06 Jun 2010 @ 9:51 AM 

A lot of people might say traveling around the world homeless and unemployed is a terrible idea. We are hoping those people are wrong. Last week, we packed everything we own into one rental van and a car. Chris and Amy drove the van, which Chris enjoyed because the van was actually a stealth spaceship, and Sunil, Sigma, and I piled into a 2002 Toyota Corolla along with a bunch of luggage and board games. Packing everything into two vehicles was a feat of engineering which required abandoning a table and mattress on a street corner in front of Sunil’s apartment (shhhh, don’t tell anyone, we are not sure of the legality of this maneuver). After that, we headed out onto the open road….where Sigma puked before we even bought gas.

Armed with two tanks of gas and 4 Costco sized bags of jerky, we began our journey into the great, wild yonder – first stop: Portland. We ate and drank at the very dog friendly Rogue Brewery, where we all ate French dips and met up with a friend from Sunil’s past. After that, we strolled the streets of Portland and Sigma got to meet a lot of crazy homeless people and pose in front of a statue made of bicycles. That night we drove to Grant’s Pass, Oregon and stayed at the first of several Motel 6s. I have to give a little Motel 6 plug here, they were very good to us on our entire journey. Cheap, clean, comfortable, and they don’t make a big freaking deal about dogs.

The next day we drove out to Crater Lake, which was completely buried under five feet of snow. Sigma rolled in the snow and bought a Crater Lake map bandana to wear. Next we headed through northern California and made it down to Berkley, where we ate at a dog friendly pub with a waiter that may have been high or permanently brain damaged from constantly being high. We hung out at Ivan’s house while Chris and Amy attempted to enjoy the sights of SanFran. Sadly, the fog obscured pretty much everything except the seals on the pier. That night we stayed at the Motel 6 #2 in Modesto.

The next day was a day of extremes. We drove up to Sonora pass, elevation 9642 feet and also buried under a ton of snow. We then drove down through the Inyo forest to the desert to Death Valley. We made it out to the salt flats in the Badwater Basin, elevation -282 feet, temperature 109 ºF. We wanted to walk Sigma out onto the salt flats, but there were no dogs allowed. Sigma was very sad. Then we headed the bright lights of Vegas, or at least we tried to.

Right outside of Vegas, we decided to shuffle drivers in an attempt to get all the way back to Phoenix by driving throughout the night. Sunil and Amy were aboard the spaceship and Chris and I were in the Corolla. A few minutes later on a hill fifteen miles outside of Vegas, the Corolla stopped moving forward. When it started to roll backward, we decided it was finally time to stop. Chris and Sunil rode with the tow truck to the auto repair shop in the ghetto to leave the car for the morning and Amy and I headed to Motel 6 #3 off the Vegas strip to get a room for the night. It was by far the most terrifying Motel 6 in the country, but we survived the night. We sent Sigma to Arizona with Chris and Amy and we stayed stranded in Vegas with no mode of transport. The auto repair place was actually super helpful and got us a rental for free while they replaced the poor Corolla’s clutch and removed corrosion from the battery for the low, low price of $750. While we waited for the repairs, we ate at a huge Vegas buffet and lounged poolside at Caesar’s Palace. Later that evening, we were on our way over the Hoover Dam and into Phoenix. We arrived at Sunil’s parents’ house exhausted, sweaty, and covered in salt from our trip to the salt flats. Short story long, we promise to update more frequently so we don’t have to include the events from an entire road trip in one entry. In just a few short days, we will be off to Hong Kong! Wish us luck!

Link to our pictures for the first blog entry!

Death Valley is the lowest spot in the United States, what is the lowest spot on land in the world?

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Posted By: Robin
Last Edit: 06 Jun 2010 @ 09:51 AM

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