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Cross Country Drive


Trip Photos

Live Vehicle TrackingInternet Explorer Required

Still Alive.. 
Sunday, January 8, 2006, 11:42 PM
I'm still alive over here-- things have been busy getting settled in, working a bunch, and of course spending a good amount of time in the pool/hot tub :)

Look for an update of the past week soon... probably Monday evening!

Tom


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Rainy California 
Monday, January 2, 2006, 08:25 AM
We left vegas "bright and early" around 9:30am, and headed up towards Monterey... it was foggy and rainy most of the trip, so there are no exciting pictures to post.

Things we drove by/through:

-Edwards Air Force Base
-Mojave Desert
-an Intersection in the Mojave desert
-we dropped below 1000 feet for the first time since Oklahoma


We went out to eat in downtown Carmel... and had a nice dinner at Jack London's restaraunt...

We then drove down to the ocean to complete our "cross country" drive.. It was raining pretty hard, but with the high beams on we could see the ocean.

Today we are headed to San Jose, Eric's flight leaves from there around 1 or so... I'll be in Mountain View for the next couple of months, but this site will be updated with my travels/interesting sights i see...

Time to start our last 75 miles or so... but first-- we shall touch the Pacific to really complete our trip.





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What happens in Vegas.... 
Saturday, December 31, 2005, 06:34 PM
Vegas.

Last night after we posted, Eric and i headed out to walk around and explore a bit. We ended up grabbing a quick "dinner" at New York, New York at the ESPN cafe. After a nice dinner, we walked over through excalibur and to the luxor. For those of you who don't know, the luxor is a giant pyramid, with a really bright light on top of it. We really wanted to see the upper floors of this hotel, but they are for hotel guests only. I convieniently caught a locked door as someone was leaving, and we proceeded into the elevators to go up. We waited for some guy to use his key to go to floor 10 and followed him. The elevators are really wierd... they don't just go straight up, they go at an angle. The inertial forces you feel as you are going up are really wierd and oyu ahve no idea which direction you are going in!

We got back to the room around 2am, and fell asleep.

This morning we woke up around 9 or so, and spent a little bit of time relaxing and watching the airport. We then went out and walked around to find some lunch, we ended up at the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville restaraunt:



After lunch i relaxed in a chair for a bit:




We walked over down the strip, walking through hotels all the way... We stopped at the Treasure Island casino and put a few bucks in the machines. Eric played some video poker and ended up down a few bucks. I put $3 into a slot machine and walked away with $22.50 -- not a bad deal :)

On the way down the strip, we saw the ghost of Elvis that we missed in Memphis (refer to Nashville->OK City Post)-- He was in Vegas, who would have thunk!


We made our way to the Venetian hotel, which has an awesome indoor canal:



Throughout the day they were prepping for tonight's celebrations and we saw security people everywhere:


Here are pictures of both me and eric in front of the New york New York Casino:






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Another Panorama 
Saturday, December 31, 2005, 05:40 PM
Here is another panorama -- this one of the Grand Canyon

(click it to make it larger)





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Grand Canyon to Las Vegas...Via Sedona 
Friday, December 30, 2005, 10:52 PM

We woke up bright and early to head up to the Grand Canyon to see the sunrise, that never actually panned out. We got there an hour or so after sunrise and toured around the western end of the park, as we had driven through the eastern part yesterday. We took a bunch of pictures. Here are a few samples:


We had a few close calls at the rim of the canyon:



But the views were incredible, and thankfully we survived:


We then headed south on 64, then west on 40 to get to Flagstaff. Todd had booked a rental car at the Flagstaff Airport, which is about the size of your average McDonalds. Here is the picture we took of the 3 of us before Todd headed for San Diego... although Todd's vehicle looks small, apparently it can out-run them bears in the air.


Eric and I then headed south on 89A through Oak Creek Canyon... which has a lot of New England like terrain, but is surrounded by amazing cliffs and mountains. We started at the north end, which is up on the Colorado Plateau... and ends up in Sedona. The road goes down a series of switchbacks which makes for some really fun driving! Here is a small section of the switchbacks, which does the sheer awesomeness of this road no justice at all:


We drove through Sedona briefly, and on to a road that Eric's father had recomended to us. It's called Schnebly Hill Road, and is just east of Sedona in central Arizona. I'd recommend checking the tracking map in this area to view a satellite image or map of this road... If you look closely you'll see that it is a dirt road, and it's actually relatively rough, i was limited to 4-5 mph for most of the 11 mile length of this road. It's switchbacks look really cool on the map!

Here are a few pictures from this road:




We met a real nice couple along the way told us about some interesting geologic features of Arizona. They commented on how they enjoy to drive lots of back roads, and they suggested a road-beer for relaxation on said back roads. Interesting people out here eh? They apparently didn't know Pennsylvania's motto of "drive hammered, get nailed" (refer to day 1 post)

Schenbly Hill Road ends up on I-17, as a dirt road turning onto a paved on-ramp for an interstate highway... We made a quick stop at a gas station, which convienently supplied us with subway sandwiches, beer, restrooms and gas. Now that's what i call a one stop-shop!

We headed out on I-40 towards Kingman, Arizona to get to Rt 93 which leads to the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. We took a few pictures on the road... here is one of our better ones:


After passing through the security checkpoint, which was 9 miles east of the Hoover Dam, we sat in a 9-mile long traffic jam to pass over the dam. During this traffic jam, we watched about half of the movie Anchorman in the car. Once we arrived at the dam, we took a few pictures. Here are the <i>dam</i> pictures:



From there we headed to Vegas, where we relied on both our GPS systems to navigate us through the maze of roads to finally arrive at the Tropicana. Our hotel isn't the prettiest and/or newest of the hotels on the strip, therefore i took pictures of other hotels. Here is one of New York, New York, which is within spitting distance of our hotel. We have a very fine view of the McCarran International Airport, along with all the wonderful sounds that go along with airports!



Tomorrow we plan on walking around Vegas and just relaxing for a bit. Since we won't be driving anywhere, the vehicle tracking will not be working... plus, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... (but i'll post a few pics)



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Middle of Nowhere Panoramas 
Friday, December 30, 2005, 06:07 AM
I took a few panoramic images of us being in the middle of nowhere...

To view these you have to have quicktime ( http://www.quicktime.com )

Once they are loaded, you can use the control and shift keys to zoom!

From Texas:
http://www.drivexc.com/middle_of_nowhere.mov

From New Mexico:
http://www.drivexc.com/New_Mexico_Middle_of_Nowhere.mov

Also--

All of the pictures from yesterday are up at http://www.drivexc.com/pics


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Albuquerque to Grand Canyon... 
Thursday, December 29, 2005, 09:27 PM

We left Albuquerque and decided our best course of action would be to head northwest towards the 4 corners intersection. This is the spot where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet.

On the wa we headed up rt 550 in New Mexico... this was a relatively long, but interesting road. Here is a picture of a bit of the scenery along the road:



The road was a bit wet, and in some spots (bridges, shade etc) icy.. apparently this guy didn't quite get the "icy bridges" signs that are everywhere out here:


About halfway up 550, we stopped on a random side road to go off into the desert. The road was sort of snow-covered, but mainly soft packed sand. After about 3 minutes of driving on this road, we were in the complete middle of nowhere desert. I couldn't even see any sign of human life besides the road we were on continuing off into the distance!

On our way out of the road and back onto the highway we stopped to play with the cattle gate. For those of you who don't know what a cattle gate is, it is a series of metal bars on the ground with a pit underneath them so the cattle can't walk onto the road, but cars can drive across. Here are a few pictures of us and the cattle gate:



We headed up on 550 until we hit 64 in Bloomfield, NM. We stopped briefly for some subway lunch, and then carried on west on 64. We reached the Arizona/New Mexico border after passing through the Navajo Indian reservation then headed north towards the 4 corners monument.

Apparently you have to pay to see the 4 corners, so after shelling out $3 per person, we walked up to the seal on the ground... Here i am in 4 states at once... or am i (to be discussed later)


We went over to the Utah side of the area, and it was a kind of cool ravine thing with a steep hill and another steep hill on the side of it. We decided to take a picture of ourselves:


If you look closely in that picture, you can see a the big ridge on the other side. Todd decided to run down the hill and back up the next ridge-- We snapped this picture of him:


We headed back out of the 4 corners and down towards the Grand Canyon. We first had to drive through over 150 miles of rt 160 in Arizona through Monument Valley. A beautiful place, although the "monuments" are a ways away from the road... you can see pictures of these in the image gallery at http://www.drivexc.com/pics

After reaching Rt 89 about 50 miles north of Flagstaff, we stopped to fill up the gas tank for the 13th time since leaving Connecticut at the Cameron Trading Post. I had been there a few years ago with my family, so i felt it fitting to show a picture of it:


There were a few wild dogs roaming around and playing in the parking lot as we were there, which added to the "hillbilly" theme to the place!

We then headed towards and into the Grand Canyon National Park. I had forgotten just how vast this place is... Here are a few of the pictures we took this evening.




Now, about that so-called 4-corners monument... After coming back to the hotel, we decided to look at our GPS maps of the area. I came across an interesting thing while looking at a zoomed in view of the 4 corners area... I had driven clear around the "marker" of the 4 corners, to be sure i had driven in each state.... Well on the google map it shows me doing a circle, but never entering Colorado! The monument these crazy indians have erected seems to be in the wrong place! See for yourself by zooming in on the border in our live tracking maps! Just think about how many people have pictures their feet on the monument thinking they are in 4 states when they are really just in Arizona! I want my $3 back!

Tomorrow we head to Las Vegas... We are staying at the Tropicana Hotel for 2 nights (Dec 30 and 31)... not sure if we will have internet there, but we will try to keep you all posted on the happenings!


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