1.03.2008

Landed

712C Santa Rita Pl
San Diego, CA 92109
[map]




1.02.2008

Stats


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61 hours 12 min of driving
3,704.9 miles
25.6 miles per gallon
144.72 gallons of gas

I'm here in SD now. I was sick as a dog last night, and most of today. I think I'm on the mend, and I have a place to live tomorrow ON THE BEACH! Sweet.

12.31.2007

Day 5 - Still Alive

This morning started off with me balancing on the side of the bathtub, with one hand propping myself up from the sink, and the other hand reaching around the overflowing toilet to shut off the water valve. I did, and stayed dry, but then I was stranded on the bathtub, in the dark, without my glasses. It smelled vaguely of urine.

I tell you this so that you may appreciate the magnitude of meaning behind the following statement: Today has been amazing.

It was a sunny day and I took some scenic byways. I-70 had been good to me, but we parted ways around lunchtime. I shot down I-15 until Cedar City - that's when things really got interesting. You know you're in for a good time with signs like "Not Recommended For Semi Trucks" and "Snow Tires or Chains Required Nov. 1 - Mar. 1". I had to focus on driving so as not to die. I listened to some pretty crappy music on the radio because I faced certain death if I took my hand off the steering wheel for a second. Feel free to zoom in on the google map below southeast of Cedar City to see some of the crazy roads I drove.

After clearing route 14 I was rewarded with awesome views. Not that I needed much of a reward besides being alive at that point, but sometimes you get a little extra. I stopped every 5 feet to take a picture.
I'd snap a few shots, content that I had just seen an awesome view. But every time, I'd start back down that road again and round the next corner to find another, every bit as picture-worthy.
And oh, the road is speckled with little towns along the way with names like Cliff Dwellers. People live out there, out in the vast expanses of beautiful countryside with a sheer face of red rock as a backdrop.
Everywhere I drove, through treacherous roads, there were people living. There was a "Free Wifi Hotspot" sign in the middle of fucking nowhere. I wish I had a picture of it. I love that thought - just knowing that there are people living like that.

Eventually the sun set, and I drove through the Grand Canyon National Forest in the dark. I even managed to get lost once. I'm excited to see the canyon in the light tomorrow morning!


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And oh yea, Happy New Year!

Day 5

Arby's. Richfield, UT. Lunchtime.

I'm the only customer here. The parking lot outside has a capacity of 45 cars. Mine is the only one. As I was using the single seater restroom, an employee tried to open the locked door. I heard him walk away and say "Hey, the bathroom door is locked agin'!" It never occurred to him that there might be a customer inside.

After ordering, the girl tells me "Your order number is 87." Sure, right, I'll try to keep that straight from everyone else's orders. I should just sit here silently as they call "Number 87. 87? Your order is ready." and see what they do.

Here's what I've been driving through:


If I could take a picture of myself with my foot in my mouth, I would. I just beat the lunchtime rush. The parking lot and seating areas are at capacity. Will wonders never cease?

Bad Bojangles!

Bojangles (the nickname I've given my GPS unit) tried to take me from Breckenridge east to Denver, then south to Flagstaff. I protested, though. I don't give a shit if it's like 10 minutes faster to backtrack through Denver, I'm driving west goddamn it. West!

So off I went on I-70 west. Through the mountains, snow, all that. Looking back, this probably saved me a day or more of travel time. I-70 was slow going all afternoon until they finally closed it down at 5:30.

http://cbs4denver.com/local/weather.snow.traffic.2.620358.html
P.J. Bailey, 24, left Breckenridge to head home to Denver around 1 p.m., [I left at 2:30] but nearly four hours later, she was no further than Georgetown.

"I was told it would get better, but a mile east of Georgetown, there were whiteout conditions. You couldn't even see the front of your car," she said. She pulled onto a shoulder for about 15 minutes but finally decided to head back to Georgetown for the night after watching ambulances drive past.

She was searching for a hotel room Sunday evening. The Super 8 Motel was already sold out.

"You should see this town. There's people stopped everywhere," she said.

So as far as I know, I'm west of all that hubbub now. See? Sometimes it works out well to be stubborn :)

12.30.2007

Day 4 - Apres Ski

video

Got up early, drove through some crazy conditions, saw some interesting signs. One said:

TRUCKERS
------------
ENGINE
BRAKE
MUFFLER
REQUIRED

And here I am, not even a trucker, but I've been lugging those useless parts across the country like a sucker! Here's some guy I don't know's take on it:
http://borderwars.blogspot.com/2007/09/engine-brake-mufflers-required.html


Then I snowboarded. It was awesome. I'm getting better every time I go, even though it's been over a year since I last went. By the way, I think you should all join the army at some point so you can get $30 off lift tickets. o.O

I've had a snowboarding nightmare a few times but not recently. I don't remember dreams or nightmares too often but this one sticks out: I'm snowboarding down a mountain, and go off some jump. The slope of the mountain and the speed at which I'm flying through the air are just perfect so that I cruise down the face of the mountain, flying along at about treetop level, scared shitless. I mean, I fly along for minutes at a time, just dreading the landing. Then I wake up scared to death.

I went off a jump today anyways and just knocked some skier over.

video

For dinner I stopped at a Subway off of I-70. I wasn't craving a sandwich, but I saw the sign, knew I had a gift card for Subway, and decided to stop. I ordered what I could to drive the total up to $10 so I wouldn't have to carry around a gift card containing a mere pittance. The girl rang it up, and I handed her the card. "Oh, we don't take those here." Looking at the card, I replied "This does say Subway on it, right?" She affirmed that fact, but explained that they were independently owned, and so didn't accept the cards.

This mind boggling experience reminded me of two things. The first, a Mitch Hedberg bit:
Every McDonalds' commercial ends the same way: "Prices and participation may vary." I want to be a stubborn McDonalds owner. I want to open up a McDonalds and not participate in shit. You guys got hamburgers? Nope. We got spaghetti. And blankets.
The second, a post on a non-blog I used to keep (we didn't have that cool name for it yet):
I needed to get my Class A uniform dry cleaned while I was on pass from PLDC. The problem is we were released late Saturday, after stores would be closed. Then I had all Sunday, and most places would be closed. Then I have until 5pm on Monday until I leave for Fort Benning again.

After I dropped Bob off at his house the other night coming back from Benning, I took a detour to Wrightsboro Road to look for a dry cleaners I could come back to on Monday. I saw one named "One-Hour Cleanerizing".

Now I'm not exactly a Dry Cleaning Aficionado or anything, so just because I had never heard the word "cleanerizing" before didn't mean it wasn't a legit term. After all I'm pretty sure I've seen One Hour Martinizing places and what the hell is martinizing, anyways? Is there this whole dry cleaning subculture I'm missing out on?

So I go back on Monday morning, about 9 o'clock or so. I walk in, put my uniform on the counter, and the woman there comes over to help me.

She greets me, looks at my clothes and says, "Those won't be ready until tomorrow." I looked at my clothes and wondered what it was about my uniform that would take longer than the usual one hour at this fine establishment. "What do you mean," I asked.

"Earliest we can get 'em done is tomorrow," she replied.

I was slightly puzzled. I looked up behind the woman to an array of paper signs with crappy clip art and word art hanging on the wall. One of them read: "One Hour Cleanerizing". This confirmed in my mind that I hadn't accidentally stumbled into a Burger King and demanded prompt dry cleaning service.

"Well, what's with the one-hour thing?" I said this while trying to hide my ignorance of all things dry cleaning. For as far as I was concerned, this woman was the Queen of Martinizing.

"Oh, that's just the name of the company," she said, unapologetically.

It was like someone telling me that an orange was blue. I stared blankly ahead. I probably stammered out some sort of question. "You're kidding me," I probably said. Words just wouldn't form. I laughed in the woman's face and walked out the door.

Not much driving today:

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5 hours of snowboarding above 10,000 feet elevation was pretty tiring. And then the driving conditions were horrible getting out of there, through the ravines and around the bends and I can't believe I didn't see anyone just shoot off a cliff. Sheesh. The hot tub at this hotel was relaxing, and now I'm sleepy. I still don't know what's on tap for tomorrow.