Nope. I'm done. A road trip is simply unaffordable for this poor boy. Gas costs were eating me alive being more than half my expense. The choice: "food or gas?" left me starving. The following may be T.M.I...
The speed limit was 70 on I-15, but for 4 hours it was 2. I pulled over only to be told I had to get back in traffic because emergency services needed the shoulders. Watching my gas gauge going lower I thought "screw that" and pulled over again a bit farther this time. It was cold with a drizzling rain. I got diarrhea and gas. It wasn't a fart, so now I had a shitload. Misery. I had to change, so now I'm bare ass'd (is that where embarrassed comes from?) hoping my Jimmy is blocking the view (not completely) with hundreds of cars inching past me. At first, I couldn't lift my foot to get clean undershorts on, but finally managed. Left pants, shorts and towels full of shit on side of road. Sunshine and time will take care of those. What caused the jam? Looky-lous. An accident on the other side of the highway!
Went to Los Angeles, got within 50 feet of the ocean but didn't see it for an hour because the traffic was so bad.
From the ocean to W. Covina on I-10 it was more parking lot. Got off highway to find a gas station (by now late at night.) I found one with a curb that popped two tires (purchased 4 weeks earlier) so well there was no bump or sound. Next day clerk told me not only do his customers pop tires regularly but he even lost one himself. I can't stick around to fight the city over this and my road hazard is worthless since I'm not carrying the tires back with me (I use a local tire guy back home.)
When I walk (with a nice stick) my blood pressure often drops. BP to zero, me to floor. Ok, not zero, just unmeasurable. It's happened a number of times so I know the drill. EMT's want me to go to hospital but if I'm conscience they have to get my consent to force another few thousand in hospital bills on me. So they bring in the police to threaten arrest (48 hr of loony bin observation) if I don't 'consent.' I could argue with the police (laws do apply to them as well) but just went for a guarantee (worthless it turned out) that I'd get transportation back to my vehicle from the hospital (which confirmed the new kidney problems I'm having... my local doctor is aware.)
The night before visiting one of my millionaire friends (he once bought me a Toyota Avalon my ex-wife is still driving) I planned to get a motel room to make myself presentable for a meeting. BTW, $35k of car is nothing compared to the millions in additional and permanent annual sales I made him. It's amazing what you can do when you have hundreds of vendors, thousands of sales leads and a guy that takes the initiative to use lat-long/zipcode data to better match them up. That took part of one day out of the year I worked for him. This is known as initiative. I've never had a boss that didn't appreciate it (hard for them not to since it always made lot's of money for them... me, not so much.)
I used to be able to afford an occasional motel room. Forget it today. Even a fleabag I wouldn't touch is too expensive. I have alternatives (I think I've lived everywhere and know lot's of folk but I just can't ask. I did ask my sister and her husband but that didn't turn out well. They forced me to end my road trip. It just wasn't worth the argument.)
I planned to visit my son, but he was working out of town for three weeks, so the timing on that didn't work out. I will call him to arrange another time.
Did not make it to Seattle. Did get my first wheelchair because I was unable to walk around stores to buy supplies. Had to pay for it myself, since the place I was told would accept medicare had "lost their bid" I was told by them. The wheelchair worked and I was able to get supplies (not everyplace I want to shop offers those electric carts which I dislike anyway.)
Now some will say they knew all along my road trip would fail. It did, but that doesn't make those "knew it's" any less moronic. Everything fails until it doesn't.
So perhaps I'm not done?
I did sit down next to (and touched) the rotary rocket. That was a spiritual experience. Much less so the two models under glass.
I'm not the only romantic which brings me to Rand's dismissive statement that mars is just a romantic notion...
Wrong Rand... Mars is real. The chemical elements needed for industry are real, widely disbursed and geologically concentrated, and not picked over for thousands of years, and does not have the rocket equation surcharge a not down a gravity well option has.
Mars industry will make the earth a backwater of the solar system in almost no time after a few thousand colonists are there. Getting them there is the hard part. Living there will be trivial in comparison. Earth will only be able to compete by using nuclear propulsion technology they believe non viable today.
The moon will need to continuously import what mars already has.
If you live long enough to see it, you may end up telling us you're the original romantic.