With so little time left, Tom, Sarah and I have been up to quite a bit of stuff.  Sarah has been better acquainting herself with the blogging interface while at her parents’ house (Tom or I used to upload and, to some degree, format blog posts her) and as you can see she is doing a great job.  Tom has also been up to some pretty cool stuff arranging our schedule and contacting people for various reasons.  I am sure you will hear more from him in the near future.  And, there’s me, Joey, the guy who’s writing this post.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Health Insurance

There’s nothing glamorous about this one, but if one of us trips on hike and breaks a bone, there’s nothing like the reassurance that we won’t be clawing our way out from debt for the next several years.  We went with a short term, 1,000 deductible, and insurance-pays-everything-after-that plan from
Assurant.  Because it is only for emergencies, (no regular check up’s, etc) the premiums are low—much lower then the COBRA plan my employer is obligated to offer to departing employees.  If anyone is between jobs, even for a few days, I highly recommend this option.

Bank Cards

We all are getting bank cards to access our collective road trip account.  This is not to keep track of Tom’s spending vs. my spending or anything like that.  It is so if we want Tom to get money from an ATM while I order lunch and Sarah purchases tickets, we can do so.  Even with these cards, all expenditures will be collectively agreed upon.


My blackberry (bought for this trip) is now able to be “tethered” to a laptop via USB cord for a mobile internet connection.  Add a peer-to-peer wireless network, a
computer “desk” installed in the passenger side front seat, and many hours driving and—BOOM—a mobile office and network.  This means mobile blog posts!  Or it means mobile ticket purchasing, mobile correspondence with people from the next stop, really mobile anything that you could do from a home internet connection.  Awesome.

New Map

There is really no quick, good, software way to easily create a map with eighty-two stops.  My original design used
Google Maps, but this had to be done a couple stops at a time before screenshots were taken, and then the whole thing was stitched together.  They have since upgraded to road trips that could take twenty five stops at a time, but this still has a ton of extraneous information like names of places that we aren’t going to.  In addition, one can’t clearly read all the names of places as some are covered by the route.  I moved to a free 60 day trial Microsoft Streets and Trips.  This would have been pretty cool if we had used it earlier for planning, but let’s be honest; the current map is kind of ugly and has even more extraneous, and even wrong, information visible (like where nights would occur if we were driving strait through, nonstop).  Finally, we settled on a public domain United States relief map altered with the always free GIMP (check this out if you havn't) to display our route and stops, which will be unveiled soon.

This brings me to my next point.  Sorry there are no pictures in this post.  My next post one will have a nice big one.

edit:  I almost forgot to mention changing my address and 
mail forwarding from the post office to my list of preparations.  And about a week before the trip, I'll change my address on file with banks, car insurance, credit cards, etc. to my Mom's house.

There you have it.  And if this post was more informative than exciting, just wait 16 days, 20 hours, and 48 seconds.  They’ll get better.


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