B.O., hows that hash?

I'm starting to look like one of the locals...

...During the days, we blissfully basted our midwestern tans in the few sun spots that shined through the canopy miles above us, and we all did our best to adjust to the pace of our days that were now patiently melting away with the slow flickering pace of a tea light. We all bathed in the nearby stream. I kept busy with my writing as B.O. taunted me, calling me a square. I paid no mind.
Much of our days time was spent making great hobo-feasts. Concoctions of canned food and chicken and Ramen, and whatever else was on sale or within our budget for that days trip to Safe-way. We would awake to eat spaghetti O's off of last nights dwindling embers, and serve them out of dollar coffee cups from yesterday's Mc Donalds; Chassy would awake like a soft-eyed princess to such meals with a lingering hangover, and partake as happy as a clam.
Hash went around the campground freely, given plentifully like pamphlets on a cities corner; Chassy and B.O. bartered tobacco for it whenever they wanted to get high and didn't incidentally have some from the Okies already. I had to wait until the evening myself, otherwise I'd be writing nothing but dribble...

Meet Fred, he was our local pet.

I began to carve a backscratcher for Chassy's B-day, and I'm still not done... I feel terrible.

... And the days continued to pass as such. When the sun went down, it got very cold very fast, and we would build tremendous fires, or meek fires depending on how much wood we had gathered during that particular day. No matter what, we would warm our bellies with cheap whiskey or wine, and sit around the campfire like sages, listening to the strange noises from the valleys that we hoped were far, far away.
This was all before we really got a sense for the depth of the mysterious clamoring that took place nonchalantly in the background of our care-free days. There was much more going on there amidst Camp X, and as we later came to discover: the less we knew, the better off we were…