Hi Friends! I am working diligently to get This Crazy Trip up and running. Since I decided to leave in January in the hopes that people would be more interested in loaning me a car or camper during the "off season," I'm having to revamp the whole trip from the one planned 2 years ago before surgeries.
I'll be starting off to the South, for one thing, instead of to the North. Many of the people I'd planned to stay with have either moved and sadly, a few have passed away. With my mom feeling frantic about me sleeping in a tent (especially at Yellowstone) when I don't have a place to stay, I've been working on getting a small camper instead of a car, so I can just stay in the camper. That means, though, that my gas prices are going to be higher.
So far, I've written down every person I know who is in each state, categorizing everyone as either "1" - they said I can stay with them, or someone I don't need to ask
"2" - people I would feel comfortable asking if I can stay
"3" - people I'm not sure I know well enough to ask
"4" - single guys, Public Figures that I'm friends with, or others I wouldn't feel comfortable asking to stay with, but that I'd still like to meet or at least say "hi" to.
I've also compiled many lists from all over the web which I'm mapping:
The Oldest Restaurant in each state
The Best Restaurant in each state
The One Thing to Do In Each State
33 Most Beautiful Places in America
The One Can't-Miss Event in Every State - which was from 2015 and sadly, I believe only one of
them is between January and May
A State by State Guide to the 50 Coolest Things to do in America
The Best Ice Cream in each state (which my body won't allow me to do now)
Fodor's 20 Places to See in the U.S. Before You Die
The Most Beautiful Spot in Each State
U.S. Landmarks to see according to that "perfect trip" meme
Strange Roadside Attractions in each state
The Weirdest Roadside Attraction in each state (some of which are the same)
50 Natural Wonders
and the National Park Service guide to parks.
I've also added in all of the U.S. Temples for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all of the restaurants mentioned by Diners, Drive ins and Dives.
Right now, I'm color coding a map for each state with all of those items and all of the cities where my friends live so I can mark my exact (or nearly exact) route and know how many miles I'll be traveling. I'd really love to not travel on Sundays, if at all possible. The only practical way I can do that is if I can have someone loan me a camper instead of a car.
I've also started writing to the U.S. Senators for each state to see if I can come talk with them here in DC (or someone from their offices) about their states. I'd like to know if there's anything I'm missing that I really should see, or if there's something they'd want me to note and write about when I visit their state. Not having any responses so far, except to see on a couple of their websites that they only make time for their constituents. I know the new session started this week, so they're likely to be swamped and with the election coming up, I may not be able to visit with anyone.
I've got my packing list done, for with a camper or with a car. I've got 4" white quilt squares from my fabric stash that I'll have people write or draw on. And I've got blank journals for my notes and for the people I'll visit along the way.
Next on the list are to:
Send letters to all of the restaurants on my route to see if they'll comp me a meal when I'm there
Send letters to the places I'd like to stop that aren't already free to see if I can get free entry
Go to the Bank on Monday and open a new account that's just for this trip
Check out GoFundMe to see if that's a viable option for getting help paying for gas and for food that's not comped
And contacting the National Park Service to get an Annual Pass for free.
And I'd really love some instruction on how to better use my cameras and to put pictures on this blog correctly.
I contacted Cruise America today to see about getting a camper. I figured it would be best to use a national company who would benefit the most from me "advertising" them all over. If that doesn't work, I'll start contacting local car companies and rental agencies. No luck with getting a car through Priceline. They were offering cars for $5 a day - that didn't seem such a stretch to be FREE for a day. LOL I'd also contacted a couple of rental agencies when I started this and wasn't successful, however, maybe they'll have changed their mind by now.
So... that's where I stand. Still definitely in the planning stages and a huge jump further than I was last week. I'm getting excited!! Bob's getting more morose. LOL
Stay tuned! It's coming together!