BootsnAll Travel Network

The FINAL Entry….Where to from Here?

Alas, the new year is upon us. I successfully made it all the way to New Jersey, spent Christmas with my brother and his family, and then headed off to New York’s Penn Station to ride the Amtrak to Chicago, and then onto Portland via Amtrak’s Empire Builder.

Before I forget, I have posted the remaining pics at

Unfortunately, I was not able to sell my car. People that were interested in it just flaked out at the last minute. I would have sold it for $300, even less, because now I have a headache trying to donate it. The great, fully functioning 1988 Honda Accord LXi with power sunroof, power windows, power locks, automatic transmission, A/C and CD stereo (even though my seller lost its faceplate), can’t even pass muster with charities like St. Vincent DePaul, the Red Cross, the Cerebral Palsey Foundation of New Jersey and others. There are 3 things going against it. First of all, the charities accept the donation because they will try to sell it at auction and get a portion of those proceeds. But how can you sell something at an auction, or anywhere for that matter, that has no value? 1. My car is 17 years old (soon to be 18 years old tomorrow). Most places I called have a cut off at 15 years. 2. The car has over 250K miles. 3. It has a salvage, reconstructed title. Which means it was in a prior accident. Thus, nobody wants it. Well, I know it can make for good, basic transportation for somebody. But now that I am on the other side of the country, there’s not much I can do now.

Moving on with random stats:

* Total distance traveled: 6,183 miles

* Total gas expenditure: $471.05

* Total oil change and other car expenditures: $55.98

* Total spent: gas, food, souvenirs, admissions, train tickets, 4 nights in a hotel: $1500

* Total including cost of car, tires, registration: $2200

I was gone for a total of 27 days, so I spent an average of $81.50 per day. For my next trip, my goal is to be under $25 per day….

A few things I did on my trip:

* Ran the Vegas Marathon in under 4 hours and 9 minutes and felt GREAT
* Explored Carlsbad Caverns National Park
* Visited historic sites and memorials such as the Alamo, MLK Jr. Memorial, JFK Memorial, Richmond’s Battlefield Park and Kitty Hawk.
* Took in some NBA games: Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks vs. Denver Nuggets
* Tried some regional fare: jambalya in New Orleans, famoun beignets at Cafe Du Monde, Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, The Varsity in Atlanta–but didn’t make it to a White Castle or a Krystal.
* Went biking all over town: Tempe, Tucson, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, & Virginia Beach.
* Got to hang out with some really great, cool and fun peeps! Old friends and new, it was fabulous to catch up and to learn anew.
* Relished the odorless carbon monoxide and the dingy smell of burning oil…these I will definitely not miss!
*Practiced rolling my Rrr’s with my tongue, in preparation of my next adventure. However, 4 weeks and I am a complete failure! I just don’t think my tongue was made to roll the rrr’s!!!
*Rode the Amtrak and met even more great people. Like Sarah and her boyfriend Tim from Minneapolis, MN. Mike, an advertising salesman from Missoula, Montana. 10-year old Wednesday and her mother Malaya, who spent one year abroad teaching English in China. I also watched 4 movies, read 3 books, read one Reader’s Digest, read one magazine, did some journaling and gazed out the window as the scenery skipped on by while listening to my walkman and just getting lost in the moment.

4 weeks is not enough. Not enough to satisfy my wanderlust. There’s still so much to do, so many places to go, new friends to meet. For although I did miss the comforts of home, I know Portland will always be home for me and it will always be here–in the past, in the present, in the future. Who knows when I’ll have another opportunity to see the world. No time like now.

And thus it is almost time for me to go once more. I just put in my 2 weeks’ notice at work. My last day will be on January 13th, which coincidentally is my birthday. What not a great birthday gift to give oneself than that of another adventure?

I have a roundtrip ticket for Portland to Guatemala in Central America. I leave in 3 weeks and will be back in June. I’ll be taking Spanish language immersion classes and then spending some time to travel to Belize, Honduras, Yucatan Mexico and around Guatemala. And when I come back, I’ll bike from Vancouver, BC along the Pacific Coast down to Tijuana, MX. And by August, I should have time to hike the Wunderland Trail around Mt. Raineer, WA with my AmeriCorps friends Dan and Tim.

And by then all my money will be gone, I’ll be flat broke, and I’ll start all over again. A new adventure will always await.

Thanks for sharing in all my thoughts and travels. Make it happen. There’s no time like now.

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One response to “The FINAL Entry….Where to from Here?”

  1. Katie says:

    Not talking to you for a month. You realize that don’t you?

  2. Marletta says:

    Edwin it has been a joy getting to work with you. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  3. Juris says:

    Hi Edwin,

    Glad to hear you made it all the way to New Jersey in one piece and then back home. If you didn’t sell the Honda and couldn’t donate it, what happened to it?

    It was a real pleasure for Molly and me to meet you. We wish you all the best in your upcoming trip!


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