America '98
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America Trip
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Days 4 to 10
Day 11
Day 12
Days 13 to 14
Day 15
Days 16 to 18
Days 19 to 23
Days 24 to 34
Days 35 to 38
Days 39 to 44
Days 45 to 49
Days 50 to 57
Days 58 to 70
Days 71 to 86
Days 87 to 100
Days 87-100: Journey's End
(mental note:  I didn't write this section until about 3 years later!  )
Since we were almost back to Arizona, we knew our journey was coming to the end.  Guru had decided to stay with his sister, Heather for a little while longer, as they haven't seen each other for quite a while, and wanted to spend more time together.  Hence I would drive the final stretch from L.A. to Arizona alone.  This is probably one of the main reasons why I didn't complete the text of the trip, because the trip felt different after we split up.  The trip log so far as been for our trip, and that last part was where our paths diverged.  At first it was almost shocking, as I hadn't been away from Guru since the trip started.   We were pretty good friends all during college, and got along well considering we spent the whole trip traveling together in little car.  In some ways, it was nice to take the final stretch home alone, as it allowed me to think about the trip in retrospective.  We had both seen SOOO much during the previous 3 months, that we knew it would be enough material to think about and contemplate for years to come.  We realized that we had completed an adventure that most people only dream about doing, and in lots of ways, it did seem like a dream.  All trips we have taken before, were usually quick 'vacation' trips.  You go someplace, stay there for a little bit, and then go back home.  This trip was so much different, in that it wasn't a vacation to a particular place, but rather an ongoing experience of living on the road, living in constant movement and newness, living not as a person who belongs there but as a person who is observing and moving through.  We were at the complete mercy of the world, and of the people we met.  My emotions where soaring from the thought of all that we did during the trip, but at the same time I realized that the trip was coming to an end shortly.
So far I haven't written anything about what happened during this time, yet this is mostly what I was thinking about.  This part of the trip was largely uneventful.  I remember getting a flat tire somewhere around the California/Arizona border, where it was so hot the tire iron burned my hands as I was removing the lugnuts.  Luckily, I wasn't far from a little spit-hole service station.  I wondered what type of people  choose to live here - there wasn't anything but barren desert dust and rocks for miles.  The nearest cities for 75+ miles in both directions are little more than gas stations.  Rain is a rare event, heat is all but scortching.   I imagine the people living around here, the very few of them that are there, find the environment appealing, glad to be away from civilization.   Or maybe they just got a flat tire like I did, and didn't have enough money to keep going, and so they stayed.
Onward I continued, stopping in Tucson to see good friend Justin Viri.  He was among the circle of friends in college that I met Guru, and we've all had lots of good times in Flagstaff.  I stayed at his house for a few days, catching him up with the stories of the trip and going around the city some.  It was a shock to be back in a city I was really familiar with.  From there I wandered to Willcox for a bit, seeing my family for a few days.  I went to Mesa on my way to Flagstaff, to see Jimmy Conner, my best friend from growing up in Willcox.  Again, catching him up on more stories from the trip.  I realized that I would be telling the trip stories over and over for quite a while, to various people.  I was very near Flagstaff now, and realized that college would be starting again for me, in just a few days!
Once back in Flagstaff, I was busy getting back into the college mindset.  It would be tough to adjust to living in my own dorm room, after sleeping in about 50 different places during the summer, never knowing for sure where I would be the next day.  Heck, having a bed to sleep in took adjusting to - I was plenty used to camping on rough ground or sleeping on couches, floors, etc.  Running water and electricity of my own all seemed like foreign luxuries.
I met up with Guru just before classes started.  He was back in Flagstaff at his parent's house, and Jimmy and Kristy came up from Mesa for the weekend as well.  I was in shock realizing that classes would be starting again on Monday!  AGG!! Not that I didn't enjoy college so far, but it would seem impossible to sit in a desk and do bookwork again, after the freedom and adventure of the road trip.
(Another Mental Note:  The rest of this page isn't so much about the trip because it's what happened afterwards.  This trip undoubtably changed the course of my life in many ways, so I'll explain how it effected me in the path of where my life went afterwards.)
Not surprisingly, things ended up changing for me.   A lot!