I hadn’t given much though to the end game, blog wise, and I’m glad I hadn’t, haven’t, and will not. Writing, particularly of this story-telling, narrative type, isn’t something that ought to have a definite end (or even a definite beginning – “life is a narrative,” or whatever other flowery prose you want to insert here hopefully gets the point across – far more than a concrete process, story-telling is an ebbing and flowing medium, the letters and words merely being the vehicle…), and it is my firm intention that this blog will live on and continue to grow despite my (first) cross-country golfing opus having now come to an end.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to be transitioning the site from what it was, for the duration of my trip, to what it will be – an avenue for writing and, hopefully, entertaining, primarily through tales of golf course and traveling debauchery. At the suggestion of my homeboy Paul Zwirecki, I am heavily considering taking at least some of my musings away from the written word and to the spoken word – I will be pondering the benefits of podcasting and will likely end up utilizing podcasting for at least a portion of the dissemination of the golf/travel empire’s official media moving forward. Regarding the immediate future, however, the blog will very much retain the feel that you are all well accustomed to. Several times weekly updates until you have finally stepped off that 18th green at Fairview with me. There will, of course, be other writings interspersed here and there, but the bulk of my new entries will concern the trip – I have yet, after all, to write of my travels from Southern California back to the East Coast – nearly half of my trip!
Enough of the meta, and on to the nuts and bolts changes you may have noticed for now:
– I have updated all of the stats from my trip, both golf and non golf. Check out the stats pages for whatever you may be looking for, but just a few notes:
First, golf related, I ended my trip at a superb 7.80 handicap. According to the USGA, I’m better than 85% of players who keep a handicap. That alone is pretty good. However, as most golfers are aware, most golfers do not keep a handicap. And, the majority of those golfers who do not keep a handicap fail to do so, ultimately, because they are not very good. I don’t know many guys with a skill set needed to register a cap below 12 or so who don’t keep one. My regular golfing buddies would all have handicaps well above 20 if they kept one. I suppose then, that I am well within the 90th percentile of all golfers, and probably even a little higher, maybe around the 92nd-93rd percentile. These guesses are really very academic, however. In the end, I became a far better golfer than I ever dreamed I would become. I’m still quite deficient at many areas of the game, however. The reasons I will continue to go back to the course haven’t really changed, and indeed have become more of a pull than ever before: I am a good player, am getting better, and have numerous areas for improvement. Whether you’re a duffer or a pro, I suppose that those reasons are the main ones why most of us find our way back to the links with at least some frequency.
Regarding my fuel economy, I averaged about 41.5 m’spg over 12,000+ miles. Not much to say here, other than that I drove hard when needed, and quite passively when I had the chance to do so. It was nice to have a sturdy ‘bahn burner to get me around – fuel consumption was a little lower than I may have hoped, but given the amount and variety of driving I did, I think it’s a pretty damn solid number.
I made my way to 31 Interstate Highways (and 23 spurs). If you like roads, or civil engineering, or are curious, just check out the ones I hit on the old stats page.
I came in under budget. I’m not really surprised that I was able to do this. I ate fast food and stayed in cheap chain hotels most nights. The main reason I’m not surprised that I came in under budget though is that I know, and met, a tremendous amount of very generous folks who offered me a place to stay, picked up a meal, or paid for a round of golf. People are pretty damn good.
I didn’t see a scale until I made it back to PA. I was fat when I left, and am still fat. Oh well.
– I have removed the Itinerary page from the site. Everything is still there, the page is simply no longer accessible. Doing this was the first step in transitioning the site into what it will be moving forward. The eventual plan is to have a page dedicated to the trip, which of course will include an itinerary (and stats – I left this page for now as it has some relevancy at this time). I will also be going back and adding a new category to make searching for past entries a little easier. I liked the idea of categories for entries from the onset, but quickly became relatively lazy in appropriately categorizing individual entries. I’m going to add a “The Trip” category, as well as some others, and will be properly filing old entries, as well as new ones moving forward, shortly.
– I have significantly altered the “About” section. What fit for the trip no longer fits. As fluid as a storyteller’s stories can be, this section will be. Maybe one day I’ll find a succinct sentence or two to ‘splain the site quickly and efficiently. Until then, the about section will likely see somewhat frequent changes.
– I had only 3 dudes take part in my guessing game for total number of strokes, birdies, lost balls and miles driven on the trip. Given the small amount of entrants, I decided to get each of my buddies something small from the trip. I already saw you, Ham, and gave you what you got – Marty and Brendan, I’m almost certain I left your stuff in PA. I know, an act of buffoonery. I will give my apt here a rudimentary search, and if nothing turns up, will be sure to pick up the stuff next time I am back in PA.
– I have made it clear on my Support/Donate page that the fundraising portion of the trip is over. As of now, I have received the money from GoFundMe, and am just waiting on PayPal to transfer the funds before I make my donation. The final tally being donated to the ADAA will be $1,467.87. That is 100% of the donations, minus the fees associated with working with GoFundMe and PayPal. I will be sure to write an entry dedicated to the donation once it is made. I plan on getting the transfer from PayPal either Monday or Tuesday.
I know, this was probably not the entry you were hoping for, but I think it was an important “nuts and bolts” entry as well as something to sort of set the stage for what’s next, regarding the site. Before you can pull out, however, you need to engage the clutch. Rubber is going to be burnt in the very near future.
Lastly, please let me know your thoughts on potential podcasts about golf and travel. Dumb idea? Probably. Awesome idea? I’d love to have that confirmed…