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When you hear anything even slightly out of the ordinary come from the engine of a 20 year old van, it elicits a special kind of fear. I think it’s rooted in how little we know about the magical machine that gets us from Point A to Point B, and how badly we can get screwed out of our money by those that can fix it. We got reminded of all this yesterday on the drive from San Francisco when the engine started to lose power and make a wonderful grinding noise. We pulled over and popped the hood open just in time to catch the last of the radiator fluid bubble over on to the highway.
Luckily I’ve had the honor of overheating my Eclipse back in college, so I had some idea how to proceed. We let things cool down and topped off the radiator with our drinking water and made it in to LA without further incident. Unless of course dropping $300 on a radiator check & break job counts as an incident.
Due to the problems, we decided to skip out on San Diego and hang out in LA until Monday. The idea is that we’ll be scoping out potential future digs for when Ben sells his house (which, by the way, if you want to buy, you can do so here.)
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Well, we survived the drive down Highway 1, but just barely. We decided to take Hwy 5 to save on time and then cut over to Hwy 1 taking this route near southern Oregon. Again, we learn a valuable lesson here. When Google Maps says that 35 miles of the roads we’re taking “may be seasonally closed,” it’s probably a good indicator that they’re not fit for a 20 year old RV. Luckily we were in good spirits, because it made the one lane roads, gravel paths, and mysterious tree with shoes hung all over it hilarious. The last one really made no sense at all, because there were no signs of anyone living anywhere around there, and they were kids shoes.
We Walmarted it that night in northern California. The second half of the drive was much more scenic, with the Redwood National Forest and Pacific Ocean constantly to the right. Again, tons of pictures after the jump. We got into Oakland late last night, found our beloved retail giant, and got a good night’s rest for today: our first day in San Francisco.
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We’re in Canada! This is my first time to grace the country with my presence. Ben has visited Montreal once a while back, but it’ll probably be a new experience for the both of us. The plan is to camp out for 2 nights at a Walmart located on the southern end of the city. It has a Metro station across the street which, for $18, will let us access the entire city easily. The three big things on my radar are:
-Old Montreal & Port. Listed in all the guide books & resources I’ve seen, it’s got a lot of history, shops, and cafes.
-The “Underground City” is a bunch of underground shops, businesses, & malls that connect off the Metro.
-The old Olympic Park has an indoor pool that we can use ($4) for exercise & to catch a shower. It has the added benefit of being an environment worthy of our physical prowess.
If you have any recommendations let us know!
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Did you know that you can get 2lbs. of “Round Steak,” whatever that is, for about $3? We found that out last night when we drove into town (Milton, VT) to do some grocery shopping. Pound-for-pound, that’s gotta even give tuna a run for it’s money, and certainly is tastier. Ben busted out his camping grill and cooked up a 1/2lb for each of us along with some greens:
What a pleasant little meal. But it’s fairly 1.0 for our 2.turbo-charged road trip. I knew from intuition, and past experience, that putting un-ground meat on bread is delightful. Ben took only a little convincing, and then he was sold.
Behold, the Steak Sandwich. Brought to you by Road Trip 2.0.
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The van’s actual position is now marked in close-to-real-time on the Itinerary map. It could come in handy in case you want to dispatch a couple of Omaha Steaks to save us from yet another tuna-based meal
We also finally got the “Honk to be on the Internet” sticker up on the back. Given that people have already been honking at us (our van is sloooow,) it should add an interesting dynamic when we start to snap their pictures.
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Boston, Massachusetts is the next lucky city to be blessed with RT2.0’s presence, we’ll be arriving in the afternoon on Thursday. To help brainstorm things to do, places to eat, etc, check out our Boston page (also linked off the Itinerary) and see if you have anything to add. If you’re in the area and want to meet up, hit us up!
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My friend Ben convinced me to sell my house and move across country. Now since I’m homeless and he can’t sell his place, he convinced me to go on a road trip around US, Canada, and select parts of Mexico! Ahhh, friends.
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