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ABOUT THIS BLOG

In the summer of 2009, Nicolas Rapp decided to take a break from his Art Director job at The Associated Press to attempt a one-year overland travel around the world in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. He was back in New York in February 2011 after traveling 15 months and 37,000 miles.

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  • Entering the South

    Posted on November 17th, 2009 Nicolas 19 comments

    virginiaAfter another cold and wet night in Lexington, Va. we woke up at 6 a.m., made coffee and went to take hot showers. We only drove 512 miles in the two previous days, because of the slow roads of the Appalachia, and now had a long day of driving to reach Atlanta, Ga.

    foodTo save money on gas, we decided to never go faster than 50 mph, meaning it would take us 10 hours to reach the city.

    At 7:30, after packing the tent and the cooking utensils, we were on our way. The day was long, and not the most exciting of our life. We stopped quickly to have a North Carolina pulled pork sandwich, and drove the rest of the day.

    When we reached the bottom of the mountains the previous day, I noticed my rear brakes were smoking, thanks to the heavy weight of the vehicle. After further inspection in the morning, I figured that the rear brake pads are completely cooked, and necessitate a replacement in the very near future. I decided we could still wait, given that we would stay on the highway all day long, and brakes would not be much needed.

    Eventually, we made it to Atlanta, and met with Peter Prengaman, an AP colleague I used to work with before I became a bum. Peter and his wife invited us for diner, and had a real bed for us, which was nice after two days of cold camping.

    river

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19 Responses to “Entering the South”

  1. “I decided we could still wait, given that we would stay on the highway all day long, and brakes would not be much needed.”

    :D

  2. How was the pulled pork? Glad you are still moving forward. Be safe.

  3. Welcome to the South…You will meet some really cool people. I shot you an email but I am not sure if you get a chance to look at it much. Your path looks like it will be heading through San Antonio. My friend and I are following your voyage and would like to meet up with you when you hit SA. I am from there and now live and hour and a half away in Austin so we can head down pretty quick. Good luck man…

  4. go home punk, stay out of the south and don’t come through Alabama!!!!

  5. JK welocme to the south and have a great trip FB

  6. i wish i was you big boy

  7. Hey man when you go through south Ala go to Mike’s/Patrick’s Bar & Grill great food and coldddddddddd beer. Ladies ain’t bad too. Have fun.

  8. Joe you’re an idiot. This man is doing what you only dream of. You’re a stupid redneck who probably lives on a hill and goes camping in your safe little rv parks every weekend. This man is traveling the world and risking his life, you wish you were half the man he is. You should feel lucky he is taking the time to share his experiences with you. Why don’t you shut up. I’m sure your inbred kids need tending to.

  9. Between thinking you won’t need brakes because you’re on the freeway and deciding to drive 50 mph on the interstate for ten hours, this trip may be even more interesting than I thought. So how many years has it been since you’ve driven a car out of the City?

  10. A quick tip for you on the brakes. If you’re on a road where you are descending the majority of the time and you have to keep your foot on the brake to keep from going too fast you need to shift the transmission down from “Drive” to either “2″, or possibly even “1″. By shifting into the lower gear you will be using the engine to keep your speed down rather than the brakes. Just select the lower gear that will keep you descending at your desired rate with only very slight occasional use of the brake pedal. Then, when you reach the bottom of the mountain you can shift it back up to “Drive”. This will make your brake pads last much, much longer. In fact, they should be able to last you most, if not all of your trip. They should never be smoking, no matter how heavy you are. Also, once you get into areas outside of the USA where you’re on rough roads or in the mountains you will find that you will often need to use your lower gears, both ascending and descending. Trust me, it will save lots of wear and tear on the LC. I hope to keep up with you on your journey so good luck!

  11. Hey Nick,

    I don’t know if you have ever driven a heavy loaded truck before, and I don’t know if your truck is diesel or not. But try not to use the brake so much. Maybe you are used to an automatic gearbox? It will be better to use the compression of the engine as means of slowing down

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_braking

  12. Welcome to the south. Too bad you did not come through TN. You are living my dream to drive around the world. And I sure would not want to be in front of you coming down the mountains with those worn brake pads. :o )

  13. Super. J’adore ce que tu es en train de vivre. Et un grand merci de nous le faire partager a travers ton blog. Je suis un fan et suit ton aventure avec beaucoup de plaisir tous les matin devant ma tasse de thé.

  14. good luck big boy

  15. Hi Nic and your best friend : ) !! My husband and I ( we are from New Jersey) enjoy reading your updates very much!! we are with you in hearts on your adventure!! looking forward to all your updates. Take care of the brakes , the sooner the better , do it while you are still in the states so you dont come across any problems while you are out of the states.Good luck!! and god bless.

  16. I would not want to drive around the world without a manual transmission. Too bad you did not get this advice before outfitting this truck. Good Luck. Keep your foot off the brakes and let the motor hold the truck back.

  17. Hi Nick, just a quick note to wish you well on your adventure. I am a 60 year old truckdriver from Ohio…and I first learned of your expedition on a news clip …via the internet. I was so intrigued at your adventure that I had to read more. Now I’m hooked!!! I start everyday logging on to see and read of your daily adventure. So your journey, now has become my journey as well. I will continue to follow you thoughout your trip. Thanks for letting us (the public) ride along with you! Godspeed my friend….and please be safe!
    Rocky

  18. Hey bud… hope all works out with those brakes. Those mountains are tough man. Every time I made the drive south during college years I swore my jeep was dying when going up hill. Good luck.

    Stay thirsty ;)

  19. Hi Nick,
    Thank you for keeping us updated of your amazing trip :) my husband and I live in Edmonton, Canada. We follow your updates almost every weekend. We wishing you a safe and enjoyable journey. Hope to see you in Edmonton !