The United States of America has 48 contiguous states plus Alaska, Hawaii and some territories. Some people refer to the 48 as the continental United States, but really that isn’t quite as accurate as Alaska and Hawaii are part of the continent. Contiguous is a little better because it means the states connected to each other, which is why Alaska and Hawaii are left out. Just some information I found when looking things up and trying to be correct.
Getting back to it, I was in northern Utah, a place with one connection for possible lodging. I had considered hitting this area after Idaho quite early on the trip, but the algorithm I used had a different route and my friends I had here were out of town. Unfortunately, this time around they were out of town again!
Arriving into the state, I didn’t know where I would sleep but I did want to try to get a meeting in before the end of the night. I came across Shades of Pale Brewing and heard the value of listening to others with genuine interest.
As it turns out, I had built up some free nights from my hotel stays. I had made sure to sign up for summer specials as well, where I could earn some extra points. I was happy to think to do this, as I had reaped some benefits from when I used to travel for work.
The next day, I had a gym lined up thanks to the owner of Snake River CrossFit in Idaho. He had said he had a connection and I said I’d reach back when the time was near. It was fun to reconnect months down the road after I’ve made my progress.
I tried to pop into another gym first but didn’t have luck as the owner wasn’t around for a week. I heard of another gym where the owner would likely be there. I was running a bit tight on time, but I hustled over to make it happen. I met with CrossFit The Point and heard how putting effort towards existing members instead of chasing new ones leads to a better experience.
It was now time for my meeting with Ute CrossFit and I heard how short-term pain leads to long term gain while short term gain leads to long term pain. The phrase makes me think for a second, but it is spot on. It is better to invest through some hard times to reap the benefits, rather than take shortcuts.
From there, a couple of us went to a brewery close by for some lunch. It was a bit different as it had a small bar for about 6 people and that was it. There was also a retail area with beer to go and other goods as well. Apparently in the bar area, you had to order food to get a beer. They even told me that if someone says no they aren’t hungry, they cannot change their mind just to get a beer. Such was the laws they had to follow.
I was baffled by such rules. Its amazing how states can have such variance. It also highlights to me the pitfalls of making general statements concerning politics. There are many people I’ve met that would make a comment on how California is too regulated. Yet, here is a clear example where California has had breweries for decades along with tasting rooms and other states are just now working on legislation to make it ok. The key thing is being informed and being careful with how we speak about issues.
While we were eating lunch at Epic Brewing, one of the owners had walked by and the owner from the gym mentioned something. I then had a chance to talk with an owner and see if he would answer my questions. He said he could do it then. I apologized to the gym owners for cutting out early on lunch, but I HAD to seize this opportunity. Especially since I had gone to another brewery and had no luck. There weren’t a ton of options either. I thanked the gym owners and in my final meeting I heard how historical research leads to yeast, hops, malt, and the exact water profile to make a great beer.
WOOO! I was stoked to finish state 48!
It was a monumental state for me as I knew only two remained. The beautiful part about leaving Alaska and then Hawaii for the end, is it meant I got to experience Alaska for the first time, and then finish the journey in Hawaii with some friends from when I used to live there.
As I was wrapping up the 48, I needed to be smart with my planning for Alaska. My goal was to have the meetings planned before flying there as I would need a rental car and didn’t want to pay for extra, unnecessary days. Plus, sleeping arrangements and all things are just more complicated.
The goal was similar for Hawaii, but not as critical. I was hoping to stay on Oahu, which would be easy for the gyms, but a little more difficult for the breweries. I hoped I wouldn’t have to island hop.
As I was coordinating such travels, I needed to know what to do with my car until I was done. I had talked with my friends and they told me to stay longer in Hawaii to relax. I liked that idea but didn’t want to pay for airport parking. I also didn’t want to be back in San Diego without fully finishing. I decided I would fly out of San Francisco, leaving my car at a good friend’s place. The only issue was he was out of town for a couple of days.
This meant a drive to Fresno first, to see some close friends, reconnect, share some stories, and kill some time until I could execute my trip.
Getting ready to depart for Alaska, I had someone I could stay with in Fairbanks and 3 of 4 meetings scheduled, the last one had not yet responded. I’ll cover those details and share quite the adventure that happened while in Alaska in the next blog!