Day 4: Canyon de Chelly

After spending a night in Helbrook, I woke up at 6am and headed to Chinle,AZ. In my travel guide, it says through Canyon de Chelly is not amazing as Grand Canyon but it is still worthy of a visit.

After driving north 100 miles, I arrived at Canyon de Chelly at 10am. This canyon is more than 34 miles long and has few vista points. I spent 4 hours there and visited all vista points.

I would say Canyon de Chelly is not comparable to Grand Canyon at all. It is not as sheer as Grand Canyon. Also the view there is not as wide as it is in Grand Canyon. But one thing makes it differentiated from Grand Canyon is the Navajo culture. Hundreds years ago, there were Indians living here and you still can see some remains there. After spending four houses there, I thought I had enough history class and decided to start heading to New Mexico.

There are few National Parks are some amazing. Unfortunately, I have some issue with my visa status so that I have to avoid any checkpoint. For this reason, I want to pass New Mexico and Texas as fast as possible. As a result, I did not stop at New Mexico at all.

But one thing in New Mexico is pretty interesting. When I stopped at a gas station, I found they sell FIREWORKS there !!! I’ve never seen shops selling fireworks in united states. I was thinking to buy some fireworks and set it off somewhere else. But I don’t know can I bring it to other states( at least in California, you are not allowed to use it ). So I did not really buy it.

After I passed Albuquerque, NM, an bad thing happened to my car. When a truck passed by my car, something from that truck hit my driver’s side window. That object was so huge and so fast that my window is totally wrecked. At that moment, the window looked like a spider net. It was still a whole piece but kept having some cracking sounds came out. I was so worried and stopped my car at the next exit.

After I stopped my car, I tried to check how bad is the window and I shall have a temporary fix ASAP. The bad thing is I was in the middle of no where. The closest grocery shop is either 30 miles west or 30 miles east from where I was. There is a fastfood shop there, but the shop was about to close, people inside it refused to open the door to listen to my requests. Basically, I am on my own. I tried to contact someone special to help me, she listened to me and suggested me to call AAA. I called AAA asking where is the closest shop, so that I can have my car fix tomorrow morning and continue my trip. Then………. The AAA guy told me their system is down, he can not help me, I shall call them again next morning 🙁

After searching my car trying to find something can be used to fix my window, I found “Salonpas Pain Relieving Patches”. I’ve never known salonpas can be used to fix car until that night 😀 I put all the salonpas I had on my window and drove another 30 miles to next town – Santa Rose, NM.

At that moment, I thought my journey is over because it might take Honda dealer few days to order a new window for me. If I have to stop at a city for few days, I better stop in the city where I have a friend there. For this reason, I decided to drive another 450 miles to visit my friend living in Oklahoma City, OK.

Because the window was broken and the structure was so weak, I can not drive too fast. Otherwise, I might lose my window. Luckily, it did not happen and I arrived Oklahoma city safe and sound.

On my way to Oklahoma, I passed Amarillo, TX and found things in Texas are really DIFFERENT! There are lots of neon light in Amarillo. Shops are built so closed to the highway. Also highway ramps are so short, and make ramps look like drive ways to shops. Each shop has its own highway ramp! I will definitely visit Texas again once my visa problem is resolved.

Day 1: Goodbye Pacific Ocean, Here I come Atlantic Ocean.

The first day is driving day. I drove 880 miles from bay area to Tucson, AZ. I dropped by Los Angles and had lunch with a old friend.

I have spent two years in Tucson doing my master here. And my babies, tofu and popcorn, are still live here with my friend. I will spend two night here and then go to New Mexico.

Some Crazy People On Earth

There are lots of crazy people inspiring me, they are

  1. Kunlin(John) Lee. He is the craziest Taiwanese I’ve ever heard. I’ve been following his blog for more than 4 years. He drove more than 90,000 miles traveling around US in 3 years. That’s insane. If you can read chinese, you must visit this site.
  2. Jim Rogers, a world traveler and an investment banker. Jim Rogers may not be the richest person on earth. But he must be one of the person who can make the most use of his wealth. Jim has traveled around the world…. TWICE. Once by motorcycle and once by car. He set two Guinness World Records in his life
    1. He rode his motorcycle 104,710 km around the world.
    2. He drove his car more than 150,000 miles around the world.
  3. Sjaak Lucassen. Sjaak started his trip on 03/04/2001 and in the following three years, he has never spent two consecutive nights in the same place.

Introduction

I’m a python/java programmer working in bay area. Due to some reason, I have one month vacation by accident. So I decide to take a month break and drive from bay area to east coast. My ideal route would be driving from SF – Tucson – El Paso – San Antoine – Houston – New Orlean – Miami – Chicago – Route 66 – SF. In total, I have to drive around 8000 miles in 20 days.

You can say this trip is planned or unplanned. This July, I was giving myself a goal, if I can not find a well-paid job by the end of this year, I will just leave US and spend 2 months traveling around US. But (un)luckily, I got a new job offer in 2 weeks. And even more (un)luckily, I still have the chance/vacation to travel around US and then spend few months traveling around the world.

Lots of friends asked me, am I serious? Surely, I am not :p This is a long trip. I may or may not be able to finish it, but this is the beauty of (unplanned) road trip. I will spend lots of time with myself and think about my life.

I am 27 years old now and in my late 20 crisis. At my age, most of people are busy doing their business and have no time for fun. If I am looking for a safe bet, I SHALL follow the route most people do. But on the other hand, I only have one youth life, I’ve already wasted lots of it on studying. This is the last chance, before getting married, I can do whatever I want. (Yes, I am a big boy)

Lots of people have the dream to travel around the world. Most of them complain they don’t have time and money. But when they have time and money, they are still looking for other excuses. People are just afraid of change. They afraid they might not be able to finish the trip, they afraid they will not be able to find a new job once they come back, they afraid their work place will changed a lot, they afraid …. Themselves. The hardest part of starting a long trip is to step out your comfort zone. Luckily, I have already faced that question once when I left my home country and everything I familiar with three years ago. So stepping out comfort zone is not such a big problem for me.

So here I am, my first stop of my long trip – Cycle United States.