The Great Oregon Road Trip Crowdsourcing Experiement

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For the last few months on the social media sites I’ve been hinting around about my impending move. It’s getting close now, maybe four to six weeks before I’m on the road.

I’ve been planning – for years actually, but things like the death of my spouse got in the way – to move to Ashland, Oregon. I lived there for half a year back in 1989, and wished at the time I could have stayed. All these years later it still feels like of all the places I’ve lived the place to which I want to return. Admittedly I expected to get there before what are essentially my retirement years, but there you are. Life happens.

However, I do need to crowdsource some of the move. Crowdsourcing is the social networking Internet way of doing what we used to call rattling the network or pulling in some favors. I like the idea. I have found the world is full of an astounding number of interesting people I never would have stumbled across but for things like blogging, FB and Twitter.

So here’s what I need in a nutshell from you, my wonderful crowd: company on the road and somewhere to stay when I get there.

Here are the details.

The Trip Itself

I’ll be leaving from central North Carolina sometime soon after Saturday, April 21. Can’t leave before then, because I have a workshop to teach that day, but I want to be on the road before mid-May.

I’m gonna load myself and the three “c”s—cat, clothes, and computer—into my old Volvo station wagon. (The rest of my stuff goes into storage to be shipped later.)

I’ll drive from Pittsboro to Chicago. I usually take two days to do that. I’ll then stay a few days in Chicago to visit with my family, and maybe see old friends, too. Depends on the time. From Chicago I head west on I-80 for a long, leisurely drive through much flat land, stopping at scenic wonders and roadside attractions as the impulse occurs. Then I detour to northern California so I can leave Isaac’s ashes in Yosemite, and maybe visit some folks who live in that part of the world. From there I head up I-5 to Ashland, where I intend to stay put for a good, long while.

I’m estimating the whole trip start to finish will last anywhere from two to four weeks, depending upon how long I stay in Chicago, and how many people I visit along the way.

Though I’ve done my share of cross-country driving, I’m not thrilled at going that long and that far alone. My son had hoped to accompany me, but it turns out he can’t get the time off of work until much later in the summer. I can’t travel with a cat in the car in high summer, not to mention I’d rather be out of the South by then myself. And I don’t like driving after dark much, anymore, which seriously shortens my driving day if I’m alone.

Who I’m Looking For

So I am looking for a traveling companion—a substitute son, if you will—with a few weeks to spare who can leave with me from North Carolina, or join me from Chicago onward. This person will have a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, a bit of a sense of adventure, more than a bit of a sense of humor, and feel perfectly capable of helping me who cope with delays or mechanical difficulties (which will give me serious anxiety attacks).

In exchange, this someone gets a free trip to California and southern Oregon. I’ll pay gas, food, lodging and other reasonable expenses (such as admission to National Parks) plus a plane ticket back to the person’s point of origin. In other words, if you can get to Chicago or NC on your own, I’ll fly you back to your home (from the airport at Medford OR to wherever in the lower 48) as part of the deal. Plus, of course, you get to pick my brains or listen to my stories or put up with my old codger taste in music for a couple of weeks, and maybe meet some interesting people, too.

Interested? E-mail me at phaedra.bonewits (at) gmail (dot) com, or message me on FB. If I don’t know you already, be prepared to provide some references.

What I Need in Oregon

When I get to Ashland, I’ll need somewhere to stay temporarily. I hope to find a room to rent (I like living with other people) or a modest studio. I will have a cat with me, in a crate. If you can put me and the cat up temporarily anywhere in the Ashland area (Talent, Medford, etc.), or know someone who might be able to, contact me at the same email: phaedra.bonewits (at) gmail (dot) com, or message me on FB.

Exactly when I leave will depend on the availability of the traveling companion (wow, sounds Dr. Who-ish, doesn’t it?) and arrangements at the other end, but I really need to get going before the weather gets too warm.

So, my peeps and FB friends and Twitterers and blog followers, let’s take this social experiment to another level, shall we? Oregon, Ho!

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