Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Finally Concrete

Jared booked his flights today. This is the first concrete plan that's been made for the trip and really makes it feel real. I'll be picking him up on July 2nd in Chicago and he'll be flying back on July 11th from Spokane, WA. That's a lot of real estate to cover in a bit over a week, especially since we'll also be heading up to Banff in Canada for a couple of days.

We've been looking to solidify our route over the past few days. A few things have surprised us. National Park campgrounds generally don't offer showers. For example, in Glacier National park, there is only one location offering showers. This seems gross to me and I am worried that my car is not going to smell good at the end of the trip. Bears are a significant problem at many campgrounds. In fact, there is one at Lake Louise in Banff that has an electric fence to keep the bears out in response to recent problems with bears making late night visits to careless campers.

I also took a look at a campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park today. The reservation site shows pictures of each campsite. Viewing the picture, it really sank in how different it will be to sleep in a tent on a patch of dirt with no electricity at a park. I'm thinking I should bring some books on this trip, as well as a battery and flashlight to read by. Maybe I can bring the reading lamp that I got with my Snuggie at the Yankee Swap this past Christmas. I am also realizing that I'll be adjusting to the schedule of the sun. I'll probably go to sleep by 9 and wake up by 6. I find this to be incredibly exciting. For example, it will enable me to climb to the top of a couple of volcanic peaks by the time I'm usually microwaving soup at work. Speaking of work, what will it be like to go back there after a month of vagabond life? Will this trip change me? Or just be a blast?

Well for now, I think I should go try to book a campsite within bear-proof electric fence perimeter. Nothing says adventure like a security system.


This might just be it... the journey of my lifetime. I've always wanted to drive cross-country, visiting as many national parks as possible. This seems to be the perfect time for it. I'm in a stable job with a bulk of accrued vacation time. Marriage and children are rapidly approaching. Gas is relatively cheap and I'm thoroughly infected with the travel bug.

So, I've got 31 days to cover the America. My brother Jared's my partner for leg 1 of the journey, I'm flying solo through the Pacific region, then picking up my girlfriend, Kristie in Salt Lake to explore the Southwest. The final leg will be the long drive east which will be broken up nicely with a few stops to visit some of my more geographically distant friends. This blog will serve two purposes: capturing my own daily experiences for posterity's sake and updating any of you curious stalkers out there!

I've never pitched a tent, or gone a day on the road without a shower. This should be prove interesting.