Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Success!!

  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.

video



video

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.

MONEY RASIED:

$900


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.