I know I mentioned that I was going to write about California, but eh, don’t feel like it. California wasn’t an adventure, it was a homecoming. It was full of reunions and revisits, not new discoveries. I will, however, briefly recap what I did in Cali:
I crashed at four different places: Ian’s family’s place in Covina, Olivia’s place in Santa Monica, Felicity & Taylor’s place in West Hollywood, and Leslie’s place in West Hollywood. I revisited the few places in LA I enjoy: Venice Beach, Santa Monica (Esplanade and Pier) and the Farmer’s Market. I watched the first game of the Golden Bears’ 2011 season at an unofficial Berkeley bar. I saw lots of friends and ate lots of food. It was awesome. Now you know.
Take a look back at my second “Young Man On The Road” post. You can see that right off the bat, we’d already strayed from our target cities list. A late start meant we spent our first night in Eugene, Oregon, instead of Portland. Let’s look at a condensed look at how our trip shaped up after that.
CITIES/PLACES (italics indicate a day trip city, a “>” indicated a day trip within the span of the previous stay)
- Eugene, Oregon (6/20 – 6/21)
Portland, Oregon (6/21)
- Mountlake Terrace and Seattle, Washington (6/21 – 6/24)
- Boise, Idaho (6/24 – 6/25)
- Salt Lake City, Utah (6/25 – 6/26)
- Littleton, Boulder, and Denver, Colorado (6/26 – 6/29)
- Fort Collins, Colorado (6/29)
- Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota (6/29)
- Deadwood, South Dakota (6/29 – 6/30)
- Twin Cities, Minnesota (6/30 – 7/2)
- Madison, Wisconsin (7/2)
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin (7/2 – 7/3)
- Chicago, Illinois (7/3 – 7/6)
- Ann Arbor, Michigan (7/6 – 7/7)
- Detroit, Michigan (7/7)
- Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (7/7 – 7/12)
- >Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (7/9)
- Plainville and Boston, Massachusetts (7/12 – 7/16)
- >Plymouth, Massachusetts (7/15)
- New York, New York (7/16 – 7/24)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (7/24 – 7/27)
- Atlantic City, New Jersey (7/27)
- Washington, DC (7/27 – 7/30)
- >Baltimore, Maryland (7/29)
- Charleston, South Carolina (7/30 – 8/2)
- Columbia, South Carolina (8/2)
- Atlanta, Georgia (8/2 – 8/5)
- Savannah, Georgia (8/5)
- Orlando, Florida (8/5 – 8/7)
- Kennedy Space Center, Florida (8/7)
- Miami, Florida (8/7 – 8/9)
- Gainesville, Florida (8/9)
- Tallahassee, Florida (8/9 -8/10)
- New Orleans, Louisiana (8/10 -8/15)
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana (8/15)
- Houston, Texas (8/15 – 8/16)
- Austin, Texas (8/16 – 8/20)
- San Antonio, Texas (8/20)
- Lubbock, Texas (8/20 – 8/23)
- Santa Fe, New Mexico (8/23 – 8/24)
- Flagstaff, Arizona (8/24 – 8/25)
- Grand Canyon, Arizona (8/25)
- San Diego, California (8/25 – 8/28)
- Los Angeles, California (8/28 – 9/6)
BY THE NUMBERS
-Those 44 locations spanned 31 US states and one Canadian province. A “province” is the Canadian version of a state, just like “curling” is the Canadian version of a worthwhile pastime.
-Of those 31 states, we only spent the night in 22 of them. Of the remaining states, one was a day trip (New Jersey) and eight were drive-through states (Wyoming, Indiana, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi). You couldn’t pay me to spend the night in some of those places.
-Of those eight drive-through states, we only stepped out of the car in six of them for gas or food. No love for Indiana or Delaware.
–I spent 80 days on the road. Ian spent 79. The difference is because I went up to Sacramento the day before we officially started (June 19th) and spent the night at my sister’s place. Ian picked me up the following day. Bottom line: I win.
-I brought with me around $3,400 on the trip. Of that paltry sum, $1,800 was put into a joint account that we used solely for gas and split meals. That, plus the $100 my gracious sister gave me in New Orleans, was all I spent for three months. Thank god for free housing!
-Speaking of free housing, I crashed in 39 different places. 22 of those places were with friends and family, 12 of those places were found through CouchSurfing.org, one of those places was found through Reddit (go figure), and one of those places was a room in the New Orleans Sheraton that my sister paid for. The remaining three places were motels that Ian and I gave in and paid for (Eugene, Deadwood, and Tallahassee). Why give in to paying for motels? No free Wi-Fi in Ian’s car.
-By the way, Ian’s car–a blue 2008 Honda Civic–was just the reliable steed we needed for our trip. We drove it over 13,000 miles and it didn’t break down once. Ian takes care of his car; he treated it to two oil changes. It was towed once, but at least it was never broken into or stolen. I think with the bug-covered exterior and all our blankets and food boxes in the back, it looked like bums were living in it. Grade A security system!
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM! Live musical acts I saw on the road (click the links!)
–Fitz and Tantrums @ Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI
–Dangermuffin @ Surf Bar in Folly Beach, SC
–Lee “pLink” Floyd @ Musical Legends Park in New Orleans, LA
–Yojimbo @ Maison in New Orleans, LA
–Los Lonely Boys @ Blues on the Green in Austin, TX
–The Airborne Toxic Event @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in San Diego, CA
PHOTO OP LANDMARKS Sometimes, you just have to play the tourist.
–Top of the Seattle Space Needle
-Top of Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)
-Top of Toronto’s CN Tower
-The Statue of Liberty
-Top of New York’s Rockefeller Center (“Top of the Rock”)
-Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
-Top of the Washington Monument. . . and pretty much everything else in DC
-The Grand Canyon
I guess I should wrap up my last Young Man On The Road post with some sort of declaration about life-changing lessons and finding myself on the road. That’s how all big adventures end, right? But I still feel like the same guy who partook on this road trip in June. I may have a few less dollars, a few more friends, and mental images to associate with cities that were no more than names on a map before I left, but did it change me as a person? I don’t know, I don’t think so. It didn’t change my outlook on life. If anything, it reaffirmed how I’m living it.
It also narrowed my focus on what could be my next big adventure, but I’ll save that story for my next Young Man Went West post.