“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,  Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.” – Song of the Open Road – Walt Whitman (Wiki)

After a year of waiting & healing (somewhat) I finally departed on my 9000+ mile excursion around the US and BC, Canada on Saturday.  As is always the case I spent the first 100 or so miles playing the, “what did I forget” game.  Aside from a few small things, that I can easily pick up along the way, the only potentially significant thing was a second ATM card (I usually carry two when I travel just in case).  Oh well, I was about 50 miles from home when I remembered so I threw caution to the wind (ha ha) and carried on without it.

Please don’t leave. Click here to read more…

So those of you who know me well will certainly not be surprised by anything I’m about to tell you….

My trip began today like so many of my other “great adventures” whether traveling around the world or going to the grocery. 🙂

After months of thinking and planning for this trip I began to pack around 11 PM last night (I know, shocker #1 right). I made it to bed around 4:30 and was back up and at it at 7. Things were going pretty well but I still had a lot to do and I had to unexpectedly run to the store for township trashbags (those from PA know what I’m talking about….this is actually important to the story). My great friend Jeannie Armbruster was scheduled to pick me up at 10:45 to go to the airport. After running around like a mad man for 4 hours doing all the final winterizing and closeup prep to the house we finally left a little after 11 (now here’s the part that will not surprise anyone who knows me well).

So we lock up, load up, and shout a quick “Ya Hoo” and we’re on our way.  About a mile from the house (thankfully only a mile) I start going through my usual, “what did I forget” checklist.  Door Locked…check. Lights off…check. Passport…check. Wallet…wallet…wallet…CRAP (yes Bill Reichard I forgot something…Shocker #2, right).  Again, luckily I discovered it only a mile from my house.  So Jeannie whips the family truckster (my name for their car) around and we head back. I remembered that I had my wallet when I went to the store earlier so I figured I left it in my car. So I ran in the house, got the car keys, opened the car, no wallet…CRAP! At this point my stress and “emergency mode” level (those I’ve worked with know this mode well 🙂 is about 5 out of 10. I go in the house and look everywhere, no wallet…CRAP!  My stess level just hit 6. I go back to my packpack, take everything out and throw it all over the family truckster but still no wallet…CRAP CRAP! I tell Jeannie that I remember having it at the store. She grabs her phone to call the store and I run back into the house and maticulously go through every room but still no wallet…CRAP CRAP CRAP!  At this point I’m in full fledged, 5 alarm, flashing red lights, dial 911 and save the women and children panic mode!  

While running back to the family truckster my “great friend” Jeannie, who apparently finds pleasure in my pain (just kidding), takes this “awesome” action photo of me totally freaking out….

When I get back to the car Jeannie delivers the news that it was not turned in at the store. At this point I’m thinking, “well that’s it, game over…no trip today”. So Jeannie and I both start back into the house and she says, “did you wear a different pair of jeans?” to which I replied, “yes, but I’ve already checked them” to which Jeannie says, “how about a coat, did you wear a coat” to which I reply, “THAT’S IT!”.  I walk in the house, open the closet check my coat pocket, no wallet!  I quickly check the other pocket, pull it out and hold it up like it’s the Holy Grail (as trumpets sound in the background…Seriously. :).

So again, those who know me well remember the time I was halfway across the Atlantic on a corporate jet and realized I forgot my passport….and the time I arrived at the airport for an evening flight to Switzerland to make a morning meeting the next day and my passport had expired 2 days before…and the time I this…and the time I that… :-), so I’m sure this is no surprise at all to many of you.

But thanks to my great friend Jeannie helping me find my wallet, talking me down from the ledge and driving the family truckster like a Nascar I’m now sitting “somewhere” waiting for the second leg of my journey and really hoping I don’t lose anything here because Jeannie is 3000 miles away!  ha ha

So here’s some trivia for today’s location….

– In 1892 oil was discovered in this city and by 1923 this city produced one quarter of the world’s oil.  It still sits atop the third largest oil field in the country.

– The coroner’s office in this city has a gift shop.

– This city has America’s largest yacht harbor.

– This city is home to more than 140 nationalities speaking 224 different languages.

– This city has more automobiles than people.

Where Am I?

As most of you know I am taking off in a few days for a multi-month travel adventure. Although I’ve never “blogged” before (I’m sure this will be quite evident) and I’m really not much of a writer, I am going to endeavor to document my travels on this blog so you can share in the adventure.  We’ll see how it goes.  

Now I know several of you have blogs of your own and many of you are quite tech savvy, so please feel free to email me with any suggestions you may have on how I can spruce up my blog, add cool plugins and/or just make it more interesting. 

Speaking of keeping things interesting….to try and keep it somewhat interesting and interactive we’ll play a game called, “Where Am I”.  I will post a picture and/or provide information about where I am or what I am doing and you can try to guess where I am and post your response in a comment. Now you can’t just say Australia or the South Pacific.  You need to be as specific as you can.  If it’s some place you’ve been you can tell everyone the street I’m standing on or the pub I’m in :-).  The next day (or next post) I will reveal the location from the previous (day or post) and post the next one.  Whoever gets the most correct locations at the end of the trip wins…..

Ok, so I may be exaggerating a little…how about a Hot Pocket?   🙂

So let’s started…..here’s the first pic…..

Where Am I?