Day 5 Driving through Nebraska

Sunset

Today was pretty uneventful unlike my day in the Rockies.  I was mostly driving along I-80 through Nebraska.  What do I know about Nebraska?  Nothing except the “Oracle of Omaha” is from this state, better known as Warren Buffett one of the richest men in the world.  I doubt he drives along I-80 though.

I made one long stop at a gift shop called Ford Cody in North Palatte.  It was a little tacky.  I did find what I thought was the only cool item in the store.  Belts!  They had some great handmade belts with Buffalo and Wolves on them.  They did not have the Wolf design in a 32, so I got the Buffalo one.  I thought I should have one cool thing to remember about Nebraska and my road trip.

I drove a little over 500 miles from Greeley, CO to Lincoln, NE.  Funny thing is I could have kept driving probably without a problem.  I am really not that tired from driving today.  I think I am used to it now and prepared for it.  I listened to “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy” while driving.  It's was much better than listening to “Cover Her Face” which I still have no idea what the story is about.  The Bourne series had all background music and a good narrator to make the story exciting.  Tomorrow I will listen to the third installment in the series “The Bourne Ultimatum.”  I picked up these cassette tapes at a great place in Baltimore called the Bookthing.  They give out free books and sometimes old cassettes are there.  I did consider getting a better head unit to install in the Accord, but I don't mind using cassette taps.  It's nostalgic to use them.

I stopped and I am staying in Lincoln, NE at the Staybridge Suites here.  When I checked in I was talking with Sarah, the girl working the front desk, about my road trip.  She was said, “I am taking a trip soon from LA to Minneapolis.  I am looking for any tips.”  I was quite proud that someone had recognized and asked me a master road tripper for advice.  (Ok… that's a bit of a stretch.)  I said “I would recommend getting a cooler and putting ice and drinks in there.  That way you don't have to stop when you are thirsty.  You can also put food and snacks in the cooler.”  We also talked a little about… Warren Buffett.  I asked “I guess Warren Buffett is popular in Nebraska?”  Sarah, “Yeah we don't have many people to be proud of.”  He definitely is an amazing guy to have built up such an immense amount of wealth.  At least Baltimore has Micheal Phelps.

The rooms at Staybridge are very nice, comfortable, and well-appointed.  I like the suite concept where you have a kitchenette with a fridge, dishwaher, and microwave.  It's more inviting experience when you stay in a hotel.

Tomorrow it's another 500 miles to Chicago.

Day 4 Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Rocky Mountain National Park

On Tuesday I went to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was absolutely amazing!  The mountains and scenario were stunning.  I took a lot of pictures, but you had to be there to experience it.  The smells, sounds, air, creatures, and winding roads made it an unforgettable experience.

My relative, Jack, made a very good suggestion.  He said, “You should go up on Trail Ridge Road.”  This is the road that leads way up to the top of the mountain in the Park.  On the top there are deep drops and no barriers which makes the drive exhilarating.  I saw many RV's and Motorcycles going up the road.  I was just fine in my Honda Accord which was easily maneuverable on the winding road up the mountain.  The immense power of the mountains did draw power from my engine though.  I definitely felt it going up.

The best part of going to the park is just pulling over at one of the many little parking areas and exploring on foot.  There are lots of amazing places you can walk around in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  See the pictures below!

Coming back down was exciting as well.  You need to pay attention to your driving.  You can not and should not simply coast down the mountain or you could overheat your brakes.  The great thing about Hondas is their automatic drive selection.  Most automatic cars only have “D” or “L” for selecting your gearing.  Hondas have “D4” “D3” “2” “1” which seems unnecessary.  However I found going down Trail Ridge Road it was very useful to have these options.  I mostly stayed in D3 but switched sometimes between D3 and 2 when I was getting to close to cars or going to fast.  Having the option to keep the cars gears below 3 or 2 gears was useful.  Great idea Honda!

Even the drive from Greeley to Estes Park was nice.  The road leading into Estes Park was basically made right through a mountain it seems.  So when you are driving up you are just getting a small taste of what is to come.  The drive was only about 1 hour from Greeley where I was staying.  I listened to “Cover Her Face” on the way up to the Park and somewhat back down.   For some reason listening to the narrator made me very sleepy.   Don't know why that well spoken British narrator was making me tired, but he did.  It was probably the Shakespearean training.

My only wish is that I had more time to look around the Rocky Mountain National Park.   It was $20 and the pass was good for a week.  It was well worth it for the day.  I would recommend planning out more time to explore if you go up there.

I think Colorado is my new favorite state.  I hope to come back soon!

West to East in the Beast

Tomorrow I will be embarking on a cross country road trip.  This will be an exciting journey for me.  Taking a car over 3,000 miles from Irvine, CA to Baltimore, MD.  I will go through many states, counties, and cities.  I hope to see some amazing sites and meet interesting people.  This will be an unforgettable experience.

My planned travel route currently is to go up 1-15 through Nevada, into Utah and up to Colorado.  I will take I-70  to Denver to stay with a relative.  Then I will take I-70 all the way back to Baltimore.  Stay updated with my progress through my posts on this blog.  I may not be able to post updates daily since I might not have internet access.  I will try my best though.

Taking this trip reminds me of the latin proverb, “Fortune favors the bold.”

 

 

My new Car, drive or ship?

1996 Honda Accord
Looks great for a 15-year old car!

 

I have great news, I am getting a new car.  Well… a “new” car to me at least.  I will be buying a 1996 Honda Accord from my Grandma in Irvine, California.  It has 120,000 miles on it, was kept in superb condition, runs and drives great.  Lucky for this car it has been in CA its whole life.  So no harsh winters, therefore no rust.  Originally it was my aunt's car and now I'm buying it.  Accords are such good cars, we want to keep this one in the family.  I know I will be able to get another 120,000 miles out of it easily.  Maybe even get 300,000+ miles out of this car.  Hey, it's a Honda!  It can make it.

The only problem is… well… I'm in Baltimore, MD and the car is in Irvine, CA.  That's on the other side of the county.  My two options are to ship it through an auto transport company, or drive it on a fantastic road trip across the country.  I would love to drive it, but my family feel it's better to ship it and not put extra miles on the car.  My thoughts are “It will be an adventure.  Besides it's a Honda, another 3,000 miles is nothing.  It should make it back to Baltimore no problem!”  The car does need a few maintenance items before it could make a cross country trip.  The back tires should be replaced, it could use a new battery, a brake flush, and probably an oil change.  Just that, then it should be set.  I'm having trouble deciding.  Shipping would be about $800-1000.  Driving might work out to be about the same, but it would be an unforgettable journey.

I would love to hear suggestions, comments, or advice from people.  What are your thoughts?  Ship or drive?

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