Road Trip Travel Advisory

    Hey, good to see you!  Glad you could make it.  Before you join us on this summer's trip, though, there are probably a few things you should know about these pages.  Brian has again made up some questions and answered them ahead of time.  If you have questions or just want to say "howdy", e-mail us at Roadtrip@FunkyMoose.Net.

Q: So, again, what on earth are you guys doing?

A: We are, again, taking advantage of both being teachers and having the summer off.  We are taking a road trip around the lower 48, with tentative plans to visit Yellowstone, South Dakota, the Blue Ridge Parkway, perhaps D.C., our friends Joey and Anissa in Wisconsin, the southwest four corners region, relatives and friends in Oregon, friends in Washington and then drive back home.  We are not avoiding interstates this time, but we don't care for them.  Brian is still very interested in large fiberglass representations of animals, people and things.  Theresa is interested in local art and, again, cows.

We are going to attempt to update our web site with daily entries and lots of pictures (particularly  of large fiberglass creations).  We can't promise interesting or even regular content, and we know uploads will happen in spurts.  This is really more for us and, while hopefully entertaining for all, will provide us with a little scrapbook of our trip when we are done.

Q:    What are you driving?

A:    (To paraphrase from the 2000 road trip) The beast you see in the pictures is the pillar of German engineering that is the 1977 Volkswagen Van (also known as a Campmobile, Type II, and Transporter).  We call it "the bus".  It has a powerful 2.0 liter engine and forgoes needless frills like power steering, brakes or anything else.  It has a top speed of around 70mph, a nice cruising speed of 60mph, and is very susceptible to wind sheer.  The bus has 195,000 miles on it, with 35,000 on a new engine.  It has a roof rack for hauling stuff, a fold out bed, an ice box, a built in closet, and a 110 electrical hookup.  We have a host of pop-out camping gear, from the simple lawn chairs to the truly monumental "Quick Shade".  We have full camp deployment down to roughly 5 minutes.

Q:    Hey guys, this is great but what's with all of the pictures?  It took five minutes to download one page.

A:    Really, still in 2004?  We try to post no more than 20 pictures a day in thumbnails, and have introduced both enlargements and a slide show feature this time for friends with broader bandwidth.  We can only imagine how slow this might be on a dial up modem.  I say we can only imagine, because we actually have no have no internet access at all.  If you think this is a lot of pictures, you should see how many we are keeping to ourselves.  According to iPhoto, we have taken 717 pictures in the last ten days. 

We don't think this will be too slow on cable modem, at work, or burned on a CD later.  Our apologies for those of you trying to tag along on a 56k modem, but isn't it really time to upgrade anyway?

Q:    Are you bothering to look out the window or are you just writing web pages?

A:    We really do kind of have this down anymore.  We have an AC/DC converter for the laptop and a cool little beanbag laptop desk we got from the EMP on the last trip.  Brian wrote a simple PHP web application that lets us fill in a form for each day and then builds all of the pages.  We export photos from iPhoto and use a little Applescript to resize them for the site.  Brian's job is to add didactic text and smart aleck comments after.  It is a 15-20 minute end of the day project.  The mileage and gas stats are something Brian has always tracked anyway and we are using a spreadsheet to crunch the numbers, so it's pretty quick.  Day seven has a picture of Theresa hard at work for you.

Q:    What are you doing this with?

A:    We are using our 15" Apple Powerbook, a Sony digital camera, a Sony camcorder and more adapters, chargers, and converters than you can shake a stick at.  We are counting on ubiquitous wireless connectivity for uploading content. 

Q:    ...and the software?

A:    On a daily basis we are using Brian's little PHP application for page authoring, Mozilla for non-template pages, iPhoto for photo management, Photoshop 7.0 for the road trip visual aid, and Mac OS 10.3 to make it all work.  Theresa used an old school version of GifBuilder and Photoshop to make the little cruising bus.  We had to slow the original cruising bus down for accuracy.

Q:    Who is Ken?

A:    Before the original road trip, it became apparent to Theresa that Brian was ruining a fair bit of clothing working on the bus.  Somewhere, she came across a second hand pair of overalls that bore the name "Ken".  Brian  has worn them since in bus related repairs and views Ken as an alter ego and guardian angel.  Ken can be seen in full regalia on day eight of the first road trip.

Q:    Who is Hula Gal?

A:    Hula Gal joined us on day fourtythree of the last road trip, as we were leaving Key West.  Hula Gal is an effervescent fountain of joy on the dashboard.

Q:    Yesterday's entry said you stayed in an RV park.  An RV park?  Really, have you seen what you're driving?

A:    RV parks mean three things; showers, laundry, and electricity.  Besides, there is a certain joy pulling your 14 foot bus up next to a 50 foot RV.  When we do RV it, we tend to lean toward KOAs (Kampgrounds Of America) because they are predictable and plentiful.  We also think it is very cute the way they substitute the letter "k" for  the letter "c" in everything.  We do truly prefer a good state or national campground and will always take them when we can.

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