It is with great anticipation, as well as a myriad of other emotions that I prepare for my final trip to California with McAfee. After over 11 years, I’m moving on. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but I know it’s the right one for the McArdle family.

So, here I am. A full tank of gas (plus a spare in the trunk), my Garmin GPS fully configured for the trip and my new Beltronics Radar Detector – not for use in Ontario :(

The trip is 4523 km (2829 miles) to California and 3619 km (2261 miles) back. The GPS says the whole trip should take about 80 hours in total travel time. I’m reasonably confident I can beat that.

My route has me departing Conestogo around 7am, and arriving in Joliet, IL about 8 hours later. The next morning, it’s off to Denver, which is a mere 15 hours away! That leg should prove quite interesting. I can’t wait to see the mountains! After Denver, it’s up and left to Salt Lake City for the night. That leg should take about 8.5 hours. The final stint is to San Jose, which is another long one at 12 hours. The trip would be shorter without going through Denver, but there’s a cool reason for that detour…But that’s for another day.

I will have company for the trip which will be really nice. My friend Ravindra Conway is joining me. He’s a geek too, and founded a cool Telecom Voice/Data product and services company called Primal Technologies. Check them out! It will be nice to spend some quality time with him. We’ve known each other since frosh week at the University of Waterloo, but this will be the most time we’ve spent together since university.

At the end of my last week at McAfee, my wife is flying in to San Francisco so she can join me for the return trip. She’s never been to LA, so we’re going to drive down PCH 1 (it’s the beautful highway that runs down the coast of California). I’m taking my “Pretty Woman” to the Beverly Wilshire hotel for the night. Then it’s off to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Amarillo, St. Louis, and Chicago.

I’m going to try to post some updates along the way. I’m hoping to take some pictures, but I’m also mindful of my laptimes ;)