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  1. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,051

    Default Return to Newton MA

    I was well rested when I set out from St Paul MN to return to Newton MA. During those six days I had stocked up on supplies, caught up on all that which I had neglected and returned to a degree of domesticity. My intention had been to completely by pass Chicago... either take the ferry from Milwaukee or go down to Normal or Bloomington and head east from there. True to form, my best laid plans were to change. It was Bob, whom I had met at Athabasca Falls in the Canadian Rockies, and a native of Chicago, who had learned of my opinion of this city. He was determined to change my mind.

    The invitation was to come and stay with him and his wife, and he would show me the best of the city, and the area around where he lives... Orland Park. On Tuesday 14th July we spent the morning touring around the local district, while at the same time attending to some necessary messages. The whole trip I was priviledged to listen to a commentary from a local about the layout of the area, the benefactors who contributed so much to the area, the community, etc. It was just a great way to see the place through the eyes of a local.

    The afternoon took the three of us into the city, the Buckingham Fountain, the Millenium Plaza, Sear's Tower, and all the other landmarks which they are so proud to show a visitor. It was almost dark when we ended up at a river side restaurant for dinner. Next morning I had to move on towards Boston, and Bob relished in his success of changing (at least some of) my mind about Chicago... a city he loves!

    I-80 to Brookville PA on the first day, then onto I-81 / I-88 / MassPike to Newton where my daughter-in-law and grandchildren (son was away at work) were ready to welcome me. It was 62 days since I had left with the destination - Alaska. It was so great to see them all again.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,051

    Default A Summary - 62 days

    Here is a summary of where my precious dollars went during the trip from Newton to Alaska and back. I have no idea how to calculate the difference between US and CA dollars, especially since my conversion was from AU dollars. And I do not know how either stands against the AU dollar.

    16/5 to 17/7 - 13.660 miles.

    Accommodation

    6 nights with family
    9 nights with friends
    12 nights at truck stops
    2 nights on the trip
    2 nights at wayside stops
    15 nights in RV parks - US$74.50...CA$288.76
    11 nights in hostels - US$255.00...CA$24.00
    5 nights in motels - US$201.43

    Total: US$530.93...CA$312.76

    Fuel

    US: 391.34 gallons cost $1020.79 for an average of $2.609p/g.
    CA: 170.65 gallons (634.93 litres) cost $690.54 for an average of $4.047p/g.
    Highest price per gallon in US - $3.399 - Glennallen AK.
    Highest price per gallon in CA - $4.684 ($1.249 per litre) - Fort Nelson.

    Other Costs

    Vehicle maintenance and repair - US$847.83...CA$451.14
    Groceries, including eating out - US$597.63...CA$214.79
    Internet - US$9.90
    Sundry camping requirements - US$44.45...CA$14.49
    National Parks Pass - US$80.00
    Trip to Prudhoe Bay - US$725.00
    Gifts and souveniers - US$154.23...CA$93.41

    Vehicle maintenance and repair, even though high, is nowhere near as high as it would have cost to rent a car. And although I was frugal, at no time did I skimp on something I really wanted, nor on healthy food.

    This is the first time I have done a summary of a trip, and I must say, I am most pleased with the result. It is good to know where the money has gone.

    Lifey

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,011

    Default Amazing !

    And what an incredible 62 days ! Even though you spent time with family and friends it's amazing how you kept the lodging costs so low, well done!

    I have really enjoyed your reports, thanks !

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,133

    Default Astonishing!

    All of your costs are considerably less than I can travel on. Excellent work and thanks for sharing all of this data, (which I've copied to the Research Reports section of this site)

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,051

    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    All of your costs are considerably less than I can travel on.
    Mark, it is really quite simple.... if you don't have it, you can't spend it. And there is simply no way I will go into debt, that would spoil the enjoyment.

    As the old saying goes - Necessity is the mother of invention.

    Lifey who feels honoured to be a 'research report'

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,133

    Default Not had that experience yet

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Mark, it is really quite simple.... if you don't have it, you can't spend it.
    If we had waited until we had enough money, RTA and all of our other business operations would never have been created. We operate on debt on a continuing basis -- at this point, it's hard for me to even imagine being able to run any sort of business on a cash basis. I suppose it would lead to less stress... but I doubt it.

    Mark

  7. #77
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Wow!

    Spectacular:

    Trip
    Report
    Photos

    I wanna go too!

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,051

    Default A bit of a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    If we had waited until we had enough money, RTA and all of our other business operations would never have been created....... Mark
    Mark, there is no comparison. A holiday is a consumable - a bad debt. Just like a mortgage, an investment in a business is a good debt.

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,051

    Default Destination Key West

    My next trip is to take me down south... destination Key West.

    It was on the Sat morning (25th July) that I left Newton MA, first to meet up with the lovely lady I had met at Blandford Plaza on the MassPike, way back in May. A total stranger, and yet, over a drink and a snack, we talked for hours. It was time to get a move on....

    Down route 1 to I-295 which took me around Providence and east on route 44... Nothing particularly outstanding, just pleasant driving through one small town after another. Yes, I know, there were lots of traffic lights for which to stop, but then, there were also lots of shopping malls to pull into for a break and something to eat.

    And so it was that mid afternoon I pulled into the parking area at a Stop & Shop in Putnam CT. I had a bread roll, some butter and some cheese, and set about making a drink and a snack. It was then that I became aware of the music which was being played throughout the parking area... my type of music... music from the 50's.

    The parking lot was half roped off with yellow tape, and there were a dozen or more classic cars there... real cars!! not the flimsy plastic things we drive today. American cars of the 50s and 60s. Cars from when the American car was the envy of the world. When America was the world leader in automobile manufacture. When everyone I ever knew dreamt of owning an American car.

    They kept coming, more and more and more...there seemed no end to it. The people in charge enlightened me, this was a regular Sat afternoon (4pm-8pm) gathering of American classics, hotrods and muscle cars, all lovingly maintained and polished. This was a meeting of Cruise America, to raise funds for charity. I was told that they sometimes get more than 400 cars take part.

    I drooled!!

    It was my inability to walk any further that stopped me taking more photos than I did. I could have just continued on till they all went home, but alas!

    Somehow I never get tired of these local events in small town America.

    Here are some of the photos, there are lots and lots more here.











    Lifey who is still drooling a week later
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 08-06-2009 at 03:51 PM.

  10. #80

    Default

    I loved your report from your trip to Prudhoe Bay - reminded me of our own trip up the Dempster. I suspect it was considerably more comfortable in your van (4 up) than ours (fully loaded with 13 people and heavy trailer)

    Have you arrived in Key West yet? You have to spend the night on the Dry Tortugas if not! Very cool :)

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