Tuesday, March 4, 2014


  I made it! Last night or this morning rather at 12am I rolled into foggy Spokane. It has been a stressful past few days with the car running on its last life so it is good to be able to relax for at least a few days and get the car the attention it so desperately needs. This trip has been a great adventure and a very satisfying one as well. We reached the goal of $1000 yesterday afternoon and the donations keep coming in so congratulations everyone, give yourselves a pat on the back or better yet have someone give you a high five for being awesome. Just because my road trip is over doesn't mean you have to stop giving to the Spokane Guilds School. You can continue to donate through my Crowdrise website or directly at the Spokane Guilds School website. It's not too late to be a part of this venture.
   This portion of the trip there really weren't any sites to see except I was able to stop off in Bend, OR for a couple hours to try some of the famed Abyss beer brewed by Deschutes Brewery. It was a very dark and tasty beer that I would have loved to enjoy more of but I had some more driving to do so one was my limit. After Bend it was a straight shot to Spokane one that seemed to last forever. Eventually Ritzville was in my sights and from then on it was a road that I consider to know like the back of my hand having driven it day in and day out back in high school. It's a good thing that I knew the road so well because after passing through Ritzville I hit a wall of thick fog and having only high beam headlights to work with my visibility was about 10 feet. Taking it slow I chugged down along I-90 eventually arriving in cold Spokane. Only as I rolled into my old hometown did it dawn on me that I just drove across the entire United States. Almost 4,000 miles and the only thing I had to replace on the car was a headlight switch.
   I am honestly surprised that the car made it the whole way without needing any major mechanical repairs along the way but on this last leg of my trip west it became very apparent that the car was in dire need of attention. Somewhere in Oregon the car started to die randomly. No forewarning or weird noises, it would just die while driving down the highway. I can also tell that the timing is still way off and it appears that the top radiator hose is leaking as well as one of the head gaskets. The car probably needs an oil change and some time to recover. The important thing is that I made it to Pacific Northwest where my Uncle Simon and Ryan can hopefully help me out with the car.
   Thank you to my Grandpa and Grandma Sterchi and Rich and Lynn Hodge for the latest donations and again to everyone else for your donations and support. We reached the goal of $1,000 thanks to all of your contributions but it doesn't have to stop there. I will keep the website open so if you feel the need to donate you can do so as this is a great institution that deserves every penny we can raise. If you have time you can go to my Crowdrise website and check out all of the great people who contributed to this cause or even donate yourself. Thanks again for all of your generosity and support.

   If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at nathangeorgeis@gmail.com. It has been a great adventure and I am glad I could share it with you. Also here is a link to the route that I took from baltimore (roughly) Map.

“The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page.” - St. Augustine

Lunch at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baby Steps to Spokane...

I would like to start this post off by apologizing for my last post. I know it was a whole day late and reading back through it I realized how rushed and sporadic it sounded. I had a blast driving Route 66 and I recommend everyone do at least part of it sometime in their life. It was fun seeing all of the old businesses that are still surviving along the route that have been there since the beginning. I was able to see some of America's history as well as see some states that I never have. We came close to seeing the Grand Canyon which I would have loved to stop and see but at the time we were in a race against the sun so maybe next time.
I left off my last post in Palo Alto where we stayed the night before last. We were able to meet up with some high school friends, get some food and drinks, and do some catching. It was so nice getting off the road for one night and just relaxing and having a good time with old friends. That night we crashed on our friend's couches after playing some super smash bros on his nintendo 64. The next morning we grabbed some delicious brunch and took the train back to my car in San Jose.
Once we got back to the car I was able to find a parts store nearby that had a headlight switch in stock hoping that I would be able to fix the no headlights issue. Low and behold after switching out the part the headlights returned. We have rejoined the 20th century and can drive at night. With that little win in our back pocket we started or journey north to the nice and freezing Pacific Northwest. We stopped at In-N-Out burger for some dinner which is a must anytime you are in California and then later on down the road decided to stop in the outskirts of Redding, CA to spend the night and get some rest.
Up to tis point we decided that we had gone 2 for 5 in picking a good clean place to stay for a night, this hotel did not increase our percentage. We decided on a Motel 6 right off of the freeway because of it's cheap price and that it was right there. After checking in we headed to our room and when I walked in I noticed a smell that I couldn't quite put my finger on but it didn't bother me too much so I set my stuff down and started to get comfortable. It was at this time that Dan remember that Motel 6 lets people bring their animals for free and decided to tell me which shattered the glass for me. The weird smell I couldn't put my finger on before was wet dog and it was almost unbearable now that I knew what it was. I couldn't decide if this smell was better or worse then a smoke smell but I soon got tired enough that it didn't matter and I was able to get some shut eye.
The car is still hanging in there. I had to pull off the freeway last night because it started to back fire out of the carburetor every so often and it sounded like a gun shot every time. It has been backfiring every now and then when the motor was under load but nothing like this before. So I pulled off and into a hotel parking lot, just in case, and adjusted the timing a little bit as well as the carburetor jets. I reluctantly got back on the freeway and what do you know it ran better then it had most of the trip. No backfires and a little more power. Right now I am adjusting everything by sound and feel since the way it is set up now the car shouldn't even start. Just trying to get it close enough to my dad, Uncle Simon, and Ryan so they can take a look at it.
Like I mentioned above we made it as far as good old Redding a short 12 hour trip to Spokane, WA from here. So that is the plan, Spokane or bust. If we can just get within 2 or 3 hours of Spokane I don't see much of anything that will stop us. If we can drive straight through that means our very longer and adventurous journey will come to an end tonight. I am looking forward to not having to stay in questionable motel rooms and some real food.
With the donations sitting at $900 we have a day to get that last $100. That is only $10 from now until 8pm tonight. Spread the word. Spokane Guilds School deserves every cent for all of the help they provide these kids and their families and they depend on your donations. Skip the movies today and give that $10 to a well deserving institution.

Since we are done with the historic Route 66 we really haven't taken any pictures so here are a couple of clips of Caleb, one telling you how GREAT you all are for your very generous donations and the other warning us of the weather to come as we reluctantly leave the fair weather of California.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Save Me San Francisco...

So much to tell and only one post to do it. I apologize for my lack of posts here especial right near the end of the trip. The car is still devoid of headlights so the past few days have been very busy and a little stressful. With all that said here is what happened over the past couple of days.
We left Albuquerque at the crack of dawn so that we could have a chance of making it to my aunt and uncle's house in Palm Desert, CA. From the distance we had to go and the time of sun light we had for the day it was going to be close if we didn't stop for meals so the plan for the day was gas station food. About halfway through Arizona is where the longest piece of Route 66 began and let me tell you it was fun to drive. When I think of Route 66 this road is what I think of. The road was secluded had some curves in it and some hills. At some points it seemed like you could see forever. We caught a glimpse of the Grand Canyon at one point along the road and at another point we were trying to dodge giant tumble weed blowing across the road. I did my best to take as many pictures as I could but I think the experience is one you may just have to be there for to appreciate. After winding through Arizona we rejoined the interstate where the raise against the sun really began. Unfortunately we followed suit to the rest of this trip and fell short of Desert Palm by no more then a hundred miles or so. As a consolation prize we were able to make it to California, the last state in our Route 66 journey.We had to stop in a small town for the night and would have to continue our trip early the next morning.
With the help of some mechanically inclined family members I was able to deduce that the headlight switch may be the problem. This is good news since it only cost about $10 and looks simple enough for me to try and swap out.
The next day (Saturday) we set off yet again at the crack of daw in hopes to make it to San Francisco before the sunset. Before heading to San Francisco though was something mch more important in Santa Monica, the end of Route 66. So the whole plan was San Francisco via Santa Monica, I thought we could beat the sun today. We got into Santa Monica at 11am where we met my cousin Matthew at a local diner for some breakfast. It was nice little break from the road and it was nice to see my cousin. After a little relaxing we headed down to the pier where the official end of Route 66 is located. It felt a little anti climatic but I did feel like I accomplished something. We snapped a few photos for proof of completion and walked around the pier for a minute knowing that we needed to get back on the road if we were going to beat the sunset to San Francisco.
We reluctantly said goodbye to Matthew and to Santa Monica and started our journey north. As soon as we got outside of the Los Angeles area and started into the mountains it began to rain and it hit me at that point that driving from Baltimore,MD to that piont right there that this was the first weather of any kind at all that I have run into. Not one drop of rain, snow, hail, or sleet until arriving in California. Well the rain didn't last long and the further north we got the better the weather seemed to getbut it was abvious that the raise against the sun was going to be a very tight finish. The closer we got to the bay area the more we realized that making it to San Francisco was out of the question and that we needed a back up plan. We decided on San Jose as the the best place to stop before losing sunlight and let me tell you, it was the best decision we could have made. As we pulled into the parking lot of the train station we had about 5 minutes before losing all kinds of light coming from the sun, we couldn't have made it any further then we did. So again we have fallen short of our planned destination but we are slowly getting closed each time.
We parked the car for the night and took the train into Palo Alto where we made up with some more friends from high school and were able to do some catching up. One of our friends who lives here in Palo Alto let us crash at his pace for the night which brings us to this moment. So you are all caught up now. Like I said, it has been a busy couple of days and very stressful trying to plan around sunlight feels like being stuck in the wild west days.
The Route 66 trip may be over but the road trip continues.. Now the plan is to get into Spokane sometime Tuesday morning so that gives us 2 days to get that last $100. We can do it everyone, almost there.



Thanks today goes out to Jeff and Rebecca Stuhlmiller for their generous donation.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post Joseph City, AZ

Somewhere in Arizona.

Route 66 in Arizona.

Route 66 consider yourself travelled.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Santa Fe, are you there? Do you swear you won't forget me?...

   Yesterday ended like all the other days on this trip, short of my desired destination. After making it halfway through New Mexico I decided to stop in Albuquerque to get some dinner at a micro brew pub. After consuming some tasty Mexican food and a refreshing beer it was time to get back on Route 66 toward Arizona... the car had a different plan in mind. I got in the car and it started fine but something was missing, headlights. With the sun already set, it would be impossible to continue with the car not cooperating. After thirty minutes of messing with some of the electrical, which I know nothing about, it was clear that Albuquerque would be the final destination of the trip for the day.
   The situation could have been worse, it was a lively neighborhood with lots of restaurants, cafes, and bars instead of on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Luckily there were a few motels within walking distance and the closest one seemed to be the best price and therefore the best choice. After checking and walking into the room I realized that the best price was not the best choice. The room smelled heavily of smoke even though I requested a non-smoking room. The smoke detector was dismantled so in the motel's defense it may have been a non-smoking room but the last tenant decided he/she could do what ever he/she wanted. The clean white towels had black marks all over them and the room was just messy. So not the greatest motel experience but I got a little sleep and will be on the road again in no time.
   Although the day did not end as planned it still had some highlights. For starters Route 66 threw me a curve ball when entering New Mexico and turned into a dirt road while at the same time veering a few miles away from the interstate and civilization. I was a bit nervous at first but it was a nice drive and the dirt road only lasted for a few miles. Also early on in the day I reached the halfway point on Route 66. There was a cafe there that would have been a good place to get breakfast but it was closed for the winter so breakfast would have to be acquired a little further on down the road. The landscape in New Mexico was amazing. I felt like I was in an old western movie and John Wayne was going to pop out at any minute and tell me to “stop burning daylight”. I have done some traveling in my days but never experienced very much of America. I always thought that you wouldn't get much diversity from state to state but it seems like a whole different country down here.
   The news on the car is that it is running smoothly for the most part, just have to figure out the headlights otherwise my travel times will become limited to daylight hours. If there are any motor heads out there with any tips it would be most helpful. I have all lights (interior, brake, running, blinker, reverse) but no headlights, high beams or low beams. Before yesterday I had only low beams and no interior lights so apparently the car decided that the interior lights were more important then the headlights at this point in the trip. I swear this car has a mind of its own. Please leave comments or email me at nathangeorgeis@gmail.com. My google research makes me think it might be the headlight switch but that could just be hopeful thinking since it only costs $10. Unfortunately with this car issue it looks like the The Wigwam Motel is going to have be passed up, maybe next time.
   Today I am going to do my best to make it to Palm Desert, CA where my Aunt Katie and Uncle JT have graciously offered a place to stay the night and maybe a home cooked meal if I can make it there in time. Between here and Palm Desert lies Arizona which has the longest continuous stretch of Route 66 still intact. You could say they saved the best for last. Hopefully I will be checking in with you from nice and warm Palm Desert tomorrow morning.
   Thanks to everyone spreading the word and a little publicity in the Spokesman Review there were a lot of donations that came in yesterday. It looks like we are on track to meet the $1,000 by the end of my trip.



Today a special thanks goes out to all of the donors below as well as a few anonymous ones:

Craig and Kristi Murray
Frank and Angie Taylor
Dirk and Julia Bond
Joey Klein


Halfway there!

New Mexico's version of Route 66.

Amazing landscapes all day long, this picture doesn't do New Mexico justice.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

God Bless Texas.

   I have decided to stop over estimating how far we will actually get each day. I did not take into account that my GPS thinks we will be going 70+ mph constantly when really taking Route 66 requires me to stop every now and then. Also my car doesn't like going over 70 mph very much. With that being said we made it to Vega, TX which is just West of Amarillo, TX about 30 miles or so.
   Yesterday evening we rolled up onto the Cadillac Ranch just as the sun was setting so we snapped a couple of pictures while there was still a little sunlight, did a little graffiti then headed to the Big Texan for some dinner. The Big Texan is known for offering a free 72 oz. steak if you are able to eat the whole thing along with two sides in one hour. I did not elect to try this and it kind of made me sick thinking about. I went ahead and ordered a rack of ribs which the waitress recommended an what do you know it was a huge plate of ribs. A note to my Texan readers out there, everything might be bigger in Texas but a mediocre plate of ribs isn't going to taste any better if it is larger. I am almost 75% sure our waitress was drunk but it was still a good Texas experience even if it was super touristy.
   We stopped at a few other places yesterday and snapped some photos but the Cadillac Ranch was my highlight. I am not a huge Cadillac guy but it's not very often you see half buried cars in the middle of a field. Believe it or not Texas is one of the shortest states we have to drive through. The only one beating it out is Kansas which we spent a grand total of 20 minutes in. Last night we stayed in the Bonanza Motel in Vega, TX.
   So today is the day we plan on making it to the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ where we will spend the night in a teepee. Not a whole lot of landmarks on our journey today but a whole lot of New Mexico countryside. From what it sounds like Route 66 doesn't follow the interstate as much as it has been thus far as it veers off into ghost towns. Up until now Route 66 has been, for the most part, right next to the interstate which takes away from the feeling of the old days so it is exciting to think about getting off the beaten path and seeing some American history. Hopefully I can get some awesome pics of the desert land ahead.
   As far as the car goes it is still running with little issue. I am afraid to tweak anything cause last time I did that it was a month before I got it back to running status. I did make a very needed addition to the car though. I don't know if I mentioned this but I was unable to take time to install a radio in the car before I left so needless to say I finally broke down and got myself a high tech stereo system pictured below. Funny enough we were listening to a top hits radio stationed through an app and the second we passed into Texas it played it's first country song. We had been listening to that station for a few hours and no country music until it hit Texas then it played 4 straight songs.
   It was brought to my attention that my blog was not allowing some people to leave comments. I apologize for this and have fixed the problem so you should now be able to leave comments if you wish which I encourage. Feel free to share your road trip stories, advice as I move through the Southwest, or just drop a line and say hey.



Thanks to the Pedersens and another anonymous donation we have surpassed the halfway mark. We are right on track as I will be passing the halfway mark of my journey here in a few short miles. Thank you all so much for everything you have given. Spokane guilds School thanks you as well. Before I post my pics from yesterday here is a photo of the little man that inspired this trip.

Finally got us some tunes. (The blue thing is a speaker)

Finally starting to warm up.

The U Drop Inn Cafe in Shamrock, TX (Also known as Ramone's Garage in Cars)

Giant Soda Pop Store in Arcadia, OK (mmm.. Soda)

The infamous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX

Having some fun at The Big Texan

Bonanza Motel Vega, TX

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain...

   We weren't able to make it as far as I had hoped yesterday but where able to make it to a new state at least. Last night we made it to Chandler, OK which is just east of Oklahoma City. We stayed at the Lincoln Motel (picture below) which again wasn't a great motel but wasn't bad either. The motel did its job and gave a us a warm place to rest up, get on the internet, and take a hot shower before heading into Texas. We were able to stop at cool dive bar in the middle of nowhere and get some good 'ol american food, beer, and get a couple games of pool in before continuing on down the road. After getting our nourishment we ran into our good friend Mater in our short time in Kansas where I was able to snap a few pics. For dinner we stopped in at a small town diner in Bristow, OK and made plans to stop in here at the Lincoln Motel and get some rest. I keep forgetting to take pictures but I promise to snap as many as I can today.
   For today we hope to make it to Holbrook, AZ and stay in some teepees tonight at the Wigwam Motel. There is a lot to see between here and there so it shouldn't be a problem for me to find things to take a picture of. Some of things on the agenda today are, the Cadillac Ranch, the midpoint in Route 66 and the Midway Cafe, and many more sights as we make our way through Texas and New Mexico. Since there is a lot to see and do today we better be off.



A lot came in yesterday from friends and family and I thank you all for your very generous donations.
So a special thank you to Grandma Taylor and also to Uncle Andy and Aunt Ruth for taking this event international. I would also like to thank Curt Olsen for his donation and becoming the first non family member of Caleb to get involved. So far it has been a great turn out and again I thank you all for your thoughtful contributions. We are almost halfway done with the trip and almost halfway to the goal of $1,000, right on track. Keep spreading the word and following my blog. Feel free to leave any comments on here or send me an email with any questions, comments, or advise as I make my way across America.

Lincoln Motel in Chandler, OK

It's still a little cold outside... And inside the car.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Meet Me in St. Louie Louie...

Well we didn't make it as far as we hoped. To be completely honest we didn't even get close. We made it to Rolla, MO which is about an hour and a half west of St. Louis and stay in the Rustic Motel just off of Route 66. The room was clean and the price was right so it wasn't too bad of a decision although, the "non-smoking" room smelled like someone rubbed an ashtray all over the room. But like I said, the price was right at $40 and we were just looking for a warm place to sleep for the night and the Rustic Motel did the job.
So far Route 66 has lived up to it's hype. The road really does take you back to the good old day. The road is filled with old gas stations, little diners, and the highway itself is a little run down. We stopped for lunch at the Old Log Cabin Inn and had some burgers and fries. It was exactly how I imagine every little diner along the route is like. There were only two other customers besides us who the lone waitress was addressing on a first name basis, the cook/owner was out talking to one of the gentleman having his recently made meal. Once we found a spot to sit at the bar I noticed a white board on the wall with a list of peoples birthdays for this month, presumably some of the locals. After eating me burger which tasted like it just came off of the grill at a Sunday bbq from home, I noticed some random mugs hanging on a peg board behind the bar. I didn't think much of the mugs for a while but then realized that some of the regulars had their own mugs, some to go mugs and some just mugs from home it looked like. The place reminded me a lot of the little diner in Edwall, WA and it was a fun experience. After we left I realized I didn't take any pictures but I found one online which I posted below.
Once back on the road we did our best to follow Route 66 but found ourselves giving up now and then and taking the main highway through parts of Illinois and Missouri. I didn't realize this before this trip but Route 66 is no longer a complete road. For the most part there have been signs put up to lead you to where the road used to be and we are following some turn by turn directions we found online but it is still tough to follow at times.
We are going to try and make it to Arizona today but there are a few sights we want to see along the way so we'll see how distracted we get. Today we hope to see the real Mater, the Cadillac Ranch, and many more Route 66 sights. I'll do my best to take more pictures.

It looks like the donations have come to somewhat of a stand still at $216 so if you are reading this please pass on the word so we can raise some money for the institution that deserves our help. If you don't feel comfortable donating through the site I have set up at Crowdrise.com you can just donate directly at the Spokane Guilds School website. Shoot me a quick email if you decide to go through the School's website letting me know you sent in a donation so I can keep track. You can stay anonymous if you wish. My email is nathangeorgeis@gmail.com. Well we are off again. here are the pictures from yesterday.

Old Log Cabin Inn. Pontiac, IL

Our make shift window molding to keep the cold wind out.

Missouri was a bit boring to drive through.