Here is my trip in the planning stage - note the maps, books, highlighters, and binders (though you can't see them underneath all the other stuff).
The rest of the coffee table is taken up with a 3 hole punch, some open maps, and organizing materials.
I made a wasted trip this morning to the Verizon store - waited about an hour after checking in and watched others who came in later get helped before me. I never did get anyone to assist me so I finally left and went over to Barnes & Noble, where I bought a book of Robert Frost's poems.
The line "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep" describe why I love the wooded mountains rather than open desert. The mountains seem to cradle and protect me. I hope to be doing some southwestern camping though, primarily in New Mexico, Utah, and possibly Nevada (if I eventually get on US 50 for the last leg of my journey. A bit of my heart will remain in the Appalachians however.
I know many readers love and prefer the deserts of the southwest to the forested mountains of the east. Isn't it wonderful that this continent, from the Arctic Circle to the Panama Canal, with all its varied terrains and climates, is accessible to us, and we don't have to necessarily get on a plane to visit these places. I don't think any other country in the world - or I should say continent to include Canada and Mexico (as well as Central America) - can even begin to compare.
Tomorrow I will stop by REI and hope to pick up a map or two covering Lava Beds National Monument, which is located in the Modoc National Forest. I've printed a lot of information from the internet but the maps just don't cut it, and I'll get brochures and maps at the Visitors' Center for each national park and forest as I go along. I printed a map of Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah (VA) and it was utterly useless. Attempts to print it on two pages were unsuccessful, and while it probably can be done I didn't want to spend any more time on it.
I'm doing a lot less itinerary planning for the return trip (although that may change); I know the places I want to be sure to see, but the actual route will be determined by the folks I want to visit along the way. Dang, this is almost as much fun as the actual trip! (And I'm already thinking of where I will go next year).
A 98 degree day coming up, to be followed by the streak of triple digits. I don't know if I can stand it! Normally I would go off camping at the higher elevations for a few days, but with such an ambitious trip planned, plus the road trip in July with Jeannie & family, I will just conserve my energy and resources for now. And suffer in the Sacramento summer!
COLD AND GETTING COLDER
14 hours ago