In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Well, there was some whining and crying from my dad about being beat out of his prize the other day but I think we eventually came to a mutual understanding. This is my blog and my rules, so he can like it or lump it. I will say that his prize (or what would have been his prize) tasted fantastic! Thanks for treating, dad.

It was a long few days spent driving through the Nevada and Utah deserts. The roads were long, hot, and didn't provide a whole lot of scenery to look at while driving. I try to stay off the interstates when I drive and there were a couple spots on the drive with about 200 miles in between towns. Just me, the highway, the wind, the sun the blowing dust, and sage. I'm sure there are some beautiful parts to the desert and if I wasn't in such a hurry driving to Colorado I would have spent some time trying to find them. But as it was I can't say I was all that impressed with what I saw from the highway.

The first town I hit in Nevada was Winnemucca and for whatever reason I guess I just expected most of the towns in Nevada to be small, dusty, poor, mining towns. As I pulled into town at 10:00pm on a Friday night I was proved wrong there. Turns out gambling is just as big in the rest of Nevada as it is in Reno and Vegas. Apparently you couldn't own a business in town unless you had lots of flashing lights on your sign. It didn't matter if it was a casino, bar, restaurant or hotel.

I was thankful to reach central Utah where the landscape started to change a little with a lot of color in the rocks and lots of bluffs and canyons. I even got to see some corn fields in a couple of the towns I drove through. I didn't have time to stop to check out any of the scenery though so I just had to admire it from the road. It was a much more interesting drive then the previous couple days.

I finally reached central Colorado and felt like I could relax again. I found a place to sleep a couple hours west of Denver and when I woke up in the morning bought a nice trail map and headed out to do some hiking. By the time I got to the trailhead I was pretty sleepy so I took an hour or so long nap in my car; waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the mountains. The nap worked out perfect since it was getting late in the afternoon and nearly everyone else had already left.

The hike was wonderful, following a creek back up the mountains as it would through it's own little canyon it had created over thousands of years. After a few miles it opened up into a nice meadow with a couple real nice mountain lakes. By the time I got there the sun had just set behind the mountains; which rose up all around the lake. It was dead calm with no wind and their were small trout rising in the lake to feed on the insects. I sat on a small rock point for a while to admire the view before heading back to the car in the fading light.

It felt great to be back on the trail again and now all I had to do was wait another day for Sarah to arrive.


Danny said...

Hah! I thought that sign had something to do with hot dogs, until I clicked on it. It's a small town, right? I need glasses. :-)

Mike said...

I see that you and the NY Times Frugal Traveler are wrapping up your trips. His account relied more on relating to past literary sources on road adventures, and he allowed himself about a hundred dollars a day. I think his car repairs may have been above the basic budget.
I like your more personal accounts of daily happenings and the people you met along the way. I'm looking forward to the final installment, and the next trip.

Alan said...

Thanks for reminding me about the Frugal Traveler from the NY Times. I'll have to check him out. I heard about him when he was on Talk of the Nation (I think) on NPR when I was in Portland. They were asking people to call in with questions or similar experiences. I was on my lunch break (I was actually working that week) so I didn't get to hear it all. I tried calling in but kept getting a busy signal.

But man, $100 a day....that's crazy! I'd be in the poor house if I spent that much! Except for gas ($30/300 miles) my daily expenses for living probably averaged less then $10/day. There were days filled with driving though where I would put on 600 miles though. Too many of those back to back gets kinda spendy. I'm going to try and stay in one place longer this fall so hopefully I'll spend a lot less on gas.

You're going to have to wait a bit for the final chapter. This trip back home is just a short visit before I leave for the east coast for late summer/fall. I'm still not sure what I'll be doing this winter when it gets cold. I guess I'll figure that out when it gets here.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.