lost, for a little while

the lazy bum’s guide to road trip 2011
July 27, 2011, 9:21 pm
Filed under: memories


The Complete Setlist

  1. Detroit, MI
  2. Cleveland, OH
  3. Forestville, NY
  4. Syracuse, NY
  5. Hancock, NH
  6. Boston, MA
  7. East Lyme, CT
  8. Philadelphia, PA
  9. Cologne, NJ
  10. Washington, DC
  11. Charleston, SC
  12. Savannah, GA
  13. Brunswick, GA
  14. Miami, FL
  15. Bonita Springs, FL
  16. Sarasota, FL
  17. Mobile, AL
  18. New Orleans, LA
  19. Beaumont, TX
  20. Austin, TX
  21. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
  22. Roswell, NM
  23. Santa Fe, NM
  24. Telluride, CO
  25. Moab, UT (Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park)
  26. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  27. Zion National Park, UT
  28. Kanab, UT
  29. Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim & South Rim), AZ
  30. Las Vegas, NV
  31. Joshua Tree National Park, CA
  32. San Diego, CA
  33. San Clemente, CA
  34. Los Angeles, CA
  35. Monterey, CA
  36. San Francisco, CA
  37. Muir Woods National Monument, CA
  38. The side of the road at various places in coastal California
  39. Crater Lake National Park, OR (for about an hour)
  40. Salem, OR
  41. Portland, OR
  42. Olympia, WA
  43. Seattle, WA
  44. Spokane, WA
  45. Glacier National Park, MT
  46. Bozeman, MT
  47. Yellowstone National Park, MT/WY
  48. Jackson, WY (Grand Tetons National Park)
  49. Side of the road somewhere in Casper, WY
  50. Wind Cave National Park, SD
  51. Mount Rushmore National Monument, SD
  52. Badlands National Park, SD
  53. Wall, SD
  54. A rest stop somewhere in eastern South Dakota
  55. Minneapolis, MN
  56. Milwaukee, WI
  57. Chicago, IL


Road Trip By Numbers

127: days on the road
$4,132.27: total decrease in my bank account from day 1 to day 127
$32.54: approximate decline in savings per day
$4.29: most expensive gas price, per gallon, purchased (middle of nowhere, Texas)
$3.32: cheapest gas price, per gallon, purchased (Wyoming)
17,000+: miles traveled (I didn’t keep track–can you believe it?? Oy.)
3: hostels stayed in
13: national parks visited
35: states driven through
6: time zone switches
1: turkeys wrestled
1,749: pictures taken
4: oil changes for the Blueberry
0: percent sales tax in Montana! What?!
44: friends and relatives ambushed during the trip
2: brewery tours attended
3: shots of kava consumed
57: post cards collected
2: sunrises watched
3: bears seen in the wild (from a safe distance)
14: museums visited
5: hotel continental breakfasts crashed
6: times I stayed with total strangers
15: nights spent in my car
2: other female solo travelers met
1: near-death experience
0: car troubles had


The Best…

  1. Sandwich: Three-way tie between the Duck Club in Charleston, the shrimp po’ boy in New Orleans, and the pork jibarito in Chicago
  2. Hotel/Hostel: Hostel in the Forest
  3. Tourist trap: the Cabazon Dinosaurs
  4. Museum: Three-way tie between the Mütter Museum, the World Erotic Art Museum, and the Experience Music Project & Science-Fiction Museum
  5. National Park: Glacier National Park
  6. Cave: Carlsbad Caverns
  7. People: New Orleans, Louisiana
  8. Continental Breakfast: Holiday Inn Express
  9. Pie: Houston’s in Kanab, Utah
  10. Accent: The ladies from Minnesota I met while at Bryce Canyon
  11. Billboard/sign: “Thanks, 2011 Logging Convention — it was off the chain!” in Hill City, South Dakota
  12. Bartender: Tie between Landon, at Ted’s Montana Grill in Bozeman, Montana; and Strawberry, at the Mystic Water Kava Bar in Hollywood, Florida
  13. Local Cuisine: Santa Fe, New Mexico
  14. Drink deals: Miami, Florida (free sangria) and Chicago, Illinois ($1 beers)
  15. Brewery Tour: Sam Adams’ in Boston, Massachusetts
  16. Nightlife: Austin, Texas
  17. Drive: Highway 1 in California
  18. Hike: Hidden Canyon Trail in Zion National Park
  19. Small Town: Telluride, Colorado
  20. Big (to me) City: Tie between Boston and D.C.

The Worst…

  1. Hotel/Hostel: The Motel 6 in Charleston, South Carolina
  2. National Park: Joshua Tree National Park
  3. Tourists: Tie between those at the Grand Canyon and those at Yellowstone
  4. Museum: The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (Runners-up: Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center and D.C.’s National Museum of the American Indian. They didn’t win because at least I didn’t have to pay for them.)
  5. Traffic: Los Angeles, California
  6. Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese from the Thunderbird Lodge in Carmel, Utah
  7. Accent: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Tourist Trap: Wall Drug, South Dakota
  9. Parking Regulations: San Diego, California
  10. Continental Breakfast: Days Inn
  11. Hike: Double O Arch Trail, Arches National Park
  12. Weather: Milwaukee, Wisconsin & Chicago, Illinois (blame the heatwave)
  13. Car-“Camping” Experience: White’s City, New Mexico
  14. Roadkill Problem: miles of flattened armadillos from Northern Florida to Louisiana
  15. Destination Letdown: Savannah, Georgia
  16. Place to Run Out of Gas: West Texas
  17. Interview Disappointment: Author Mary Roach (canceled)
  18. City to Visit on a Budget: Los Angeles, California
  19. Small Town: Roswell, New Mexico
  20. Big (to me) City: Las Vegas, Nevada

the big one
May 5, 2011, 8:39 am
Filed under: car, memories

So, at some point after counting my tenth dead armadillo on the side of the road as I drove through the last of the Florida panhandle, my odometer clicked over from this:

Wait for it...

To this:


I wanted to pull over and have a celebratory drink, but unfortunately, I had no alcohol with me — plus, I still had a few hours left to drive and I was afraid of getting leprosy from all the armadillos. So I settled for giving the dashboard an affectionate pat.

You’re my boy, Blue.

mini road trip: michigan
December 3, 2010, 11:23 pm
Filed under: memories, rant, travel
Slows BBQ

Slows Bar B Q

I’m finding it harder than usual to recap this trip, mostly because my other trips have revolved around events — doing stuff, going places, meeting people. Going home, though, is more about sinking into the comfortable familiarity of the past. It’s all about how enjoyable it can be to do nothing. But even though I did spend some quality time on the couch (I’d forgotten what it’s like to have cable and hundreds of unnecessary channels) and snuggling with my dog, I did get around to doing a couple noteworthy things.

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epic tales of getting lost: in search of Bryan Adams
October 19, 2010, 9:37 pm
Filed under: memories

The Canadian Bruce Springsteen

The name of this blog isn’t all just some tongue-in-cheek way to express my desire to become a vagabond. Nay, good sirs, it is a sure prediction of what is to come once I set out on my road trip, for I have possibly the worst sense of direction in the world.

I blame it on the fact that my girl scout troop spent more time making paper valentines than learning how to use a compass. My mom would say it’s because I refuse to stop and read a map whenever I make a wrong turn (but mom, it’s so much easier to just call and have you MapQuest where I am!). Whatever the reason for it, I get lost a lot.

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mini road trip: boston
October 10, 2010, 9:46 pm
Filed under: memories, trips

The bottom of an empty beer glass or "What Most People Saw at Oktoberfest"

There are vacations that leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to jump back in to your normal life. And then there are trips that are so wonderful, when you get back home, it’s only more apparent just how sucktastic your regular life is. When I got back from Boston last Sunday, I was hit with what can only be summed up as an “Ugh. Really?” sort of feeling. And it’s taken a week of moping and 16 episodes of 30 Rock to get me motivated enough to recap the trip. The good news is, this only happened because I had such a great time.

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like father, like daughter
September 18, 2010, 10:10 pm
Filed under: car, family, memories


This jovial fellow on the right is my father. (Pay no attention to the weirdo on the left.)

Whether or not he likes it, my dad is partially responsible for this whole road trip idea. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t enjoy driving as much as I do were it not for him, and therefore would never consider the idea of living out of my car and driving all over the country a “neat experience.” But thanks to him, his marathon driving style, his love of Car Talk and all things cars, and his insistence on only spending our vacations in the warm, forgiving climate of Florida, I do.

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mini road trip: charlottesville, va
September 7, 2010, 11:06 am
Filed under: memories, trips

King Family Vineyard; Crozet, VA

Friday afternoon, I sped out of town and headed south to Charlottesville, VA to visit my friend, Schuyler, for Labor Day weekend. I was a little busy having an awesome time, so I didn’t take any pictures myself, but this one above is of the King Family Vineyard, where we spent Sunday afternoon.

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