Well, the Element works and the roads were paved and here I am. Got into Hollywood, Florida around 3:30pm yesterday and promptly discovered that the house I was set up to live in was no longer set up to receive me. No worries though, I already found a new place and once I'm sure it's a lock I'll be passing the address on to all you fine folks via email. Thankfully I haven't changed my address with any financial institutions yet so life won't be too hard. The reason I am not staying at the first house isn't too shocking or crazy or anything. . . just bad timing for the owner of the place.
So, on to the road stats.
San Leandro, CA thru Yosemite NP to Bakersfield, CA -- 400 miles
Ik and I hiked Tuolomne Grove and walked the short trail to Lower Yosemite Falls. Unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating and we couldn't even see Half Dome but we all know that'll just give us a good excuse to return to that ridiculously beautiful place. Hell, I still haven't climbed Half Dome. . .
Bakersfield, CA thru Death Valley NP to Las Vegas, NV -- 388 miles
We did a four mile in and out hike through the Mosaic Canyon. Definitely another NP that needs to be revisited for a much longer period of time. This experience was quite a bit better than the last one I had in JULY of 2005. JULY!!! What the hell was I thinking? Oh yeah, the tour group I was leading wouldn't take no for an answer and they insisted we stay a night in Death Valley. I believe we actually camped at a place called Furnace Creek! Suffice to say I didn't get any sleep that night and most likely neither did any of my passengers. Anyway, Ik and I arrived in Vegas around 7pm and that left just enough time for my Bro to get a quick shower at my friend AC's house before his flight out at 10pm back to the Double-U Eye.
Las Vegas, NV to Flagstaff, AZ -- 252 miles
By myself now for a mostly enjoyable 3.5 our drive across the high desert. Went over the Hoover Dam and got a few pics of the new bridge they are Trying to build. (AC informs me that a crane blew over a while back and that will set the project back about 8 months. . . sounds efficient to me.) Enjoyed a few fierce rainstorms that my new-ish windshield wipers dispatched with ease and got into Flag around 4pm. Saw a pretty girl and then joined TC, Grant and his wife-to-be, Melissa, at Uptown Billiards for a cocktail. Thai food followed by the Wine Loft and more of that pretty girl completed the evening in positive fashion.
3/23 thru 3/26
Good friends, good wedding, good times.
Flagstaff, AZ thru Phoenix, AZ to Lordsburg, NM -- 414 miles
Rolled from Flag thru Sedona on my way to Phoenix and once there I picked up my buddy Yoeller ( www.recoveryjoel.wordpress.com) and helped him with a few tasks he needed to accomplish. Went directly to a little family gathering for St. Paddy's Day (just a few days late) and ate a lovely dinner with some good family friends. No wanting to waste any darklight I rallied and drove down through Tucson and into Lordsburg, NM in order to have a good launching point the next morning. My goal for Wednesday? To drive all the way across Texas.
Lordsburg, NM to Beaumont, TX -- 992 miles
Damn! Almost made it across Texas and almost put in a thousand miles. If there's something wrong with me you people have got to let me know!
Beaumont, TX to Lake City, FL -- 725 miles
I know, I wimped out this day. I coulda made it all the way to southern Florida, you're sayin'. Well, I'm sayin' that my butt couldn't do it after that day through Texas. Is it ironic or just sad that the two days with the highest mileage give me the least amount to talk about?
Lake City, FL to Hollywood, FL -- 367 miles
Drop in the frickin' hat! Could have driven this in my sleep. Only bummer for the day was the $15+ I dropped in tolls to stay on the quick moving Florida Turnpike. Got into town and got the bad news about the living situation.
Total mileage = Three-thousand, five-hundred and thirty-eight (and that's how you break in a new car!)
So I'm here. I start work on Monday. It's hot. But more importantly, it's humid. I think the pool is calling my name and shortly after that perhaps the NCAA b-ball games and that steak in the fridge will be making that same name-like sound.