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Half down, half to go

September 22nd, 2011

Summer has given way to autumn, and with that transition, the trip is half over.

I see the sun rising later and setting earlier every day now.  It’s a stark change from the beginning of the trip.  When I was in northern Canada and Alaska, it was light nearly all the time.  Now, darkness gets its turn.

It never really got dark in Fairbanks. This was the view from my hotel window around 2:00 a.m. on July 9. No long-exposure trickery here; just a snapshot from my phone. (ISO617, f/2.8, 1/15 s)

So, where do we stand?  The latest numbers:

  • 94 days down, 89 to go
  • 17,200 miles driven, roughly 10,000 to go
  • 20 states visited/played in, 30 to go
  • 4 provinces visited/played in, 6 to go

If you’ve been paying close attention to my mileage estimates, you might have noticed that they’ve been fluctuating a bit.  You might also have noticed that the mileage reported for my completed path on Google Maps is somewhat lower than the mileage reported above.  The main reasons for the discrepancies are that my routes have changed from my initial plans and that I do some driving within each of my destination cities.  So far, I’ve been averaging about 20% over the theoretical mileage due to that in-town driving.  Due to all of the uncertainty, I’m going to leave the overall trip estimate at a nominal 30,000 miles, even though 27,000 miles is looking more likely.

Major accomplishments so far:

  • Only one speeding ticket
  • Not yet eaten by bears
  • Hockey found in every spot except North Dakota

In other words, things are going well.

I will continue to chase the waning sun as I cover the eastern half of the continent.  Autumn in New England promises to be beautiful, and I’m particularly excited about visiting Newfoundland — a place that it seems many Americans would struggle to find on a map.

Meanwhile, the question of “what comes next” continues to loom large.  I am going to base my decision first on where I want to live and second on what I want to do. With luck, I will find that spot and that vocation yet on the trip.

  1. Adam
    October 1st, 2011 at 12:48 | #1

    Newfoundland will cost you $80 each way to bring your car onto the ferry. It might be easier for you to walk on without a vehicle & play in the town where you land (Port-Aux-Basques). You’re going to have to pay the $25 fee for yourself to get on the ferry either way (i.e. it’s $25 for just you, it’s $105 for you & your car), so you could save some money here.

    Also, the next arena after Port-Aux-Basques is nearly 2 hours away in St. George or Stephenville – so I’m not sure if you would abandon Port-Aux-Basques to try another arena even if you had your car.

    Lastly, I haven’t played hockey in Port-Aux-Basques before, so I can’t help you in terms of pickup game times or anything of that nature. Good luck!

  2. Jeff
    October 1st, 2011 at 18:47 | #2

    @Adam Good points. There was a time when I had planned to drive all the way from Port aux Basques to St. John’s, even though it’s about 1000 km away, but then I discovered that the ferry back to the mainland from around St. John’s runs only in the summer. The prospect of making that monumental drive back across the island dampened my enthusiasm for that option.

    Still, I’m tempted to bring my car, if only so I don’t have to lug around my goalie gear manually. 🙂

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