Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

Road Trip Americana: DAY 13 (Sunday, October 4th, 2009)

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

in the morning, i had a warm plate of blueberry pancakes…
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Then started the long drive to my next destination.. Weather was gloomy for the first several hours.
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Hmmm… maybe i should’ve crashed here:
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Drove through part of Oregon, found a bit of snow!
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Then crossed the border into Nevada
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Caught the Bears game through my iPhone
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Found a very familiar highway
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Was planning to make a night stop in Reno, but I was making good time and decided to push my way to the finish. Had one more chance to dive into a local eatery:
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And when I saw the “Welcome to California” sign, I had to rock out to this!
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then I was treated to a nice drive through a snow storm in the sierras.
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Then the exhaustion started kickin in. Dizzy, feverish, spent. I felt like how this picture looks:
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Finally, TOUCHDOWN!
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BED Day 13 +!!!
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Summary:
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Cities: Boise, ID > Walnut Creek, CA
Odometer Begin: 211470
Odometer End: 212110
Day Miles: 640
Gas Prices: $2.70, $2.95, $2.90
TOTAL Miles Across America: 4,464

Next: Summary, FAQ, and tips learned from my road trip. Feel free to ask me any questions of your own!

Road Trip Americana: DAY 12 (Saturday, October 3rd, 2009)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

how they do omelettes in Salt Lake.
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spoke with Jason about his latest project, Hell Hole.
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he is a skilled DP who has been working on this original web series since the beginning of the year. it’s looking good! check it out at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hell-Hole-The-Series/112857746305
you can also check out his DP reel at: www.rjasonball.com

i made a few stops along the way to Boise.
– Salt Lake City Library. a must-see as recommended by my friend. yup, a PUBLIC library!
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– Hill Aerospace Museum
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then continued on…
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I’m in IDAHO!
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and met my 2nd couchsurfing host: Kent. we spoke briefly about couchsurfing and i told him how it has been difficult to find people willing to host me. we both agreed that it’s my lack of references (i just signed up when i started the trip anyways, so it’s understandable). but he told me the reason why he accepted me is that sometimes, you just have to give people a chance… and he gave me that chance.

Kent was a gracious host filled with many stories of his own travels. he’s seen most of and lived in many parts of South America, spending his time building orphanages and language schools there, giving children and many young adults a chance at a better life. inspiring.

he hooked it up with a nice Guatemalan style dinner.
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met his son Wesley, and somehow ended up helping him move a huge dining table into his new house! hey i was getting a free couch to crash on! i gladly helped out.
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he then treated us to a well-deserved round of beers and wings at their local watering hole.
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Couch Surf Day 12
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Summary:
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Cities: Salt Lake City, UT > Boise, ID
Odometer Begin: 211105
Odometer End: 211470
Day Miles: 365
Gas Prices: $2.68
TOTAL Miles So Far: 3,824

Road Trip Americana: DAY 11 (Friday, October 2nd, 2009)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

morning power brunch:
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as i crossed the border into Utah, i saw the signs for Moab which included a picture in the background of a very familiar rock formation, which i later learned was the “Delicate Arch” (google on iPhone saves the day!). after doing quick direction search, i find out that it is located in Arches National Park, near Moab, only about 1 hour off route from my destination to Salt Lake City.

best detour of my trip so far. stunning landscapes and formations.
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squeezed in a 3 mile hike to the Delicate Arch, even though feeling a bit feverish. well worth the effort!
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practiced some HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.
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exhausted by the time i made it back to my car, i still had 4 1/2 hours of driving ahead of me. a lot of the drive was at night in the mountains through a lonely, narrow, and isolated highway.
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eventually found myself in civilization and discovered a new restaurant to try: Wingers.
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looked like the typical chain restaurant. ordered the Original Wings Dinner. i was skeptical of their “Famous Original Sauce” but took one bite… and i was convinced! pretty damn good.
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i ended up buying a bottle of sauce to bring home. really… it’s up their with Kinder’s Sauce. 😉

arrived at my friend’s Jason’s house. haven’t seen him since Sundance Labs ’05! we did a bit of catching up and eventually called it a night.

BED Day 11
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Summary:
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Cities: Grand Junction, CO > Moab, UT > Salt Lake City, UT
Odometer Begin: 210723
Odometer End: 211105
Day Miles: 382
Gas Prices: $2.65
TOTAL Miles So Far: 3,459

NEXT: drive to Boise, ID

Road Trip Americana: DAY 10 (Thursday, October 1st, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

started the day off with a proper filipino breakfast. tocino, hot dog, and rice.
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had some major work done on the car, replaced the engine belts and a pair of tires. then heard a loud grinding noise a few miles as i started driving! i found out that part of the bumper started falling apart and hitting the tire. but gaffer’s tape solves all rigging jobs!
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the drive through the rockies makes Colorado the most scenic of all the states i’ve driven through so far. i constantly found myself wanting to pull over and capture the gorgeous views and rock formations.
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no food adventures today, didn’t even have a proper dinner because i wasn’t too hungry. i attribute it to that power breakfast i had in the morning.

Bed Day 10
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Summary:
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Cities: Colorado Springs, CO > Grand Junction, CO
Odometer Begin: 210397
Odometer End: 210723
Day Miles: 326
Gas Prices: $2.36
TOTAL Miles So Far: 3,077

Road Trip Americana: DAY 9 (Wednesday, Sept. 30th, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

i spent today doing a bit of sightseeing around Colorado Springs and just hanging out with the Nicandros… family friends from when i was growing up in Vallejo, CA. as i mentioned in an earlier blog, i hadn’t seen them since i was 1991! it’s was pretty wild seeing them all married with children.

some of the highlights of Colorado Springs:
– the Air Force Academy.
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– the Garden of the Gods.
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catching up on 18 years…
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i’ll have to browse the old shoeboxes for old photos of us as kids!

NEXT: drive through Colorado towards Salt Lake City.

Road Trip Americana: DAY 8 (Tuesday, Sept. 29th, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

started early and made my way mt. rushmore by 8am. it was a cold morning with a light breeze, and a nearly empty park. peaceful. it was quite the amazing view. i have always wanted to see this as a kid. i took more pictures here than anywhere else in my entire trip!
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how Mt. Rushmore was meant to be finished:
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probably my favorite tilt-shift photo of the trip so far:
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found this guy wandering the parking lot!
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after a couple of hours of touring the park, i was back on the road. i had a google-estimated 8 1/2 hour drive to colorado springs, so i wanted to get started early.

it’s true what my friend Ariani said about Wyoming… there’s really nothing around!
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“3G”, “E”, “o”… none of these networks exist here. i was alone in Wyoming! but it was nice to be free for once from the shackles of the evil iPhone.
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it made me a bit nervous knowing that my brother’s car wasn’t in the best shape and i was pushing it across the badlands. but i feel blessed to have made it safely.

bummed out at the lack of unique eateries on my route.
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drove through Denver and snapped what i could as i was driving…
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then arrived safely in Colorado Springs and i met with family friends i hadn’t seen in 18 years! and true to Filipino custom, the first action is to offer food, which i gladly accepted.
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Day 8 Bed
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Summary:
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Cities: Keystone, SD > somewhere in Wyoming > Colorado Springs, CO
Odometer Begin: 209887
Odometer End: 210397
Day Miles: 510
Gas Prices: $2.58
TOTAL Miles So Far: 2,751

Road Trip Americana: DAY 7 (Monday, Sept. 28th, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

visited the “world’s only” corn palace.
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eh. most interesting part was chatting up with an elderly local who was at the front desk. but these designs are pretty cool.
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yup… all made of corn.
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browsed the gift shop for overpriced souvenirs.
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had brunch at a local restaurant (country omelette and warm muffin).
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as i was driving to city, i noticed DOZENS of variations of billboards for “Wall Drug”. the signs don’t really tell you what it is.
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tourist trap or not, you have to feed the curiosity!
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continued the drive into Rapid City and drove straight to Mt. Rushmore as night began to set in. was able to catch the illumination ceremony.
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ended the night with a buffalo burger.
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that’s right… 100% buffalo meat. i’ve heard of a movement to push buffalo meat as the new standard. not bad.

empty downtown Keystone.
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Bed Day 7
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Summary:
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Cities: Mitchell, SD > Keystone, SD
Odometer Begin: 209547
Odometer End: 209887
Day Miles: 340
Gas Prices: $2.26
TOTAL Miles So Far: 2,241

Road Trip Americana: DAY 6 (Sunday, Sept. 27th, 2009)

Monday, September 28th, 2009

now onto the next half of my roadtrip. i wasn’t too keen on this part of the drive because i hear of the endless cornfields. but i made some interesting stops along the way.
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one thing i noticed is these midwest folks love their fireworks (i thought that was just a Texas thing!). i found dozens of signs like these since i started driving in this region.
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pretty amazing (and blinding) driving straight into the sunset through the flatlands of South Dakota.
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found a burger joint i haven’t tried yet before settling in for the night.
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“Double Butterburger w/ Cheese Value Basket” $4.99

Bed Day 06
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Super 8, 47 bucks.

Summary:
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Cities: Minneapolis, MN > Blue Earth, MN > Mitchell, SD
Odometer Begin: 209210
Odometer End: 209547
Day Miles: 337
Gas Prices: $2.26
TOTAL Miles So Far: 1,901

NEXT: onto Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore

Road Trip Americana: DAY 5 (Saturday, Sept. 26th, 2009)

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Minneapolis, Minnesota.

so i decided to treat myself to a day of NOT driving so i can soak up the splendors of the city!

Indoor amusement park @ Mall of America.
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Hell’s Kitchen for the “best brunch in Minneapolis”.
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i could only finish half! the other half i gave to some homeless guy on the street. i forgot to take a picture of him.

Walked around afterwards and kept snapping away…
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Eventually ended up at Guthrie Theater and shrunk the city from their lookout. Pretty amazing view.
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My favorite part of the day: being treated to some authentic midwest-style home cooking (thanks Jen!), while sitting around the bonfire with a few beers and chatting with locals. Good food, good people, good conversation. =D
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And yes, I can totally hear a hint of that “Fargo” accent when they talk!

Overall, I’m happy to have met genuinely cool locals, eat delicious local cuisines (though I missed out on the “lutefisk”), explore downtown, and learn about the way of life in the “big M”. Minneapolis is a beautiful place and I know I just barely scratched the surface of what there is to see and do here. Wish there was more time!

Thank you Katie for hooking up the couch surf and showing me your hometown!

NEXT: onto South Dakota

Road Trip Americana: DAY 4 (Friday, Sept. 25th, 2009)

Monday, September 28th, 2009

i’m actually writing this three days later… ahhh just too much to keep up with and not enough time… but i have to catch up before i get way too behind! highlights, aplenty.

before i left for Minnesota, i had to treat myself to a local delicacy. nobody’s does dogs like Chicago!
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Hit the road and made a pit stop in Wisconsin.
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yes, it’s strangely delicious.

Found this seemingly in the middle of nowhere! a resort town in the middle of Wisconsin. check out this INDOOR theme park.
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I’ve also noticed many indoor water parks. In the dead of winter, this is their escape!

It was a rainy evening drive into Minneapolis, but I arrived safely.
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i met with my friend Katie and as tired as i was, still had to check out some of the nightlife!
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this bar/lounge “Asia” reminds me of “Skylark” in San Francisco. they also play kung-fu movies and Hip Hop!

Bed Day 04
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welcome the sandman.

Summary:
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Cities: Chicago, IL, somewhere in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, MN
Odometer Begin: 208708
Odometer End: 209210
Day Miles: 502
Gas Prices: $2.54
TOTAL Miles So Far: 1,564