epic overview

My epic journey of a lifetime has come to a close. These are the many people & places I was fortunate enough to visit. I am eternally grateful for all the people who helped me. Some offered couches, beds, floors, fancy dinners, ice cream, picnics, pools, rides, hikes, cheap alcohol, tours, kayaks, music, adventures but most of all friendship. Please come see us in Oregon so I can return the favors.

People I traveled with:
OR-UT: Nick, John, Katie, & Katy
UT-NY: Katie & Katy
NY-PA: Only time I was alone
PA-NC: Anna & Darea
NC-AZ: Nate
AZ-CA: Josiah Bradshaw
CA-OR: Josiah & Rachel

I am so lucky to have the friends and co-pilots that I did. I love them all. I told Josiah that I keep a pretty short list of people that could stand being in the car with for multiple hours on end. haha

Corvallis, Oregon: Dixon Lodge, OSU
Portland, Oregon: Nate & Ashley
Salt Lake City, Utah: Corrin Cook
Julesburg, Colorado: Grand Motel
Chicago, Illinois: Jason Connel
Henryville, Pennsylvania: Camp Lindenmere, The Ghost
Manhattan, New York: Jazz on the City
Worcester, Massachusetts: Dianne, Peggy, and Anthony
Boston, Massachusetts: Driven by Diane
Salem, Massachusetts: Konstandt Family
Allentown, Pennsylvania: Senderowitz Family
Virginia Beach, Virginia: Perry Family & Friends
Greensboro, North Carolina: Mackie
Boone, North Carolina: Reichard Family
Charlotte, North Carolina: Kristi Lanning
Columbia, South Carolina: Gayle Harris
Savannah, Georgia: Skidaway Island State Park Camp Ground
Birmingham, Alabama: Mindy Lipsitz
Florida Panhandle: Falcor through a rainstorm*
Pascagoula, Mississippi: Jeff, Kelley, and Emma
New Orleans, Louisiana: Becca Parker
Houston, Texas: Monroe Moore
Junction, Texas: Falcor & a green river
Carlsbad, New Mexico: A cowfield off the highway
Holbrook, Arizona: KOA Campground
Grand Canyon National Park: Mathers Campground
Sedona, Arizona: Cave Springs Campground
Phoenix, AZ: Kevin, Wendy, Alleah, Emily, Tyler, & Meadow
Los Angeles, California: Val Mounter & her Aunties
Yosemite National Park, KOA Campground
Arcata, California, Ben, Cobe, Josh, & Jenny
Scappoose, OR: HOME

*Falcor is my 2000 white Ford Taurus Wagon

Cities I am considering moving to:
Chicago IL, Savannah GA, New Orleans LA, Los Angeles, CA, & Henryville PA*
*only from June 16-August 12 ☺

I realized that this trip has been filled with one beautiful moment after another. Here are a few examples:

Sunsets filling the whole sky so beautifully we have to stop driving and admire them with deep breathes stretching to the horizons. (Texas)

Delicious culturally based meals that are so good it could be our last. By that I mean if I was on death row and I got one meal before I got the electric chair, I now know what that meal would be (New Orleans)

Conversations with my best friend that would seem so strange to outsiders but to us it’s everyday. I am so lucky to have a co-pilot on the same wavelength as me. We want to see the same things, eat the same things and talk about the same things. I would literally never get sick of him. BFF tattoos are gonna happen. (anywhere in the car)

The kindness of strangers: We have been greeted literally with open arms by friends from this summer, friends from years ago in my life, perfect strangers we’ve met through couchsurfing.org and kindness in the streets from people suggesting places to visit. A woman in McDonalds near the Texas border handed me my bag of fast food and said “Here ya go baby” This simple sentence made me stop and think how lucky I am to be a stranger in a far off place and see kindness just for the sake of kindness. (everywhere)

Nature: The power of nature never ceases to impress me. I’ve seen moths the size of small birds, grasshoppers the size of my palm, swam with Dolphins in Virginia Beach, and seen plant life that looks like it belongs in the Jurassic period. Heck We don’t even mind the mosquitoes that much. We saw the indescribable power of the grand canyon and the Carlsbad Caverns

Cities: Manhattan especially exemplified the concept of industrial power and what a man or woman can accomplish with a little hard work. The cities we have seen are all bustling with action and excitement. I am no longer afraid to drive in any city anytime of the day with confidence that I will reach my goal.

Here is a list of the largest cities in the Unite States

1. New York City *
2. Los Angeles*
3. Chicago*
4, Houston*
5. Phoenix*
6. Philadelphia
7. San Antonio*
8. Dallas
9. San Diego
10. San Jose

*Visited in summer 2009

Nate & I have both decided separately and together that we have become more patriotic on this journey. Seeing the insane amount of diversity and power of the Unite States has made us appreciate it more for what it is. Exposure has led to conviction. America Is a great place and we are lucky to love here.

States Visiited: Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California.

Swam in: Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, Mississippi

Total miles traveled: 9425.3

Cost: $557.09

On Movement: Everybody is on some kind of mission. In New York the mission seekers are most obvious. They are going places and sometimes don’t have time to stop and smell the roses that don’t exist in the streets unless they go to Central parts. In many parts of the south, the feeling was more laid back. Their mission was to seek out human connection. That’s probably the biggest observation I have noticed this summer. Everybody wants to be accepted. Human connection is part of who we are. I felt connection with strangers and friends bonded for years.

Biggest lesson I continue to learn the importance of: Life is meaningless without our friends, families, and loved ones

End of Story….(for now)

All My Love,