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Gaarawarr Gabs: The US Tour

June 16, 2009

So, those few of you with super-amazing powers of awareness have already noticed that my tagline changed.  The rest of you are probably going “What’s a tagline?”  To be quite honest, I didn’t know it was called a tagline until I went to change it, so the second group is off the hook.  :p

For those that still are asking “What’s a tagline?”, it’s that little secondary title to the bottom left of the image of me naked-tanking Ard ta Feed with the words Gaarawarr Gabs thru it.  (This is where the second group is going “Oh yeah, that tagline.  Psshhh…I knew about that, I just didn’t call it a tagline…yeah…that’s it…)  When I started the blog, I entered in “This isn’t the blog you’re looking for…” as a silent nod to my first MMO : Star Wars Galaxies.  It was also an inside joke in that I figured very few people would be coming to my blog as I’m very much the “wall’o’text” writer that the majority of people respond to on forums with “tl;dr” and move on.  I still chuckle when I read it to this day and think it’s the perfect tagline for me and my blog, especially since it’s now ironic as apparently a lot of people wanted to read my walls’o’text.

So why change it?  And why to “From the Road”?  Well, that requires me to talk about that thing we call “Real Life” that, unlike a lot of bloggers, I don’t usually bring into my posts.  However, I do so now more to explain the recent brief absence and the possible randomness of my posts for the next few weeks than anything else.

For the last 15 years, I’ve called sunny San Diego my home.  It’s truly a beautiful place to live.  Well, when you’re not packing your car to prepare to run from wildfires, which I’ve done twice now.  😦  Seriously though, it’s nice to have the beach so close, the mountains and desert not too far away, and the ability to wear shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops in December.  Not to mention being able to commute on my motorcycle for close to 11 months out of the year.

However, after 15 years in the same place, I’ve come to feel a bit…. complacent.  While I realize a lot of people would love to have their lives settle down to a point where they could become complacent, that’s just not for me for some reason.  At least, not at this point in my life.  To me, complacency is something you find yourself falling into after you retire or at least towards that end of your lifespan.  Which is nowhere near where I am, hence the problem.

I like change, to a certain degree.  I enjoy challenges, almost thrive on them.  I love learning new things, meeting new people.  (This should all be readily apparent to those that know me in-game, lol.)  Hence why my complacency is an issue and hence my recent absence and newly-changed tagline.

So anyway, my lease came up at the end of May and I had made plans to move months ago.  Unfortunately, those plans got changed, for good reason, about two weeks into May which left me scrambling to make new plans.  Let me tell you, it’s a weird feeling knowing you have to move in two weeks and not knowing where you’ll be moving to.  So I quickly weighed my options, which was troublesome as just about anything was possible.  After much discussion, I decided to move to the East Coast as I’d never lived there.  So plane tickets were purchased and a car was rented and I went to find a new place to live.  Only no one would rent to me because I’m currently unemployed.  I offered to do a six month lease and pay cash in full up front and was told they weren’t allowed to do that.  (errr?  And we wonder why our economy is f’d up.)  I even sent out e-mails to places outlining my situation and what I was willing to do to curtail their issues with my unemployment and got zero response.  So back to SD I flew, totally sick with something I caught while out there, while trying to figure out a new plan.

Which was to not make one.  The last time I was more-or-less planless was right out of college and since the situation kind of mirrored that, I figured what the hell.  So I packed all my stuff into a storage unit, set up a PO Box for my mail, left the motorcycle with some very good friends, packed a couple bags into the truck and hit the road.  With no plan.  Well, with a very short-term, one-step plan actually.  To go to the Bay Area and spend some time with relatives and recover from being sick, which I still very much was all through moving and for almost a week after.  bleh.

So I’m now recovered and posting again, as you’ve probably already seen.  With the Land of the Dead coming up, what a horrible time to have to deal with all this huh?  lol.  Oh well.  I purchased a spiffy new little laptop to play/post from while on the road and I now plan on driving cross-country.  I actually planned on leaving today, but Mythic went and announced the Live Event starting today so I changed my plans.  That seems to be a recurring theme these days.  Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to the Rise of the Tomb Kings event and the release of 1.3 for a while now and since I didn’t really neeeed to leave right away, I didn’t.  Sometimes it’s nice to not have a plan.  :p

But, back to the tagline.  So for now, it will read “From the Road” because that’s where I’ll be blogging/playing from: wherever I happen to end up while driving around the US.  Motel choices will be heavily dependant on internet availability, hehe.  For those that are curious, the first leg of the trip is tentatively set along the lines of this:

  1. Bay Area to San Diego – need to check the PO Box before disappearing for weeks as well as see friends
  2. San Diego to Las Vegas – why the hell not?  :p
  3. Las Vegas to Albuquerque?!?! – hrm, well, it’s roughly half-way to the next stop.  totally not set in stone
  4. Albuquerue to Tulsa – my mom and her side of the family are here, so I’d get in lots of trouble if this wasn’t an extended-stay point on my travels. 

So, if you know of fun things to do in any of those areas, let me know.  Or even places I should make detours to go see because they’re just that neat/cool/historic/full-of-awesomeness because who knows if/when I’ll ever get to do this again.  If there’s people that play WAR in one of those places, or somewhere along the line that doesn’t require a huge detour from my route, let me know and maybe we can set up a meet-and-greet.  Drinks and food = good times.  :p

The second leg of the US Tour will head out from there and almost definitely, maybe, head towards the northeast.  (Mythic HQ, I’m looking at you…)  Once I get the first leg finished, I’ll be sure to post semi-firmer details.  hehe.  Speaking of which, there will be a slight departure from the normal WAR-related blog posts during this time as I will most likely be blogging and posting pics of any cool places and fun people I run into while traveling.  Why?  Because everyone needs to get away and enjoy that thing called “Real Life” every now and then and those that can’t can feel free to live vicariously through me while I do it.  🙂

Don’t worry though, I plan on keeping the flow of information up as much as possible.  From today’s release of 1.3 and the Rise of the Tomb Kings event to the opening up of the Land of the Dead itself, expect to find lots of information, updates and reviews here, as always.

Until then, have fun all!


29 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2009 10:47 pm

    Stop by Detroit and I’ll spare a night out with ya. Seems like it’d be a ways down the road, but hey, first response!

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 10:32 am

      ooo….I’ve always wanted to go to Detroit. I will put that on my list for the second leg and definitely see if I can make it work!

  2. Vesta permalink
    June 17, 2009 4:29 am

    I’ll happily buy you a Pint and show you around if you find yourself in Toronto! 🙂

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 10:35 am

      Hmm…I don’t have a passport. Do I need one to go to Canada now like I do with Mexico? If not, that’s another spot to add on the list as a possibility for the second leg!

    • Lenni permalink
      June 17, 2009 12:28 pm

      Yep, sadly a passport is mandatory these days, Gaar. On the plus side, if you ever do wind up with one and head up our way the pints will be flowing here as well. 🙂

  3. Lenni permalink
    June 17, 2009 4:48 am

    As long as you are going to be in New Mexico, there are a couple of stops I would suggest. The first is Roswell…mostly to say you did it. The second is south of Roswell, the Carlsbad Caverns. Even if you have absolutely no love of caves/caverns (being as Gaar is a dorf, I don’t think that’s possible) the place is absolutely magnificent. Bring a camera. I spent 4 days in there this past December…during my 8 week/8,000 mile version of your walkabout.

    Speaking of which; my walkabout began with leaving an 18 year IT management gig and wound up with my moving from Wisconsin to Vancouver Island to pursue professional photography. I hope yours is as delightfully chaotic and life-changing.


    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 10:37 am

      Wow Lenni, thanks for the reply. I definitely think things like this can be life-changing and it sounds like yours was, and for the better! I have a good friend of mine that has pursued photography since college and has loved every second of it.

      I wasn’t too hyped about Albuquerque, other than that I could play the Weird Al song as I drove thru hehe, so I’ll see if I can rearrange some stuff as those both sound like spots I would enjoy. Even if it adds another day to my trip. 🙂

  4. James permalink
    June 17, 2009 5:48 am

    You have no idea how much I envy you right now. What you’re doing during a time of transition is pretty much my goal to do every X number of years 🙂

    But as for your trip… When you stop in New Mexico, Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns are great places to go. Take a drive on Old Route 66 – it’s a shame you won’t have your bike with you to take a ride on it. There are two places you have to stop and eat in Albuquerque, “Blake’s Lot-A-Burger” and “The Owl Cafe.” Try a green chili cheeseburger from both 🙂

    If you’re going to go to Texas from Albuquerque, you should stop in Amarillo, TX and hit up “The Big Texan” for dinner. It’s the place that offers you a free 72oz steak meal, if you can eat it all within an hour. And whether you try that or not, the food is incredible.

    That’s all that jumps into my mind until you get through the Midwest. Oh, and if you haven’t settled on an East Coast destination yet – give Boston a look. You won’t be able to ride your bike half as much as you can now, but it’s an amazing city.

    Best of luck to you on your trip, take the time to enjoy it!

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 10:41 am

      Hah! Two recommendations for Roswell and CC, that makes it a sure bet now. As for my bike, bah, it’s a tiny little sub-500cc thing that’s more fun in-town than on freeways. I always wanted something bigger and almost had it at one point, but that’s another story. hehe.

      As for Lot-A-Burger, the name sounds so familiar. Not sure I can handle two meals in one town, but I’ll be on the lookout for them both if my new route heads that way. I will definitely be going thru Texas on my way to Tulsa, so I’ll look up The Big Texan as well. Although, while I can have a big appetite at times, 72oz of steak is a bit out of my league. hehe

      I’ll definitely be putting up small posts as I go, so once I start the second leg, definitely give me a heads-up on any other great spots to go!

  5. June 17, 2009 6:23 am

    Have a safe trip Gaar!

    Drop me a PM when you get closer to VA and we’ll work out a tour for you and Mykiel.

    Enjoy the vacation!

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 10:42 am

      Oh, I’ll definitely do that. hehe. Just let me know how many days of a heads-up you want/need.

  6. Yeezrat permalink
    June 17, 2009 7:29 am

    Safe Trip and Enjoy the holiday!!

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 10:43 am

      Thanks! It actually was supposed to start already, but I’m running late. lol…figures.

  7. Hugsworth permalink
    June 17, 2009 12:35 pm


    Your going to wrong way, you need to come up to Washington. Who wants all that East Coast non-sense anyway? Sounds like you about to have quite the adventure. I hope everything goes well, and if you make it to mythic ask them why my dwarf is still wearing robes made of horse blankets. In any case I may be touch and go order side myself for a while, I am really enjoying a gobo shammy right now. Best of luck scouting for a new home.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 9:29 pm

      I thought about going up the West Coast first, but it always worked out to be a tad out of the way. lol. We’ll see what happens if there’s a return trip.

  8. Tooknoster permalink
    June 17, 2009 6:26 pm

    You should make a detour from Albuquerque to Austin and then go to Tulsa. In all practicality it’d be less than a day of extra drive time and Austin is the best damn city in America and worth the trip (we also have one of the strongest economies in the country–i.e. job market–and due to the insanely large amount of professional singles in the populace our apartment market is huge and you don’t run into that crap about no lease due to unemployment (I know from experience) and we’re also the best damn city in America, did I mention that?) 😉

    Good luck to you, and thanks for the blog, it’s saved my (Warhammer) ass many a time.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 17, 2009 9:30 pm

      Well, I may actually branch out from Tulsa for 1-2 day trip and then head back, so it’s still a possibility. We’ll see what happens once I get there.

  9. Popejoan permalink
    June 20, 2009 7:17 am

    H’ok – if you haven’t flown past Albuquerue yet – you gotta laze your way up to Santa Fe and Taos. The history of the places, the beauty of the art, the discrepancy between the “haves” and “have nots”, the gash of the Rio Grande, Native American ruins galore, too numerous outdoorsy things to do, wi-fi around (used to be) in towns – all not be missed. (Chaco canyon is amazing for ancient Native American settlement but waaay in the middle of no where.) Plus, New Mexican food – YUMM! It is well worth the detour – or you can take back roads from Taos to Tulsa and discover Native American gems throughout Oklahoma (I hate the state, otherwise). Oh, and if you are going any where close to the Grand Canyon and have never been there – 50 minus DKP for not stopping!

    Be sure you have that spare tire in shape – this time of year the highways are brutal with heat. Trust me – personal experience and many miles traveled exploring the southwest on vacations. e-mail me if you like to camp and fly-fish and want some advice where to stay en-route.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 20, 2009 11:30 am

      hehe, I’ve already been at work heavily modifying my route and the Grand Canyon is definitely on it. I’ll be posting a new US Tour post today I hope that will discuss the changes I’ve made so far. I’ll be looking for commments and tips!

  10. Popejoan permalink
    June 20, 2009 7:18 am

    Oh yes, any place in Texas – just ask….

  11. June 21, 2009 6:01 am

    Gaar, just to whet your appetite even more, I’m linking the Picasa web album I made for the first 500 shots I put online from my own Great American Roadtrip. This folder (there are 2 folders totaling 742 shots out of the over 8000 exposures I made along the way!) containing shots from the Carlsbad area and inside the caverns. None of the cavern shots are flash…all are long exposure shots using only the lighting in the caverns. The Grand Canyon is there as well…along with shots made during a week’s stay in a US Forest Service work cabin I was allowed to stay in. Enjoy. 🙂

    Someone mentioned tires, and you’ll see the results of my tire experience coming into Needles (I was going East to West) as well, lol (they are in the second album along with some shots as I went up California and then through Oregon and Washington state).

  12. redztk permalink
    June 21, 2009 7:42 am

    LOL aint that a change of plans dramatically, well wish the best of luck.

  13. Ripfellen permalink
    June 21, 2009 7:46 pm

    Hey amigo. Enjoy the trip. If you have extra time while in San Diego let me know, as I’m still here myself.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 22, 2009 9:58 am

      Dangit man, I was trying to find you in-game so we could do something in SD, but I’m gone already. Sitting in Vegas atm. 😦

  14. June 21, 2009 10:50 pm

    While your wandering around Sedona AZ is really cool. It might be far enough into the year to see rain falling on your head that evaporates before it hits you in Tuscon AZ, though you can see that up in the mesa around Edwards AFB. If you are down around Tuscon the caves near there are cool and the kind you can walk through. If your going to travel around the country the Black Hills of South Dakota, are interesting. New Orleans is worth seeing at least once. Seattle and portland are really cool this time of year. If you make it to the East Coast hit philly for a Cheese Steak from Pats or Geno’s. I’ve been in San Diego since April and the only thing I miss from the tri-state area is the food. It will shock you how much fresher stuff is compared to pretty much any other place in the country. Flordia good but they have laws in most areas where they will charge you four times the normal rent if you are going to be there less than six months and most places will not rent for shorter than three months. The outer banks in NC and SC are great beaches. DC, Boston and NYC is very expensive to live in.

    Wandering is fun til you run out of money.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      June 22, 2009 10:03 am

      I haven’t planned the second leg of the trip which should take me to the northeast from Oklahoma. Not sure how much I’ll deviate from that general heading and won’t know until I get there. If a third leg happens, it’ll through the southeast though and New Orleans will most definitely be on my list of stops. I’ll keep the food tips in mind as I definitely want to try the local cuisine in each distinct area I’m in. I may miss some at times just because I’m full though. lol

      And yes, wandering is fun but money is a pain. I’m trying to be conscious of that, but some things I just can’t pass up. Like a Vegas show! Still trying to figure out which one I want to see, but none of the good ones are cheap of course. hehe

  15. June 23, 2009 8:39 am

    It doesn’t sound like you’ll be going north enough, but if you somehow end up deciding to travel through Minnesota look me up. 🙂 I’m in the Twin Cities area…we have the Mall of America here if you need to do any shopping!


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