The End of the Road… Almost

Distance Travelled: 2444.3

Current Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Huzzah, I made it here a little before I planned to but I made it in once piece. Which is more than I can say about my laptop which has decided to kick the bucket. I’ll try to get that in working order sometime this weekend so until then updates will be a little infrequent.

A Whole Lot of Plain

Distance Travelled: 2172.1 miles

Current Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I must confess I never calculated out how many miles I would have to drive to get to my destination. Granted, I haven’t taken the most direct route possible it still boggles the mind that I could have driven around Oahu 8 times by now, assuming wikipedia is correct (I tend to hold wiki close to my heart as it is a spring of information in which almost any information can be found.)

Todays drive was about as exciting as Wyoming but it was punctuated with the Black Hills which made for a decently scenic drive for about half the day.

As Superman commented in my previous post about why the Black Hills are named as such (because of the trees on the hills which from a distance give the hills a decidedly dark appearance.) It was quite obvious driving through them why they were named like that, so that mystery has been solved. Thanks Superman, for never letting me down.

Also of note was Mount Rushmore, which was well worth the stop. I first saw George Washington peek his head around the corner, then dissapear again as I kept driving. It was enough to confirm that it was worth the drive. I took a bunch of pictures but they are all from basically the same perspective, so i’m not sure how exciting they will be. I haven’t had a chance to review the pictures yet but once I do i’ll post a few.

I was dissapointed a little with the lack of hiking around Mt. Rushmore. I was hoping for a 4hr trail which I could knock out and then drive a little. It was limited to a .5 mile walk around with an audio tour you could rent (I passed.) I did poke around the museum a bunch to figure out why and how it was done, a pretty interesting process used to complete this monument.

I stopped at a few random places on the way, Wall Drug was one which had what I estimate to be close to 100 billboards advertising everything from root beer, to 5cent coffee , to a tyranasouraus rex. It was fairly kitschy, even rexy was a dissapointment as a sign next to him announced that he roared every 15 minutes, I didn’t bother waiting.

Tommorows plan is to make it to St. Paul Minnesota where i’ll wait for ma and pa. They are currently on the Canadian train en route to Winnipeg, Manitoba where they will catch a bus down to St. Paul on Saturday which is when I meet them. Should be an easy enough drive.

On the Road Again

Distance Travelled: 1750.1 miles

Current Location: Sturgis, South Dakota

Once again this was written last night but lacking internet is being posted today.

Left late again out of Ft. Collins after having lunch with Shaun. Thanks goes out to Shaun and Catherine for letting me crash their place for the weekend. I should probably explain a couple of the pictures in the gallery.

Shaun wanted to go camping and I was a willing victim. Also on the roster to go camping was Tom and Serena (friends of Shauns.) The only problem was the weather forcasters were saying that there was to be snow on Saturday (we were going camping on Friday) So on friday Tom and Serena chicken out and decide they don’t want to fool with the cold leaving just Shaun and I. We figure to try our luck and go camping anyway. Another semi-problem is we’re going camping in a Lexus, which if you weren’t aware does not have 4-wheel drive. We throw caution to the wind and head up to the Poudre camping area anyway.

Everything goes pretty smoothly in terms of setting everything up, we got the tent and a fire going before the sun set which was a concern as we were losing daylight. All goes well as we cook up a few steaks thrown down a few beers and yack away the evening.

Fast forward to 2am when I wake up to use the bathroom to find the ground covered in snow and my legs are freezing (that would be the last I slept that night.) Shaun wakes up soon after to use the bathroom as well and promptly goes back to sleep.

To wrap up the story Shaun later tells me that he was worried at 2am when he woke up that we might have to hike down the mountain to get help to get out as there would be no way his Lexus could make it out if the road was at all icy. Fortunately for us it looked worse than it really was early on. We made it out of there around 9am and putzed around the house as we were both fairly tired.

Anyway, on to the days drive. Wyoming… I think I now really understand what rolling hills are. Other than that it was fairly boring. I did enjoy driving on Route 85 because 90% of the time I was the only car that I saw on the road. Seeing snow on the ground also reconfirmed my decision not to go to Yellowstone right now because i’d probably freeze to death.

Driving into South Dakota was a nice change of pace in terms of scenery, getting a taste of the Black Hills though I have yet to figure out why they are named such. I’m staying with my dads cousin tonight (which i’ve been told makes her my cousin once removed (whatever that means.)) in Sturgis; home to the motor- cycle rally held each year. So far this place seems fairly tame, just a lot of Saloons in town. I’m guessing this place livens up in July when the rally is.

The plan for tommorow is to see Mt. Rushmore and drive for 4 hours as i’m hoping they have a bit of hiking I can do there so we’ll see where I end up.

Quick Hits

I’ve updated some pictures in the gallery

The plan for tommorow is to make it to Sturgis, South Dakota. My estimate is that it’s a 6 hour drive. I’ve decided to write off Yellowstone due to the weather forcast. I don’t have cold weather gear and after this weekends camping experience I think it prudent to put it off.

Go East Young Man, Go East

Distance Travelled: 856.5 miles

Current Location: Cortez, Colorado

Okay, so I wrote this last night as finding internet was problematic at best in the Navajo Nation so I’ll put up todays post after I finish typing this one up.

Quite the day today, got a late start out of Las Vegas due to me getting turned around trying to find Trader Joes. Finally found it and picked up a whole bunch of trail mix and dried fruit, should be enough for the remainder of the trip. I did pick up a road atlas which has been tremendously helpful when it comes to navigation of the bigger roads (not so much with cities and towns.)

First stop was the Hoover Dam. I didn’t do any tour as I was already running behind so I couldn’t find out where they were hiding Megatron all these years. But just looking at the Dam was impressive enough, quite the engineering marvel to see. I’ll create a new photo album where i’ll throw pictures from the road trip into later tonight.

Next stop was the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately pictures just doesn’t do this place justice. It really is something you need to see for yourself to appreciate how grand it is. I still took a bunch of pictures and did a small walk around one of the points. I’d really like to spend a few days there next time I visit, i’m sure there are a ton of trails and campgrounds around there.

Finally I wanted to stop at the 4 corners. (For those keeping track, thats the entire length of Arizona in 1 day) I did make it, but at 9pm and I guess the Navajo Nation shuts down the area at 7p. I thought about it for a while and decided to leave to find shelter for the night which is why I ended up in Cortez Colorado.

I tried a few of the motels around and everything was booked up. So, resigned to my fate I just toughed it up and slept in the car. End of a long day.

Long Drive Goodnight

Distance Travelled: 1360.9 miles

Current Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

Wheeeee… hit and surpassed the 1k mark today. I’m reconsidering the Yellowstone portion of this trip as it takes me 400 miles WEST. West is the wrong direction. I’ll probably make the decision on Monday when I start driving again (I’ll be spending the weekend here with Shaun and Catherine.)

I forgot to add in the last post that I drove through Tuba City, Arizona. My mental picture of that place was a lot different than reality. I pictured people polka-ing in the streets and sousaphones on every corner. Sadly this isn’t the case, it’s in the middle of the Navajo Nation and it’s just a regular town. I think my image of this place is a lot better.

I started early this morning, i think 3a or 4a, depending if you account for moving into Mountain Standard or stay on Pacific Standard. In any case my goal of the day was to get to Ft. Collins in time for dinner as Shaun has promised homemade pasta prepared by a friend of theirs.

Of note on todays drive if anyone has the opprotunity to drive on the I70 through Colorado i’d definately reccomend it. So far this has to be the most scenic interstate to drive on that i’ve experienced so far. The mountains are extremely majestic, couple that with the snow it’s a great drive. Only thing I would change if I could would to be driving something a little stronger than the 4 banger Mazda Protege that I am. I struggled through a few of the hills. I didn’t take any pictures as theres not a whole lot of opprotunities to take pictures and I knew it was going to be a long drive.

First bad thing happened today as I was driving on the I70, the windshield got a crack in it from a flying rock kicked up by a truck. I didn’t realize it until I was almost at my destination, right now it’s about 8 inches or so. I’ll keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t extend any.

Into the Unknown

Distance Travelled: 290.3 miles

Current Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Day 1 down, 2 more to go until I hit Fort Collins Colorado. Tommorrows plan is to hit Hoover Dam, The Grand Canyon, and sleep somewhere around the 4 corners which leaves me at the furthest point from Fort Collins in Colorado as possible.

I’m guessing that the Southern part of the Grand Canyon is the scenic part which is where i’ll be heading tommorow, it’s kinda backtracking as i’ll be heading South for a bit tommorrow but I think the Grand Canyon is worth it. Hoover dam wasn’t part of the original plan but it ends up being on the way so why not.

As for the drive today the hours just slide by. I made one stop at Prim to use the bathroom and get some drinks. So far the ipod + fm transmitter is doing it’s job. Only thing I really did to make it work better was to retract the antenna, after that finding 3 blank stations is a snap which makes for good reception.

I realize that lightbox isn’t working embedded in the page here, i’ve been tweaking on it all night and can’t figure out where i’m going wrong, yet another problem to add to the list of things to fix.

The Beginning

Distance Travelled: 0 miles

Current Location: Los Angeles

I finally got around to finishing setting this up, comments and suggestions for the so-called-blog are appreciated.

I’m finally feeling well enough to get on the road. Well, that and I need to start moving sometime otherwise I won’t meet my May 2 deadline of being in Minnesota to pick up ma and pa.

We had quite the weekend here. Fatima, Janice, and I went wine tasting on Sunday in Temecula, which is a winery area to the South of Los Angeles. We found an Almond Champagne that we all thought was the highlight of the tastings that was done that day.

Below is the cast of charachters at the rockness monster house, sans 2 people. First and foremost we have Wolfie, patron of the house. Next we have Janice and Fatima, both amazing artists and crazy kids. Then we have Elonda, Sara?, and Jenova. Elonda is another artist while Jenova is a budding playwright. I didn’t get to meet Sara unfortunately as we crossed paths somewhere between LA and Las Vegas.


On Saturday we went to see a puppet show at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Hands down best puppet show i’ve seen in the last 20 years =D Lots to do in LA but it’s time to move on.

I just tested tihs out in Internet Explorer and it looks terrible, i’ll figure it out when I get to Las Vegas.