Days 9-13

| Aug 18, 2007

Pacific Coach Highway, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Redwood Forest, Portland

Sorry we haven’t updated the site in a few days. We’ve been in some desolate areas with very little reception and have stayed in some pretty crappy hotels that obviously don’t have wireless.

We had some problems with the map not showing our progress ever since Los Angeles I believe. Ends up, the database that stores all the data for the website (including blog postings, comments, etc.) was basically full and you may have even seen some problems with the blog. Thanks to Matt Russell for helping me out and fixing the problem as he has done several times on this trip since he is back in Orlando and I rarely have good enough internet. The map itself has some problems in the big city areas where the tall building cause the GPS to lose reception. I can clean up the data when I get back, but it at least works the majority of the time and I’ll cleanup the data when I get back. Anyway, everything should be back up and running fine now, but call me if you experience any problems.

We left Venice Beach and headed toward San Francisco up the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s an amazing and beautiful drive, but we never made good progress because of the mountainous terrain. We camped in Big Sur before making our way to San Francisco. Apparently Big Sur is a real rich area that has two of the nicest resorts in the United States (one starting at $1,500/room). We went out to grab some food and that night and needless to say, the prices were pretty steep.

The following morning, we got up and made our way into San Francisco. It’s pretty amazing how they built the city on such big hills with such high grades. We got some pretty cool Pictures and video, including that one famous windy road (Lombard St.) that you apparently always see in commercials and stuff. I’ve never seen it myself, but it was pretty insane. We took some great Golden Gate Bridge shots that we’ll get uploaded hopefully while were in Canada. Unfortunately for me, Alcatraz tours were sold out for the next six days. Due to the nature of our trip, here just would have been no way for us to know when we would be in San Fran. Alcatraz was the thing I was most looking forward to on this trip, but I guess I’ll just have to do it another time.

After San Francisco, we headed to Napa Valley to take a tour of a winery. We basically randomly picked Beringer and it ended up being a great choice. It’s the longest running winery in the US because they were one of two wineries allowed to stay open during prohibition (to make sacramental wine). The tour was pretty informative for us all. I think the thing that stood out the most was the fact that it takes 1,000 pounds of grapes to make one barrel of wine (59 gallons).

From Napa, we headed north into the Redwood Forest. The redwoods are pretty incredible. We’ve all agreed that Pictures just can’t really do it complete justice to understand how tall and wide the trees are. We did get one really good shot that helps, but you’ll have to check out the album to see. We drove the Acadia through one of them and if the car were an inch wider or two inches taller, it wouldn’t have fit and we’ve got the Pictures that prove it. We camped in the redwoods at a pretty amazing camp site. Slept right under 300 foot tall trees, had a nice camp fire (something that has been prohibited all over California up until then) and even got showers (well, Dan and I did).

After camping in the redwoods, we headed North into Oregon. We ate at this really cool all you can eat cookhouse in Oregon. It was definitely the closest thing to a home cooked meal we have had on this trip, so it was pretty refreshing. We ended up stopping in Portland for the night and stayed in the crappiest hotel on this trip so far. They only had a smoking room available and the sheets, comforter and towels all had burn marks in them. The sheets weren’t big enough to cover the bed, the towels had brown and black marks on them and the shower drain barely worked and filled the tub with water during each shower. Not to mention the stench of smoke in the room.

We just finished seeing Mount St. Helens and are now headed to Seattle and then into Vancouver (eh). I don’t think I ever mentioned when we changed up driving teams, but it’s now Ryan and I as one team and Dan and Sean as another. Since the driving isn’t real long range, we’ve been doing a day of driving per team. For the past week or so we’ve had the roof rack and all of its contents crammed behind the two captains chairs in the back allowing us to all have seat belts and be able to see all the sights easier. That’ll change when we turn around to head back home after Vancouver. Poor Sean is still sick as he has been the whole trip. He’s taken countless medications and just can’t shake what he’s got. Other than that everyone is doing well. We’re all looking forward to some poutine in Canada! We won’t be in contact while in Canada because of cell charges.

Just ate a place called Burgerville in Washington. If you’re ever in the area DO NOT EAT there. It literally took more than 30 minutes to get our food. Horrible service and the food was nothing special.

Thanks again to all of those visiting the site!

Day 8 (Venice Beach)

| Aug 14, 2007

I've uploaded the Pictures from yesterday in Venice Beach. Go ahead and check them out and continue to leave us some comments! I also fixed the problems with the LA album and uploaded the remaining Pictures. Thanks to Judy and Denis for pointing out the problem.

Unfortunately, I got really sick yesterday vomiting and everything that goes with it (plus a fever for good measure). I spent most of the day in the car while the rest of the guys toured Venice Beach. Thanks to Tracey for taking care of me last night and being such good hosts to us while we stayed at their house.

Days 6-7 (Los Angeles)

| Aug 13, 2007

It took us about 5 hours to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles. The drive is normally supposed to be like an 1:45, but traffic here is unreal. Pretty much anywhere you drive, you don't do over 50 because of the traffic. We stayed in a hotel Saturday night because nobody really got real good sleep Friday night sleeping in the car. The hotel wasn't in the best part of town (South of LAX), but it did the trick.

We did the whole Hollywood thing yesterday. It was pretty crazy to see how many people are there trying to "make it big". Weird thing is that because of all the people, there is no public bathroom access anywhere on the main strip. We tried several times unsuccessfully.

We took a big treck through the mountains to get up close to the Hollywood sign. The drive was pretty crazy with all the twists and turns, so we recorded video of it on the way down. We get some pretty cool Pictures which are uploading now and will hopefully be posted shortly. We got invited to go to a filming of "America's Got Talent" last night. None of us were really excited to go, but figured since we were in Hollywood, we should try to go to a live event. We were all surprised by how much of the show is staged and setup. Since we were there, we can leak the final 4 to the world (as if anyone actually watches the show). The final 4 are Butterscotch, Cas Haley, Julienne Irwin and Terry Fator. The show airs this Tuesday on NBC, so be sure to check it out and look for us.

We stayed last night at a childhood friends of Ryan's dads named Joe. Real nice family. His wife was the associate producer of Finding Neverland. We're gonna do Venice Beach today. Apparently it's the #2 tourist attraction in California behind Disneyland. Looks like were going to do Magic Mountain tomorrow.

Thanks to Denis (Ryan's dad) for setting us up with a place to stay and to Joe and his family for being such great hosts.

Days 4-5 (Vegas/San Diego)

| Aug 11, 2007

Sorry for not updating the site for a few days, especially the Pictures. The Pictures are really big and finding a fast enough connection has been hard, but we are sitting in a coffee shop in San Diego that is doing the job.

Vegas was a blast. It was Ryan's birthday and he says it was one of his best. Him and I were sitting at a pai gao poker table that was a $10. Right after we got there, they switched it to a $100 table, but we were allowed to stay and play at $10. Another five minutes later, they upped it to $500 minimum. A real nice guy was sitting down playing $1000 chips for sometimes up to $10,000 a hand. Ryan wasn't getting good cards and told the dealer not to screw him over on his birthday. The third guy at the table said he didn't believe it was Ryan's birthday, so Ryan shows him his drivers license and the guy tosses him two $100 chips and says Happy Birthday. Pretty damn crazy to think a complete stranger gave Kunin $200. He lost like $35,000 at that table and he was just playing there until his own table opened up (I guess he's a regular).

We all drank quite a bit in Vegas. We were playing nickel slots and made friends with the waitress who would give us beer and shots for the next couple of hours. So, after already being pretty drunk, we stumble across some beer pong and played another two games there. Dominated our first one and lost the second. Needless to say, we were all pretty drunk at the end of the night. The other guys don't even remember how we got from one place to another, but only remember being there.

We left the following morning, got some lunch in the old downtown Vegas and headed toward San Diego. Took us about 5 hours to get here, but we got here in time to go to Dick's Last Resort. It's a cool restaurant that basically intentionally treats their customers like crap for entertainment. Waiters are screaming at their tables and throwing things at them -- it's pretty funny.

Since we had no place to stay last night, we crashed in the car. Duecker volunteered to sleep in the front seat and Ryan, Sean and I slept in the back. Needless to say, we had some good laughs about gay jokes. Duecker didn't sleep well at all in the front seat and said he was actually about to fall asleep until a fight broke out between a bunch of people next to our lot. They never actually fought, but one group of people was behind a fence and the other wasn't. It was distracting, but pretty funny. At one point, one of the drunk guys almost accidentally ran into my car. We were just trying to hide to stay out of their business.

We're still here trying to figure out what we'll do next. We know Los Angeles is next on the agenda, but don't know if we're gonna go there tonight or tomorrow.

Days 2-3 (Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam/Vegas)

| Aug 09, 2007

We made much better time than expected driving from San Antonio to the Phoenix. How did we do that you ask? Well, Ryan manages to pin the cruise control at 100 for about an hour with no problem through Texas. We get into New Mexico and he gets nailed for going 10 over… Poor guy gets a ticket the day before his birthday, which brings me to my next point – Happy Birthday Ryan! Looks like we’re gonna make it into Vegas in time for him to spend it on his birthday, so hopefully that makes his day a little better. Great quote though from Ryan. Duecker and I were watching Blow in the back seat (a movie that Ryan loves), so he turns the rearview mirror to watch the movie. Dan and I see the cop lights and say “Ahh, Ryan, you’re getting pulled over”. Ryan responds with “I didn’t even see, I had the mirror on the movie”. HAHA!

The drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff was awesome as advertised. Even though we did it early in the morning, it was pretty cool to see the elevation and temperature change so much over a short distance. We arrived at the Grand Canyon right at sunrise, just as we had hoped. On the way from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon, we saw Jack Rabbit, Fox, Elk and Deer. Needless to say, it was a pretty scary drive considering the fact that the elk we saw were bigger than our car. We’ve got some awesome Pictures that will be uploaded next time we get some Wi-Fi access (probably around 5PM EST).

We’ve got a hotel booked in Vegas for tonight at a rate of $23.04. Not too shabby if you ask me. We’re going to be passing over the Hoover Dam on the way. Just to give everyone an idea, of what we’ve done so far, as I write this, we have travelled 2926 miles in four days and been in seven different states. Just got searched to cross the Hoover Dam. Having a roof bag surely didn't speed things up. At least the dudes there were cool.

By the way, if anyone reading knows anyone in California that would let us crash, please let us know. We don’t care if they’re strangers to us, we just need places to crash because we plan on spending a good amount of time there.

Day One Recap and Day Two (San Antonio)

| Aug 08, 2007

Ok, I uploaded some Pictures finally and realized we need to start taking more. Schlitterbahn was fun, but honestly not all we thought it would be. We got a cheap hotel and got a good night sleep and a good shower. We went to a BBQ place that came recommended and some of us think it was the best we've ever had (myself included). The place was called Rudy's for anyone that ever happens to pass through Texas. Met some real cool and nice people here in Texas. Good times!

I added and then removed the refresh from the map page because some were complaining about it. It should be just like it was at the start now.

We're gonna check out the Alamo and Riverwalk on our way out and head toward the Phoenix area. Sorry for the short post but the guys are packing up the truck and I should be helping. Thanks to all of those who are posting comments!

Day One

| Aug 07, 2007

Cities: San Antonio

Alright, so we got on the road a little late, but have surely made good time. We watched the sun come up in Houston and are going to make it to Schlitterbahn today instead of tomorrow. I have some Pictures that we'll get uploaded tonight as well as the ones from the water park today.

We've had a few hickups with the electrical hookup in the car, but have everything at least functional, just not quite exactly where it would be ideal.

We took a detour in Mobile, AL to try to get a good picture of a badass battleship. I don't think we actually got one though. We took another detour to take a look at the LSU campus. Always been a fan of the Tigers and got a cool look at their clock tower.

Thanks to my wonderful girlfriend Katherine for mentioning that the about page was missing. Those who are new to the site might want to check that out to see what "Rattrick" is all about and to see a little bit about the four of us.

Denis (Ryan's Dad) mentioned in a comment that the speed limit is 70, not 80. Funny thing is, he posted that around 11PM when it was HIS son speeding...

Not a whole lot to mention because all we've really done so far is drive, so hopefully we have some more for you next time.

Thanks to all of those who have posted comments so far! Hopefully we get lots more throughout the trips (and lots on the Pictures once they are uploaded as well).

Road Trip 2007 Kickoff

| Jun 11, 2007

Welcome to Rattrick.com

First of all, I'd like to thank you for visiting our website. Our latest road trip is set to start on August 6th, 2007 and run through August 25, 2007. We plan on doing a west coast swing after doing the eastern portion of the United States on our last road trip.

For those of you who haven't followed us on a road trip before, we invite you to check out our Road Trip 2004 Video. On our last trip, we drove 7,820 miles in 15 days, spent $758.65 on gas and touched 25 states. This trip, we expect to exceed 10,000 miles and with soaring gas prices, we expect to spend upwards of $1,500 on gas.

During the trip, you can check back for the following updates for each destination:

  1. Pictures
  2. Blog Posting/Status Updates
  3. Video (possibly)

I hope to have a program written in time that will allow viewers to track our location and progress live as it is plotted on a Google Map.

Everyone who knows about our trip always asks where we are going. We are firm believers in not setting a route before the trip and instead just going with the flow. As of now, we know we are headed to New Orleans the first night. After that, we're going to make our way toward Las Vegas. We do have things that we want to see on the trip including The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam. We know we want to at least get to Vancouver (so we can eat some poutine) and see everything in between.

UPDATE: Due to a family emergency in the Kunin family, the road trip had to be postponed until August 6th. Good news, however is that Sean Atteberry will now be able to go! It wasn't going to be the same without him.