Here the Oregon Trail Began

Independence (Apple ][)(This is the first in a series of posts that follows our real-life adventures in August 2011 along The Oregon Trail, Apple ][ version. Screenshots and photos by Rachel.)

In The Oregon Trail video game, pioneers begin their journey in Independence, Missouri in the year 1848. Thankfully, we did not transport ourselves back in time to 1848—neither of us look all that fetching in hoop skirts, and we’re pretty attached to our car—but the first day of our trip was actually the 1000 mile trip from Charlottesville, VA to Independence, MO.

It was in those first 1000 pre-Oregon-Trail miles that we learned two really important lessons that we’ll expand on in future posts: first, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is relatively close to us and includes some of Rachel’s favorite distilleries, which means we had to learn to curb our explorer enthusiasm and keep our pioneering spirit at the forefront. Second, always carry the paper version of the Motel 6 directory, because you might find yourself in a connectivity dead zone when trying to figure out where to stop via Google Maps, and what’s in Maps might not exist anymore.

But we digress.

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First!

Howdy! We are pleased to finally launch this blog, which we hope will be a source of amusement, inspiration, and information about Traveling While Nerdy.

We’ve been traveling (nerdily) together for a year now, and besides going to some very cool places (like The Oregon Trail!) we’ve collected a bunch of tips, tricks, and innovations for the traveler who likes gadget- and connectivity-enhanced living. But fear not, lovers of travel without gadgets and connectivity—we grok that, too, and not just because sometimes we travel in connectivity dead zones. We figured it was time to share.

Oh, who are we? Just a couple of nerdy women with a bright green car and Android smartphones who have planned posts in categories such as:

  • Apps: What we use on our Android-powered devices to get where we need to go, and do what we want to do.
  • DIY: You can do a lot with binder clips and rubber bands…
  • Driving: We do a lot of it. A lot.
  • Flying: We would fly more if we had a lot of money, but alas. We still have tips!
  • Gadgets: Technological doodads, often with blinky lights.
  • Games: We play them (and study them, and talk about them incessantly).
  • Gear: Everything from ice axes to phone holsters.
  • Hiking: Manual locomotion, for those places inaccessible by motor vehicles.
  • International Travel: Sometimes you just have to get out of the country, and things are different. We know.
  • Lodging: To show you there’s nothing to fear about hostels.
  • Maps: Mmmcartography.
  • Mass transit: Subways, buses, and trains (also not scary things!)
  • Nature: Often enjoyed while hiking, natch.
  • Packing: We’re efficient. Usually.
  • Provisions: Because it’s expensive to feed yourself at restaurants for an entire road trip!
  • and more!

We have amassed a great deal of Things we know we like and use, but yes, developers and marketing folks, we will absolutely consider reviewing products (and yes, readers, we will always disclose anything that needs disclosin’). We are particular fans of product owners and developers who do not have dedicated marketing departments and who are also just geeks and nerds with cool stuff. Bonus points if it’s open source cool stuff.

Travel on!