2002 Cross Country Drive

Trip Summary

On August 17, 2002, I left San Jose California and headed to Concord Massachusetts. The following are my notes of my trip.

The map on the right show where I spent the night along my travels across the United States.

This is my second cross country trip. The previous trip was in 1996, I'll be posting that information shortly.

Both trips were done in my 1994 Saturn SC2.

Friday, August 16, 2002

I was orginally scheduled to leave this afternoon to start my cross country drive. I decided to wait an extra day because of the lack of sleep and the late start on my first part of the journey.

I finish packing the truck at 6:30am this morning and had to clean the apartment out by 3pm. I scheduled a 3pm inspection, but nobody from the apartment complex showed up. At 6pm I headed off to meet Noel and Alex at Rock Bottom in Campbell. My last dinner in California and the same place that I ate on my last day at work at Acclaim Technology.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

I finally left my apartment complex at 1pm today. I finished cleaning the apartment and packed the car with as much stuff as I could get in.

I had 121,883 miles on my car when I backed out of my apartment parking space for the last time.

The drive to Las Vegas was fun, and I planned it pretty well since it was 100+ degrees in the desert and I drove through it during the early evening. The road was so opened that I did 97 mph and people were still passing me!

I arrived in Vegas around 11pm and offically left California at 10:33pm.

Las Vegas was book tonight. I checked several Hotels: Tropicania, Motel 6 (just off the Strip) and the Main Street Hotel downtown. The only place I could find was well away from Vegas.

I would highly recommend the trip into Las Vegas on I-5 at night. The lights of the city is such a wonderful site and really makes you appreciate the Vegas experience. Just make sure you have Hotel reservations before you leave. :)

Sunday August 18, 2002

Today I spent the day wondering around Las Vegas. Its very hot around here: 108 degrees! So naturally I spend my time in the casinos. I didn't do much gambling, since I don't how long I'll be out of work.

I decided to stay the the Venetian tonight! This is a very nice all suite hotel and pretty expensive for my low budget cross country trip. (This is the most expensive hotel that I ever stayed at!)

I always wanted to stay at the Venetian since I saw their preview center back in 1998...

I do plan to come back to Vegas at some point, so I didn't plan to buy any more junk.

Tomorrow destination is the Grand Canyon, which is forecast to be a very hot day.

Monday August 19, 2002

Today I traveled to the Grand Cayon and the wonderful Arizona Desert

On the way I got to drive over the Hoover Dam! Here's a little unknown fact, the men & women's bathrooms are on the dam and are in two different states!

The Arizona drive was pretty quiet. There wasn't many homes or exciting views to look at.

The Grand Canyon was a pretty neat site. Didn't spend much time here because of the fog or haze that blocked some of my view. :( Also it appeared that rain was coming in. I'll have to come back here some time to tour the valley. It cost $20 just to get in, the same as getting to Yosemite. Gas was cheaper near the Grand Canyon, I brought some just off the I-40 and was quite surprise to see the prices go down as I got closer.

Tuesday August 20, 2002

Today I drove across Arizona and most of New Mexico.

I stopped at Metor Crator, which was pretty much the only place I stopped at. It cost $16 to get in and it includes a nice hike around the top of the crator.

I also spend some time shopping at Albuquerque, New Mexico Old town district. There wasn't much to see, so I left and headed to spend the night in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Wednesday August 21, 2002

Today I drove to Oklahoma City.

The weird part of this drive is that I finally got to see trees again. Also just when I hit the Texas border bugs started to splat on my windshield.

I also stopped to get some texas style lunch at a place called Logans. The ribs was pretty good. It reminds me of the old Ground Round because they served free peanuts and people would just throw the shells on the floor.

My car did hit a milestone today, check out this picture!

Thursday August 22, 2002

Today I drove across the state of Arkansas and much of Oklahoma.

I visted the Oklahoma Memorial which is quite a site to see. This is where you can learn all about the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred F. Murrah Building. I don't think NYC will put together a similar type of memorial.

The drive through Arkansas took longer than expected because of the large amount of construction the state is currently doing. (Something like 77 miles of I-40 is currently under construction.)

I had a catfish dinner at a place called Nicks Bar-B-Q & CatFish, the food was pretty good and not spicy! Oddly enough in Calisle, Arkansas...

I am a little behind with the updates because I wasn't able to get a local connection when I stayed at Motel 6 tonight. I stayed in Arkansas, just one town over from Memphis, Tenn and Memphis wasn't considered a local call.

Friday August 23, 2002

I finally made it across the Mississippi river today at 8:25am local time. There were no signs to indicate that I was crossing the Mississippi.

I also arrived in Tennessee and headed directly to Graceland.

You can't bring video cameras on the Graceland tour and flash photography is prohibited. Most of the pictures I took came out bad because I couldn't use a flash.

FYI be sure to bring your AAA card for tour discounts! It cost $16, just to do the audio mansion tour. It takes about an hour and a half to complete the entire tour. The whole place was a snapshot of the 60's style. At the end of the tour, you see Elvis grave along with his parents and grandmother.

I ended the day in Nashville, which is about a three hour drive from Memphis. I walked around the streets of Nashville and went into a couple of bars that had bands playing country music.

Saturday August 24, 2002

Today I spent the morning and part of the afternoon in Nashville.

I ended up staying at the Historical Union Station. Which is a very nice hotel.

I visited two of the most popular attractions in Nashville the Ryman Theater and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Ryman was pretty nice, it cost $9 to enter the theater and take a self tour and look at exhibits. (Which are enclosed in a glass display)

The Country Music Hall of Fame cost $16 and featured a lot of orginal Country Music artifacts. You can learn a lot about Country Music here. They have a pretty nice store where you can buy just about anything related to country music.

I then left and drove to the Virginia border to spend the night.

On the way I finally got to take a picture that I been waiting for six years. It was the only sign I didn't take when I cross the country back in 1996.

Sunday August 25, 2002

Today I spent the morning driving to Washington DC.

The drive reminded me of Route 2 in Massachusetts, nothing but Oak trees on the side of the road.

Once I arrived I headed to Arlington National Cemetery and took an updated Gulf War memorial photo for my website. I had a problem looking for this memorial back in December 1999. It appears that this memorial was moved from its orginal location!

I then head to my favorite cheap hotel in Washington, Hotel Harrington.

I did walk around a little to check some of the local sites, but more on that tomorrow.

Monday August 26, 2002

I spent much of the morning in downtown Washington D.C.

I visited the International SPY museum ($11 admission fee), which is located near the Ford Theater. It was pretty neat, it contains mostly artifacts of tools that many spys use to gather intelligence.

I then went over to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to browse around for a couple of hours.

I personally wanted to check the Apple computer and have lunch downstairs. The Museum no longer has the American meal. (Slice Turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce)

Around 3pm I started to head out of the city, through Maryland to Pennslylvania and spent the night in Hershey PA, the chocolate capitol of the world.

According to AAA Trip Tick, I only have 374.9 miles to my final destination!

Tuesday August 27, 2002

I spent this morning at the world famous Hershey Chocolate Factory. I needed to see what kind of candy should be in my candy jar at my new job.

I left Hershey at 11am and started the final leg to Massachusetts.

Traffic wasn't that bad till I hit Hartford, CT. I avoided the NYC traffic by leaving early.

After 3,860 miles, I finally pulled into my parents driveway in Concord, Mass at 6:17 pm, just in time for dinner. :)

Tuesday September 3, 2002

My truck with all my stuff arrived on Wednesday, August 28 at my parents house.

I am very lucky that all my wine glasses made it, and it appears everything arrived perfectly!

I found out this morning that the carrier, Consolidated Freightways, has closed its doors! Wow had I waited a week who knows what would have happen to all my stuff?