Goal: A Cross Country Drive


In my 2014 Resolutions Post, I said:

And, of course, I have my social/creative trip idea: I would love to drive cross country, and meet up with a different friend for dinner each night. It would take me to all sorts of spots off the beaten path, and would be a cool touchstone each day — to meet folks I’ve only known online, and to visit with some people I haven’t seen in a while. I’d love it!

… and I am serious about that. I really want to drive cross country, meet friends, take a lot of pictures, and experience some sides of America that would be missed by merely sticking to the Interstate for 3500 miles…

Why And What?

Travel brings perspective. Getting in a car and driving it is more connected than flying. Getting off the main roads and seeing one of a kind places is even better. My hunch is that touching base with a lot of people along the way is better still. I sure know many online, and I imagine it would take me into the Real America; not just the sanitized freeway version of it.

I’ve seen enough Big Box stores and McDonalds to last a lifetime. This trip ain’t about that.

I want to take a lot of pictures, write a bit, and perhaps solve some common tech problems for people along the way (“my computer is acting funny…”). And I want to build on some friendships, meet new people, and get all kinds of crazy perspectives.

A unifying theme would be: how does the Online Life of people I know compare to the one in the world of the Real? We all have our online personas and expression.. Facebook, Reddit, Second LIfe, etc. Heck, I am on Ferry to San Francisco as I write this, and there’s 200 people delving into their online selves. I am no Social Anthropologist, but obviously this is quite different than 10 or 20 years ago. How is it different, outside the Tech Bubble of the SF Bay Area?

One could say that with so much Mobile in the last 5 years, that the lines of Virtual and Real are increasingly blurred. Yeah, of course there is some escape into a phone or tablet, but there is plenty that is unique to where you live (I hope so!). That’s what I find interesting, and that’s what I want to see and capture in photos.

Will anyone care as to what I snap and write? I don’t know, and actually that does not influence my desire to do it. Well, if you want to fund this I suppose I care a bit… I have a good history of doing Virtual Photography, and average over 500 views a day with that. I do that for myself, but other people seem to like it. I think that passion starts with wanting to do something because it makes one happy. If it’s done well, then other people take notice. I don’t think it works the other way around (“oh!? others like this? Gee, I think I will develop a passion for it!”)

So I am serious about wanting to do this trip. I had a glimpse of the possibilities when driving cross country in 2005. I’ll do it as part of my own journey, and any audience for it is a cool bonus.

  • money – hey, how am I going to pay for this? I don’t know yet. Yes I am aware of obligations, and no, I cant expect the trip to pay for itself. Can I do it semi-cheaply? Sure… gas and where to stay (motels, not so much B&B’s) will be the biggest costs. Can I work along the way? Yep, but I would not do that to the point where I am merely driving and sleeping. What would be the point?
  • car – omg I don’t have a car! I’ll figure it out.
  • the cat – what to do with Dylan… I dont think I want to schlep him around in a car for 2-3 weeks straight. I’ll figure it out.
  • film – ha ha – just seeing if you are paying attention. I suppose I could pretend I would be racking up $20 a day of 1990’s film and processing charges. A few days of that pays for a lot of memory.. problem solved.
  • route – this is an interesting one.. I have a basic idea of who I will visit (and they know.. there will be no surprises like that ) I expect the route will be somewhere between the most direct and efficient, and crazy zig-zag. I would love to keep this under 3 weeks. My naive idea is to make a large circuit, coast to coast, up and around and back…
  • when – well, I cant do this until I get the other problems sorted, and I do need a bit of coordinating time with friends. It wont be till late Spring, at the earliest.


I know some folks who have done the cross country drive solo.. my own father did it a few times before I was born. Let me know of any tips!

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