Road-Trip 2014 Wrap-Up.

On May 5th of this year, just days before my 50 birthday, I embarked on what I called “Road-Trip 2014.”  In close to 100 days on the road, I traveled over 9600 miles from Kentucky to California and back.  I traveled across Kentucky and into Illinois, then across Missouri, across Oklahoma, across New Mexico, paused in Arizona for Overland Expo 2014 and a visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canon, up into Utah, then back down into Arizona, then over to San Diego, California for 6 weeks.  Then from California back into Arizona, up into Utah again, then over to Colorado, crossing the state from Cortez in the southwest all the way to Ft. Collins in the northeast, and finally homeward through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and ending of course in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky!  This was my 4th such trip since 2008 and every one was better than the one before.  Every time I travel the highways, by-ways and backroads of America, I love her more and more!  I have lived overseas for more than 14 years and visited close to 60 countries.  I sincerely love something about every place I have been.  But to me, there is something really special about America that always ignites my flame of adventure.  Maybe it’s the incredibly diverse landscape we have in America, maybe it’s the friendly people I meet in countless small towns all across the country, or maybe it’s the American Spirit of “anything is possible,” that is still alive in America that excites me the most!  Whatever it is, I’m addicted to traveling this wonderful country!  A special thanks to my Family and Friends who took me in for a few days or a few weeks during my travels.  The Road-Trip would’t have been the same without you being part of it!  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

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Yankee Boy Basin near Ouray, Colorado.

I’m back in the Bluegrass for a month or two, giving “Bessie” the Tacoma a much deserved break.  “Bertha” has been called back into action, she and I are sleeping together again, what a great lady she is!  In the meantime, I have a number of projects to finish on the Farm before Winter arrives and have started detailed planning for…

Motorcycle Road-Trip 2015…. to places far and wide!

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I Can’t Drive any Farther West…..

 

 

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs at the Torrey Pines Glider Park in San Diego, California.

Last week I arrived in San Diego, one of my favorite cities in the world!  I’m going to visit friends for a few weeks and shoot some photographs of the beautiful, diverse landscape.  It’s been a little more than 2 years since my last visit to San Diego and other than the freeways being a bit more congested, things really haven’t changed much!  In my opinion, San Diego has perhaps the best year-round weather of any city in the continental United States.  Today it was 78 and sunny…and as the sun-set over the horizon, the view of the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs at the Torrey Pines Glider Park was magnificent!

So far my “Road Trip 2014” from Kentucky to San Diego has taken me through seven states and covered 4345 miles.  Along the way, I’ve visited family and friends, attended the Overland Expo 2014 and covered many miles on the backroads of America!

A few gliders enjoy an evening flight.
Can’t drive any farther west….

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Road Trip… 2014.

After a few weeks of great visits with friends and family in
Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky, it’s time for “Road Trip 2014.”No surprise, like my 2011 and 2012 road trips, I will be heading West again this time!
I love the American Southwest and want to explore more off the beaten path in 2014!  This trip will be in my Tacoma with ARE cap, which should make exploring the trails of the Southwest easier than in Bertha the Bigfoot Truck Camper.  That’s not to say that Bertha has been sent out to pasture, no way… she is just enjoying an extended vacation in a secure storage unit for a few more months!

For “Road Trip 2014” I really tried to pack as light as possible and still have the necessary equipment to be as “off the grid” as possible when camping!  I have limited solar capability, enough food and water for a week or two in the sticks.  But let’s be honest, I am probably not going to be more than a half day drive from a small town, no matter where I wander in the lower 48.  I wanted all equipment to fit in the bed of the Tacoma, so nothing will be on the roof rack, at least that’s how I departed Kentucky anyway… who know’s what I may bring back on the roof, maybe a stuffed moose head would look good on the farm… maybe not!  In any case, this is a great opportunity to explore Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and then Maybe up the West Coast?  I don’t have a set agenda, other than plans to visit some family and friends along the way… first visit…. family in Oklahoma!

Above, just about all my equipment for “Road Trip 2014” packed and ready to fit in the bed of the Tacoma.  Believe it or not, I still have room to sleep in the bed, when the gear is properly stacked and that includes the kayak too!  It’s not a lot of room, but enough for a good night’s rest!  With all gear onboard, a full tank of gas and me in the driver’s seat, the Tacoma weighed-in at 5050 pounds.  Not bad, with a GVWR of 5500 pounds, I still have about 400 pounds to spare!  No one can call me a
Phat-Azz this trip!

Above, the Tacoma in Bertha’s parking spot, all packed up and ready to go for
“Road Trip 2014.”

Above, before departure, I needed a proper cup of coffee!  After trying may different coffee making solutions over the years, to include 12 volt coffee makers and campfire percolators to name a few,  I have finally settled on a small coffee grinder and an MSR filter.  Grind your beans the way you like, pour hot water over the MSR filter and presto…. a great cup of coffee!  Coffee always makes departure more enjoyable!

Above, departing the “Farm” for “Road Trip 2014.”  The weather was perfect… a great sign of things to come I’m sure!

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