Monday, April 28, 2008

The Plan

2008. 20 years ago I graduated from a high school on the east coast. So now I'm kicking it on the west coast. I am keeping it real by using outdated cliches with my homies in a liberal, middle class hood. There is a reunion...I am told...and I have every intention of going.

To prove my earnest intentions, I am proposing to drive my family of 5 + a puppy in our 2003 VW Eurovan from Oregon to Massachusetts for the occasion. Sounds like fun? If you think so, you are crazy like me. The kids are aged 10, 8 & 6 and it seems as good a time as any to see America. And gas being predicted at over $4/gallon, who doesn't want to drop big dollars across the USA?

The particulars: Reunion is scheduled for June 28th. We plan to leave town on June 20th from Oregon. We have friends/family in Wyoming, Montana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Massachusetts. So lodging every other night will be on someone's floor. Sites on my wish list to see include Old Faithful, Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Niagara Falls. We are looking to avoid interstates as much as possible, too. On the west coast we are thinking of staying on US 20 & US 26 mostly. We will see what happens when we hit Chicago!

Trying to pack up a van and not overpack it is my current obsession. I have been looking online at roof racks and cargo boxes to hold clothes, sleeping bags, etc. My question, is spending ~$1,000 for a 'system' that goes on the roof worth it? How will that affect my mileage? Thule has a cargo box that is allegedly the most aerodynamic model (Spirit) but I haven't found how aerodynamic it is compared with other models. I would like to bring my bike too for exercise on the road. I was thinking I could get up early and start a ride and my wife can pick me up on the road. If we use the hitch rack, then opening the hatch for meals would be an added exercise. Getting a roof rack and putting the bike up there will cover the bike with bug guts and as tall as the Eurovan is, I can see a drive-thru disaster in my future.

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