My last post - July.  Pathetic.  Every month this summer I took a road trip.  In July I went to Idaho and ended up in Montana for the first time in almost a decade to visit my dad.  In August, I drove down to Oakland, CA from Portland, OR and back in the span of 36 hours.  This was very unexpected.  Talk about brutal.  I left Thursday afternoon and drove to Medford, then on to Oakland Friday morning.  We loaded up the car, had lunch, and then left for home Friday afternoon.  We got into Portland at about 3:30 am Saturday morning.  

In September my brother and I took another road trip, this time my brother was on his way to Missoula to live with our Dad for awhile.  The plan was we would rendezvous with Dad at our aunt and uncle's house in Spokane.  We left Saturday morning, arrived in Spokane late afternoon.  Dad was supposed to arrive Sunday afternoon.  Well, turns out, Dad could not make it.  Ben and I soldiered on to Missoula.  In one evening, we drove from Spokane to Missoula, I dropped my brother off, then turned around and went back to Spokane that same night.  In the morning, I headed back home.  That trip lasted from Sat-Mon.  

I'm not sure what it is about driving 1200 miles in the span of 2-3 days.  Kind of exhilarating, kind of brutal.  And so we termed them "shotgun" trips.  You load up in the car and make it happen. You stop at gas stations, eat terrible foods, consume copious amounts of energy drinks, coffee and soda. I don't think I ever want to drive I5 from here to California again.  I've had enough.  

So, in the span of one month, I drove roughly 2500 miles, through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  It makes me tired even thinking about it!  I have no plans for a road trip in October, but then again, I didn't plan on those road trips in August and September either.  With the Freelance Adventurer, you never know what could be around the next bend.  I am hopeful there will be no more "shotgun" road trips.  I would like to take some time and enjoy the journey.  

The problem is I get itchy feet when I don't have a trip planned.  My heart pines for traveling, longs to explore the world and see new places.  Perhaps I'll plan something a little closer to home, maybe a beach trip.  Who knows.  But that's the never know where I might be at any given time.  So we'll see how long it takes me to get back on the road.  


This last week I finally sucked it up and "drove" 30 hours for Lyft.  And by drove, I mean logged in to the app for 30 hours.  There were some times when I did not have rides, but being logged in at home still counts.  What do I get for 30 hours?  A 10% bonus, as long as I drive 10 "power hours", and have a 90% or above acceptance rate.  

What are "power hours"?  Designated times by city when driving is deemed to be the busiest.  For me in Portland, it is Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night.  And by night I mean starting at 5-6pm and going until anywhere from 11pm-2am.  By acceptance rate I mean the rides I say yes to.  Lyft gives me 15 seconds to decide, and then off I go.  

I'm going to show you a real picture of my earnings summary from yesterday, Sunday.  


You see, my brother referred me as a Lyft driver.  And, because I used his code, we got a "double-bonus".  Once I completed 30 rides HE got $250, but so did I!  Yes!!  My paycheck for this week should be right around $500.  Guess what - you can do it too!  If you want to become a driver and have fun meeting some awesome people, use this link:

Yesterday I had one semi-mishap that I totally blame on Apple Maps.  I picked up a couple in North Portland, to take them up to the Wonder Ballroom area on Russell.  Being the good Lyft driver and following the navigation, Cyrus put me on Skidmore, the longest unimproved road in North Portland!!! The car bottomed out more than once, I cussed a few times and once I got in there was no way getting out.  Who knew you could bushwhack in North Portland with a car?  Well, I found out you could.  The other stupidest navigation thing Apple Maps did was to try and take me from downtown, across the river, all the way down the East side and then back over the river to take a passenger to her hotel at the South Waterfront from just off of W Burnside and 13th.  Thank god I did a double-check!

On Saturday I met an artist who has a gallery in Mexico where she lives most of the time, a concert pianist home for a weekend from her program in New York and a really awkward guy who sat in the front of the car with me but said about two words.  Those were the highlights of the weekend.  Oh, and the group of 4 youngsters who were face-timing their friend in Korea while we were on our way to Wurst.  I guess I should try driving some really drunk people around to get even better stories.  

I love this job like I've loved no other.   I get to meet mostly cool people, drive around my beloved city and share interesting tidbits with out-of-owners.  Yesterday I even played part counselor and invited an aspiring musician to open mic.  You never know who is going to get in your back seat, which is really fun.  

What do I love most?  The flexibility.  F**k working a 9-5 job.  I don't think I ever want to do it again.  My favorite time to drive?  After 7pm, when the sun starts its' slow descent to the horizon.  Driving across the bridges while the sun is setting is nothing short of magic.  I am learning so much about my fair city and it is awesome!