December 5, 2005

Phoenix to Portland
Portland, United States

As the morning light slowly illuminated my once furnished living room—now bare and filled with cardboard boxes—I realized two things: I didn't get any sleep because I was up all night packing those very boxes, and that this could possibly be the last Arizona sunrise I would ever see.

My brother (Glenn) had flown into town from Oregon earlier that week. He was joining me in Phoenix to help me pack my apartment up and drive a full moving truck back to Oregon.

Originally, it had been my intent to sell everything I could to help finance my trip, but it didn't take much coercing to decide to just hand it all over to Glenn. Ultimately, whatever he didn't want was donated to Goodwill or friends in need.

On Friday, December 2, we departed from Phoenix and drove up to Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a fairly short (six hour) drive that took me across Hoover Dam for the first time.

Glenn and I stayed with my good friend Matt in his house out in the suburbs. Knowing that this would probably be my last time in Sin City for a while, the three of us decided to venture out.

Glenn had never been to the Hofbräuhaus in Las Vegas (which is actually an exact reproduction of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich), so taking him there for a liter of beer and some authentic cuisine was a must. I was also interested in seeing the recently opened Wynn casino—most impressive. We hit the posh lounge inside of Wynn for a bit and then jumped around to a few other spots. After all that we ended up sleeping for about three hours, and then we were back on the road!

Saturday was our longest day of driving (about 13.5 hours). We headed north through Nevada, past Reno, and into Northern California and Southern Oregon—stopping to spend our second night with another of my close friends (Tristan) in my former college town of Ashland.

Sunday found us awake at dawn and finishing up the remaining five hours of driving from Ashland to Portland. Unloading the truck into Glenn's apartment was painless and only took about two hours.

Over the course of three days we had traveled over 1,400 miles in about 24.5 hours (on less than 10 hours of sleep)—good times. Next stop: Puerto Rico in about a week.

Moments on the Road

One of my most enjoyable memories about the road trip was driving at dusk along Highway 44 through Lassen National Forest. Traces of snow and partially frozen streams and lakes dotted the landscape as we moved quietly through a forest of pine trees without another traveler in sight. It was beautiful.



December 12th, 2005

Have a great first leg of your journey…we will be keeping an eye on you!

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