|T R I P R E S O U R C E S|
The following is a list of critical equipment, technology and services utilized in support of my trip.
Ford Extended Van (Website)
I bought a 1999 E350 XL Super Duty Extended Van on eBay. There is a lot of usable space (11 foot long, 5 1/2 foot wide, 4 foot high) when all 4 bench seats are removed from the van (seats up to 15 passengers). The van has around 64,000 miles on it (State of Oregon fleet vehicle) and sports a V10 Triton engine (275 horse power, 410 lb-ft of torque at a low 2,750 RPM) with an automatic transmission.
Check out how we made a camper out of it.
Trek 1000/4500 (Website)
My road bike is a Trek 1000. Bought it last year with intentions of getting into some heavy cycling last season but never got around to it, the bike just sat gathering dust. This season I've been riding more in preparation for my trip and have found it to be a very reliable and well built machine. The Trek 1000 sits on the lower rungs of Trek's bicycle food chain, but even their low-end bikes are pretty good.
My mountain bike is a Trek as well, a Trek 4500. This is my first mountain bike. I was so happy with my Trek 1000 that I decided to stay with the Trek brand. So far I just love the bike, it's a lot of fun to ride. A big bonus is the seat is more comfortable than what's on the road bike. Seems like road bikes are supposed to have uncomfortable seats, not sure why that is. I have yet to do anything hardcore with it, but that'll sure change when I get to UT for some serious mountain biking.
IBM Laptop (Website)
I brought along an IBM Thinkpad Model R in support of my on-the-road website development efforts. Configured with a 30GB harddrive, 500MB RAM, CD/DVD, Centrino Processor, WiFi, and Windows XP, the laptop held up like a champ. The laptop was very reliable and sturdy, never once breaking down, even after being dropped numerous times. I was even successful in operating it in near zero temperatures. It's a good piece of equipment. I'd buy another in a heartbeat!
DeLORME GPS (Website)
Driving long distances to places unknown, it's critical to select the right GPS mapping software/hardware. Based on a friend's endorsement, I bought my GPS software/hardware from DeLORME. What a great product! Their Topo USA 5.0 product is absolutely wonderful! Exceeded my wildest expectations, the product held up very well, faithfully directing me hither and yon for over 18,000 miles. Some of the maps on this site were drawn from this world-class product.
Microsoft MapPoint (Website)
Many of the maps found on this site were acquired from Microsoft's MapPoint Website. Rivaling MapQuest, MapPoint is a really nice service. I've found their maps to be the most detailed of the popular on-line mapping sites. In addition to North America, the service also provides address mapping for Europe, Australia, and Brazil. Surprisingly they also have a World Atlas function, where you can find a map of any place in the world just by typing in its name. Very cool service!
This site provides up to 30,000 trails, covering such activities as biking, hiking and water sports. The trails are written up in PDF format and provide not only detailed maps but also background information about the trail as well as the surrounding area. I think this is a great site, so much so I purchased a lifetime membership. Some of their route maps are displayed on this site.
My website is currently hosted by Glob@t.com. They had a pretty good deal going on when I joined, sign up for a year for $125, and get 5GBs of storage and 150GB data transfer. I feel I get great value for the money. My site is always available and usually runs pretty fast.
I'm primarily using two travel references for my trip, USA 2004 by Let's Go and Discover America by Reader's Digest. USA 2004 is cram-packed with detailed information about all things interesting in the USA. It's a one-stop-shop for trip planning. Discover America is really a picture book of sorts. It describes interesting places state by state, it also contains easy reference maps. When I bought these books I thought I'd read them from cover to cover before starting my trip, but after some thought I decided to just wait, wait until I'm a day or two from a particular destination and then read about it. That holds the trip's adverture at a higher level, as compared to knowing well in advance, giving one time lose the thrill.
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