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 I use a lot of links, and only thumbnail images open in a separate window. Middle-click or right-click a link to open it in a new window or tab.  

I've never been a beach person - nor much of a water person for that matter - there are only lakes and rivers in the land-locked Prairies scoured out of the ground by the glacial action of the last ice age and the meltwaters of the Rocky Mountains .

But, I think I could be...

Place name links like Carolina Beach, NC go to Wikipedia. Place name links like Carolina Beach use the local tourism or government website.
 Start Here

2012.09.05 The idea strikes me...
Fortuitous Northern Hospitality
2012.09.15 But First, a Little Homework...
Money Well Spent
2012.09.27 Preparations While-U-Wait
Tick, Tick, Tick
Outlook: Weather-y
Leaving Eve
2012.10.09 Into the South Again
Snow Crossing
Crossing the Mississippi to Nashville
2012.10.12 Nashville Night
Nashville Cars and Country Music
At the Beach, on the East Coast
2012.10.14 Through the Great Smoky Mountains to the Beach
Tiki Bar
2012.10.17 My First Beach Sunrise
Chewing Some Charleston History
The Neighbourhood
2012.10.26 Artists at Work
The Neighbourhood Again
Hurricane Sandy
2012.10.28 Coltrane, Big Drawers, and Racin'
2012.10.30 post-Sandy
The Sun and Boats Return
The Cape Fear Fair & Expo
2012.11.04 A Garden Walk
Freedom, God, and Food
Another Southport Day
Apropos of Clear Skies
2012.11.12 To the Outer Banks
2012.11.16 To Calabash for Calabash
Gnarly Trees at Fort Fisher
Boat Parking in Southport
2012.11.22 Thanksgiving Day
2012.11.23 Island of Lights
2012.11.24 Wrightsville Beach Christmas Flotilla
2012.11.25 A Little Bit of Home from Afar
Beach Morning
The (Secret) Art of Dr. Seuss
Sky, Land, Water
2012.11.30 Carolina Beach Christmas Parade
Carolina Beach Christmas Flotilla
2012.12.02 Casey's Buffet
Wilmington Christmas Parade
2012.12.03 Surf City (and Beyond), Here We Come!
2012.12.04 Morning Sunrise
To Jerome's in Shallotte
2012.12.05 Myrtle Beach
Dismantling the Beach
2012.12.08 Trippin' Coastally
Ocean City
2012.12.09 A Capitol Idea - Day 1
2012.12.10 A Capitol Idea - Day 2
Leaving the Beach to Cross the Country
2012.12.14 Coast to Coast
2012.12.15 Atlanta, Georgia
2012.12.16 New Orleans, Louisiana
2012.12.17 Memphis, Tennessee
2012.12.18 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tucson, Arizona
2012.12.21 PalmSprings, California
Riverside, California
2012.12.22 Los Angeles, California
Country Crossed, on the West Coast
2012.12.23 Petersen Automotive Museum
2012.12.26 Settled After the Season
Venice Beach
Mall Vending
New Year's Eve in Los Angeles
January 2013
2013.01.01 The Rose Parade
The Original Farmer's Market, and American Girl Place
2013.01.04 Santa Barbara
2013.01.08 The Reagan Library
2013.01.10 The Late Late Show Taping
More Late Late Show
Winter in Los Angeles
Manhattan Beach
2013.01.17 Solvang
Elephant Seals
A Drive to Palmdale
2013.02.10 Los Angeles County Museum of Art
2013.02.18 Bakersfield
Malibu Country
To Ojai and Around
2013.03.09 The Mullin Automotive Museum, and Murphy Museum Street Show
2013.03.13 Through Topanga Canyon to the Santa Monica Pier
2013.03.14 The Mulholland Highway and Western Malibu
2013.03.15 The Rest of Malibu
2013.03.16 South to Other Beaches, or So We Intended
2013.03.17 Finding a Fault on Another Way to Ojai
2013.03.23 Over the San Gabriel Mountains Again
2013.03.24 Calico Ghost Town
2013.03.25 Surprise! A Hockey Game
2013.03.29 Up the Coast for Easter
San Francisco
Pebble Beach and South Via Route 1
2013.04.04 To San Diego to Visit an Old Friend
From San Diego after Visiting an Old Friend
2013.04.06 On Wilshire Boulevard
2013.04.07 The Getty Center
2013.04.10 Tuna Canyon Road, Las Flores Canyon Road
2013.04.11 Santa Monica Pier at Night
Concrete Creeks and Rivers
Universal CityWalk
Woolsey Canyon
2013.04.11 Queen's English All British Meet 2013
American Street Cruisers
2013.04.19 Yerba Buena Road
La Piedra Beach
2013.04.21 Mulholland Drive
2013.05.01 The Road Home
2013.05.03 Last Los Angeles Day
Leaving the West Coast, Heading Home
2013.05.04 Los Angeles to Las Vegas
2013.05.05 Hoover Dam
2013.05.05 Las Vegas to Salt Lake City
2013.05.06 Salt Lake City to Great Falls
2013.05.07 Great Falls to Home
Back Home
2013.05.07 Home and Looking the Other Way Around
Landed, Still Landing
Odds & Ends and Impressions
History Repeated
2013.05.30 Round-Trip Recap


Nothing more to write about looking forward, but looking back, some summary observations.

I travelled 34,000 km (21,126 mi) with the Cabrio, 3-4 times what I historically drive in a year. The Cabrio got one tune-up in Wilmington (cap and rotor, new plugs, and throttle-body cleaning), a new battery, a new set of floor mats, 4 oil changes (2 east, 2 west) and gas - if I care someday I'll figure it out.

Gas prices that I actually paid ranged from US$2.79 (Arizona) to about $4.25/USgallon (coastal California). That's CAN$0.73 to $1.12/liter for US-Canadian dollars at par. Right now gas at home is CAN$1.28/liter (US$4.87/USgallon), approaching the US$4.99 I saw 4 blocks from the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. in December.

I was away for 211 days. I took almost 5500 pictures (11G storage) of which 3300 are on this blog.

I was in 24 states and 1 district (in order of first visit):

Here's a clickable map of all the overnight trips I made. Pick a marker to see what I blogged about that place. A has two sides: outbound on the right, inbound on the left.

Edmonton, AB (returning) Edmonton, AB (leaving) Great Falls, MT Salt Lake City, UT Las Vegas, NV San Diego, CA San Francisco, CA Los Angeles, CA Palm Springs, CA Tucson, AZ Albuquerque, NM Oklahoma City, OK Memphis, TN New Orleans, LA Atlanta, GA Washington, DC Ocean City, MD Kill Devil Hills, NC Martinsville, VA Charleston, SC Carolina Beach, NC Nashville, TN St. Louis, MO Minneapolis, MN Weyburn, SK

Or use the table below. The right column has mostly external links. There's a larger map here .

A     2012.09.05     Edmonton, AB        Leaving Home
B     2012.10.08     Weyburn, SK         
C     2012.10.09     Minneapolis, MN         
D     2012.10.10     St. Louis, MO         
E     2012.10.11     Nashville, TN        Meet up with TFS; Lane Motor Museum; Great Smoky Mountains
F     2012.10.14     Carolina Beach, NC        The beach!
These are blog entries: Southport; Calabash; Oak Island; Surf City and Cedar Island; Shallotte; Myrtle Beach;
  1     2012.10.18     Charleston, SC         
  2     2012.10.28     Martinsville, VA        A NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway
  3     2012.11.12     Kill Devil Hills, NC        The Outer Banks ; Wright Brothers National Memorial
  4     2012.12.09     Ocean City, MD        Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
  5     2012.12.10     Washington, DC        The National Mall : National Gallery of Art ; National Air and Space Museum ; National Museum of Natural History; Hirshhorn Museum
G     2012.12.15     Atlanta, GA        The Georgia Aquarium
H     2012.12.16     New Orleans, LA        Bourbon Street
I     2012.12.17     Memphis, TN        Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum ; Graceland, sorta
J     2012.12.18     Oklahoma City, OK         
K     2012.12.19     Albuquerque, NM        The American International Rattlesnake Museum
L     2012.12.20     Tucson, AZ         
M     2012.12.21     Palm Springs, CA        Heat! And the Palm Springs Art Museum
N     2012.12.22     Los Angeles, CA        These are blog entries: Petersen Automotive Museum; Venice Beach and Oxnard; The Rose Parade; Santa Barbara; The Reagan Library; television tapings (and here); Manhattan Beach, Solvang, Elephant Seals, and Palmdale; LACMA; Bakersfield and Ojai; Mullin Automotive Museum; Santa Monica Pier (and at night); San Andreas Fault; Calico Ghost Town; Anaheim Ducks Hockey; Wilshire Boulevard; Getty Center; La Piedra Beach; Mulholland Drive and Highway;
  6     2013.03.29     San Francisco, CA        Golden Gate Bridge ; Pebble Beach
  7     2013.04.04     San Diego, CA         
O     2013.05.04     Las Vegas, NV        The Las Vegas Strip ; The Hoover Dam
P     2013.05.05     Salt Lake City, UT         
Q     2013.05.06     Great Falls, MT         
A     2013.05.07     Edmonton, AB        Home Again

These are all the routes of significance I could remember or reconstruct from blog entries.

West Coast

Routes travelled from Woodland Hills

Routes travelled from Woodland Hills around Los Angeles
East Coast

Routes travelled from Carolina Beach

Car museums and shows, art galleries, and museums that I visited, in order of visit. A few I didn't pay to go into though, marked with '*'.

Car Museums and Shows      Art Galleries      Museums
Nashville British Car Club Show
Lane Motor Museum
Petersen Automotive Museum
Mullin Automotive Museum
Murphy Auto Museum Street Show
Queen's English All British Meet
American Street Cruisers
  Dr. Seuss Exhibit
Cameron Art Museum (unblogged)
National Gallery of Art
Hirshhorn Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Getty Center
  Country Music Hall of Fame
Airlie Gardens
Wright Brothers National Memorial
United States Botanic Garden
National Museum of Natural History
National Air and Space Museum
Georgia Aquarium
Memphis Rock & Soul Museum
American International Rattlesnake Museum*
Mission Santa Barbara
The Reagan Library*
Calico Ghost Town
Hoover Dam
2013.06.01 Artifacts



This stuff has been sitting here waaay too long. Time to put it in its place.

A final bit of documentary: things I brought home. I mostly shopped for others: my Mom and a few friends. But I also like "dustables": things that sit on shelves collecting dust for no other reason than to trigger happy memories and, in these cases, as signal that I was once somewhere else very far away in space, and becoming moreso in time.    

t-shirt I left with TFS on
my previous trip to Bristol


The first trinket I bought, in one of many pancake eateries in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Carolina Beach, North Carolina

snow globe, shot glass & magnet

I hadn't thought much of buying this kind of stuff for myself until we were on our way back from Washington, DC and stopped at the east coast's largest truck stop, Kenly 95 Petro at Exit 106 of Interstate 95 in Kenly, NC.

sea shells, shark egg case, and beach sand

The shells are 99.9% from Carolina Beach, with a couple from La Piedra Beach, CA.

The shark egg case is from the beach, and survived the trip unprotected in the trunk from there to home.

The sand is from (left to right): Corolla, NC, Carolina Beach, and La Piedra Beach, CA.


program and ticket from a
NASCAR race in
Martinsville, VA


Jerome's in Shallotte

Currituck Beach Lighthouse at Corolla, NC

For such a small place, the Lighthouse gift shop was packed with trinkets. This 8x10 print of the Lighthouse and the Keeper's house grabbed my eye for its sense of solitude.

TFS bought me the t-shirt after we ate at Jerome's.

Relocating East to West

South of the Border
(just inside South Carolina)
bumper sticker and
pressed penny


New Orleans
shot glass with a barbequing gator from a shop on Bourbon Street

snow globe, shot glass, matches, and bag
from the Graceland gift shop
"Where Elvis Lives"

New Mexico
rattlesnake mug from the American International Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque

salt & pepper shakers from Clines Corners truck stop on Route 66

Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pier
shot glass

CDs and music-shop trinkets

I shopped 5 music places:
CD Trader, Second Spin, Freak Beat Records, Fry's Electronics, and Amoeba Music, and purchased from (left to right) Fry's, Freak Beat, and Amoeba. 30 for me, 4 for my friend RL. All but 1 or 2 are used or discounted. At $3 to $7 for used CDs it was easy to load up.

LA Weekly is a free weekly with alternative culture journalism on music, food, and social issues. The classifieds have the usual escort and stripper ads, augmented with ads for marijuana dispensaries and referring "doctors."

Boulevard is mostly advertising for life along Ventura Boulevard


softball shirt from
The Late Late Show taping

The last bit of Christmas (and Easter) candy from TFS, bless her for the calories ;)
Heading Home

Hoover Dam
sand globe

40 oz. booze and 200 smokes,
duty-free (all gone now)

ticket stubs & receipts
sticker:   Lane Motor Museum
ticket:   Country Music Hall of Fame
receipt:   ferry trip to Southport leaving the beach
coupon:   Pigeon Forge, TN
tickets:   Cucalorus film festival Wilmington, NC
ticket:   Georgia Aquarium
ticket:   Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
ticket:   Kubrick exchibit at LACMA
ticket:   Tribes, a play in Los Angeles about deaf life
receipt:   driving on Oceano Dunes
ticket:   Hoover Dam tour

Travel and attraction handouts. Too much nerdery to detail them right now. The majority are from the east coast, culled from a much-larger collection lugged across the continent.

TX - speeding tickets - CA

For 34,000km, driving at least 10% over the speed limit, sometimes 20 or 30%, I fared pretty well.

redneck wind screen
This flattened cardboard box from a toilet tank, complete with packing slip, rode in the back seat from Carolina Beach. It was inspired by some flattened shipping boxes TFS needed to ship her things home from the beach. The Cabrio's trunk is too small so I put them in the back seat. At around 30mph the boxes flipped upright from the wind backwash, becoming a screen. Inspiration! It's become pretty ratty now, especially after being used for traction to get us unstuck in the Oceano Dunes, but still functional.
2013.06.02 Tools of the Tour


     Being a computer guy, I used some tools along the way. My Desktop sat at home running 24/7 serving me just as it does when I'm there through a VNC connection from my laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 that I otherwise used indoors and out for email and surfing, photo processing, and playing music. My smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy Note for calls, email, surfing, photos and reading The Edmonton Journal back home. A Canon PowerShot SX230 HS shot the bulk (about 5000 )of the photos (5500) I took. What you can't see is my web server, lower left of this stack, bringing you this blog. Everything but the camera runs Linux .
2013.06.03 Fini


And that's about all I can add except lingering impressions and memories, and I may do that here over time. I'll likely fiddle with things for a while, but nothing substantive. Before I'm done I must thank some people that made this adventure entirely possible and practical:

Nikki for starting everything off over a year ago in tipping the scales for me to go to a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tennessee.

TFS for a great many things I cannot do justice here in mere words, but great companionship, openness, communication, artistic spirit, and above all trust were fundamental. And for Jake and her family.

RM for watching my home, TO for depositing my paycheques, and PM for being interested and in contact.

Thank you for reading.


toward the Washington
Monument in Washington, D.C

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