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Final Route.. 
Sunday, March 12, 2006, 09:51 AM
Friday we made it home... I appreciate you all following our trip... I hope you all felt like you were part of the trip!

Here is the final route that i drove (both ways):



and the route just for the way home:





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Home at last... 
Sunday, March 12, 2006, 09:50 AM
After more then 2 months away from home, we made it home Friday afternoon around 3pm or so.

People had commented on my lack of pictures since El Paso, there is a reason for that.... From El Paso to Dallas, there is _nothing_.... and i mean nothing...

Here's a picture of the Mexican border...



We got to St Louis and went directly to the budeweiser factory for a tour of the plant, and some free beer of course...

Here is a picture of one of their awesome horses:



From St Louis to home, drove straight through on I-70 through Indianapolis, where we stopped for a quick lunch at a Steak 'N Shake... haven't eaten there in a few years...

We stopped in Washington, PA on Thursday night, had dinner at a Pizza Hut in a town that smelled like a porta-potty...




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Texas is Big.... 
Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 08:17 PM
Long day today, we went to the mexican border, just to see it....

We then got on I-10 for about 200 miles, then I-20 for about 400.... eventful day :)

No fun pictures from today, as it was all just desolate texas...

We are staying in Denton, TX.. but we drove to McKinney to meet a friend of mine living in the area for some dinner at Applebees...

Our drive map is here:

http://www.drivexc.com/map/map5.php

Select "DriveHome4" as the trip portion if it is not already selected...

To St Louis tomorrow... hopefully we'll get there early enough to see some sights!

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A quick Panorama... 
Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 05:48 AM
Just to give you all a feel for what it was like in White Sands... here is a panorama:

http://www.drivexc.com/whiteSands.mov

Note: 10 mb in size, so it may take a bit to load, and Quicktime is required

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Casa Grande to El Paso... 
Monday, March 6, 2006, 07:14 PM

We woke up bright and early... and when I say bright and early... i mean it:


We headed out east on I-10 towards El Paso... it was quite the long road:


But there were some pretty cool sights along the way:


We arrived at White Sands National Monument around 1:30pm:



White sands is one of the most incredibly places i've seen... Tho roads are completely covered in white sand, and there are dunes of white sand everywhere.. Apparently the Calcite in the water gets left behind when it evaporates, and eventaully forms white sand. Here is a picture of the road we were driving on:


We had some fun playing in the sand for a while with our shoes off:





And some time to take some fun pictures of the scenery and wildlife (well tracks left by wildlife)




Tomorrow we are headed towards Dallas... I think we are on I-20 for about 420 miles.. hopefully there are gas stations along the way :)

Check back tomorrow!


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Joshua Tree National Park 
Sunday, March 5, 2006, 09:31 PM
We woke up around 6:30, breakfast at 7, and we attempted to get on the road by 7:30... After fixing some small techincal difficulties with my in-car electronics (GPS not working), we hit the road...

We drove through downtown LA on rt 10, skipping any stops in hollywood due to the morning delays.. but we still got a drive-by picture of the city:



on the way out of LA on I-10 eastbound, there is a huge windfarm... This was Dad's electricity fix for the day...



We then headed straight for Joshua Tree National Park...



In case you don't know what a Joshua tree looks like, here is an example:



We first headed up to Keys point, which offered some great views from over 5000 feet in elevation:



We then went back down and walked around a bit in the desert/joshua tree forest... it's really hard to determine if it is a forest or a desert, i think it is both...



We then went to a small Oasis in the desert, it was really amazing... One small spring produced all these huge trees... I took 2 pictures to show the contrast between oasis and desert, all i did to take these pics was turn 180 degrees:

Desert:



Oasis:


We are staying tonight in Casa Grande, AZ... tomorrow we are headed towards El Paso, probably stopping by White Sands on the way...

All pics are available here:

http://www.drivexc.com/pics

and the vehicle tracking was enabled, so check that out too (link at the top of this page)





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On the way home... 
Saturday, March 4, 2006, 09:30 PM

After a nice pizza dinner last night at Kapp's pizza in mountain view, we woke up early this morning to hit the road. Pete needed a ride to the airport, so he joined us for continental breakfast at Dad's hotel. After dropping him off at the airport, we headed south towards Monterey.. we took a ride down Cannery Row, and had fun taking some pictures at an ocean overlook, here is a picture we took:



After leaving Monterey, we headed south on route 1, seeing all of the beautiful sights along the way... here is a picture of Dad and I just north of Big Sur:



We continued south on rt 1, and encountered a roadside pulloff which was full of people looking at nothing.. or so we thought... we found a California Condor perched just over the edge of the road:



We then headed further south and stopped at a random roadside stop, there were a bunch of people there whale watching of all things. Apparently this time of year is great for whale watching since the whales are migrating... we saw a whole bunch of whale spouts, here is one picture that sort of came out...



About 40 miles south of the whale watching, we came across some Elephant Seals on the beach... these things are huge! -- to put it in perspective, the largest seals were probably a couple of tons in weight...





Then dad was apparently having withdrawl from work, as he snapped these photos as we drove by, i hope they made him feel more at home!



We continued on to a down called Solvang, which is a Danish themed town... it brought me right back to feeling like i was in Denmark... here is a picture of the town:



We found a place called Ostrich Land, where we saw some really ugly Ostritches



We got to Ventura at about 5pm, checked into the hotel and headed out for some dinner... On the way we stopped on the beach to take a few pictures:



We then went to the downtown area, and atea at Andria's Seafood... fish and chips... After dinner we walked around the dock area for a bit, it was really cool looking at night with all the reflections



Tomorrow we head to Phoenix (well just south of Phoenix)... Look for more updates tomorrow!




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