Assessing The Damage

Total Cost of Trip: $2775
Total Distance: 12772 miles

Cost Breakout

Food:  546.65

Lodging: 256

Plane Fare: 354

Park Access: 80

Portable Data Access: 347

Driving Expenses

Tolls: 50.65
Gas:  1116.82
Speeding Ticket: 181

The above does not include some multi-use items like buying a mattress pump or a really big portable battery.  I also think the above probably excludes a few tanks of gas (my calculations show gas to have cost on average $2.70 a gallon, average for the US but probably not when including California and Canada) and a hotel stay or two (I should have been in five motels, not three) bringing to total to about $3000.

Would I Do It Again?

Heck, yes.

What Would I Change Next Time?

  • Motels have manifold ways to squeeze money out of you.  It wasn’t until Minneapolis that I actively looked for KOAs instead of cheap motels which could have shaved a bit off the total trip cost.
  • Add about 10 days.  There were a lot of cases where I arrived late and left early and essentially used my host as a motel.  I think this was rude of me.
  • Bring the Gigapan.  There were about 10 places where I would have liked to use it that would have been awesome.
  • Get a geotagging module for my camera so I could tie pictures to locations ($175).
  • There were a lot of cases where I told myself “gas will be cheaper at the next exit”.  I was right less often than I wanted to be.
  • Either plan days to just catch up with photos and posts or set benchmarks like “I’m going to do a post at lunch today” two weeks behind is a bit much.
  • Give my second camera to my host.  Often they had no pictures of what we did.
  • Bring more InterroMugs and such.  The stickers proved popular and I think I could have moved some glassware.
  • Make a spreadsheet of distances.  There were a bunch of cases where I thought I knew how far something was and didn’t plan appropriately either arriving very early or very late to my host’s house.
  • Take a themed picture in each location.  Along the way, team members started to post “Arcanus Couch Sightings”, I should have had pictures taken or had some other picture to pin to each location.

Would I Bring Someone Else?

I don’t know.  Trading back and forth is great when one has a long distance to make at one shot and everyone can just crash at the end.  Shorter segments would probably result in one person crashing at the destination and the other being refreshed.  Additionally, I only had to stop for my biobreaks compared to other long trips I’ve made where the party took longer stops shaving about 10 MPH from the speed compared to being able to combine all basic stops into one aside.