I don’t want to wait, for my trapper keeper to be over! – Cartman

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.

Continue reading “I don’t want to wait, for my trapper keeper to be over! – Cartman”

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy. – MK

Almost 8,000 miles, covering 25 states, in 20 days is ambitious to say the least. Maybe a little too ambitious? I think I have all of my lodging worked out except for one room; that motel won’t let me book until June. Lately my thoughts and planning have been focused on logistics, fine details, and supplies. I’ve purchased supplies for my binder and have been evaluating purchasing a new GPS. I’m using the Penny Collector website to map locations and see if any fall on or near my route. I’m also looking at hours of operation for many of the stops. I need to figure out how early I have to leave each morning to get to a stop before it closes. I also need to take into account how long I can visit the stop before I have to leave for the next. Continue reading “Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy. – MK”

MAJOR UPDATE!

vacancy

Shit got real. I have this nasty feeling that something is going to happen to keep me from this trip. Either some big expense will come along or I’ll realize this is a lot of money to spend on myself and I’ll cancel. I’ve been telling lots of people and keeping this blog so I get to the point where I will be too embarrassed to quit. Well today I took a big step, I booked my first set of rooms!

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Trust your gut instinct over spreadsheets. There are too many variables in the real world that you simply can’t put into a spreadsheet. – NJ

Mr. Jain is absolutely correct. I expect many changes and adaptations to occur during my road trip. In fact I’m looking forward to them! If the trip goes exactly as I’ve planned I imagine it’ll get a bit dull. I’m looking forward to the destinations I’ve chosen, but I sort of know what to expect from them. I’ve seen pictures of the museums, read menus of the restaurants, and checked out reviews of attractions. It’s the changes and people I meet that will really make this an adventure. That being said, I have been using a spreadsheet from the start as a skeleton for the trip. Continue reading “Trust your gut instinct over spreadsheets. There are too many variables in the real world that you simply can’t put into a spreadsheet. – NJ”

I’m rewriting paragraphs in my life that don’t read well. – SU

This trip has become an obsession. Whenever I’m having a rough day or just need to focus my mind I find myself thinking about it. I think I’m putting more effort into this than anything else I’ve done in my life. I’ve certainly never spent more than a year on any one work project. Doing hours of research from various sources, creating dozens of maps, and constantly updating and tweaking my Google spreadsheet have created a project that far surpasses any assignment I’ve done in my undergrad or graduate work. This is why I now weigh every addition and subtraction to the trip with great deliberation. It’s also why I’m starting to feel a great loss when I remove a potential stop from the trip. This post is to highlight a few locations I will now be omitting.

Continue reading “I’m rewriting paragraphs in my life that don’t read well. – SU”

In this new age of GPS, Google Earth and multidimensional digital maps, mapping is suddenly hugely relevant again. – HUO

How did anyone get anywhere before the internet? I remember life before the internet and it was filled with watching a lot more TV. Fortunately by the time I was old enough to travel alone Mapquest found me. Those early days were liberating but frustrating. If you didn’t have a navigator you were forced to read the step by step instructions while attempting to navigate traffic.

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Plans are nothing; planning is everything. – DE

As far as things go, the last half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 were bad. I had several challenges arise that were both stressful and demoralizing. I try to look at things in a positive light. As my boss might say, “tragedies are opportunities for growth.” But with all that occurred, it was very difficult.

Continue reading “Plans are nothing; planning is everything. – DE”