I believe I was in Rock City when I met a friendly couple also taking a big trip. He was trying to knock out his “50 by 50,” meaning he had to visit each state before his 50th birthday. That’s great and all, but I don’t feel that spending a few hours in a state or hiking a state park really counts as a visit. Instead I made it my goal to sleep in all 50 states. I figure even a one night stand with a state counts as a visit. My recent dogsled trip ticked 4 more states off my list. So here’s some updated maps to keep track of my wanderings.
On my 2017 trip I always asked people if I could put them on my blog and no one declined. To make it easy for me to give them the web address and my review accounts I made silly business cards. I think some are funnier than others, and a few are probably only funny to me, but I wanted to share.
Before my trip, I loaded up on 6 audio books (also this one). Between hours of music and CB radio chatter, I took a few breaks and listened to 4 of them. I lost Billy Crystal’s book under the passenger seat and forgot it was there until I unpacked. As for “Heaven is For Real,” I really tried to get into but it wouldn’t take. All the books I packed are considered non-fiction, and “Heaven…” is about a boy who comes back from a surgery having seen Heaven. The book starts off with an interview of the dad and he just couldn’t sell me. Anyway here are brief reviews of the books I did listen to!
On day 1 I was extremely organized. I had a ledger where I marked the price of gas, total cost, and mileage count each time I stopped to fill up. I also kept track of all the tolls I paid, where and when. Things became a little disorganized in California as I had to open up the back seat for passengers. By the time I left Oakland I had given up on any pretense of record keeping.
During the trip, I had days where I had to stop 3 times to fill up (didn’t want to run out in the desert). Today is the 7th day since my last time at a gas station, so I’ve decided to go through my records and bank statement to get an idea of how much I spent in fuel. As best as I can tell, I spent $710.38. That’s just under $.09 a mile. Good to know for future budgets.
Today at lunch I picked up my mobile base for the next 3 weeks! The intermediate and full-size class cars were the same price so I went with the larger of the two. When I showed up at Hertz, they didn’t have the full-size so I got a free upgrade! Tonight I’m going to load up some of my stuff and tomorrow morning before work I’m taking it to the park to calibrate the CB and antenna. Let’s take a look at my ride!
Two more days of work. Three more nights in my bed. I’m mostly packed and pick up the rent-a-car tomorrow at lunch. My living room is full of my emergency and first AID gear. My bedroom floor is covered in various clothing and gift bags. People have my route and hotel information should I go missing. Pretty much everything is planned. Shit is getting real.
I’ve been a busy guy since my last post.
- Created all my daily agendas. These sheets give addresses, notes about each place, and rough estimates of drive times. This gives me an idea of what time I should check out each morning and about how much time I should devote to each location. Obviously these are just estimates. Unfortunately I was reminded about time zones (thanks mom!) and had to redo them all.
- I found a major mistake in my trip that saves me over 5 hours of driving. I was also worried that I might not make it to a tourist trap before it closed one day, but now that’s not a concern. This is all good news but makes me worry about what other issues I’ve missed.
- I’ve completed my Classic Rock playlist. It has songs from the very late 50’s to the very early 80’s and runs 17.5 hours long. My three playlists (classic rock, 90’s, and 80’s) now run a total of 36 hours! And of course I have hundreds of other albums on top of those. I have another 5 or so hours just of Swingin’ Utters! Go team music!
- I picked up another audiobook.
- Purchased 2 new batteries for my Canon 20D.
- Tried to print out all of my agendas and maps, found out my printer is out of ink, and ordered new ink. My trapper keeper should be complete by Friday night.
- Purchased a journal ledger to keep track of finances, mileage, and other data I want to monitor.
- I read an amazing book on historical tourism concerning a tourist trap in Georgia I’ll be visiting. The book was written by a man in Alabama who’s home I’ll be visiting. I’ll share information about the book on day 18, I don’t want to give away my stops early. I’ll also probably do a book review when I get home since it was so good.
- Bought Delaware themed presents for several of the people I’m going to see on my trip.
- Watched the first 3 Psycho movies so I know warning signs too look when checking into each motel.
This weekend I’m focused on laundry and packing. Getting nervous!
Today I’m not feeling well. All week I’ve been a little lethargic and didn’t sleep well last night. There was also a bit of bad news with my family yesterday. This post is going to help me change my perspective, keep kicking up my blog game, and share a few things. Please watch Shawn Anchor’s 12 minute TED talk embedded below. I’m using his idea that I need to focus on the good to pep up and get back on track.
News to share:
- Reserved and paid for my rental car yesterday.
- Printed out and organized all of my hotel confirmations for my trapper keeper.
- Finished the agendas for the first 6 days of my trip.
- Purchased a Deflecto Early Warning Road Safety Triangle 3-pack.
- Purchased a sun shade for the windshield. I’ve never used one before but I also don’t remember ever getting into a car that’s been sitting in the New Mexico summer sun. I hope it helps keep my hands from bursting into flames when I touch the steering wheel.
- Made my last change to the trip. I substituted a diner I was going to check out with another tourist trap. It’s too close to the trip to make any further revisions. The schedule is in ink, so to speak.
This is all great news and has given me a boost in energy just typing it! Now please watch Shawn’s TED Talk. If you don’t laugh or smile at least once at his jokes I will send you 10 smashed pennies and a jar of fancy mustard from my trip. Promise.
Based on my maps and spreadsheets, I will be driving over 124 hours. That’s only driving from destination to destination. It does not include pulling off highways for food and gas, detours, or any driving I do my 5 “days off.” I have several playlists on my phone and loads of CDs. I have a 9+ hour 90’s playlist, a 9+ hour 80’s playlist, and I’m working on a classic rock playlist that will hopefully be around the same length. I’m going to need more entertainment than that.
The only thing about this trip that should be taken seriously is my dedication to its planning and execution but even that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. To keep in the theme of tacky, silly, and ridiculous, my planning binder is embarrassingly childish. I’ve also spent way too much money on supplies for it. I’m just now starting to assemble the different pieces and wanted to share some of my gear and recent purchases.