Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Driving = Therapy (for me)

Monday, October 4th, 2010
By: Brandon Bailor

Last night I needed to clear my head.  I have gotten myself into a situation that is kind of tearing me apart inside, and it really started to get to me.  So, I decided to get some of my private therapy … go driving!  I figured I would head north on a local highway, aiming for an Interstate to head west on.  For some reason, I really only seem to plan the first leg of these trips.  It’s always pretty fun to see where I end up.  I ended up making it all the way to Akron Ohio before I headed back south.  All in all, 869 miles in 13.5 hours.  All that with only one RedBull 🙂  Not cured, but at least my head is in a better place. 

I spent almost the entire time listening to the 16 songs that we (Chainfall) are learning.  I have them in a play list on my iPod, and I set it to shuffle and repeat.  Just trying to memorize the changes …I want them to become second nature.  I switched it up to a bit more soothing music for the final couple hours of the trip.

On a side note, (I apologize for repeating myself, but I must reiterate) I really hate driving in the North East.  Too many slow speed limits, too many intersections, too much construction (and each state handles it differently), and way too much congestion.  The only way to drive in the NE is to do it like I did last night: drive in the middle of the night 🙂  Driving is much more therapeutic when you don’t have to battle for your fair share of the road, or be on constant guard to avoid stupidity.

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Road Trip 2010

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
By: Brandon Bailor

This post is in response to “The Plan”.  Better late then never … right?  LOL!

Well, the plan pretty much went off without a hitch!  For those of you that follow me on Facebook, you were able to see the trip unfold in real-time 🙂  Left as-planned, and each leg of the trip went according to schedule.  As all road trips go, it’s the scenery, and the unexpected happenings that make a road trip memorable and exciting.  First unexpected happening was finding a friend of mine from Texas living in Denver.  We ended up having breakfast with him … pretty cool. 

Next was the fact that we got to see it raining on the Utah Salt Flats.  The Utah Salt Flats are a desert.  They were also formed by a large salt water lake drying up, so they are perfectly flat.  When we drove through, it was raining … this had a bizarre effect.  Because the flats are so flat, rain water has no where to go.  It basically just pools up … one big pool.  The flats looked like one huge lake again.  I bet the water was only a half inch deep, but it was the entire flats.  Very strange!

Yosemite was also not quite as planned.  See, we had a ton of food packed in the car.  Fresh fruit, lunch meats, breads, etc.  We sat down for lunch at Yosemite … trying to plan a little hike.  I read the place mat stating that the bears are waking up from hibernation in the spring, and are hungry.  They can actually smell the food in your car, and they will come down from the mountains for it.  If a bear gets to your car … not only is your car destroyed by the bear, but the park will impound your car, and impose a $5000 fine.  I then felt it best to not leave the car sitting still too long while we hiked.  So we decided just to drive around the park, see the sites, and take some pictures.  The ranger station also said that the road to the Mariposa Grove was open … this is the grove of giant Sequoia trees.  I wanted to show her, so we drove the 45 minutes through the park to get all the way down there, just to find out that the website, and the ranger stations were wrong.  The last 2 miles of road to the grove were closed!!!  F’ers!  So we just hopped in the car and went to San Fran.

In San Fran, we checked into the hotel, and went to dinner at Bubba Gumps … I know … I should really mix it up a little when I go to SF.  But the purpose of this trip was to show Michelle things that I like.

Next was Vegas.  She was not a big gambler, so we really didn’t do any casinos except The Riviera (the one that the APA National tournament is held at).  We decided to check it out, and just stumbled upon the BCA nationals!  Go figure!  Actually ran into one of Michelles ex’s there 🙂  Funny 🙂

Then we drove to Texas.  Hung out with the folks, and headed home.  The trip home took about 6 hours longer than anticipated, so I called off the next day of work.

All in all … good trip!

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The Plan

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
By: Brandon Bailor

Alright … Since we can’t do the full Half-Dome hike, (won’t be opened … see post titled “Capitol F”) we have not been training per-se.  The shift is to do a nice hike, and see the park.  I love it there, can’t wait to be there again!  I also want to show Michelle some of the other places I like to visit (San Francisco and Las Vegas).  We will also swing through Texas on our way home so she can meet the folks.

The Plan: 
– Leave Sunday evening (9pm’ish).  Drive through to Monday night (about the same time), stop just short of Denver Colorado. 
– Motel6 it.  Get some sleep, shower, etc. 
– Wake up Tues morning, drive again … Yosemite is about 22 hours from where we will be.  So we should arrive at the Park early Wed morning.  Drive around, possibly find a shower, do a hike, generally get a quick overview of the park itself.  Maybe even sneak down to the Mariposa Grove for a peek at the giant redwoods. 
– I hope to leave early to mid afternoon.  San Francisco is only 4 short hours away!  I got a room at the Donatello resort through my time share (nice place … stayed there once).  Take her down to Fishermans Warf for dinner.  Maybe even Ghirardelli Square (if time permits). 
– Sleep.  Breakfast … then take the day Thursday for the 9 hour drive to Las vegas.  I got room at the Desert Rose (again through my timeshare).  Show her the strip, maybe the Forum Shops, the Riviera hotel/casino (location of our pool leagues national tournament), maybe ride the roller coaster at NY/NY or the Stratosphere.  Sleep.
– Leave Friday Morning for Texas.  Arrive in Waco sometime Saturday … possibly late morning.  I think my sister will be there too.  Generally hang out and visit.  Short visit. 
– I have to work on Monday … so, we need to leave early Sunday morning, so I can get home in time to work.

So …it’s a bit tight, possibly exhausting at times, but that is the plan.

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Waco – Race for the Cure®

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
By: Brandon Bailor

Quite the weekend.  Left Thursday evening to drive 22 hours (1612 miles) to get to Waco.  Arrived just after 7:00pm CST.  Hung out with the family for a while … then finally toddled off to bed.  By that point, I think I had been up for about 40-42 hours, and had covered 7 states.  Dad woke me up at 6:30am sharp.  Off to the race we go!  Unfortunately it was cold and rainy out, but that quickly cleared up and turned into a really gorgeous day!  I did the walk (1K this year instead of 1 mile) … Mom didn’t walk … she is still recovering from all the mess she went through with her hip replacement.  Don’t blame her … take it slow mom.  Make sure you heal well.

My nephew and his friend entered the 5K.  Poor planning by race coordinators caused the runners to have to fight with loads of traffic from the 5K “non-timed” race that was just finishing up.  The bulk of the walkers were crowding the approach to the finish line.  My nephews friend finished in just about 20 minutes.  Cool.  My nephew came running accross just a couple minutes later.  Good job guys!!!

We ended up hanging around so we could eat lunch at Ninfas mexican restraunt after the race … only had to kill about 45 min until the place opened.  Lunch was good (not really diet friendly, but hey … I am on vacation).  Back to the house, and nap time!  Got about 3 more hours sleep, and we left for BBQ!!  Good stuff!  Got home, and I took a shower and hit the road again.  Took it a little slower (got a ticket on my way there).  Got home 23 hours later.  Went out to eat, and slept. 

Quite the weekend indeed

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Capitol “F”

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
By: Brandon Bailor

Planning the big trip to Yosemite National Park … I just learned that the safety cables will most likely not be up on Half-Dome mountain.  That means … no hike to the top!  I have also been learning that many roads are closed throughout the park for the winter … many of them don’t open ’till late May … it’s different every year.  I won’t know  … basically until I get there.  I feel like Chevy Chase at Wally World … I just want to punch a moose in the nose, and shoot John Candy with a BB gun!

This can only mean one thing.  I need to start planning another trip!  I HAVE to get to the top of that mountain!  And I will!  Oh yes, I will!

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