FAQ on return (or really better titled: an interview with myself)
all in summary
How many miles did you travel?
Scout began the trip with 9,680 miles. We were at 16,838 in Seattle, and 20,460 when we finished the trip. So, that's a bit over of 11,000 miles - doubling her mileage. We watched her slip into 10,000 in Mississippi, and 20,000 in Kentucky.
How many days were you on the road?
How many of those 45 nights did you camp?
How much did you spend in gas?
That's hard for me to compute. My records show me paying $433 in gas. But I know that is not how much gas cost total. First of all, I started out with some gift cards from my class, which brought me part way to Texas. Also, I was splitting gas 2 ways, and sometimes 3 ways, most of the time. So Scout probably drank about $1000 in gas all told, but it's hard to say.
That's gross. Does Scout really drink gas?
What was the most you paid for gas?
I'm having a hard time remembering...It was a LOT. We only got a gallon or two, but it was something like $4.50. That was in California, on the coast, not too near a town.
Did you have any car-incidents?
Nothing major. I did come so near to running out of gas twice...but didn't. We got screws in the tire, and eventually a flat, but it was easily repaired at $14.
Where was Scout when she turned 1 yr old?
Texas. Elizabeth had a little birthday party for her.
Where will Scout be headed when she turns 2 yrs old?
What what your new favorite state?
What was the best kept secret?
Colorado National Monument. Who'd'a thunk? Never heard about a peep about it from anyone. It was wild. You know, Utah looks like outer space. (and that part of CO does too...)
What was the best national park in Utah?
It's a close call between Bryce and Arches. I enjoyed hiking in ANP a lot, but Bryce really knocked the socks off my feet. (or would have if i was wearing socks, which i wasn't)
What's the longest time you went without showering?
6 days in Utah. Those parks don't have facilities to shower, since they're in the desert. But I wasn't too dirty...
What's the most you paid for a shower?
I only paid in the Grand Canyon. 2 times. I think it was about 2 dollars for 5 minutes. I really can't say if I was more dirty from 6 days in Utah or 2 days hiking in GCNP.
Where would you most like to go back and visit?
Last summer I wrote down that I'd like to go back to Colorado. I didn't get to see much of that state, and I could hang out there a long time. Right now, I'm itching for anything out west. It is just so different. and I miss the stars, and the feeling of such big, vast country.
Did any future summer plans unfold from this trip?
Yes, they did. I'm planning* a New England driving trip this summer. I'd also really like to spend a summer working in a National Park. I've also thought about working on a ranch in Wyoming one summer.
*used loosely (in comparison to notes of last year)
Did you ever get tired of driving?
Not really. I never got totally sick of the car like I thought I might. I did let Courtney drive more and more as we went eastward.
What is the final count of new states you saw?
MS, LA, TX, OK, NM, CO, UT, NV, AZ, CA, OR, ID, MT, WY, SD (in that order) - 15 new states. We abandoned NB and IO for I90.
Where would you most like to go back and live?
Seattle pulled me the most. I need to live in a city, and that is near the most beauty I saw. Wyoming would be a close second...I wonder if I could.
Did you have any unexpected expenses?
Uh, yeah. It's like I forgot I'd want to do anything besides eat, sleep and hike. I forgot about surprise-expenses (like a flat tire, for instance), and that I might want to buy souvenirs and gifts. Or that I might want to pay for something like a tour. And I didn't know San Francisco was so EXpensive.
What was the best souvenir you got?
Well, besides the good ol' stickers on my car...probably a Colorado key rack with green pine trees on it. and I still really like my Utah Rocks shirt (cuz it does). Of course, all the photos are the best.
What national parks would you like to go back and revisit?
I'd definitely like to go spend more time in Yosemite. That place is huge and I'd like to do more in it. I'd also like to go on backpacking trips in the Canyonlands and Grand Tetons. I'd like to see where the Colorado and Green rivers meet in the Canyonlands. And I'd like to do a hike through Cascade Canyon and back around and in another canyon in GTNP.
What did you learn from your trip?
That's probably the biggest question you could ask (which you probably didn't, but I did), because I learned a lot a lot. I learned a lot about camping, and geography, and planning, and traveling and living. And I learned a lot about nature - trees, terrain, birds, rodents, beavers, bears, moose and bison and stars. I learned from seeing, from doing, and from nature walks and talks with rangers. I learned from guide books and from friends. Mostly I can't even begin to quantify how much I learned, because I just took in so much. I had no concept of the Southwest to begin, and now I've been there. Obviously I learned on top of learning. And I learned (again) how much I love learning, and how I can have so many more interests: I mean, desert plants: can it get more interesting? There's nothing like being in it to make you learn and to make you want to learn.
Should you be in bed now?
How many more days of teaching left this year?
How many more weeks until summer?
Do you have more trips planned this summer?
Would you care to elaborate in a future interview?