This is a guest post by author Gary Spillers.


1. An ex- girlfriend. Well if you do don’t make a monogamous relationship agreement. I did and I slept by myself a lot on this trip. It’s better to leave your options open!

2. A tumble weed. Yep you heard right. I stopped in the New Mexico desert and retrieved a tumble weed that was bouncing along next to the interstate that reminded me of myself at that time. I was later pulled over by a New Mexico State trooper and was asked ,”Son what in the hell are you going riding around in the desert with a damn tumble weed in the back seat?

3. An absolute date that you have to be back by! If you can’t leave and not give a shit when you get back …don’t go! You will constantly be checking your schedule and missing out on a lot of interesting places and people that you would not miss if you aren’t on a schedule.

4. A bottle of champagne. I took one given to me by a friend from Atlanta who requested that when I reached the Pacific Ocean that she would like for me to get the bottle of champagne out and think of her with a toast as I drank from the bottle. Upon reaching the Pacific Ocean I retrieved the bottle from my trunk to toast my friend but the bottle had exploded from the exposure of the cold Aspen Colorado nights. We took a picture of the exploded bottle and sent it back to her. She wasn’t amused!

5. A pre-conceived route. When Lindy and I left Atlanta our goal was to reach Aspen, Colorado and to not worry about what happened before or after that point. And we didn’t! As you may know about an additional 10 states and another country later, I by myself, ended up back in Atlanta a month or so later after pulling into Aspen, Colorado the day before Thanksgiving!

6. Any Doubt that the vehicle would make it out west and back. Our trusty steed the Green Pig was marvelous. We traveled 7,500 miles and this steady steed only burned two or three quarts of oil, of course gas was only 20-30 cents per gallon so that wasn’t a big number either.

7. An extra bag of pot. As the earlier mentioned New Mexico state trooper was searching my vehicle with his drug dog and Chief Geronimo (a native American Indian) he picked up a paper sack that this old pot was in and I guess it was so bad the dog couldn’t even smell it.

8. Any bright idea that you can stop in Wichita, Texas, buy two Dallas Cowboy /Los Angles Rams NFL playoff tickets (price $12.00 each) to be played in Dallas the next day and make money on them. I don’t even want to talk about it. You will have to read the book!

9. Idea that you can go from never seeing a professional black jack table to winning big money in Caesar’s Palace . Although I came out ahead, it could have been much worse than it turned out.

10. Any notion that just because your main squeeze (ie: the girl you love) is still in love with you just because she visits you in Los Angles on your road trip. Find out what really happens. It may change all of your ideas about road tripping across town, much less across the country!

A native of Milledgeville, GA, Gary Spillers was a stand-out athlete in high school taking his talents and love of football to Troy University where he became an All-Conference linebacker and voted team captain his senior year. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration and soon after launched what has become a successful career in real estate, inventing the concept of “gameday sports condominiums” in 1988. He currently splits his time between Milledgeville and Atlanta while pursuing commercial/investment real estate opportunities. In his spare time he enjoys writing ‘mostly true’ stories about himself and his interesting array of suspect friends and the ‘messes’ they used to get into. Go West, Young Man…But Don’t Come Back is available at Amazon.

Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.