Five weeks and two days, 8674.5 miles, 29 states, 17 national parks and monuments, 10 national monuments in Washington D.C./NYC and one great trip to fulfill a dream. It started while on five day throw away trip to Utah. I visited Bryce Canyon NP, Cedar Break NP, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Somewhere on the road, my sister posted on Facebook that I was already half-way to Delaware, so I should just continue the trip and see her.
Other than the idea that my sister is geographically challenged, there was a thought in the back of my mind that maybe the trip was doable. One small problem. I had surgery to remove a cancer from the back of my neck. Nothing serious, but it was scheduled and the follow-up was a week later. So, I had to go home.
The surgery time also gave me about two weeks to plan, pack, and prepare for the trip. Sandy (my FJ Cruiser, more about that in a future post) needed some modifications. Plus supplies had to be bought and packed. It was time well used.
The start was scheduled to be the morning of the 7th of July, but the stitches came out on the 5th. Sandy was packed and the trip planned, so why not leave two days early? That’s what we did.
This trip, years ago, was planned to be a loop up the 395, east through Nevada toward Utah, north through the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone, and back to SoCal. This took a little bit more planning and a northern detour after Mono Lake.
The planning didn’t detail roads or highways, just general routes. I used AAA maps and highlighted the places I wanted to visit and the main roads between them. It was not my intention to follow those routes, but to use them as a guideline and find a more specific route as I traveled.
I installed a RAM mount for my iPad in the cockpit area of Sandy and each road traveled was usual found on my iPad as I went. There were times when I had to stop at an intersection and spend some time zooming in and out of the app I was using to determine which road took me in the direction I wanted to go. Most of the time I was right, sometimes I was wrong and I’d have to backtrack or a new route had to be found.
The end result was a life changing trip of a life time.
I have made corrections (mostly spelling and grammar) on past posts and will be reviewing the trip, equipment, thoughts, ideas, and lessons learned during the trip.