TravelPi

Okay, so of course I need to tinker.  I’m thinking I want to build a raspberry pi to do some things along my journey.  I’m just going to brain storm here for what it could do.  Not all of these may make it in, this is just a jumping off point.

  • Periodically post my location to this site, restricted to select users
  • Monitor power levels of battery packs
  • Monitor environmental factors inside and outside the vehicle
    • This could alert me if the interior gets outside of an acceptable range when Penny is in the car
    • LED board could relay information to anyone outside vehicle
  • LED board showing my next destination, remaining miles
  • Dedicated keypad and screen for inputting fuel receipts
  • Computer to upload photos taken throughout the day

There’s already a snag

Alright, so I started looking into buying my tent for the trip and I had finally settled on

the Autana Sky by Tepui tents.  I really like the idea of having the attached annex on the side so I could access my vehicle without going outside.  I could also zip off the floor and use the annex as my shower.  Unfortunately, it seems it weighs 150 lbs and the roof capacity of my car is only 100 lbs, and worse – it drops down to 50 lbs due to having the moon roof.  At this point I have a few options.

1 – Figure out how to make the Autana work.  I reached out to Tepui just to make sure they don’t have any tricks up their sleeves for just such an occasion.

2 – Rent a towable.  Sadly, these cost just about as much as it would be to buy a Tepui tent.  The other downside is additional tolls, the need for larger spaces when camping, change to handling of the vehicle, etc.  Below are some of the options I’ve come across so far.

3 – Build something to go in the back of my car to facilitate sleeping/living out of it for a month.  This is one definitely has its pros and cons.  I’m thinking I would build something that would slide over the folded seats to better distribute weight.  I’d build storage along the side to keep things organized, and I’d custom fit a mattress to the remaining space so I can tolerate sleeping on it for 4 weeks.  This is appealing because it doesn’t have the draw backs of the travel trailer, and it would be a fun project, however I’m then limited it what I can bring with me and what space I have to stretch out.  I’ll have to keep considering my options.

Cool Lodging Near Denver

Here are some links to places I recommend when people come into town to visit.  Many of these are suggested based upon proximity to me, more so than the mountains.

Close to Me

VRBO – Denver Tiny House – As Seen on Tiny House Nation!

AirBNB – Lake Front Apartment

VRBO – 2 Bedroom and Living Room Between Denver & Boulder (420 Friendly)

VRBO – 2bed, 1 bath – 8minutes from downtown and on all major highways to the mountains

SpringHill Suites Denver North/Westminster

Denver Marriott Westminster

DoubleTree by Hilton

The Plans Begin

Alright, so I’ve been thinking about taking this trip for quite some time.  I’ve requested the time off from work, but I haven’t gotten approval yet.  Typically we don’t require approval, but I’m requesting an entire month off, so I’ve decided to run it past HR first.  In the mean time, its time to start planning my route and what all I want to do on my trip.  Fortunately, Eric gave me a wall cling map of the US yesterday, so I’ve set that up in my kitchen and have taken a first pass at the route I’d like to take.  This is very much a work in progress, so it will likely still change quite a bit

I’ve started to think about some different aspects of the trip I’ll need to account for.

  • Food Storage
  • Food Prep
  • Bathroom
  • Bathing
  • Height of vehicle
  • Power
    • Boat Battery & Inverter
    • Solar charging

I’ve created a separate post with an ongoing packing list.

Some Different Bars

With over 200 Breweries in the Denver Metro area, bars need to do something different to distinguish themselves from the pack.  Here are a few of my favorite Denver bar’s, in no particular order.

  • First Draft
    • A cool take on a craft brewery tap room.  They have 40 taps and you serve yourself.  You are given a card to scan before you pour your beer, and you are charged by the ounce.  Cool spot in RiNo neighborhood.  Great place to start your night.  Be sure to take a walk around the neighborhood for the cool artwork.  Keep an eye out for a future post on that.
  • Finn’s Manor
    • Cool indoor/outdoor bar.  Definitely better in the summer, otherwise the indoor area get’s pretty cramped.  Usually have a few food trucks available.
  • 1Up
    • A great Barcade with 2 locations.  Most games are only $.25 and drinks are reasonably priced too.
  • Wrangler
    • Denver’s Bear Bar.  Check out the Beer Bust 4-8 on Sundays for $10 all you can drink beer (usually Blue Moon & Coor’s Light)

Denver’s Killer Food Scene

Someone recently told me they thought Denver’s food scene left a lot to be desired.  Their comments got me thinking, so I decided to put together a small list of some of my favorite places to eat in Denver to prove just how wrong they are.

So here they are, in no particular order.  As time permits, I’ll do a quick write up on each.

  • Linger
    • Eclectic street food from around the world and killer cocktails
    • Be sure to try the Devil’s on Horseback to start
  • Park Burger
    • Keep an eye out for the Chef’s Special, which changes every month
  • Root Down
    • Same owners as Linger.  Also has a location in Terminal C (Southwest) at Denver International Airport.
    • They’ve got the best Turkey Burger you’ll ever have.  Don’t skip out on the cocktails!
  • Birdcall
    • My personal favorite is the Southern style with pimento cheese
  • Euclid Hall
    • Be sure to try the pig ears!