Categories
cross-country

The Last Leg

I know. I know.

I am remiss in publishing the final leg; I am tardy by just a few days.

Tennessee, the length of many football fields, took two drivers to cover the West to the East. We drove through the night, and ended up in Memphis, and with a extra twist, we ended up on the right path – Route 40. I had to “fill up” to give me time to orient myself as to the right road to take; it turned out to be the left which was barricaded by many orange safety cones.

After slipping through the narrow gap of safety cones, I cruised on through to Brownsville, where I filled up the Van again, and handed over piloting to Maddog. Maddog took us through Nashville, which took about four hours.

We hot swapped the “rack”, and I drove us on through to Virginia.

In Virginia, we stopped at Logan’s Roadhouse for Lunch (around 11/12/1). Maddog really branched out and ordered Chicken and Mozarella sticks. I ordered the ever healthy sliders, and fried mushrooms.

Now let me tell you about these mushrooms, my mouth is watering, these mushrooms were lightly battered in cake flour and fried; it was too sweet to be flour. The mushrooms were served with a horseradish sauce that made the mouth and body crave more mushrooms. I highly recommend the experience.

Note, I was also literally starving. I needed food to counteract the Red Bull. We finished lunch, and Maddog took us through Virginia to Route 66.

We stopped and switched it up outside of Route 66. I began the process of “slamming” Red Bull to stay alert and focused. I continued sipping, and suddenly needed an Emergency bathroom break. Coming up quickly on the right, a rest area, I maneuvered the Van into the Rest Area, and we took a break.

Ask yourself this, why in all propriety would Pablo mention a pit stop? He’ll tell you (he likes to use the 3rd person).

It was the cleanest, nicest rest stop I had seen in the 48 states.

My quick recommendation list is:
MA – OK
NY – OK
OH – OK
IL – OK
MT – HORRID
ID – SKIP, I don’t think we found one
WA – OK
OR – Find another Place
CA – Find another Place
NV – HORRID
NM – Find Another Place
AK – Horrid
TN – OK
VA – Perfect

Maddog even paused to fill out a customer card, and asked the people call him. He went out of the way to thank the attendant.

Ready to rock, we mapped our approach to DC. We entered on Constitution Ave, and parked near the Washington Monument, and walked over to view the White House. It was beautiful and perfect. I am simply proud to be a citizen of the United States.

With a few snapshots taken, we jumped back into the Van, and rocked out of the City. Using my special forces, airborne tactics, I made sure we had enough space to escape any situation that arose. *There was literally a butt load of Cops en force; it did not make me feel safe.*

Outside the City, we ventured through the Beltway and found 95. On 95, we headed North, and began the 8 hour journey home.

Maddog took over the helm at 11, and I hot racked it. At about that time, we decided we would go to White Castle, and do our Harold and Kumar pilgrimage.

With a plan in our mind, and a route on the map, I slept, and Maddog took Bessy through the highways of Maryland, Delaware, and onto NJ. Around 2:30 I woke to Howell, NJ, mere minutes from nirvana.

We pulled up to the drive thru, and noticed the 8 FT 11 limit on vehicle height. We of course pulled around, and then Maddog got out and did the actual jumping to activate the drive thru. No luck, we pulled in gingerly, and activated the pad. We ordered 6 burgers, and a coke.

I had two burgers made from heaven. We fueled our stomachs, and fueled our van. I went back to sleep.

The machine, aka Maddog, was still driving when I awoke around 3:30 to 4. We were somewhere outside Newark / Trenton. I assumed my navigator role, and got us through NJ into NY-684. On 684, we stopped and switched.

I drove us for the next hour or so, and stopped to take a quick 30 min nap outside of Hartford. I jumped and started driving, and headed us home. In Wakefield, I woke Maddog, and we switched driving responsibilities in Danvers, and headed to Ipswich.

In Ipswich our Journey ended, we said hi to Marnie, and I headed home.

Adventure #1 DONE. Countless to come…. I cannot wait for the next one.

Categories
cross-country

How I rock across the Country

When you drive, 10 miles you throw on the tunes and listen to the local radio stations. When you drive 400 miles, you bring a CD. When you drive 8000 miles, you are sure to bring your favorites.

I brought the first three on the trip. Maddog purchased (after only 200 miles) #4, and brought 5,6,7.

For those about to rock on their trip, these are our top 7.

#1
Alice in Chains – Nothing Safe – The Best Of The Box

Since I first heard Rooster in 1998, I have been an Alice in Chains fan. When I picked up the Best of the Box, I did not realize it would help me sleep, drive, and relax on the road trip.

I am a huge fan of the Angry Chair, Again, and Rooster.

I just wish the one DVD I had of Alice in Chains live, would play in the Van’s CD Player. That’s my favorite A-I-C.

#2
Crossfade – Crossfade

I highly recommend track 2. Cold totally rocks.

#3
Pantera – The Best Of Pantera: Far Beyond The Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits

FYI, Pantera is aggressive, loud and obnoxious. But they may have two of the best tracks of all time, Cemetery Gates and Planet Caravan

If you want to drive, and relax listen to those two tracks. If you want to drive and speed, listen to the rest.

#4
The Dukes of Hazzard – Music From The Motion Picture

OK. OK. Maddog scored big. It was the best 5.99 spent on the trip. We must have listened to it over a hundred times.

You can’t go wrong with RAMJAM and Lynard Skynard and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

#5
Early Days: Best of Led Zeppelin 1

Enough said? it’s some of the best music.

#6
Latter Days: Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol.2

Enough said again.

#7
The Very Best of the Doors [US Version]

Ditto. Abercrombie’s favorite album!

Categories
wrapup

Miles, Gallons and Time

Maddog, Abercrombie, and I traveled 1000s of miles.
We recorded it in a table by fillup, and locations where we filled up.

We traveled 7779.5 miles.
We used at least 538 gallons.
We spent at least 1500 dollars on gas.

Cheapest gas was in the South.
Maddog managed the killer gas mileage.

I even learned how to improve my gas mileage by eliminating Overdrive on the inclines.

[table id=3 /]

Categories
future

Historical is Hysterical

With the weather, a crisp 82 degrees, I am sitting in my living room, avoiding the cool air. Anything is cool after the Badlands of South Dakota.

I am watching Austin Steven and his search for the Komodo Dragons, and I begin to think about my search for an answer. Why the heck are all these Historical Markers and why doesn’t it say Historic Marker.

My quest began with dictionary.com, I quickly validated that Historical was properly used, but I still maintain they could have saved money by just saying historic. I can see the rest of the Tour members, maddog and abercrombie rolling their eyes, and laughing at me looking it up.

Well, Fellas I hit the jackpot. I did some additional searching and learned about Historical Markers. You can find some interesting and cool places if you read http://www.hmdb.org/ The database is really cool.

Next time, I’ll use it.

Also check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_marker

Categories
cross-country states

I quit you Red Bull!

We just returned. I start and quit red bull in a 58 hour marathon of driving. 2 hr detour to white castle. 1 hr oil change and 3 meals.

Categories
cross-country states

Podunk Nowhere

We just cruised through Arkansas. I highly recommend air fresheners, and a strong stomach. Now in Tennessee, we are cruising and heading to DC.

ETA tomorrow 6 am