Hero Inc.

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The Roadtrip

After countless people asking for an update (actually just one), I realized I needed to update people on the second half of my move to the west coast, aka SF, aka San Francisco.

On the Sunday following Christmas, my brother left Warner Robins, GA and embarked on the westward bound journey to our final destination. Our route would take us along I-40 (what is now Route 66) and to a few great Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Google can provide you the highlevel view of the trip. Armed with a southern snack pack (Georgia Pecans, cashews, oatmeal raisin cookies, and leftover holiday candy) and one heck of a roadtrip playlist (I could have done more), we set forth on the open road.

The trip may seem like an intolerable distance at 2,695 miles, but we were able to break it up into about 4-5 hour segments which provided great sanity and the ability to switch drivers at the point where one may not be able to take it much longer. The easiest way to talk about the trip is based on my brother’s well thought out plan.

——Day 1——
Warner Robins, GA –> Conway, Arkansas
Distance:  642 miles
Estimated Time:  10hr 16min


  • Bryan had the coffee to start (didn’t realize Dunkin Doughnuts opened that early), but I was the first behind the wheel.
  • As we entered the state of Alabama I could already smell the confidence of the crimson tide nation.  We passed a huge Bama convoy of 3 RV’s in length.
  • One of the few times we were off our directions, we encountered an amazing site.  We saw at least 8 Bingo halls within a 1.5 mile stretch of road.
  • Lunch stop in Memphis for BBQ at Interstate BBQ.  They had some of the best coleslaw I’ve ever had.
  • Memphis has a pyramid?
  • Mississippi has the worst interstate I’ve ever seen.  I think it was just some crushed rocks.
  • The popular thing to do on the Mississippi interstate is to pull over, walk into the woods, and go hunting.  No seriously.
  • In Arkansas, I really had to fit the urge not to drive to a certain university and destroy He Who Shall Not Be Named.  I really do hate him.
  • There really is nothing to Little Rock.  Maybe I just blinked.
  • As you will see in the photo gallery, we would stop at random sites for a crazy picture or we would just stay warm in the car and take pictures.
  • For dinner, we asked the waiter about the remainder of our trip.  “There is nothing after OK City.”  Oh joy.  Oh bliss.

——Day 2——
Conway, Arkansas –> Albuquerque, New Mexico
Distance:  851 miles
Estimated Time: 13hr 10min


  • We cross into Texas for only 5 minutes when the radio begins to play “Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb.  Why does my brother know that song?
  • Cattleman’s was worth it.  Now that is truly how a steak should be done.  The waiter asked if we wanted dessert and my response was easily “Does the dessert have steak in it?  No?  Then I don’t want it.”
  • Yet again, we asked our waiter about what to expect for the remainder of our drive.  Again we received the “nothing.”
  • In OK City, we did encounter snow on the ground left over from their “blizzard” from a few days prior but nothing that impacted us really.
  • Cadillac Ranch is not as amazing as pictures make it out to be.  We actually passed it and I almost missed it because is roughly only 10 cars standing upright and it was on the other side of the road.
  • Nothing out there.  No really.  There is nothing during this part of the trip.
  • No roadtrip is complete without someone in the car playing the Alphabet Game. You know the one where you go through the alphabet trying to find things that start with that letter.  First one to the end wins.  Well, we started the game as a joke, but of course it turned into an actual competition.  Naturally, we both became stuck at Q.  The game seemed to “stop” for a few hours (there really was nothing).  After some time, in the distance I saw a DQ that quickly disappeared behind a mountain.  I quickly began telling some boring story to distract Bryan until it appeared behind the….QUEEN.  That’s my Q.  Of course at that point the game was over because we had been concentrating on the remaining letters until the bottleneck was fixed.  That’s right baby.  I won.
  • At some point in Texas, we passed that Bama convoy again.  Roll Tide.
  • It was about this point in the trip when we realized it would have been a smart/cool idea to take picture of each state’s welcome sign.  A little late to start of course.
  • When it was UGA bowl game time, we stopped the playlist to begin AM searching.  Surprisingly, we were able to find the game.  Sure the game when in and out and there was a constant scanning, but we were able to hear the majority of the game.  When it really got bad and we were desperate, I pulled out the Blackberry (yes, there was a data signal) and the laptop (yes, there was a data signal.  no seriously).
  • When we arrived at the hotel, we asked for a few good places to eat.  Naturally, we were recommended a few authentic New Mexican food establishments that we jumped at the opportunity of trying.  Bad choice.  I mean really bad.  The menu stated items would be hot which I’ve seen before but I was not prepared.  The complimentary salsa and chips were the first clues of what we were in for.  That was the salsa that kept on giving, and like an Alzheimer’s patient (yeah, I stole that joke), I would return to the scene of the crime for more.  When it was time to order the main courses, we were informed of the New Mexican way:  red vs green sauce.  We jumped at the sauce that was the least hot.  Apparently it didn’t matter because we were in for a night and day of hurting regardless.

——Day 3——
Albuquerque, New Mexico –>Bakersfield, CA
Distance:  803 miles
Estimated Time:  13hrs


  • With signs pointing to Santa Fe, NM, I called my sister to tell her that we wouldn’t be stopped to see if Cowboy really made it.
  • We also made the effort to call our father to gloat about taking the right path.  Before we left, many people urged us to change our route due to bad winter weather.  If we had changed our route, we would have been hit by a terrible blizzard on I-20 instead of the amazing weather we received.
  • Visually, this was probably the best part of the trip because the scenery was more attractive.
  • Lunch was served at a Cracker Barrel.  That’s just good food even if I am nothing more than an eg-no-rameous according to there little game of sticks.
  • Since the Cracker Barrel was so close to the Grand Canyon, we asked our waitress if it was an easy drive and all of the roads were open.  She informed us it wasn’t far and all roads were open when she took a trip to the southern point yesterday.  Of course, she did warn us that we might be cold upon arriving as it was in the low teens if not colder.  My brother was wearing a t-shirt and I had a light long sleeve shirt.
  • The Grand Canyon was well worth it.  It was just amazing at how big and beautiful it really was.  The snow added a nice touch in parts too.  Of course, there were sections that did not have guardrails and some people seemed to enjoy testing their limits.  Testing limits at the Grand Canyon with ice covered walkways is not wise.  Just wanted to point that out.
  • Of course, California would have border control.  We stopped and were asked if we had any agriculture products.  I of course stated I had a pomegranate.  “Did you buy it at a store?  (I nod yes)  What do we do with pomegranates?  Well I guess if I don’t know, there’s no problem with it.”  Good thing nothing was said about the Georgia pecans or there would have been a real fight.
  • After entering California, my brother pointed out to me windmills that apparently had no meaning because the politicos couldn’t figure out how/where to use the power.  Well that’s just brilliant.
  • For dinner, we were going to stop at a Burger King at a trucker stop intersection (gas stations and food).  However, when we pulled into the parking lot, we realized no one else was inside, but the Restaurant (that was the name) next door was packed.  Our minds were quickly changed and we enjoyed an “authentic” restaurant meal.  It was pretty good.
  • Edwards Air Force Base is huge.  Like really, really huge.

——Day 4——

Bakersfield, CA –> San Francisco, CA
Distance:  283 miles
Estimated Time:  4hrs 42min


  • The drive to San Francisco from Bakersfield showed California from a different light (non-Hollywood and non-crazies).  This scenery was filled with every type of crop you can imagine.  I saw it all and even some that I had no clue what it was.  I’d still like to find out what was being grown on the side of the hills.
  • This is probably the only time during the entire trip that we actually lost cell phone service.  Now when I state that, please realize that I mean both myself and my brother lost service (Verizon vs AT&T).  During other parts of the trip, I would be at full bars and he would have nothing, and vice versa.
  • While on the phone with grandmother, Bryan asks “Are we in San Francisco?”  Ummm…..no.  That would be Oakland and make sure not to make that confusion with the locals.  They’ll hate it.
  • We have arrived.

The rest of the day was filled with relaxing (until May’s flight arrived) and a few sight seeing moments (Golden Gate Bridge, Seven Sisters, etc.).  Check out the pictures for more of the tourist sites that we visited.

I’m here in my new home and now I just have to continue settling.

Posted under Other


Brittany Says:
January 13th, 2010 at 11:15 am

Sounds like a great trip to take. Thanks for recounting:)

Will Says:
January 14th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Whoa. That was an epic recap.

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