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  1. #71
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona


    I'm really glad you guys enjoyed my account, especially so if you found some inspiration in it. Getting up and "out there" before sunrise is one of my favorite tricks, and as long as the weather cooperates, it almost always pays off with some great photo opportunities.

    There will be one more post before I tie this off: a summary of expenses (yikes!), and some concluding remarks. Look for that later today (or possibly tomorrow).


  2. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Default MOART: The Final Tally

    Days on the Road: 57
    Total Miles Traveled: 12,996
    Total Photos Taken: 9,644

    Most Expensive: Toad River, BC: $5.37 per gallon
    Least Expensive: Helena, MT*: $2.75 per gallon
    Average cost: $3.88 per gallon
    Total Cost: $2,195.24

    Lodging was by far my most significant expense. My original plan called for camping or sleeping in the vehicle two nights out of three, with a hotel every third night. That plan went into the shredder pretty quickly. The weather is partly to blame; nobody likes pitching a tent when it’s raining and cold. My age was likewise a factor, much as I hate to admit it. When I was a young man in my 20’s I lived on the road for weeks at a stretch, but I’m no longer a young man, and my priorities have shifted. On those (many) nights when I opted for a hotel in lieu of a campground, my desire for a comfortable bed won out over the need to hold down my costs.

    Staying with Friends: 7 nights
    Sleeping in the Jeep: 4 nights
    Camping in Tent: 10 nights
    Hotels: 35 nights

    Camping Highest: Homer, AK: $55.90
    Camping Lowest: Yellowstone N.P.: $8.00
    Camping Average: $16.83

    Hotel Highest: Colter Bay, Grand Teton N.P.: $224.83
    Hotel Lowest: Helena, MT*: $55.00
    Hotel Average: $117.41
    Total/Total: $4,345.12

    *I thought it interesting to note that Helena, Montana had both the cheapest fuel, as well as the cheapest lodging on the entire route

    Travel Guides (The Milepost; Guide to the Alaska Highway): $45.00
    Denali Tour: $48.00
    Kenai Fjords Tour: $162.93
    Oil changes and car washes: $203.06
    Speeding Ticket (oops!): $156.00
    TOTAL: $614.99

    I spent a few hundred bucks on camping gear: tent, sleeping pad, a good raincoat, and other miscellaneous, but I still have all that stuff, so I don’t consider it strictly a trip expense. I did NOT keep track of the cost of food and drink, souvenirs, gifts, or incidentals.


    If you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures even half as much as I enjoyed writing about them, then we’ve all had a pretty good time! I learned quite a lot in the course of this trip, about the places I passed through, about the people I met, and about my own strengths and limitations, which proved to be quite different than what I was expecting. It isn’t possible to really know your own limits until you’ve put them to the test, and that’s exactly what this RoadTrip did for me. My test results were outstanding, and went a long way toward restoring my self-confidence. I was most definitely NOT too old for this sort of thing. Matter of fact, I was just getting started!

    Six weeks after I returned from Alaska, I took off on another RoadTrip: 8,000 miles through Mexico, all the way from Phoenix to the Yucatan and back, exploring 14 different sets of Mayan ruins (checking off several more items on my bucket list), as well as taking in street festivals in five different colonial cities, including the Day of the Dead celebration in San Miguel de Allende. I should write up a field report on that trip someday—it was fabulous! (For anyone that’s sufficiently curious, there’s a condensed account on my personal website, at the following link: Mexican Road Trip: Circa 2015).

    These two back-to-back journeys reawakened a love of RoadTrips that’s been with me since I was a young boy, traveling with my family on old Route 66, sprawled out in the roomy back seat of my Dad’s Desoto. It had been a long time since I’d been able to properly indulge that particular passion, but retirement blew the roof off my life, and at that point, the sky was the limit! I’ve always been a prolific photographer, and thanks to the miracle of digital camera technology, I was amassing more fantastic new photographs than I knew what to do with. I posted a lot of them on my website, and I started a travel blog as a way to document my journeys and share my experiences. That was fine, as far as it went, but honestly, that really wasn’t very far. I wanted to find a way to reach a larger audience, so I did a little research. That’s when I ran across this website—RoadTrip America—an established community of kindred souls.

    I was literally bursting with great material, so I started writing short articles about roadside attractions on the Alaska Highway for the RTA mapping program. Then I wrote some articles about attractions in my native southwest, and that led to the coolest opportunity ever! Imbrifex Books, the publishing division of RoadTrip America, was in the process of creating a new line of travel guides. I had a doozy of an idea for a book about scenic alternatives to the Interstate Highways, so I submitted a proposal, which resulted in a contract. Research for the book sent me out on the road again, 11,000 miles through my home state of Arizona and neighboring New Mexico, covering a vast territory in intimate detail. I took copious notes—and another 7,000 photographs! Putting all that together took another year, but the result was something wonderful! On April 3, 2018—three years to the day after I retired from my government job, my first book was published:

    RoadTrip America: Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips.

    If you liked my trip report? I can guarantee you’ll like the book!

    Happy Trails!

    Rick Quinn
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-06-2019 at 08:00 AM.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Lodging was by far my most significant expense. My original plan called for camping or sleeping in the vehicle two nights out of three, with a hotel every third night. That plan went into the shredder pretty quickly. The weather is partly to blame; nobody likes pitching a tent when it’s raining and cold. My age was likewise a factor, much as I hate to admit it. When I was a young man in my 20’s I lived on the road for weeks at a stretch, but I’m no longer a young man, and my priorities have shifted.
    I hear ya. We went through similar, moving from tent to pop-up tent trailer (though we were younger) to 5th wheel to motel/hotel route. A few summers back, we gave consideration to "camping out" in the back of our truck, or going back to a tent, but our backs screamed "NOoooo!" Sometimes you just pay the difference. We make up for it, a little, by snacking for lunches and either eating out reasonably, or even cooking in the motel room (if allowed).

    Again, loved your travel. If the powers-that-be would permit it, I'd be following your Mexico trip if you chose to post it! I'd also be willing to post the statistics from our 7 week trip up the AlCan back in 2000, just for fits-n-giggles at the price differences (2000 vs 2015, RV vs motel/tent) -- but I'd need an okay from the P-T-Be's.


  4. #74
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Hand-in-Hand

    Fortunately, as one ages and loses the ability to camp, boondock, or simply sleep in the car by the side of the road (I've done all three.) one usually also moves up the economic ladder to the point where one can adjust their travel style to meet their aging needs. My wife and I are now well past even the motel and/or RV stage and prefer to rent entire homes or apartments (often for not much more than the cost of a decent motel room) for several days at a time and explore a 'local' area in some depth before moving on to the next area and home. Nevertheless, I try to keep in mind my travel preferences and abilities when I was younger as I give suggestions to some of our younger posters. Their style may no longer be mine, but I remember those days with fondness, and they're why/how I got to see large chunks of North America and Europe on the cheap.


  5. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona


    For me, it was mostly a question of making do with what I had available: namely, a Jeep, a tent, and a limited budget. I didn't have any delusions about my lack of stamina, so I knew going into it that my 2:1 ratio (camping vs motel) was unlikely, at best. "She-who-kept-the-home-fires-burning" while I was off gallivanting around the north pole was rather more certain about my predilections. "Why did you buy a tent?" she asked me. "That was a complete waste of money. You know you're not going to use it." That's where pride wormed its way into the mix. After that remark, I had no choice but to use the damn tent, at least part of the time, if only to prove it was possible!

    If I ever go back to Alaska, I'll no doubt do it differently, but I've got no regrets about the trip described in this thread. While it was far from perfect, as RoadTrips go, I'm convinced that it went down exactly the way it was supposed to.


  6. #76
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Enjoyed the ride !

    Hey Rick. I have enjoyed riding along with you on your trip report, which has also brought back some fond memories in parts. I have just caught up with the last few reports having just returned from our latest adventure.


  7. #77
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Default Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips is a big winner!

    Seeing my favorite southwestern road trips published in the form of a beautiful book was one heck of a thrill--but I just got an even bigger thrill! My book--our book--knocked 'em dead at the annual Independent Publishers Book Awards! RoadTrip America: Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips won an IPPY: a First Place Gold Medal in the Travel/Guidebook Category!


    And that's not all! We also won:

    SILVER! For Interior Design, (with major kudos to Sue Campbell, our brilliantly talented graphic designer) as well as another SILVER! in the Travel/Guidebook category, at the 2019 IBPA (Independent Book Publisher Association) Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony, which took place in Chicago earlier this month! Our own Midwest Michael was there to accept those fantastic awards on our behalf.

    But wait! There's more!

    Reader Views, another organization that rates books, based on the opinions of actual readers, also gives out annual awards. In that contest, we took:

    FIRST PLACE! In the Travel/Nature Category at the Reader Views 2018-2019 Literary Awards; not to mention:

    Winner! 2018-2019 Regional Awards, West-Mountain Region, at the Reader Views 2018-2019 Literary Awards

    Am I done bragging yet? Almost. The book is also a FINALIST in the Travel Category at the 2018 INDIES Awards! The winners of that one will be announced on June 15th--and I think we have a good shot!

    This kind of validation by the Independent Publishing industry really means a lot. They're not just looking at the quality of my writing, they're looking at the overall quality of the book, and at that, these awards should not be a surprise. This book is gorgeous, and I'm not just saying that because my name is on the cover. Imbrifex Books, the publishing arm of RoadTrip America, has been producing one fabulous book after another since they launched their first title a couple of years ago. I'd like to say that I'm deeply honored, and humbled by the opportunity I was given, hitching my horse to their wagon. Considering the level of support, the professionalism, and the meticulous attention to detail that went into the production of this book? It was destined for success before the first copy rolled off the press.

    All you folks out there who DO NOT yet have a copy of this AWARD WINNING travel guide? You really need to pick one up! If you already have one? Buy another one! They make fabulous gifts! Interested? You can Buy it on Amazon, so easy, it's almost scary! (Ha!)

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-18-2019 at 04:19 PM. Reason: added book cover

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Default Update

    I'm extremely proud to report one more literary award: Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips took a Bronze medal in the Travel category at the 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIES Awards.

    Final Tally for our first foray into the exclusive world of Travel/Guidebook publishing:

    Winner, GOLD IPPY, Independent Publisher Award for Travel-Guidebook

    Winner, SILVER 2019 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Interior Design

    Winner, SILVER 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards TRAVEL – GUIDEBOOK

    Winner, FIRST PLACE, Travel/Nature Reader Views 2018-2019 Literary Awards

    Winner, 2018-2019 Regional Awards, West-Mountain, Reader Views 2018-2019 Literary Awards

    Winner, BRONZE 2018 Foreword INDIES Travel

    I'd say we're off to a rip-roaring beginning!

    Rick Quinn

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Congratulations to Rick

    Yep, good idea to post that news here!



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