Posted by: admiralfrum | July 2, 2010

Road Trip: Success

  • So I graduated (I didn’t expect it but they gave me a degree), then went on the aforementioned epic road trip. All in all we covered 5,200 miles in two weeks, averaging about 600 miles a day on ‘driving days’. We went in three legs: New England -> Texas, Texas -> Colorado, and Colorado -> New England.

Not too shabby for two weeks

Some Highlights:

  • Crossing the Potomac. There’s a bizarre section of US Highway 340 where you leave Maryland and cross into less than a mile of Virginia before you hit West Virginia (to return again to Virginia a few miles later). The Potomac is absoloutely Gorgeous over there.
  • Skyline Drive – a scenic trail through Shenandoah National Park. Has some great driving (awesome scenery and road) but the slowpokes (stupid bikers) and windy paths meant we couldn’t average more than 30 mph so we cut to the Interstate and skipped the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville Tennessee. Largest knife store in the World. There I bought an Ontario RTAK II , which is great for splitting firewood. I would have bought a CS Trailmaster or Recon Scout but they were all sold out. This one works great anyways. Used it to make a fire in my home backyard to have some beers with my cousin.
  • Texas. We hauled from Houston to Colorado – 1000 miles in 22 hours. We drove near non-stop to make it in time for Shabbos. Texas can be really flat and featureless in places, but we missed most of that by driving at night.
  • New Mexico. There was one place that was really empty (straight road, desert, no cars, no cops) so I tested my car’s top speed. There’s an engine limiter on it so I couldn’t get faster than 107 mph even though there was still more engine power. That sucks. We also pulled over by the side of the road and shot a few rounds out of the AR-15’s. Fun fun.
  • Colorado. Every single inch was gorgeous. Incredible. I’ve been there many times, but every turn of Highway 50 from Pueblo to Salida took my breath away. It was like driving in a video game but much better. Hairpin turns, tight canyons, White Rapids, Mesas, valley meadows, High mountain passes. Unbelievable. The little hills of Colorado are mightier than most of Appalachia’s mountains (at least Southern Appalachia).

On the Skyline Drive in Virginia. It was a hot day with the usual mountain haze.

  • The Great Plains. They really sucked. Kansas seemed to go on forever, just the same small rolling hills for hundreds of miles. Just a whole lot of nothing. The only highlight was “the worlds’ largest prairie dog town” – fun. There was also an interesting juxtaposition of signs for “Lion’s Den Adult Superstore” and “Pornography Destroys, Jesus Saves” signs.
  • Ohio/W. Virginia/Pennsylvania Border. Absolutely gorgeous green mountains with thick pockets of dense fog. Most of the vehicles in the road were big rigs as we were on a major trucking line. There were ads for Coal everywhere.

All in all it was a great trip. We usually covered about 500 miles a day. I had a good time with my buddy, let off some steam, saw a lot of the country (news flash: it’s mostly empty), and got a real sense of perspective. Got a little sense of Gedulas HaBoirei. It’s the kind of trip that can be hard to take later on once you’re married with kids and a job, etc.

At the end of the trip we listened to Karl Rove’s new self-narrated autobiography, “Courage and Consequence”. It was really great. I’ve been a fan of Karl’s for a while, and I enjoyed his candid, fresh, and insightful description of his colorful life.

Long live adventure! There is more to be discovered!

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