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My 2012 road trip (8/25-9/11) - Russell Brunelle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Russell Brunelle

My 2012 road trip (8/25-9/11) [Sep. 13th, 2012|11:26 am]
Russell Brunelle
I just returned from the only major road trip I had planned for 2012, and intend to spend most of today posting my pictures from it. I didn't have any travel companions for this adventure; it was just me, my digital camera, my 2007 Honda Civic, and the following itinerary:

8/25: Driving from Seattle WA to a rest stop just northwest of Reno NV (if I remember correctly the US-395 rest stop just west of California's Honey Lake)

8/26: Driving into Reno and seeing that city's automobile museum, art museum, and bowling stadium, then driving to Burning Man (near Gerlach NV) in time for its 6pm official opening

8/26-9/3: Staying at Burning Man its entire duration, leaving at 7am on its last day

9/3: Driving from Burning Man to San Francisco CA, finding cheap multi-day parking for the car, and then staying in an inexpensive hostel both that night and the next

9/4: Exploring San Francisco by foot and streetcar, seeing sights including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (which conveniently wasn't even charging an admission fee that day), that city's newest museums (unfortunately The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment was only open on weekends so this basically just meant the new GLBT History Museum), and several sites related to the infamous Peter and Raymond field recordings

9/5: Cleaning the car, seeing the Legion of Honor, walking the Golden Gate Bridge, and then driving north to spend the night in a rest stop near Crater Lake

9/6: Seeing Crater Lake National Park, then driving north to Eugene OR to spend the afternoon with a friend and finally sleep in a rest stop just south of Eugene

9/7: Seeing Eugene's Conger Street Clock Museum, then heading east from Eugene along the TransAmerica Trail toward Stites ID (essentially duplicating by car the first portion of the same route I followed in 2010 when I bicycled from Eugene OR to El Dorado KS), spending that night at the Little Pine Inn in John Day OR

9/8: Continuing east on the TransAmerica Trail from John Day through the Idaho location near Stites where I took this picture in 2010, finally turning south toward Boise ID and eventually sleeping in my car at a highway pullout somewhere north of Boise

9/9: Driving into Boise, where I got my car's oil changed and photographed the state capitol, then turning west to start following I-84 to Portland OR, spending that afternoon and night at the Bridge Street Inn in Baker City OR (where I also took the opportunity to organize my trip photos and clean the desert dust from all the clothing I used at Burning Man)

9/10: Continuing west from Baker City to Portland (enjoying the views of the Columbia River Gorge along the way), and spending that afternoon and night with my parents

9/11: Leaving Portland early that morning and following I-5 north back to Seattle

Unfortunately I didn't look at my car's odometer before leaving, but according to online map sites, the first two TransAmerica Trail map sections, and the known driving distance from Gerlach to Black Rock City (i.e. the temporary city where Burning Man is held), my total mileage for this trip should have been 3,148 miles, obviously excluding driving around within cities and minor drives such as backtracking from Eugene to its nearest rest stop.

I have to say that between this road trip, my earlier drives in this same vehicle from Seattle WA to both San Francisco CA and Iowa City IA, and my earlier drives in other vehicles around New Mexico, from Seattle WA to Boulder CO, and from El Dorado KS to New York City NY, I've probably done all of the major road trips that I've ever felt a strong pull to do. I'd like to attend Burning Man again, but only as part of an art installation crew, in which case I probably wouldn't be driving. I'd also love to see the historic sites in both London and Rome at some point, but obviously in those cases I wouldn't be driving either. Later on in life I'll probably want to retrace my 2008 bicycle ride from San Diego CA to Washington DC (following the Southern Tier route to St. Augustine FL and then switching to the Atlantic Coast route), but that would probably be much later on in life, and in that case for the sake of nostalgia I might be inclined to use a motorcycle rather than a car. So, although I'll probably never lose my sense of adventure, my adventures for the foreseeable future probably won't involve 3,000+ miles of driving.

A few comments about the pictures I'll be posting from this trip:

  1. They'll be posted in chronological order. If you'd like to know the day a particular photograph was taken, and it isn't obvious from the above itinerary, then you can always click on it to get to its Flickr page and from there see its time stamp.
  2. Except for a few that I took in San Francisco on my cell phone (starting with the hostel room and ending with the exterior of the Legion of Honor), all them were taken on the compact digital camera linked to above.
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