Wednesday, I begin to make the long drive back to Massachusetts to end the long stay on the West Coast. Whether or not I am going to look back fondly or negatively to this long term assignment is still to be decided, mostly because I am not exactly sure I have figured out what I am leaving or just as much what I am returning too. At this point, that doesn’t matter …
What does matter is that I need to finalize my plan to get back across the country, and of course – blogging about it will force the issue.
So here is the framework of the return plan. Like my drive out, it will be broken into two weekends – it’s just that this time they will be two LONG weekends. I need to be in Wichita, KS Monday & Tuesday July 6 & 7; and need to be up in New Hampshire (with clean clothes and a rested puppy dog) by Monday July 13th. Beyond that, I need to make sure I am always heading in the direction of Dorchester, whatever that means.
The first leg will be five days zig zagging across the Southwest arriving in Wichita the afternoon of July 5th; each day with between 7 and 10 hours of driving. It starts with:
– July 1, Anaheim, CA to Flagstaff, AZ. 7-1/2 hrs – 475 miles. A departure day, meant to just get miles behind me. In order to keep this lively and off the direct route, I likely will be heading through the Palm Desert and Palm Springs on the way to Arizona (versus a Barstow route, a more indirectly direct route out of the LA Area).
July 2, Flagstaff, AZ to Tropic, UT. 8-1/2 hours – 460 miles. This is some big day for what I will see — Grand Canyon is the first on my list, and maybe the biggest thing in North America I haven’t visited yet that I want to. Just a lookie loo then onward through the Vermilion Cliffs NM, a long detour through Zion NP, and then up to Bryce Canyon NP where we are staying up in the mountains in Tropic, UT.
July 3, Tropic, UT to Farmington, NM. 8 hours – 425 miles. This may be the trouble part of the trip, either where I bite off more than I can chew or make sure more than what I can chew has been bitten off. This starts with a Northeast route up through the Grand Staircase NM, the Capital Reef NP, before cutting Southeast down to the Four Corners and Ending in New Mexico.
July 4, Farmington, NM to Denver, CO 9 hours – 480 miles. Heading due north out of Farmington, this is a Rocky Mountain Holiday route, through Durango, Telluride, Grand Junction, Rifle (that is a throwback place for me), Veil, Eisenhower Tunnel, then down the Front Range to spend the night in the mile high city.
July 5, Denver, CO to Wichita, KS 7-1/2 hours (depending on who you ask) – 530 miles. The long run across the flatness of flat.
Then comes two days in Wichita to recharge followed by the run east. The details of this leg are still to be set (I have to find dog friendly hotels); but the current plan is a 4 day run:
– Wichita to Peducha, KY (or somewhere in that distance range) through the Ozarks and southern Missouri
Peducha, KY to the Appalachians around Gatlinberg, TN then up the range to Roanoke, VA
– Roanoke to Possibly Northern Virginia but somewhere along the western side of the Appalachians
– Hard run up through PA, NY, CT, to Dorchester
Hopefully, this trip home will be much more scenic, adventurous, and enjoyable. We will see of course.