One of my earliest memories is of traveling with my grandmother from one part of Chicago to another on the elevated or “El”. It was a public transit train system and we sat right at the front, looking straight out over the track and the inner city vista. Later in life I enjoyed train rides in Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas, and Belgium, and Amtrak transpo in the states.
I grew up in the Western suburbs of Chicago. My uncle lived in Colorado and I must have taken my first plane flight at age 5 or so, to visit him and cousins in Aurora, Colorado. Later I spent a few summers at his campground north of Pueblo, in ’74 and ’76. Those were driving trips.
We used to visit my grandmother after she moved to Pardeeville, Wisconsin. I remember a road trip to visit cousins in Cleveland for Thanksgiving in 1975. My Dad and I drove to Dallas for a trade show in 1978, and also out to Colorado, and drove to Door County in Wisconsin. Once we drove around Lake Michigan to the Michigan Dunes to camp out. I also went with neighbor friends to northern Wisconsin for a few weeks.
My own wanderlust travels were launched in June of 1982. It was a post-High School escape, driving my 1964 Valiant downstate, holing up for a week in a rented room writing poetry. I wrote about this desperate episode in my 1991 book Outside the Cage. In Octobe rof 1983 I planned a camping and hiking trip to the Arkansas Ozarks. I drove my VW bug down there and parked it at the trail head, near Pelsor. Hiked and camped westward for almost two weeks, and caught a ride back to my car afterward. Then went down to Biloxi but my car broke down and i had to hitch-hike home. I was 19 years old.
I late 1984 I bought a ’69 Dodge Van and planned another southward escape. I left in early January of 1985, went to Dallas, New Orleans and Florida. Stayed in Gainesville for several months, and drove one time down by Miami. Drove home through Chattanooga and the Rainbow Gathering in Missouri, arriving home in July. In September I caught a ride to Colorado ad relocated to Boulder. In May of 1986 I bought a 1979 CX500 motorcycle and road to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings and over to Santa Fe. Travele by car with a friend to San Francisco in September, took the Green Tortoise Bus up to Eugene, and hitchhiked back to Boulder via Idaho and Utah.
Then I rode the motorcycle back to Chicago in October before going on my first trip to Mexico and Central America in December 1986. Returned to Chicago in late March, 1987. The I took a driving trip with my Dad to Florida, must have been May. Returned to Colorado to get my Van in July, drove it back to Chicago.
Thereafter a series of trips to Central America occurred, in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1994. I had returned for good to Colorado by motorcycle in August of 1988, by way of camping and hiking in the four Corners area for three weeks. In 1998 I traveled to Yucatan for a conference, for the release of my book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. Thereafter my travels widened, doing book promo and conference events at Esalen Institute in California and Glastonbury, England. Traveled to Durango, Colorado for my honeymoon with Ellen in May of 1999.
From 2001 to 2012 I traveled to Izapa and Guatemala about fifteen times. Most of my travels were related to conferences, but I did travel for pleasure with my wife on several occasions, to California, the East Coast, Vermont, New England and Canada, Missoula, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island (to Tofino). My conference trips brought me to England, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Brazil, Central America and Mexico, Dubai and Abu Dabi, Canada, all over the States, and Egypt.
The final journey of my pre-2012 career was a 17-day adventure from Izapa to Antigua to Copan in December of 2012. The strange events of the trip are documented here.