This is a blog to record all of the crazy stories that will happen throughout the trip from Orlando, FL to Seattle, WA. Here is how it all starts. My best friend is coming back from Germany and so is his girlfriend. She is planning on taking his dog from Orlando to Bozeman, MT. He is planning on taking a bike trip that distance, so it leaves her to drive alone. I will fly down there and ride with her during the trip to keep her company!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Last posting....

Well, welcome to the last posting on this blog. It has been a quick and yet long trip. The longer parts were due to the weather ...Something I learned, I will never live in the south! (they probably wouldn't want me anyway) We're all in Seattle safe and sound ...the "live cargo" is doing great ...I've seen her happier and happier! She is bounding around the house now, doing what dogs do best!
On Sunday (the day we made it to the Emerald City) we went on a "Duck Tour" ...Basically, the tour was of Lake Union (slightly northwest of Seattle) on a military "Duck" ...These are vehicles that drive and also float ...They had a time in the army, but were soon retired for many reasons, one being it moves about 5 knots (when you're being shot at, it isn't quite fast enough!) The pictures on this blog were mostly from the trip ...We also went and visited the EMP (Experience Music Project) in Seattle.
The EMP was started by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) ...Last time I went through it, it was a large music history museum in a pretty cool building ...On the space needle picture, the building at the bottom is the EMP building ...This area also houses the Seattle Center area ...There are lots of fairs and shops here ...basically a tourist trap :-)

I want to thank you for reading this blog and keeping up with us across the US ...If any of these pictures are things you'd like (or on my Flickr site) email me and let me know, I'll send you the orig pictures! Someday It'd be cool to be a pro photographer! (Yet another way to get out from behind the desk) ...Also, since you're reading this, I'm starting my own business! (Just a quick sales pitch) I'm starting a Motorcycle Touring Company. Basically, this is an fairly inclusive tour where I take clients from Bed and Breakfast to Bed and Breakfast through out the Pacific Northwest all while riding on motorcycles. I will have specifics on my website ( by the middle of this month, if anyone you know (or perhaps you) would be intersted, please let me know! This next summer is my first summer, so it will be a little shorter than the 2008 summer!
I hope all goes well and once again, thanks for the comments and words of wisdom!


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Seattle or Bust....

After the great experience we had in Oregon, we headed towards the great town of Leavenworth, WA. Leavenworth is a bavarian style town in the cascade mountain range. The town was starting to die when the towns folk voted to make it a bavarian town. Everything in the town then had to be changed. It is pretty similar to Garmisch, but it still isn't exactly the same.

The "Live Cargo" is still alive and doing great! She has really started to open up ...Instead of three weeks to get to know someone, its down to about 10 hours ...She gets so excited to go out ...anytime either of us picks up the leash, the dog just jumps up and runs around in circles! I think she will do great in her final destination!

Leavenworth, its pretty expensive, so we only could afford to stay one night ...we left for Seattle in the morning ...Along the way, we stopped at the local ski mountain "Stevens Pass" ...I worked there last winter and plan on it this winter too ...its not Colorado, but its not bad (just avoid the early winter!)

The mountain is fairly small, but the scenery is very beautiful ...One thing I do like about it is that the mountains are rugged ...there is a very diverse amount of terrain!

Lastly, this is almost the last blog I will write ...we are about to head to downtown Seattle ...this will be the final destination on this blog, since its currently "home" to me (although, Colorado is still "home" in my heart!) I will fill in and have some reflections about the trip on the next blog ...I have a hockey game tonight and I'm very excited that my friends will be coming and watching ...So, the blog will come tomorrow morning!


Friday, July 28, 2006

Late posting

I thought that most of the world had been covered by the phenomenon known as "the internet" ...Boy was I wrong ...We were in the middle of paradise (a place defined in my book as a place I can't be reached by phone, email or fax) We surprised a friend we worked with in Germany by stopping in her little (I mean little) town of Condon. This was probably the best experience we had on this entire trip (at least its mine!) We stayed on the farm with our friend and her parents.

Shortly after calling and setting a meeting spot (of course at one of the bars in town) we embarked on a "pub crawl" ...We thought of it as a mission to have a beer in each of the towns pubs ...about 30 minutes later, we were done (there were only two).

On the way back to the farm, we were lucky enough to watch the sun slip below the horizon. Our view included 4 major volcanoes in the chain (Adams, Hood, Helens and Rainier) This was beautiful (to say the least). After watching the sunset, we finally made it back to the farm. Quick introductions to the family and we made our way outside. This was probably one of my all time favorite sights of all time (probably 2nd or 3rd on my list!) The sky was very clear and the sky was completely filled with nothing but stars. The ambient light from the stars was enough that the landscape was almost fully visible. We were lucky enough that the moon was not out last night ...We spent about an hour there and also toured the barn and surrounding buildings.

After a great sleep, I went out and started taking pictures ...oh yeah, about the bed ...the most comfortable bed I've ever slept on ...the closest way I could describe it would be imagine you are the cold butter on top of the hot pancakes at IHOP sink in and just "melt"! Ok, back to the story ...While I was out taking photos, our friend's dad took me out to see the property and fields ...I got to have a very unique experience and got to see a glimpse into the day and in the life of a farmer! It had to be one of the neatest things I've ever done! (if you are reading this, thank you again!)

After a quick good-bye, we headed out to our final destination, Leavenworth, WA ...We kind of decided this would be the best place to spend our last night in hotels (and on the road, though, Seattle is still next) Leavenworth decided as a town to become a "Bavarian" town ...many of the shops and buildings look like streets in Garmisch ...this is kind of a "familiar" place for both of us!

I will write about Leavenworth tomorrow ...also, I have one more posting afterwards including Seattle ...we are working on 3000 miles!!! Its been quite a trip!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mormons know how to pick the places!

Too bad the laws are such that life would be a little "rough" in Utah ...this place is beautiful! We drove the back route to Salt Lake City (well, actually Ogden, north of SLC) From Fort Collins to Odgen was about 500 miles and it took about 8 hours (a few stops here and there) I was very beautiful though. We stopped in the small (now large) town of Steamboat Springs ...I use to ski there a few times a year remains my favorite place to ski/snowboard ...someday it'd be nice to move near there (maybe when I win the lottery ...yes, I know its a bad mathematician's game)

Everything went pretty smoothly today navigator slept pretty much after noon (didn't miss much ...Wyoming is pretty non-discript, see picture) The drive was great though ...most of the roads were very clear and there was lots of natural beauty ...the mountains in the northwest corner of Colorado are beautiful ...its no wonder why they call it "colorful" Colorado! You can see many layers in the rocks ...dark reds and browns to light, almost yellow rocks ...I couldn't get a photo to do it justice (I'm not terribly good at landscape photos ...yet!)

Tonight, my traveling companion went in to find out about this hotel ...she ended up booking the "king suite" which has two rooms! I can fall asleep to the TV tonight! (makes me pretty stoked ...she thinks that it must be a "guy" thing ...maybe?) Tomorrow should be an easy day, we're suprising a friend in central Oregon (haven't told that person we're coming yet ...should be fun) We've also already planned out the rest of the trip ...I won't leak any details yet, how'd I keep you coming back to read?

Now to leave you with some Utah facts (I purposely left off Wyoming, wait, I'll tell a joke :-)

Why is Wyoming so windy?

Because Utah blows and Nebraska sucks (hehe)

ok, back to Utah facts:
1. Utah is also known as the "beehive state"
2. Levan, is "navel" spelled backwards. It is because it's in the middle of Utah
3. Mormons live here

Well, as Porky would say "abbda abbda, thats all folks!"


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Best Beer and Worst Beer

This posting will be mostly pictures and a few short stories ...Today we spent the day in Fort Collins (voted #1 city in America by Money mag) Most of the day we spent driving from one place to another ...Last time I had been to horsetooth resevior, it was empty (repairs on the dam) This time it was back to its old glory ...still a little low, but it'll fill up more.

After a quick meal at Big City burrito (AWESOME BURRITOS) we meet with a friend and went to the New Belgium brewery (home of Fat Tire) After taking the self-guided tour, we got to sample some of the brews. Of course we didn't even try the Fat Tire, so there were about 10 to choose from ...The beer lady said Le Mairs was a good beer we both decided to try it ...well, I'd imagine that if you drank bial, it'd be pretty close date, its the only beer I actually took back to the bar and asked for something different!

Enjoy the extra pictures for today! Tomorrow we're headed towards Salt Lake City (going the long route)


Recovery day in Denver [Greatest city in the USA]

Yesterday was a recovery day...we didn't do much...The objectives for the day were to get a manicure and foot-acure (can't spell the "real" word...I tried 10 times...but too lazy to look up)...oh yeah, back to the day...My co-pilot decided she should be ready for any of the upcoming that was one goal...I had ripped my contact the day previous (that's why I have glasses on while standing in front of the ball of string [ see day before ], my goal was to get a new prescription and contacts...while we waited for the appointments, we went and saw Superman (really wanted to see Clerks II, but the theatre wasn't playing it)...I was was a good movie...they actually did the story justice! (they had to have, it's been done how many times?)

After the appointments and such (I could now see further than 200 feet!) we went to the Rockies game...My dad works there so I thought it'd be a fun thing to do...the Rockies STOMPED the cardinals...I got to see a in-the-park homerun! Also several home runs, sacrifice hits, bunts and great field work! It was a great game...

Now on to the dog...well, I have some news about her...she LOVES IT HERE! She has been running laps around my parents yard as often as she can...she gets along with my dog, but my sisters dog doesn't like her (shes new, so I keep them separated) Its so great to see how much shes opened up from the first time I saw her...she is always happy and wagging her tail...its amazing!

I'm going to close with a few random facts about Denver (maybe to entice you to visit the mile high city)

1. You weigh less here
2. 1 beer here = 1.5 at sea level
3. Purple mountains majesty
4. Rockies are great (on Mondays)
5. 26 world class ski resorts!
6. 360 days of sunshine a year (#1 in the nation...more than Florida)
7. Last but not least, #2 in the country for lighting strikes...Storms are beautiful!!!

p.s. I'll post more pictures tomorrow...maybe add some to this posting to spice it up!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Beautiful/Wonderful/[insert another awesome word

First things first, sorry about not updating last night we keep moving further west, the time zones give us extra time! Also, here in Denver, its go-go-go! Well, yesterday was a very interesting one ...we embarked on a grand adventure to see the "World's Largest Ball of Twine"

On the way there, I ran into a little difficulty with the local fuzz ...apparently, even though the road did not have any signs, I was to know that the speed limit was 65 ...well, as Sammy Hagar almost said "I can't drive 65"! Thinking that the speed limit was 70 (like the last road I had turned off of) I was clocked at 75 and received a citation :-( Oh well 1400 miles and this is the first event (and fingers crossed, the last)

The whole voyage to the ball of string wasn't a total loss though ...Kansas is known as the "Sunflower state" ...Well, up until a few towns before the largest ball of twine in all the land, I spotted a huge field of sunflowers ...FYI Sunflowers have an IQ (yes, IQ) ...they know where the sun is and turn to face it ...this shows that the organism has intelligence!

Well, enough about Kansas, its pretty; but the best four worlds I have seen printed on this entire trip were "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" Colorado is BEAUTIFUL!!! I know I'm one of the world's biggest fan of the place, but once you visit, you'll understand ...Anyway, we have so much to do here, so we made a list ...yesterday I stopped by and saw my niece (Kaitlyn) and I actually touched her ...(I'm not very good with babies, so this was a huge step) The kid is cute, I do have to admit!

Today is packed full of adventure and excitement (well, at least some fun) Stay tuned and find out what we do in Denver (the best city in all the land least thats my perspective)


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Five (count them) Five States!

Todays total brings us to 1453 miles total! Current state count: FL, GA, TN, KY, IL, MO and KS! I'm sitting in a "Junction City" hotel right now typing out this blog ...we decided to move as far as we could ...MO and KS aren't all that interesting ...Tomorrow, I am looking forward to visiting the world's largest ball of string'll only be an hour out of the way, so its a go!

Ok, so here is what happened today... a little bit of a late start because of the massive rain the night before ...also, we decided that we were eating very unhealthy (and I'm trying to diet) so we went to Sams Club (not sure why we picked the king sized store, but its all we could find) ...We bought 36 rolls, 5lbs of lunch meat, 2lbs of Honey Nut Cherrios and 4lbs of Apples ...we're thinking this will last us most of the way ...I'm looking forward to seeing my old stomping ground (Denver) tomorrow!

After we left TN (which is actually a very "hilly" place) we headed through a part of Kentucky ...not worth noting ...Next came Illinois, but once again, not much ...although, I did discover another state that doesn't have a motorcycle helmet law ...The whole focus of the day was to get to St. Louis though ...I really wanted to see the arch we pushed on and eventually made it there ...the arch is HUGE! I didn't realize how tall it was ...since there really isn't much there, the pictures don't give it any perspective ...if you get a chance to go, go see it! I also saw another building that really caught my eye ...the picture of the other building is the old "Power and Light" building.

We spent some time at the monument and had yet again, a turkey sandwitch (this counts 3 so far on the trip...thank you Sams Club!) It was starting to get later than we wanted to, so hopped in the car and headed off to Kansas City...The whole way we were blaring country music and singning ...well, it was mostly my co-driver ;-) And yes, Lara, we did blast some Bon Jovi!

This whole trip has been a great experience ...I've discovered that drivers are horrible on the east coast and west coast alike! Seems like no matter where I go, people like to camp in the left lane and go 5 mph under the speed limit!

The "live cargo" we are carring is doing great ...she hasn't been a pain or left us any presents either ...basically, just sits there until we stop ...jumps out ...does her business and we get back on the road!

Well, I'll have some good stories to tell tomorrow ...the ball of string I'm trying to hunt down is 40' around (12.75' diameter)


Friday, July 21, 2006

Nashville is full of hicks!

Leaving Orlando
Today was full of 11 hours of driving ...We went from Orlando to Nashville ...along the way we only spotted two confederate flags ...I was pretty disapointed ...I did consider putting a George W sticker on the car just so we would have safe passage, but then decided that those can be pretty permanent!

Bible Sale?
Traveling through the "bible belt" was pretty interesting ...along with the massive fireworks and smut stores, there was one billboard that caught my eye (just to the right) ...they actually have a several of these up along I-95! Guess they are just helping sell the #1 selling book!

Weather has been pretty hot most of the way, but when we were just outside of Nashville, it started dumping! It felt like someone had turned on a firehose really came down ...made it very hard to find the hotel ...we got a little lost because they don't label things right here ...(wonder if more than 50% of the population can even read ...just kidding ...kind of)

Last but not least, just before we took off out of Orlando, we all made a venture to Tijuana Flats ...I had never heard of it before, but it was probably the best experience I've had in a long time ...for those who know me, you know my love for hot sauces get this ...they have at least 20 hotsauces they make there ...and they have most of them vom fass (From the TAP!) How amazing is that? I tested out 8 of their hot sauces...convienced me enough to buy three while we were planning our route, I had to put them in the shot ...the food was ok, but the rest of the experience was AMAZING!!!

Well, for now, its time to get some shut-eye ...its getting late!


Thursday, July 20, 2006

YEAH...and it so hot!

I started my long trip to flordia last all started by a phone call from Travelosity telling me that my flight was delayed and that I wouldn't be able to make my connecting flight...At the ticket counter, they fixed it, but since it was last minute, I got the isle seat...last row in the plane! To make it worse, I had someone sitting next to me who should have bought two seats!

I'm now in Orlando...I thought Seattle was humid...WRONG! It hit me like the spray from a car wash (felt like it too!)...Its very warm!

I'll write more and post some pictures later today!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Getting ready

Wow...seems like its taking so long...but I finally leave tomorrow! I'm still hoping that I get picked during one of my corporate-monitored IM's, my friend almost forgot what day I got in...guess it serves me right, I accidentally forgot him for almost 3 hours at DIA when he flew in for a friends wedding...

Speaking of missing friends, my other college roommate had to wait in Munchen for 5+ hours...My friend and I were under the assumption that he was getting in the next day...all of a sudden, I got a phone call...he had already landed 3 hours was still a 2 hour drive up there!

I'm pretty much done packing now and ready to get on the plane...too bad I have to finish a full day's work! I'm not too fond of flying though...I really like going somewhere, but not actually fingers are crossed though!

Look forward to more post along the way!


Friday, July 07, 2006

T Minus 296h 01m 00s

Originally uploaded by mikeensor.
I'm hoping we don't see too many of these on our trip!