Who Am I?


Greetings and welcome to DelsJourney!  My name is Del Leu and I'm the author of this website, which is devoted to my favorite topic:  road trips.  I've loved taking road trips for as long as I can remember.  I grew up in a family of five kids in America and each summer when I was young, my entire family would pile into our station wagon and hit the road for several weeks, driving and camping throughout the western U.S.  From those trips, I became fascinated with roads, maps and traveling.  Thanks, mom and dad!


After getting a Masters degree in what else? geography, I worked as a ranger and firefighter in the Colorado Rockies for several years, then in 1991, I moved to Portland, Oregon, on the west coast of America.  For the next 10 years, I worked as a mapping specialist for Parsons Brinckerhoff, a large engineering consulting firm.  I enjoyed my job, but after working in an office for a decade, I wanted to explore the world, so I left in 2001 and went traveling.




Above left:  That's me in the stroller, getting our car ready for yet another family road trip.  C'mon dad, let's go!

Above center:  Christmas 1984 in Lincoln City, Oregon.  I'm in the front (with the mustache).  Those are my parents, sister & husband, my bearded brother, Dwight, and in in the white, my nephew Myles.

Above right:  And a few years later in Massachusetts.  This is where my ancestors landed in 1634 and where my family's American story began.



I started this website in the spring of 2001 to document my upcoming travels and to keep in touch with those I met on the road.  Since then, it's taken on a life of its own and has become much more extensive than I ever imagined, so I apologize for posting 400+ pages.  You don't have to read them all, I promise!


Welcome to my website!  Here's a brief "howdy" from yours truly.


As for me, I'm pretty quiet but I love to explore, challenge myself, and try new things.  I've swum across the Rio Grande River to visit Mexico, visited all 50 states before I was 25, sailed to Alaska on a 40-foot sailboat with my dad, flown around the world, and my proudest accomplishment once ate 10 cheeseburgers in only 47 minutes (not recommended). 


If you're wondering about my last name, it's Swiss.  Leu means "lion" in Swiss German and is pronounced "Lou" in the U.S., though my Swiss relatives pronounce it "Loy."  My passions include history, traveling, and maps, and along with cheeseburgers, I love eating Nacho Doritos, grilled bratwurst, and Krispy Kreme donuts but not at the same time.  And as you can probably guess from my lifestyle and diet, I'm not married and never have been.  I figure that any woman would have to be crazy to marry me, and I don't want to marry someone who's crazy.


My Philosophy About Traveling

I love to travel because it gives me a chance to reconnect with nature, learn about history, see old friends and meet new ones.  Traveling also gives me a chance to pursue one of my main hobbies:  photography.  I've shot about 40,000 photos of America so far and have posted some of them on this website.


Above:  Huddled atop Lassen Peak in California in 2000.

I've noticed  that as people get older, they often become complacent and stuck in their comfort zones and often lose the sense of adventure they had when they were younger.  It probably has to do with landing a steady job, getting married, buying "stuff" and raising a family, which are all part of the American Dream.  Those aren't bad things, but it's unfortunate that as many people get older, their horizons shrink and their curiosities disappear.  I think it's important to shake things up once in a while, one reason I decided to leave my job in 2001 and go exploring.


I believe that simplicity is beneficial, that nature rejuvenates one's soul, and that it's important to understand and respect different cultures.  I also believe that, as Sheryl Crow once said, a change would do you good.




Above left:  Here are a couple shots of "Ranger Del" in Colorado, from my younger days.  I'm fixing an outhouse roof here in the Rockies, probably not my most glamorous pose.

Above right:  That's me on the left with my squad in Colorado before fighting the "I Do" fire, the largest fire in Colorado history up until that time. Fighting fires was the hardest job I ever had and the most enjoyable.


My Trip

In June 2001, I began a five-month road trip around North America to visit friends and family and to research my family's history.  After I returned to the Pacific Northwest late that fall, I visited the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia for four months.  Several people had told me how wonderful New Zealand is, and I'd wanted to visit Australia ever since I was in First Grade when I learned "Waltzing Matilda" and sang about billabongs and Coolabah trees.  After avoiding winter, I returned to the U.S. in the spring of 2002 and took another road trip around America.


After my trips, I decided that I'd invested enough time in this darn website that I'd better keep posting stories.   So although I don't update it as often as I used to, hopefully my stories are just as interesting.  Thanks for visiting DelsJourney and I hope you like it.


As for me, it's time for more donuts!


Del Leu

Portland, Oregon