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Oakland, United States

Every year for the last 3, during the last week in August I've gone to Burning Man. If your reading this, you probably know all about it and the place it holds in my heart. At my first burn, my wife and soul mate of 10years Heather and I agreed to separate. At my second Burn, I solidified my relationship with my girlfriend Justine whom I had met 5 months prior. My third burn was anti-climatic, though I did have to rescue a friend who overdosed on something we still aren't sure about while the Man was prematurely burning Monday night via arson. It was during the Burn last year that I decided that I needed to take a year off. Burning Man consumes so much of my life during the year and it drains my vacation and savings account that it leaves me without the ability to do other things. Justine and I planned on taking a trip abroad, but as the year progressed, I came to the decision about my job and with the value of the dollar, I decided to get the most bang out of my buck and embark on the Great American Road Trip. I had driven straight through the middle of the country when Heather and I moved to California, but I've never been to the Great Planes or the South before and I knew this would be my opportunity to do so.
One of the things I learned from my divorce was what it meant to be me. I had never lived by myself before and really didn't know how to make decisions without having to consider someone else. In short I didn't know who I was without someone else. When I decided on the road trip I knew that one of the things I wanted was to have a part of the trip be solo. I wanted to wake up when I felt like it, go where I felt I wanted to go, see what I wanted to see, eat what I wanted to eat, and leave when it was time for me to leave. I also knew that I wanted to do a lot of traveling with Justine and figured the best way to do that was to have her fly out mid trip and we would travel together for the last half. So that's what we are doing. I will take 3 weeks to get to Washington DC and then we will have 2 weeks to get back. We have points along the way, but we're keeping things flexible for now, letting the sun and the muse take us where she wants us to go. I've put $1300 dollars into my car and as a going away present, my friends at ACT presented me with an awesome road trip package full of things like flares, clothespins, a AAA membership and lots of jerky. I'll(we'll) be couchsurfing http://www.couchsurfing.com and camping along the way to save money and to get the insiders view of the great land of ours. I'm really fascinated to learn about new people, places and things to eat, but most importantly, I looking forward to hearing people's stories. I hate this Red State/Blue State nonsense and will do my best to hold space and listen to as many people who view life in a different way than I do. America, here I come.

permalink written by  JRadhirsch on August 30, 2008 from Oakland, United States
from the travel blog: The Great American Road Trip
tagged America, BurningMan and Jerky

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Reno or Re-yes

Reno, United States

Driving through Reno during Labor Day was weird. Normally, I would be covered in Dust and driving home to Oakland after a week at Burning Man. Not this year. I watched all the cars heading the other direction their American Dreams dreamt and spent. I passed Hwy 447 and it's promise of tabula rasa, shed a silent joyful tear and kept on driving.

permalink written by  JRadhirsch on September 1, 2008 from Reno, United States
from the travel blog: The Great American Road Trip
tagged BurningMan and Joyfultears

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