Getting ready for Costa Rica
12/16/2009 - 01/19/2010
I hit the road on December 16th, headed for Littleton, Colorado from San Francisco. I had thrown $1000 into the Jeep for new tires and a tune up. The last thing I needed now was to be stranded in a broken down Jeep full of all my essentials. I had mixed emotions as I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge headed north for the last time in who knows how long. It’s tough to leave a city like San Francisco. It’s the best city I’ve ever been to and I had twenty years of great memories there. Song of the day: “Lights”, Journey. At the same time I was glad to be moving, glad to have gotten everything packed up and shut down, glad to be moving towards Costa Rica and a shot at something new and exciting.
I stopped and visited with some family along the way, an Aunt and Uncle in Santa Rosa and a couple of cousins in South Lake Tahoe. After saying my good-byes to the California branch of the family I made tracks East on I-80 through Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. I stayed a night in Wendover, Utah (I renamed it Bendover ... because I thought the hotel was a little pricey), right at the Nevada border. Casinos on one side of the border and Utah on the other. I don’t think these two states should be next to one another. The next night I stayed in Cheyenne. Lots of cowboy stuff there. I rolled into Littleton, CO early afternoon the next day. I had done the drive from San Francisco to Colorado twice before. On previous occasions I had taken Highway 50, “The Loneliest Road in America.” Highway 50 has great scenery, especially in Utah and Western Colorado, but if you want to haul ass, take I-80.
So there I was in Colorado on December 21st with a Jeep load of stuff and a one way ticket from Denver to San Jose, Costa Rica. Things were really coming together now. I had a month to wrap up the details. No problem. The next month was a mishmash of Christmas shopping, skiing (Vail and Monarch), visiting family, paying off the final San Francisco bills and shutting down the accounts. All that stuff got taken care of pretty easily.
There were two other jobs that needed to be done though and I spent a ton of time on them. The first job was to make sure that I had all gear I needed for an extended stay in Costa Rica. The second job was to make sure that my Jeep would be OK without me.
I had too much time to sit around and think up stuff that I might need for Costa Rica. The girls from TEFL International gave me a list of things I might need: Extra deodorant, colored pencils, and dry markers in colors other than black and blue. I bought extra deodorant. Apparently it’s tough to find in Manuel Antonio/Quepos. I kept dreaming up stuff that I thought was essential for the trip. Avon Skin So Soft ... supposed to repel mosquitos. Urban Legend? I’ll let you know. Little velcro ties for all the cables that come with my computer, camera, IPod and phone. Gotta have those. Beach towel - check. Travel alarm clock - check. Aloe (I’ll probably get a sun burn) - check. I had way too much time on my hands.
Some would say that I spent too much time tending to my Jeep before I left. They wouldn’t say it to my face, that’s for damn sure. They’d all get together when I was out looking for Jeep treats and make fun of me. It got a lube job, radiator flush, differential service, full detail inside and out. I put it up on jack stands to prevent the (new) tires from developing flat spots, wrapped plastic under the body and over the tires, removed the battery, stuffed the air intake and tail pipe with steel wool, threw a few boxes of baking soda inside to keep it new car fresh, and then threw a Jeep cover on.
I know all this stuff must sound really boring. Imagine how I felt. But now I was all done. It was January 19th and I was on the way to Denver International Airport for a 12:15 AM flight to San Jose.