Driving past the Bonneville Salt Flats on the way back to Salt Lake City.
As always, I kept all receipts from the trip out west but I must confess that the total amount shocked me in the end. Although I count the trip a success (and you will too, I think, as articles that I gained background on are published in the near future), the accounting makes it plain that sustaining operations out west in Oregon and Washington are incredibly expensive when done by car. And I believe it only fair that for those who kicked in to the trip should have an accounting of how their money was spent.
The only bit of personal sight-seeing I did was to stop on the way out of Coos Bay on the way to the Sugar Pine Mine to see the Pacific Ocean. (I had never done it before. This was the farthest west I had ever been.)
There were unexpected expenses this trip, including those coincident with my co-driver, but you should know that I couldn't have done it without him so I'm not complaining in the least. He was a real help and took everything in stride. In addition, because we couldn't plan exactly when we would be at a certain spot we weren't able to stay at readers' homes and keep down on the hotel expenses. (We were only able to stay one night at a reader's and we had another pick up the tab at a hotel. The rest came out of the budget.) We did save money in that most of our meals were picked up by readers along the way. And we also had donations of gas money from individual readers at the various stops. We received no reimbursement from the Salem organizers, but the Coos Bay folks did a great job of rattling the tin cup for us.
Stopping by Salt Lake City to visit with Jesse Trentadue.
We used Rosey's car, so we didn't have the expense of a rental car, but the gas expense ate us alive. I cringed every time we paid well in excess of $3.00 a gallon at some stops in the west, especially Oregon. Total mileage was almost 6,000 miles. The breakdown of all expenses is as below.
With the Sugar Pine miners outside their cabin at the claim.
So you can see that sustaining operations for me out west, absent more careful planning (for which I take full responsibility) is very problematic. In retrospect, I should have done better arranging for stops at readers' homes and I could have done better by choosing cheaper lodging, but because I didn't have a laptop I could count on (that problem is now taken care of for the next trip, I think) I had to stop at hotels that had business centers, not just WiFi. These were perforce more expensive.
I will be flying out to the Yakima Arms Expo later this month and the expense of that is being personally picked up by the organizers, but if you can see your way clear to help me reimburse them for that I would be grateful. They never did recover their expenses on the two failed flights for me that they were screwed out of by the airline last time. The Empire strikes back in various ways and money is ammunition, just like 5.56 ball. Leviathan is happy to cause us wastage.