Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rolling Sabbatical Postscript

Let me start by saying I am extremely thankful for the circumstances that have allowed me to indulge in this long time daydream of a long road trip.  And to MJ for tolerating my absence.  I am lucky without doubt.  Thanks to Aaron for prepping the car and consulting through the mechanical bumps in the road.

So, 8132 miles were covered in 27 days.  Twenty driving days actually.

The mechanical bumps are inevitable with a 40-year-old car.  Let's see. Failed fuel pump, which Aaron had covered with a spare stored behind the seat beneath the back deck.  Mal-aligned front end had the new tires on the front scrubbed off by half way through the trip. New alignment and new front tires in San Francisco solved that.  The radiator boiled the coolant away in 107 degree Mohave Desert heat.  Slowing the pace and distance from the desert solved that.  There was (is still) the unexplained phenomenon of low oil pressure on start up from time to time.  Fortunately, turning off and back on seems to fix it until it happens again. Got the brakes hot in Ouray resulting in a tow to the flatlands of Montrose to test and assure proper function.  All-in-all, not so bad.

When he was small, after going to a movie, Aaron invariably asked me "What was your favorite part?"  OK - here goes.

Favorite New Place:   The Sedona-Flagstaff area.  Will definitely explore in the future.

Favorite Place I'd Been Before:  Rocky Mountain National Park

Favorite Highway:  Whichever one I was on at any given moment, with some preference for those in our great Southwest.

Best Feast:  The bacon-themed feast at Joe and Cheryl's in Duluth - all the usual suspects attending.

Most Meaningful Quote:  "Yaarrr!" - Sherean, Vanessa, and friends.

Most Uncontrollable Laughter:  Time spent with Mary..

Best Restaurant Food:  Seared Ahi Tuna with Roasted Pineapple Glaze - Fitch Restaurant - Salida, CO

Best Bar Stool:  In the corner at Ed's Cantina in Estes Park.

Worst Night:  The night in the ER in St. Louis

As nuts as it may seem to many of you, my favorite part overall was driving.  I truly enjoy it.  It is a beautiful country, and it cannot be appreciated from the air.  Nice people everywhere.  New experiences almost every moment.  Truly a great time.

Thanks for your interest in the road trip.  I hope you've enjoyed the small part I've been able to share.


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