Sunday, April 26, 2009

Road trip, day 4.

So, my last day of the road trip was on April 17th. I woke up later than I intended, but considering I had driving through 2 time zones the previous day, I didn't do too bad. The first thing I saw when I woke up at the Amarillo Ashmore Inn was Fox News on the television in the continental breakfast room and this:

I was out of Texas by late morning, and on to Oklahoma. I am being completely serious when I say every building I went into when I was in Oklahoma (3 total) had one of these in it:

Oklahoma also had the most elaborate "welcome" signs of all of the states I drove through:

Especially when compared to Kansas (sorry Tom):

Kansas was very pretty and green, and exciting because it was the home stretch. Here is the first Kansas City sign I saw:

Right when I was reaching the 60 mile mark from Kansas City, I had my first car problem of the trip, and I blew a tire, in the middle of nowhere Kansas. I was really lucky, because a Kansas Highway patrol officer was driving behind me, and he pulled over, changed my tire and put on my spare, and then pumped up the spare with the bicycle pump I had packed in my car. I then drove 30 miles to Ottawa, Kansas where a nice young man at the Walmart sold me a new tire, and changed it for me. While I was wandering around the Walmart, I saw this:

In case you cant make it out, this is an entire aisle (both sides) of fake memorial flowers, right in the front of the store. Just memorial flowers, the regular fake flowers have their own aisle in the back of the store. Only in Kansas.

I finally made it to my apartment at about 9pm.

Flash forward, and I am writing this in the 3rd thunderstorm I have seen in Kansas City in the 6 total days I have lived here (I spent four since I moved in Albuquerque.) Lots of lighting, much more than in California.

Tomorrow is my first day at work. I will take pictures.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Back from VISTA training

So I am back from my 4 day VISTA training in Albuquerque. I am too tired to really post about that now, but more info about that as well as the last day of my drive will be posted soon.

Let's just say that a year of poverty was totally worth the training experience, and that boys from Oklahoma really know how to have fun.

Mike Gumbs from Oklahoma, Tom Atchity from Kansas City, Matt Sweeney from Chicago serving in New Orleans, myself, Samee Shirazi from OK city, and the unforgettable Larry Washington from OK city.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I made it!

I am here. I arrived last night, a little late, after a small incident involving a blown tire. But it all worked out thanks to a conveniently located Kansas Highway Patrol officer, a bicycle pump, and some friendly Walmart employees in Ottawa, Kansas. Since arriving I have been unpacking, eating, and hanging with my roommate Mandi-jo. Tomorrow I plan to be much more productive. Not only will I go and buy some furniture, but I will give a more thorough update.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Days 2 and 3

Yesterday I left Havasu heading for Albuquerque. Because of heavy winds, part of I-40 (somewhere between Flagstaff and Gallup) was closed, so I turned around to go back and stay the night in Flagstaff, where, incidentally, it was snowing. I spent the day and night there, which was lovely because Flagstaff is a nice town. Today I needed to make up time, so I drove through 3 states and 3 timezone and landed in Amarillo, where I am very tired and there is lightning. I will bring up more details later, but for now, pictures!

Some serious highway engineering in Arizona

A burger joint on a small town along route 66

Then shit got crazy! Snow on the road, approaching Flagstaff

After passing Flagstaff, coming to the road closure, and heading back, I went to the train station.

View of Flagstaff from the Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered.

Start of Day 3. View from a roadside Indian trading post, Arizona.

Cool rocks.

Made it!

Pretty roadside view

More pretty

Made itTexas terrain, quite a change. As I approached the thunderstorm, the sky turned this evil looking color.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My drive, day one.

Today I started to four day drive to Kansas City, on the southern route (interstate 40) which is the old route 66. Historic! I am 1/4 of the way there. I drove from San Jose to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, home of the London Bridge. This took about 9 1/2 hours. Only I would drive 25 minutes out of the way to stay in the town with the london bridge, which is actually kind of abandoned and really earie, at least at 5:30 on a tuesday. My favorite things about Havasu so far: free happy hour drinks at the Hampton Inn bar. Tomorrow I think my destination is either Albequerqe or Santa Fe, with a possilbe detour to the Grand Canyon!

Some pictures:

Desert. Lots of desert.

Most of what I saw: The road ahead, the road behind.

Tractors next to me at a red light, Wasco, CA.

I saw several trains, which was exciting. I love trains.

Arizona! I drove over the Colorado river, and then I saw this sign.

The London Bridge. There are apparently Nazi bullet holes in this picture, but I cant see them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Step one: leave santa cruz.

I have completed step one. Well, kind of. I have moved all of my stuff out of the city and I am currently based in San Jose, but today I returned to present in a Professor's class about my internship and say goodbye to everyone still here. This, of course, was not well planned as no one is free until later. Hence the blog update. Things are going well with preparations for the Kansas City move. I have:
  • an apartment to move to.
  • a pile of boxes that may in fact fit in my car.
I do not have:
  • a route, as the weather is not settling in the Utah/Colorado/Wyoming area.
  • any money from the government to finance this move. I need to call about that.
JP and the cat have relocated to Oakland, right by the giant Whole Foods, where he will work as a substitute teacher, in am attempt to rake in the cash. We will see.

This week, for me, is appointments, day trips, good byes, and phone calls. Next week should be much of the same. The following week, I leave!