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Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 17: Last 1000 Miles to Seattle

Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 17: Last 1000 Miles to Seattle

So today was the last day of the two week long road trip. I had woken up somewhere in Nevada and got an early start since I knew I had a lot of driving today. I wouldn’t even get in to Spokane until late in the afternoon so I wanted to get there by early evening to try to catch the dinner crowd.

It was a solid 800+ miles from near Reno, NV up to Spokane. My GPS said 12 hours, which is definitely one of the longest legs of the trip by a few hundred miles. I went this way because I found out from Jake from Lyft that I wouldn’t be able to drive in Portland, OR with my out of state plates (I may be able to with my new Washington plates). This way was the quickest way to Spokane and I was excited to drive a route that not many people get to see due to it’s relative obscurity, unless you often venture to Boise, Idaho. The route was about 100 miles shorter than looping through Portland, so it was a decent time saver.

To be honest, it was a very scenic drive and fairly easy most of the way. There were some two lane two way highways that I needed to make quick passes on, which is pretty scary since I rarely do that, let alone on a highway that has a 80 mph speed limit. Cars that seem far away come at you real quick when they are approaching you at a relative speed of 160mph. There was sort of a close call, but I was super aggressive with the acceleration (should’ve been aggressive earlier) and had about 2 seconds to spare.

When you drive for 800 miles, you need to stop a few times for gas. Luckily, I managed to not stop between gas stops, but I was definitely feeling pressure on my lower back after 500 miles or so. Also, the bugs seem to be a bit worst here, so I had to clean my windshield at every gas stop. It was pretty bad in Nebraska as well (it was more bugs rather than flies/mosquitoes) and my windshield wipers don’t really work that well at all.

So my last ride of this trip was in Spokane, WA. When I got to Bellevue, WA (just across the bay from Seattle), I turned on my app but I didn’t see my own car, so I wasn’t allowed to drive in Bellevue either, in addition to Seattle. It is due to local regulations that prevent me from driving there, so Spokane was my last city.

I drove directly into downtown and it seemed fairly empty. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to wait long to get a ride. I drove around for a little while, but I couldn’t find a busy area of downtown. There were a few cars near this wedding but otherwise, nothing else was going on in the city. I parked in a lot downtown and listened to NPR with the windows down since it was such a nice day outside. I waited about 30 minutes before I got a ping. It was from a lady that left an event at a church and was going home. She was trying Lyft for the first time and using her free credit to try it out. She uses Uber normally, but she wanted a free ride so choose to try Lyft. We have a long talk about Spokane and she was saying how it is unusual that it is that empty for a Saturday. I have seen many downtown city areas as desolate as this so I thought it was normal. I also told her about my charity and she seemed to be enthusiastic about it.

I dropped her off at her house, and quickly planned my route back home to Seattle. It was fairly easy as it was back the way I came in to Spokane and then continue onto Seattle. It was a bit of backtracking, but it was better than to loop around through Portland. I knew about the speed limits in Washington, so I mostly stayed within 5 mph. I was trading positions with this minivan, which was starting to piss me off since she would go up to 72mph and then slow back down to 68mph, whereas I was going 69mph the entire time on cruise control. Eventually when we hit the mountains, I maintained speed and left her a bit behind me. On the downhill descents, I increased a bit of speed and then she was tangled in some traffic so I never saw her again. I got lucky with traffic since I was driving in a sort of “traffic bubble,” with a mass of cars behind me but only two cars around me.

There were some spotted showers that lasted for a few minutes as I was getting closer to Seattle, but by the time I got into downtown Seattle, everything was dry. I pulled into my apartment building just around 11pm and I had to meet with my wife downstairs so she could give me the house keys. She had moved in a few days into my roadtrip so I never got the keys to my own apartment! This was another reason why I had to get into Seattle at a reasonable time since I didn’t want to keep her up so late.

So after 244 hours of driving, I had finally made it to Seattle! After driving 12400 miles, I was averaging 50 miles per hour throughout the entire trip, so I was moving along very briskly. I also heard 85 hours of the audio book “A Song of Ice and Fire” (Game of Thrones), which was pretty good. I may switch to another audiobook since you need to listen to it in hour stretches to prevent from getting lost in the book.

I’ll be posting more pictures and videos of my trip in subsequent posts, along with what I learned when driving across the country.

How Can You Help?

I have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise additional money for charity. It will be running for the next few months. Below is the link to the campaign:

GoFundMe Rideshare Dashboard Mental Health Drive

Even a dollar will go a long way so give what you can and it will be deeply appreciated!

You can also help by emailing ridesharedashboard at gmail.com with travel advice, what to see in each of the below cities and your best food recommendations. I have traveled extensively abroad, but I will be visiting many of these states for the first time.

Want to Know Where I am now?

I will continue to post regular updates of my trip on my Facebook Page and my Twitter feed so look there to keep track of where I am! I usually move through 4-6 cities a day so I’m definitely a moving target.

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