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A Day in the Life

Hey Team,

Here’s a quick look at a day in the life of the Amtrekker. Specifically yesterday. In Raleigh. I hate Raleigh.

As always, if that doesn’t work…here’s the youtube link.

I’m done.


Welcome to the wonderful world of the kindness of strangers:

Why NOT be a kind stranger?

Rambling and Ranting

Hey Team,

This may be the most indecisive I’ve been so far on this trip. I’m en route but still haven’t decided exactly where I’m en route too. I’m sitting on a bench in Greensboro, NC right now. At 9:21am I board a train for Raleigh and I have a ticket that leaves for Orlando later tonight.

Mostly I’m indecisive because I would like to go diving in the Atlantic this week but I already know I have to be in Florida the 18th-21st for Biketoberfest, (Which I’m totally stoked about. I love being places where everyone has something in common and they’re nothing like me. It such a great way to absorb a lot of information quickly.) so it wouldn’t make for a very efficient trip…but then again who said this trip has anything to do with efficiency.

And I just bought another rail pass yesterday so despite the fact that I’m dangerously close to broke at least I don’t have to worry about any travel expenses for the next month, so getting to and from Florida wont be a problem on that end.

I’m completely exhausted right now after only catching a couple hours of sleep on the train–

Hey! Maybe you can’t More >

#23 Hang gliding! [Podcast]

Hey Team,

Here’s that new podcast I’ve been promising. I’m trying something a little different this time so I can keep track of the stats a little easier. It should load on its own. Play button should be in the bottom left. But you might need quicktime, so if it doesn’t load on its own click here to download the latest version.

Also, the podcast is available on iTunes now so you should probably drop whatever you’re doing and go subscribe right away.

And if all else fails here’s the link for the youtube version of the podcast.

Thanks a ton for all the support, everyone! Let me know what you think of the video!

I’m done.


Chatta…who what now?

Hey Team,

The last couple days have been a whirlwind of southern hospitality, baseball and inner tubes. Since being in Georgia for the first time ever I’ve already had peach cobbler with dinner twice (both made with California peaches), seen a Braves game and tubed down the Chattahooche River (Yep! Number one is a goner!).

An itinerary?!

I even got to try “sweet tea” for the first time. And let me just say, they need a better name for that stuff. Maybe ” sugar water” or “diabetes tea.” It tastes like the sugar took the tea out back and hit it over the head with a baseball bat before leaving it for dead.

Apparently I made some sort of face when I tasted it and my host, Robin, asked me if the sweet tea was too sweet, “Do you want to add some water to it?”

I thought to myself the whole point of sweet tea is that it’s sweet, right? It’s cheating to change the experience. That’s like a Spanish butcher asking if the bull testicles are too testicle-y and offering you a meatball instead.

The Braves game was intense, not nearly as intimate as Fenway but a totally different experience anyway. It was “fan More >

On The Way Down Yonder

Hey Team,

I never realized how much I appreciated rail travel until JUST now. The train I had planned on taking down to Atlanta today was sold out, and so here I am sitting on a bus waffling between emotions as far ranging as frustrated-beyond-belief and bored-out-of-my-mind (and uncomfortable…is uncomfortable an emotion?).

So far I’ve returned all my calls, replied to the most pressing emails and beaten my already impressive high score on the brick game that came preloaded on my cell phone.

It’s been 45 minutes.

Only 19 hours and 15 minutes to go.

The most irritating aspect (besides having to sit still in a severely undersized seat for 20 straight hours) is the complete lack of electrical outlets! Come on people, this is the 21st century, get it together!

So now, not only am I missing out on the 20 hours of quality video editing time I thought I’d be getting in my cozy train seat with its convenient 120v outlet but I find myself wedged between two ridiculously narrow arm rests hunched over my notebook writing this article with a pen (a PEN!) so as not to waste what precious little power Charley has stored up in his well designed battery.

(Obviously, by this More >

I hang glid (…hang glided…hang glode?)

Hey Team,

“So, all this talk about how cool hang gliding was and how incredible the folks at Highland Aerosports were…what’s the whole story?”

Wow, thanks for asking! I didn’t know you cared so much, Disembodied-Voice-of-the-Masses. Here it is!

I wandered into the pilots lounge at the airport shortly after my run in with the five-oh and met up with Jim, one of the instructors at Highland. The weather wasn’t great. Lots of cloud cover, and it was a slow day so I spent the first few hours talking with Jim and Sonny, one of the owners.

Both had left mundane jobs for the exciting (read: strange) life of hang gliding instructors and had some interesting stories to share…you know, I was going to tell you a few of their stories but I’m still kind of fresh off the hang gliding high and I’m having trouble focusing on other people’s lives right now. Suffice it to say they’re both awesome guys and hang gliding is SO FREAKIN’ INCREDIBLE!

Jim spent a few hours with me going over all the parts of a hang glider and how they work. We put one together and got it prepped for flight and then did some exercises on the ground More >

Click it and Ticket

Hey Team,

Yesterday got off to an inauspicious start. I was dropped off in a little town called Ridgley, Maryland. Apparently the police in Ridgley, MD “Don’t take kindly to people walking around airports with cameras.” Or so I was told…by the policeman who pulled over to tell me so.

“You know, people don’t take kindly to folks with cameras around airports.”

“Pardon me?”

“People don’t take kindly to folks with cameras around airports.”

I wanted to say, “I heard what you said. I just think it’s retarded. Why are you hassling me for walking down the road with a camera around my neck?” What I ACTUALLY said was, “Okay.” This didn’t appear to be an acceptable answer either.

“You’re making people jumpy.”

“Seriously? Someone called you to tell you I had a camera?”

He gave me that look that says, “I don’t like you, I don’t trust you, and furthermore I think you’re an idiot.” Then he said, VERY seriously, “I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t.”

“Wow. Okay.” What else was there to say? It didn’t feel appropriate to apologize for owning a camera.

“Where you off to?”

“The airport.”

“What’chu planning on doing there?”

“Hang gliding.”

I was afraid that if I gave him too long of answers I’d get on More >

No Air Time

Hey Team,

I’m a big fan of being around people in general…but I especially like being around large groups of people who have a lot in common with each other and nothing in common with me. Those are always guaranteed learning experiences. And this weekend was no exception.

It’s amazing how much you can learn about a sport like hang gliding without ever even leaving the ground. (You heard right folks, #23 still stands. More on that later though.) People (and this is true of any of those afore-mentioned learning experiences) throw out a LOT of jargon when they’re in a like-minded environment.

For example I now know what it means if you happen to use terms like “L and V,” “Milk a cloud” or “Ride a thermal.” In fact if you were to say to me, “Well, Brett, it looks like an L and V day but if you can milk that cloud you might be able to ride a thermal.” I’d be less inclined to call the police and have your ass arrested than I would have a week ago.

All of the hang gliders I talked to (the people not the actual gliders…that would be an awkward conversation) were down to More >

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