About The Cow
(Looking for cow photos, click the photo mosaic below.)
The Cow’s Story
A number of years ago, a friend ventured to Germany to study abroad, regularly sending email updates to his family and friends back home in the US. Reading about his wild adventures and seeing his postcard perfect pictures, I began to notice one day the he was not in a single photo. I began to suspect a hoax. He wasn’t in Germany in fact, I began to think, he was simply hiding in a cold stale dorm room back in the States creatively writing about a trip that he wasn’t even really taking.
Well, turns out he was in Germany (sorry for that let down, that would have been some trick, eh?). A few years later, I set out on a summer road trip of my own to explore the Western United States. With all my possessions in my trunk and the wind at my back, I drove from Iowa to Hollywood and back. Since I was on my own, I realized there was the potential for a similar situation to that of my friend studying in Germany. That is to say, I would do many exciting things and see famous landmarks, but without anyone there to take a photo, there was no proof I was ever really there. I needed a friend to come along to take photos of me.
Since I had no friends of my own, I decided to buy one. Four hours into my trip, I pulled off the road in Council Bluffs, Iowa and stopped at a flea market. There I purchased a stuffed cow. Total cost: 10 cents (USD). It was the cheapest friend I’ve ever made.
I then took the cow with me on my three month, 4,000 mile (6400 km) journey and instead of having the cow take photos of me, I photographed the cow in the places I’d been—Proof that if the cow was there, then I probably was too. Months later—and six fuel injectors, a rear window, and gallons and gallons of gas later—I completed my adventure successfully.
Upon returning home from my Western US tour, despite having hundreds of postcard perfect photos, it seems the only pictures people wanted to see were those with the cow.
Fast forward to August 2006, I set out on a trip to circumnavigate the globe, meet new people, see new places and have new experiences. Though I’ve declared this adventure an “independent” around-the-world trip, I am not truly alone, cause the little cow is coming with me….whether he likes it or not.
Visit the Cow’s Photo Galleries from his trip around-the-world.
Update November 2007: Again, proof of the cow’s popularity, of the thousand or so photos uploaded in my NoBoundaries.org Flickr photo galleries for this travelogue, 8 of the top 10 most viewed photos are of the cow (Are my other pictures really that bad!?). And for some reason, the photo with the cow and the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City, Utah USA is the most viewed photo on my site.
Update January 2008: Photos of the cow have been selected for not just one, but TWO different editions of the Schmap Online City Guides: Denver and LA. Keep in mind, they found my pictures—I didn’t submit them!
Update February 2009: The cow opens his first gallery exhibit in South Korea! See 23 photos of the cow as he travels around-the-world at the Automata Museum in the Heyri Art Village, Paju, South Korea (about 50 minutes from central Seoul). Read more about the Holy Cow! My Three Year Trip Around-The-World.
(Key to the photo collage above: 1. Cow Around-The-World, 2. My Traveling Cowpanion, 3. Omaha, USA: A Real Cowtown, 4. Omaha, USA: College World Series, 5. Boystown, USA: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s A Cow, 6. Omaha, USA: World’s Largest Ball of Stamps, 7. Kearney, USA: Gateway To The West, 8. Denver, USA: Rocky Mountain High, 9. Grand Junction, USA, 10. Moab, USA: Home on the Range., 11. Moab, USA: Arches National Park, 12. Moab, USA: Sunset in the West, 13. Las Vegas: Sun-dried Beef, 14. Las Vegas: Riding the Bull, 15. Arizona/Nevada, USA: God Dam., 16. Los Angeles, USA: Red Carpet Treatment, 17. Los Angeles, USA: Universal Studios, 18. Los Angeles, USA: Ground Beef, 19. Los Angeles, USA: Hey Babe., 20. Los Angeles, USA: Cows in California, 21. Catalina Island, USA, 22. Beverly Hills, USA, 23. Hollywood, USA: Classic Burgers and fries., 24. Hollywood, USA: With Arnold and Tom, 25. Hollywood, USA: Kevin Spacey, 26. Pasadena, USA: Rose Bull, 27. Rutherfod, USA: Niebam-Cowpola Winery, 28. Palo Alto, USA: Oh, pigskin. Thank god., 29. Napa Valley, USA, 30. Napa Valley, USA: Robert Moondavi, 31. Salt Lake City, USA: ‘Holy Cow’, 32. Iowa City, 33. Active Endeavors, Iowa City, 34. Big Buddah, 35. Atop The Great Wall, 36. Cow and Mao)