Friday, August 17, 2012

Day Seven: Palmdale, CA

  Done, done, and done. After a 2,700 mile drive, I finally arrived at my destination. The trip went like clockwork.
  Those last couple hundred miles sure dragged by, though. The closer I got to being home, the further it seemed. Especially when I was off the interstate and driving on city streets. They just kept going and going.
  I had a friend help me unload the big things I couldn't lift by myself, and then I unloaded the rest yesterday. It was about six hours of work on a 102 degree day. Not pleasant. But I had a most wonderful lunch with a most wonderful girl, so things ended well.
  Today, I feel like I was run over by the very truck I was driving. Muscle aches abound. But I can't tell you how good it is to have all my worldly posessions back after two years, and to have them all in my new apartment. Now, the unpackening begins.

  Here are a few shots I took along the way with my phone (Click to biggify).

Flying out of Burbank

Over the Grand Canyon

The Beast

Loading begins

Two years of storage rental stops

A chronicle of miles

Job mercifully complete

  And now, for a bit of well-earned rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day Six: Kingman, AZ

  "Day six? What happened to day five?"

  That's supposed to be YOU, constant reader. My answer to your question is: Day five was a day of rest in Albuquerque with no driving. Okay, a little driving. I had a great lunch with my Dad, Stepmom, and Aunt. Mostly the day of rest was spent hanging out at mom's house, relaxing. Believe me, after driving 2,000 miles, it was a welcome rest.
  So now I'm on the last leg of this thing. The drive from Albuquerque to Kingman went by fairly quickly, and I always enjoy the scenery around Flagstaff, when the countryside turns into mountainous pine forest and huge boulders. It's quite beautiful. One valley I passed through was completely carpeted in sunflowers as far as the eye could see. It was like driving into an ocean of bright yellow. I also saw a motorist urinating next to the highway, right out in the open. Always a class act.
  Today's drive will be the final one, and will take me right to my front door in Palmdale!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day Four: Albuquerque, NM

  Having now driven through the absolutely most boring part of the country, I can rest a little easier. I swear to you, that drive from Oklahoma through Texas and through New Mexico is the flattest, brownest, dullest part of the country. It just goes on and on for hours. They need to install some interesting works of art or something along I-40. It's bad when you're wishing for billboards to read.
  But now I'm here in Albuquerque, the home town, and staying with Mom. There was steak, baked potatoes, corn and margaritas last night. What a homecoming! I'm taking an extra day here to rest up before completing the last 800 miles of this journey. Believe me, it's a much needed rest. Plus, where else are you going to wake up to sunrises like the one above?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day Three: Oklahoma City, OK

  Today was a shorter day, but much more interesting! The scenery got a lot duller, but I saw three separate fires! Now, let me preface this by saying I have probably counted at least fifteen car-fire spots on the road since I left DC. So, when I came over a hill midway through the day and saw this-

  I thought I would be seeing a car fire in action. I was wrong. Instead, I saw this-

  A massive grass fire! It was so hot, I could feel it inside the cab of the truck. About thirty minutes later, I saw another fire off in the distance, billowing black smoke. About twenty minutes after that, another grass fire in the median of the highway. No wonder there were so many "Burn Ban" signs.
  After I checked into my hotel, I was able to meet up with my old friend Heath, and we went out to dinner and caught up on the last 11 years of our lives. It had been far too long, and we had a lot of laughs.
  Now, I'm off to Albuquerque! It'll be the longest of the drives I have to do, so I'm not really looking forward to it, but it will be nice to see the folks!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day Two: Little Rock, AR

  Today, even though it was the same length drive as yesterday, seemed to go by faster. I spent the first half of the day driving through heavy rain, thick fog, and wind, but not so severe as the day before. The countryside, though, was gorgeous. There were lazy rivers winding through canyons, steaming in the morning air. There were lush, tree covered mountains poking out of the fog, earning their "smokey mountain" moniker.
  The last time I was in any part of Tennessee was 1994, so it was cool to drive through Nashville and Memphis. I waved to Elvis. Tonght I am in Arkansas, which I haven't visited since 1995. Unbelievable. Also unbelievable is this rotten hotel that I'm staying in. First bad one I've picked so far. They allow pets here, so I've had to listen to howling and barking from dogs left alone in rooms. I've heard screaming babies, and the people upstairs doing God-knows-what as I wonder if the ceiling might actually come down from the pounding. There was a sign that said "game room" as I walked in, so I peeked my head in. There was one old, faded arcade machine- "Mortal Kombat II" and one of those claw grabber machines with literally two stuffed animals inside. Wow. Let's all put our fun-hats on and go to the game room.
  So, I'm out of this dump and headed tomorrow to Oklahoma City. It's sad that the beautiful scenery will now be replaced with a flat, brown, cow-shit smelling landscape. Slightly shorter drive, though. Hooray!

Day One: Knoxville, TN

  So as part of my coast to coast drive (see previous post) I was going to video blog each day. I had put together this nice little animated intro, and I was going to sit down at the end of the day and recap what happened with pictures and video- you know, chronicle the journey. Well, after driving the first eight hours yesterday (Springfield, VA to Knoxville, TN, I decided it probably wasn't going to be as interesting as I thought. So, instead of video and pictures, I'll just write a few words.
  There wasn't a whole lot to see. Luckily, this part of the drive is at least somewhat scenic. There are trees, mountains, greenery. There are rustic barns and old tin roof buildings that look like they're pre-Civil War. I saw a gun shop next to the interstate, painted in the colors of the flag. It had a huge sign on the side that said "Jesus is Lord." Not too sure what Jesus has to do with guns. I also saw a beat up old pickup with a Confederate flag on the back. In the middle of the flag were the words "Git 'er Done." I don't think it could have been more stereotypically redneck.
  The most exciting part of the day was when I encountered a very strong storm. The rain was coming down so hard I could barely see the road. When the wind whipped up, it nearly blew me and my huge flat-sided truck right into the ditch. It was kinda exciting for a little while. Ultimately, no harm, no foul.
  So, that's it. Today, I'm on my way to Little Rock, AR.

  On the road again...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Coast to Coast

  Today, I start a 2,700 mile drive across the US. "Why, for God's sake?" you might ask. Well, I'm finally able to move all my worldly posessions from here in Springfield, VA to my new place in California. I've rented a Big-Ass Truck© and packed it full. Now, it's road, road, road. I have a plan to make a little video at the end of each day, sort of video-blogging as I go. We'll see if I'm coherent enough to manage that.

  And with that, I'm out the door!