The material presented here was originally published in real time in a blog that I created as a daily journal during July-September, 2011. The problem wth a blog, as I will mention later, is that it's formatted in reverse chronological order, with the first entry appearing last, making it awkward to read as a narrative. So what I've done here is to correct the time sequence as well as make the site easier to navigate.
For the most part it's a cut-and-paste job, although I've taken the liberty to correct typos, grammatical faux pas and poor diction where necessary. It wouldn't surprise me, however, if more errors were introduced in this process, and others overlooked. Needless to say, I alone, as sole author, editor and proofreader, am responsible for any errors. With that in mind, this site will remain a work in progress indefinitely.
Most of the blog was written in the middle of the night under primitive conditions or in a rush while an internet connection was available, so attention to linguistic detail wasn't a priority. A few items that don't have a chronological component have been re-ordered for purposes of clarification or aesthetics. Also, there are some dates with multiple entries—mostly the result of aimless ruminations and awkward reflections that nevertheless seemed significant enough at the time to record.
I had many encouraging responses from friends and family, and even complete strangers, who followed my daily peregrinations on the blog. I want you to know that I valued your comments and I'm happy you came along for the ride.
For anyone intrested, the original blog in its raw form still lives at http://damdifino.wordpress.com.
Map of route
Here's a map of the route I took. Direction of travel was counter-clockwise. The numbered yellow boxes are not (necessarily) stops I made. They’re waypoints I had to create in Microsoft Streets & Trips to force the route to go exactly where I wanted, rather than leave the decision to the software. Unfortunately, there’s no way to hide them at this magnification, so we just have to deal with the clutter they create.
My planned route ran to about 6900 miles. I also made numerous day trips untethered from the 5th wheel, for a grand total of approximately 7400 miles. The cost of diesel fuel was just over $2000.00, a price I'd gladly bear to start all over again.
A Note on the Site Name
Solambula is a contraction of two words: solitary and ambulation (to walk about from place to place.) Solambula carries the connotation of "walking solo, alone," which, broadly speaking, is what this trip was all about. There is a further overtone in "sol," meaning sun, reflecting my predeliction for desert environments.