Uncertain, Texas Audio Journal

Uncertain, Texas

I really need to do these little travel/journal recordings more often. It's so cool to listen to how you sounded at a given point in time, especially while you're traveling. Adds so much to have the actual ambient sounds with the recording as well. I can almost feel the mosquitos biting me! ;)

Some personal creative notes while camping in Uncertain, Texas in May of 2014

Face in the moon easier to see with the naked eye?

Desire to find faces, or making order from chaos?

In telephotos of the full moon, it's difficult to see a face of any sort. But, it can be seen clearly by the naked eye. Do you suppose it has more to do with the way our brains process abstract shadows looking for faces? Or, the attempt to find order in chaos? Not sure, but listen to the speculation in this video. 

The video is two parts. First part is some wondering speculation at the beginning of the journey, and the second part is the "diving into" the rest of the trip. There wasn't any specific purpose for this, other than to test some consumer-grade Nikon D5300 dSLR filmmaking gear, along with a GoPro for travel and to see if the combination could be used to get a decent image for some future short film stuff.

The music under the narration is Rumba and Liza Subbotina from the album "Wandering Soul" by Mark Subbotin

The music in the second half is A ESTHER FORERO - Jan Y Su Son Latino from the album "Homenaje a Esthercita Forero. La Novia de Barranquilla" by Jan y Su Son Latino

If your system and connection can support it, make sure you click through to YouTube and select the HD1080 setting to view for maximum resolution.

Disfruta! 

Packed for one more motorcycle gear shake-out trip!

Just have the bike all packed up for another short 5-day trip. Readjusted my gear, packing, added some stuff I was missing, and got a new travel camera to test out. Heading to Galveston for a couple nights, then camp a couple nights on the way back heading Southwest to possibly Lake Texana, but not certain yet. After this one, I think I'll have it all dialed in to head out toward New Mexico for a longer adventure. Will partly be concentrating on what to do with the rest of my life while just letting inspiration flow-in from the road experience.

In the past I've tried to finance my travel by publishing books, did a Kickstarter/Indigogo, and had a private and exclusive blog for contributors. A little help from product sponsors as well. My next longer trip, I think I'll just simplify it. This time I'll keep a special trip blog that anyone can follow along with, but I'll add a PayPal "tip jar". Those who like what I do from the road, and have the means to "tip" me for my efforts, will have an easy way to do so. Those who love my work but are light in the pocket book at the moment, will be able to follow along as well. 

Thinking I'll offer a discounted pre-ordered print deal that includes some extra supporter dispatches from the road. These will be additional images and some text to go with each image, but not the multiple page offerings I've done in the past. I've found there's just so much stuff out there that it's better to just get to the point and only share the very best stuff. At some point I may do another photo book of the trip, but it won't be a supporter offering/option on the next trip. 

For the most part, I'll be focussing more on the trip... making new images... and some concise (hopefully compelling) dispatches... and won't spend time publishing print or promoting from the road. I've found all the publishing, promoting, etc. that I've done from the road in the past, tends to take me too far out of the actual travel experience.

Will drop a note before I leave for New Mexico with the options, but the trip tomorrow is just to see if I've got all my gear and packing as efficient as I can get it. :)

They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em.

George Hanson: Ya know, this used to be a helluva good country. Can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.
Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.
George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ‘em.
Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.
George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.
Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.
George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ‘cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.
696b0fd4b5d511e2945d22000a9f13ca_7.jpg

Just heading out for 5 days or so, but packed for a month+ trip to see if I was going to be able to pack everything without the need of side bags. I've got still & video gear including GoPro Hero 3. iPad & Bluetooth keyboard for travel blogging. Minimal tools, slime compressor & tire repair kit, tent, hammock, all the clothes I need even if the temps dip down to 32F. Book to read, shower stuff, potable solar panel, water heating coil & 22oz collapsible cap with lid & plenty of instant starbucks pouches, 5 days worth of food and even a liter bag of red wine!

The vino is in a refillable 1L Platypus beverage bag. I'm sure it'll be easy to fine more to refill it with I'm using the platypus because its lighter & packs easier than a bottle. Plus, it holds an extra 250ML and can be used to carry water as well.

On top is an Alps ultralight tent, water sandals & a yoga Matt to sleep on. I likely will just sleep in my hammock but packed the tent in case the temps drop or I get a lot of rain.

Since I'm in Texas so I don't really need the warm clothes. Where I'm going it'll be 80F in the say and low 50's at night. But in the next couple of weeks or so I'll head out for a longer trip that may take me to higher altitude & lower nighttime temps in New Mexico & Colorado. Just wanted to pack for a longer trip to make sure everything would fit, see how the bike handles with more weight & how much the gas mileage is effected.

The front compartment on this bike is very useful. In the front storage I've got rain gear, map, compact camera, tablepod/monopod, slime compressor, map, wallet, first aid kit, sunscreen & repellent, chain lube & basic tools, and shower cap seat cover for the sheepskin pad in case it rains. 

Where and how do you go to forge a new dream?

Think I lost my dream somewhere along the way. Or, perhaps I never really had one to begin with.

You get these ideas in your head at given points in time of what it is you think you want and then everything gets sorta put on autopilot. Could have sworn I had one, but somehow it either evaporated away, or was just an idea of the essence of "dream" without any details.

One day... you ask yourself what you really want out of life and what your "dream come true" would look like. Trouble is, I don't have a clear and solid answer for that. Drawing a blank.

I wander where one wonders to find a brand spankin' new dream? Or, is it just ok to be comfortable with whatever is happening in the now without the slightest concern for any particular "dream" or goal to be working towards?

Great Spirit ~ Wirikuta, Mexico + LithoFusion Collection

Great Spirit ~ Wirikuta, Mexico + LithoFusion Collection

Suspicious in Matehuala

Don't want to get all dramatic & paranoid, but something has definitely changed in this town just in the last year.

I've been passing through Matehuala for nearly 2 decades now, but this rustic country outpost never changes much. Not until now & just since I was here just a year ago.

It looks like someone spent a lot of money giving all the public spaces a major rennovation. There are a lot more police here & not your average police either. These guys are heavily armed with full body armor & black combat helmets. They cruise around in police trucks that have huge machine guns mounted on the roofs & they have a new building that looks expensive & modern.

When I was walking into town earlier from the bus station I saw these dudes with their heads shaved prison-style but they were driving big black & shiny SUVs. Sorta creeped me out a little.

There's never really been much graffiti in this town, but now it looks like every other building has gang tags.

I just got my hair cut by the old fellow I like to visit every time I pass through. I mentioned the changes & new observations. He said, with a very serious look, that there is BIG money here & that I should watch my back & be very careful. I asked him about all the new wealth & hardcore police & he said it's all narcotraficante & cartels all over the area. I asked if it was safer out in the desert pueblos. He said it's even more dangerous out there where I'm going because all the police are all in town.

He might be exaggerating or watching too much TV, but I think I'll keep my head down & a low profile until I get more info. Wouldn't want to be mistaken for a journalist or anything. Yikes! I'm sitting here with a camera tapping away all this writing to post. That's likely not wise. Think I'll wrap it up & keep movin' while I'm ahead. ;)

Most likely just too much TV & that I was sitting in a plaza near a new club watching women who looked like prostitutes walk by with young folks dressed in hard core gang-style clothing on a Saturday night. Maybe it's just the style & Matehuala has enjoyed some recent economic prosperity, but something seems suspicious & doesn't quite fit. Will get more info in the desert & update in a few days when I get access again.

Time to head out to the desert & get back to work on my story:

http://storify.com/skiphunt/chupacabra-1

Wish me suerte! (luck)

CHUPACABRA: A True Story

When one man's singular obsession leads him to the brink of death

CHUPACABRA: A True Story © 2012 Skip Hunt | Audiobook

CHUPACABRA: A True Story © 2012 Skip Hunt | Audiobook

There's a true tale I've been telling for over 13 years now. My obsession with writing down a screenplay in Mexico very nearly cost me my life. I tell the story most often as a warning to others, but the response I most frequently get is that my true story may be better than what I was writing at the time. The last person I told this story to late at night, out in the desert of the Wirikuta region of Mexico was an Argentinian juggler. We didn't particularly hit it off, but we both found ourselves killing time late at night in the middle of a full-moon night and too wired to sleep.  

This fellow was game for listening first to my entire true tale of obsession and then the entire story I was trying to write at the time. His assessment was that the true story was his preference. He very much loved both, but he believed the true story actually happened exactly as I told it, and this gave it more appeal.

I decided to finally record this story that I've told for so many years by desert camp fires, jungle treks, and caffeine-fueled late-night cafe chats. I'm not certain what I'm going to do with it, but I broke it down into chapter notes in pieces that I felt I could get through a recording in one take. It was recorded in the same room I used in the desert 13 years ago.

"This is an absolutely incredible, riveting story! I do agree that THIS is the story that should be the screenplay!" ~ E. Davie
"I could visualize the scene of the 'Ladie's Bar' through a fish eye lens sort of in the style of Twin Peaks. Truly an odd trip with some weird encounters." ~ Y. Buckley

SAMPLE TEASER: Chapter ONE: Ladies Bar | 8:13

UPDATE: This audiobook is just the beginning. My intention is to evolve this into more complex pieces and maybe even a feature-length film. Stay-tuned!

(Will play on anything that supports iTunes standard audiobook file type)

Seven Chapters | Running Time 1:45:32 

Also available HERE

Chupacabra Audiobook
$2.99

Wirikuta Has Once Again Summoned Me

Click to read "Transported from Quemado"

Click to read "Transported from Quemado"

Wahoo! Just bought a one-way to Mexico! Gonna fly into Puerto Vallarta for a few, then meander my way back up towards Texas via bus with a stop off in the San Luis Potosi sacred desert region known to the indigenous as Wirikuta to see how that peace sign made of stone that I started back in 2009. 

I was just there a little over a year ago, but find myself drawn there once again. The last time I was there I had a very strange experience unlike any I've had before. Wrote about it in this post called Transported from Quemado.

I don't think I'm going to fashion this trip into any sort of project this time. Last year's THE DEEP END: Mexico produced a nice enough photo book as well as another fine book of iPhone only images that featured my peace sign on it's cover. I've been traveling in Mexico off and on for over 20 years now and producing content wares like my Skip Hunt Vagabond book and a recorded story of an amazing experience having a ceremony with the Mazateca indians high in the Oaxacan mountains where the famous currandera Maria Sabina once entertained the Beatles, Timothy Leary, Dylan & Donovan. And recorded the experience here

Unless I think of something between now and September when I fly out, I think I'll just make some more Mexican images for the collection and mostly wander & let the great spirit's will direct me this time.

Another time, these Argentine jugglers appeared from seemingly nowhere and entertained me with their brilliant juggling skills. :)

Looking forward to the return to the land of strange magia!

DON'T PANIC.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. ~ Douglas Adams

While wandering around the Colombian volcanic mud farm just outside of Tolú, I met the most curious fellow. Despite his festive attire, his absurd aggression both befuddled & amused me.

If you enjoy colorful travel photography, you might very well enjoy having a look at THIS

© 2012 Skip Hunt + kaleidoscopeofcolor.com

In Limbo

I just got back from 6 weeks in Colombia, then about a week hiking the concrete jungles of Washington D.C. and back home now. 
At the moment, I can't decide how I feel about travel. I'm partially happy to be home and not feel like I need to go see anything, but on the other hand... my obsessive wanderlust is tugging in the background asking, "Don't get too comfy bro! Where we headed next?" And I reply, "Geez! Can't a brothah chill for a spell while he recharges his batteries a little?!
~ Skip Hunt

Suspicious in Matehuala

Don't want to get all dramatic & paranoid, but something has definitely changed in this town just in the last year.

I've been passing through Matehuala for nearly 2 decades now, but this rustic country outpost never changes much. Not until now & just since I was here just a year ago.

It looks like someone spent a lot of money giving all the public spaces a major rennovation. There are a lot more police here & not your average police either. These guys are heavily armed with full body armor & black combat helmets. They cruise around in police trucks that have huge machine guns mounted on the roofs & they have a new building that looks expensive & modern.

When I was walking into town earlier from the bus station I saw these dudes with their heads shaved prison-style but they were driving big black & shiny SUVs. Sorta creeped me out a little.

There's never really been much graffiti in this town, but now it looks like every other building has gang tags.

I just got my hair cut by the old fellow I like to visit every time I pass through. I mentioned the changes & new observations. He said, with a very serious look, that there is BIG money here & that I should watch my back & be very careful. I asked him about all the new wealth & hardcore police & he said it's all narcotraficante & cartels all over the area. I asked if it was safer out in the desert pueblos. He said it's even more dangerous out there where I'm going because all the police are all in town.

He might be exaggerating or watching too much TV, but I think I'll keep my head down & a low profile until I get more info. Wouldn't want to be mistaken for a journalist or anything. Yikes! I'm sitting here with a camera tapping away all this writing to post. That's likely not wise. Think I'll wrap it up & keep movin' while I'm ahead. ;)

Most likely just too much TV & that I was sitting in a plaza near a new club watching women who looked like prostitutes walk by with young folks dressed in hard core gang-style clothing on a Saturday night. Maybe it's just the style & Matehuala has enjoyed some recent economic prosperity, but something seems suspicious & doesn't quite fit. Will get more info in the desert & update in a few days when I get access again.

Time to head out to the desert & get back to work on my story:

http://storify.com/skiphunt/chupacabra-1

Wish me suerte! (luck)

UPDATE

UPDATE: Skip Hunt Ok, well... It doesn't appear to be my imagination. Just went for a walk to kill time & get a few more images. A new car with 4 young guys were at the stop sign talking to another guy on a motorcycle. I made sure the driver saw me before I crossed. Just as I crossed he hit the gas looking right at me. I barely got out of the way in time. He only stopped after I slammed my hand down on his hood yelling WTF?! at him. He & his friends just looked at me & laughed. I got his tag number but I don't really trust the police either so I decided to keep moving.

A local woman was outside her home & saw the whole thing. She asked if I was OK. I told her I was fine but worried about the changes I've seen in what used to be a very tranquilo town. She confirmed the drastic changes since last year & said its all happened just in the last 6 months. I asked her if it was safer in the desert towns & her eyes lit up and she said, "No! It's even worse out there because that's where the narcotraficantes & cartels are!" She added that it's pretty segura & tranquilo (safe & peaceful) in Real de Catorce.

Dang it! I can't turn tail now! I came all this way and am hyper-focused to get stuff related to Chupacabra done while in the desert solitude. I have a friend who lives out there who I've known for over 15 years. I'm going out there & see what the real scoop is. It's likely concentrated in this other town called Vanegas about 20k away. Might be just fine in Wadley where I'm going. If not, I'll make it quick & take a jeep up to Real de Catorce where it appears to be safer. I've also noticed people don't seem to be as friendly to me as they've been in the past. Not sure if that's a result of American anti-immigration sentiment, or a new distrust of outsiders. Likely both I suppose. I had to Google SUR 13. I think that's the same as MS 13? Dios Mio! I sure hope not. Have heard that gang is the worst of the worst. So sad that I have to feel a bit afraid in this place that has been nearly a sacred destination for me going on 20 years now. :(