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April 25, 2006

Well, I have been planning this "dream trip" for over two years now. Not really in a serious way - hence the "dream," but more as a fun if I could do it I would kind of way. Now it's actually happening. It's 12:30am and I'm having difficulty sleeping. So, I've started creating a website to track my journey as it happens. I suspect there will be enough wireless access points along the way to keep it relatively updated. My only concern at this point is power. The laptop, obviously, will need to be occasionally recharged; and more importantly, my camera batteries will need to be recharged.

I plan to look into obtaining a power inverter that I can run off of the 12V battery on my motorcycle, but the concern with that is I can only run it safely when the bike is running. Which, if I layout my bag right I can probably run wires from the battery into my pack. We'll see.

The end of my second year as a graduate student at Purdue is quickly coming to a close. There are less than two weeks remaining in the semester. I'd say there's probably twice the amount of work. But, once the final push is over I will be free. I'll be moving into a new apartment the week following finals, playing in the commencement band that following weekend, and then visiting family and planning out the remaining details of this epic journey. On May 26, 27, and 28 I will once again march with the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. David A. Leppla for the Indianapolis 500, and upon returning to campus I will have one day to pack and depart.

Timing is critical for the first "leg" of my journey, since I will not only have tickets to see the Boston Pops but I will also be whitewater rafting with one of my good friends, Michelle Jones. Both of these events are scheduled for a specific date and require accurate timing on my part. Admittedly I am somewhat concerned. However, I'm also fairly confident that regardless of what happens I can always drive longer and make up lost time.

May 18, 2006

As you may have guessed, I stopped basically mid-paragraph on my last entry and went to bed. There's a distinct possibility of that happening again today. Though, at this point I'm in a much better mood than I was two weeks ago.

Classes are over, finals are over, I did well this semester and have no worries about continuing my studies next year. Commencement, in all of its glory, is done. ("Well you did it!"). We're almost done moving into our new apartment (all of our stuff is here - it just needs some organizing). So, a lot of things are done, and I am more than happy to see a lot of it over with.

My trip, on the other hand, hasn't even started - though preparation continues. Each day I alter my route a little bit, adding stops here, removing stops there (mostly adding though). It's up to 52 days. I also have ordered and received many of the items I'll need on the trip. I have a new tent, which I just set up and took down in the living room (it's a great tent), I ordered Boston Pops tickets, new tires for my bike are on their way to my Dad's house in Cedar Springs, and come Saturday I'll be driving up to Michigan one last time before my trip to get everything tuned up. As each day passes I grow more excited.

The Indy 500 is coming up, and once that is over with I'll be out of here, on a trip far longer in time and distance than anything I have ever done before. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of new places and meeting new people, not to mention visiting some of my old friends.

May 25, 2006

The previous entry, as the one before that, ended somewhat prematurely. Regardless, the countdown continues. Four more days and I depart. Today was pretty hectic - it was Shelley's birthday and in addition to that I've been trying to finish some last minute trip stuff (some of the places I need to go to are closed Monday for Memorial Day, and tomorrow I leave for the Indy 500). I got most of it done. I think now I have everything that I need for the trip, except for some extra oil and Honda Polish, which I plan to do tomorrow morning.


Today I laminated my directions - 30 individual 3.5"x11" sheets of paper. They're the perfect size to be taped to the inside of my windshield. I have a picture that will get posted at some point. I also went to Walmart and got any last minute supplies that I had on my list. As I type I'm doing a final load of laundry and once that's done I should be set. I'm hoping to be able to pack the "main" pack tonight. It'll contain mostly my clothes and a few other random things. Monday, after I return from the 500, I plan to finish packing my saddle bags and the circular storage thing that sits on top of the main pack. Saddle bags are making my life significantly easier in terms of packing as well as how much I can take on the trip - thanks for the early Birthday Present, Dad!

Anyway, in between this paragraph and the latest few I finished setting up journey, so the website should be ready to go. On that note I'm going to resume packing and probably head off to bed soon.

May 29, 2006

Well, the Indy 500 went well this year, and it was great to be able to perform under Dr. David A. Leppla for one last time before he retires. Incidentally, May 28 is officially "Dr. David A. Leppla Day" in Indiana :-). Regardless, I begin my journey tomorrow morning around 9:00am. I'm really excited, and really worried that I'm going to forget something important, or that something is going to go wrong. But, that's me worrying.

Everything is packed up and ready to go, I just have to put it on my bike tomorrow morning and depart. It's amazing what one can fit into a travel pack and saddlebags in addition to bungee cording random things to the back of a motorcycle (specifically a tent, a fold up chair, and a bag containing a sleeping bag and pillow). Shelley made me cookies, which were (and still are) delicious. Thus those have also been packed.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow, which should make things interesting. I'm hoping to make it to Niagara Falls tomorrow, but I'm not really expecting success. It's 570 miles from West Lafayette to there, and that's one rough day. I have to stay relatively on schedule for the first leg of my trip because of the Boston Pops tickets and Whitewater Rafting reservations, but I can afford to give up a day along the way. So, we'll see what happens.

It's getting late, and I want to be well rested for tomorrow so I'm heading off to bed. My next update will (hopefully) be done on the road and have some pictures to go along with it. Good night!