It's been exactly 7 months since I signed up to the online dating website match.com. During that period I contacted 11 girls who I felt I had quite a bit in common with. Of those 11, 2 replied, 9 ignored me and the 2 that replied ignored me on the next message.
I haven't really been too serious about dating until this summer and I wouldn't even consider it that serious (Yes I'm a hypocrite).
After a similar experience with two girls, whom I got their numbers from local bars, I began to wonder what life might be like if I were attractive?
Building My Fake Profile
Before building my fake profile, I decided to do an inventory of girls between 22 and 32 in an 80 mile radius around my region. Check out my data source for more on this. What I discovered from this data is what the "average" girl is like in my area:
Drinks: Social Drinker
Has Kids: No
Wants Kids : Definitely
Marital Status: Never Married
Exercise: 1-2 or 3-4 times per week
Education: Some college, associate degree or bachelors degree
With this data in hand, I created a male with all of these attributes:
Drinks: Social Drinker
Has Kids: No
Wants Kids : Definitely
Marital Status: Never Married
Exercise: 3-4 times per week
Education: bachelors degree
Picking a Profile Picture
I just discovered that one of the most important things on an online dating site is the profile picture. When I was creating my fake profile, my most important criteria was finding a series of pictures of an attractive male model, especially if some of the pictures are lower in quality and probably not done using a professional camera.
After scouring through modelmayhem.com search results (and being subjected to more pictures of shirtless guys than a guy should ever have to see in a lifetime)I found my guy.
Included with the picture to the right were numerous low quality, non-professional photos available for me to use. Excellent!
After running my main profile picture through Photoshop to degrade its quality and not make it look so professional, I was ready to move on to registering!
Click on the image below to view the profile in its entirety.
After creating the profile, match.com gave me some grief and rejected the username I had chose. I forgot about the profile for another couple weeks and then a few days ago I decided to check on its status and I was able to get it approved.
Again, I forgot about the profile for a couple of days and decided to check it again recently. I WAS STUNNED.
The fake profile had exceeded my own personal profile in every measurable statistic in a mere 4 days to my profile's 212 days. Based on those numbers, the profile I had created was 53 times better than my own.
By The Numbers
Out of single guy boredom, I decided to do a quick comparison of the two profiles. The first set of data below is a 4 day to 212 day comparison of the two profiles (essentially their lifetime). The purpose of this data is to show how the fake profile exceeded my own in a matter of 4 days.
The second set of data shows an apples-to-apples comparison of the profiles by using a weekly average.
Desirability of Match.com profiles (life of profiles)
My Profile (212 days)
Fake Profile (4 days)
Messages from Girls
Girls Winked At Me
Girls Favorited Me
Desirability of Match.com profiles (per week)
My Profile (per week)
Fake Profile (per week)
Messages from Girls
0.03 messages per week
15.75 messages per week
Girls Winked At Me
0.10 winks per week
28.00 winks per week
Girls Favorited Me
0.03 favorites per week
1.75 favorites per week
6.08 views per week
374.00 views per week
From this data I created two nice looking graphs to illustrate how far away from attractive I am. The disparity is pretty obvious.
And here is a graph showing profile views per day of the two profiles. Again the disparity is pretty obvious.
I've had a heck of a time getting girls to read and reply to my messages on match.com. I only had 1 girl message me the entire 212 days and only 2/11 reply to my first message. With my fake profile, I had 9 girls messaged me within a mere 4 days. Two girls I replied to and one replied back within 15 minutes and the other the next day. It's obvious the girls are much more engaged with my fake profile than my real profile.
I was absolutely shocked by the disparity between the two profiles! I mean sure, the fake profile was probably close to the "perfect profile" but I don't feel like I'm the elephant man. I certainly don't feel 53 times uglier/less worthy than the fake profile, but that's what the numbers bare.
I used to think that girls just didn't like interacting with guys much on dating sites, but I've now completely eliminated that theory. I also used to think that my profile picture wasn't all that important and that my profile information could make up for a less than perfect picture. Wrong! In my fake profile, I wrote nothing about myself and yet girls were grasping for straws trying to make conversation with me.
Finally, I learned that despite what we're told about girls (and their apparent priority of personality over appearance) girls care more about looks and are just as shallow as their male counterparts.
For a long time I've had a theory, or more appropriately, a method at which I view life with. I've jokingly called it my Theory of Relativity because it deals with relativity but probably not in the same way that Einstein did. Along the way, it's helped me out so I thought it would be worth writing a blog post about in case it would help other people out.
I first thought of it, when I was programming at work one day. I was dealing with some data that could be sorted from lowest to highest. In programming we'll often get the lower and upper bound of a range of numbers. This is essentially the lowest number and highest number in a series of many numbers. After I thought about it, I learned that pretty much everything in life can be organized by its lower and upper bound.
Happy vs. Sad: Happiness Range
Probably the easiest way to apply this is after you've had a bad day. Say you had a bad day at work, or maybe you were delayed by traffic on the way to something. Regardless, these types of things can frequently put people in a very bad mood.
When something like this happens to me, I immediately create my dataset in my head with a range of positive and negative experiences. I'll think of the worst experience I've had (my lower bound) and then my best experience (my upper bound) and determine where my current situation falls within that spectrum.
For me personally, I consider the entireyearof 2009 to be my lower bound and my trip out to Utah to be my upper bound. So while getting stuck in traffic might really suck, it pales in comparison to 2009. You see, everything's relative to everything else.
Depending on your level of empathy, you may also be able to consider other people's lower and upper bounds. I think the majority of people struggle with this so I recommend sifting through your own history if possible.
As I thought about my range of positive and negative experiences I began to think about how I reacted to events in the past. Say, you're in high school and in your first long-term relationship. For whatever reason it ends. For most high schoolers, they're simply devastated. Many adults will look at them and shake their heads as it isn't really that big of a deal but, those adults are forgetting something important: relativity. That break up is probably the worst thing that's ever happened to that high schooler.
Me being an Emo teenager in Emo, Canada. I'm an Emo adult now.
On the flip side, an elderly person has experienced a lot of things. Perhaps they've served in the military, or their wife or husband has passed away already. Regardless, when they look back at that high school break up, it's no big deal anymore.
The theory sounds simple, but when you hear people complaining about their day, it apparently isn't.
Another way I'll frequently use the theory of relativity is when I'm in a public setting with other people. Based on any attribute you can think of, there's lower and upper bound when you rank all of the people you're with. Some common attributes might be: age, height, attractiveness, body-mass-index or intelligence.
"I Work Out"
For example, when I'm at the gym weight lifting, I'm usually somewhat bored exercising, so the only other thing to do is observe all of the other people working out. Depending on the time of the day that I'm working out there may be a whole range of people working out. Sometimes, the gym is filled with people trying to lose weight who are usually overweight. Seeing as I have pretty much no fat on me, I'm essentially the most fit/muscular/etc. person in the gym at that moment.
If, in a few minutes later, a group of muscleheads walk in, I'm suddenly not even worth noticing anymore.
At Da' Club
The same applies if you're at a dance club or a bar. You might be the most attractive guy in the club on a given night, but then a group of Matthew McConaugheys walk in and suddenly girls wouldn't even give you a chance.
Above, I dance with a couple girls while another guy watches in shame.
Finally, my last example of relativity is age. I find this one comes up quite often with people. Usually in small talk, somebody will say "oh you're still young...". While you may actually be young, age is 100% relative to the person considering it. If at work, you're the youngest employee, suddenly you're "young" to everyone else but if you're hanging out with a bunch of your younger cousins at a family get-together, you're old!. If you're 50 years old and visiting your 70 & 80 year old aunts and uncles you're young. If you're at a bar or dance club, you're likely going to be very old.
Nothing stays constant or fixed. Maybe you really had the worst day of your life. But I suspect that in a year, you'll look back and think how insignificant it was. Don't let your current state of mind scribble all over the big picture. And remember, everything truly is relative.
I thought I'd continue where I left off in my last blog post with another philosophical post. In this post, I'll be tackling the topic of "freedom" and what it means to me.
To the right I have a Youtube song embedded which is thematically related to this post. The song is Freedom Like a Shopping Cart by NOFX.
I've been listening to the song for the last 12 years, but the song never really meant anything to me until the last couple years when I started thinking more about it.
There's a specific line from the song that stuck in my head over the last couple of years, specifically the second half of this verse:
A Christian, an anarchist slash prostitute. Figures out the true meaning of freedom. Not freedom like America. Freedom like a shopping cart.
In America, it feels like when the word freedom is used, it's more of a political word than a personal word. I.e. people are free to vote, free to work at this job or that job, free to own property etc.
To me, freedom is more like a shopping cart in an empty parking lot. It's the lack of obstruction. It's doing what I want, when I want and how I want to do it.
Freedom Is A Lane All To Yourself
I frequently think of the topic on my drive home on Highway 41. I swear, 80% of drivers occupy the passing lane as opposed to the travel lane. Why is this? It's because they don't like being obstructed by other drivers. The irony of this is, if all of the drivers are in the same lane, they're all obstructing one another leaving the right lane wide open and free.
I'll frequently go out of my way to secure my own lane, even if it means I have to drive slower than other people. To me, it's freedom. It's being able to pick my own speed. It's looking forward and backwards without any other drivers obstructing me.
This analogy ties right back to life. I feel like everyone around me is in the fast lane trying to rush through life. Trying to check off all the stereotypical things a person is suppose to do in their life.
The majority of people around me aren't free. They're over-encumbered with "life". Let's face it, we've been brainwashed from day we were born: that we need to do certain things during the span of our life, or our life hasn't been complete. When an elderly grandparent dies at 80, people say "he had a complete life". When a 30 year old dad dies, they say "he had so much to look forward to, he'll never see his kids grow up". These are the subconscious phrases people say that lead to "do these things or your life went unfulfilled and therefore wasn't as valuable".
As I see it, there's a checklist to life that a person needs to follow in order to win their big shinny medal at the end and have it labeled "complete":
Graduate high school
Go to college
Find a job
Buy a house
Life's checklist is a very rigid list. Nothing can occur out of order. Have kids before marriage? Fail! Work a couple of years before going to college? You're unfocused. Slip-up anywhere on the checklist and you're a deviant.
There's a tremendous amount of pressure on people to follow the list. Think about it, how many times have you heard somebody interrogating a young couple with:
When are you going to get married?
After that, it's "when are you going to have kids?" or "when are you going to buy a house?"
From my experiences, it seems like women have been brainwashed a little harder than men on the checklist and will typically be the ones taking the lead in a relationship or pressuring others to follow the checklist.
I reject the list. It obstructs my freedom in life. It stands in the way of doing what I want, when I want and how I want to do it. Any here's why:
Dating and eventually marriage severally limits your freedom. On average, a person has roughly 50-55 hours of free time a week. Free time = freedom. Guess what happens when you enter a relationship with another person? That's right, less free time. Now you're hanging out with their family, seeing their friends and going to John Mayer concerts. Sure, you might be in love, but is this really what you want to be doing?
If relinquishing your free time wasn't enough, eventually you freedom will be imposed upon. Want to hang out with the guys Saturday night? Not before getting it approved and dealing with a bunch of drama. Want to watch the new Zombie move that just came out? Nope, sorry.
Relationships are a Direct Democracy, being single is a Dictatorship.
Once you're in a relationship, I'd estimate you lose 60-70% of your freedom.
Marriage also affects another type of freedom...economic freedom. Economic freedom, to me, means spending my money, my way. Want a new TV or computer? Sorry we're buying a new bedroom set and furniture.
The problem, especially in relationships is when one person makes significantly more than the other. All people have the same amount of wants and needs, but not all people make the same amount of money. When you're in a relationship with another person they will attempt to spend 50% of your income regardless of how much they contributed to it. Essentially you're losing money and your economic freedom by being in a relationship.
Another way to exercise your economic freedom is to live debt free. Each loan you have is a commitment. It means you have to have a job. As we all know, keeping a job is no longer as easy as it once was. Student loans, car loans, mortgages are all things that limit your freedom and causes a tremendous amount of stress. By eliminating debt, you increase your economic freedom and release yourself from the shackles that loans place upon you.
Home ownership is another thing that limits freedom. Homes are permanent, life is random. Homes do not allow for rapid change. Apartments do. Lose your job? Now you're stuck paying for that house for the next 30 years or until you can sell it. Good luck selling it. Get hired by Facebook? Now you can either pay for two mortgages or turn down the job.
Homes limit your choices and therefore your freedom by imprisoning you in specific location.
Maintaining The Status Quo
As you move through life's checklist, your number one priority will be to maintain the status quo. This means: keeping your job, your house, your wife and your kids.
These are all things you need to devote time and money to in order to keep. If you're unable to do that, be prepared to deal with a lot of unnecessary stress. Stress that you wouldn't have to deal with if you hadn't subscribed to the checklist. Giving up time and money means giving up freedom.
In order to keep your 3,500 square foot house, condo in Florida and 2012 Lincoln Navigator, you need to keep that $90,000 a year job. Lose that job and suddenly you're not able to maintain the status quo anymore.
Having these things doesn't give you more freedom, they make you a slave to your job. They make you work more hours, meaning less time to actually enjoy the things you've worked for. Remember more work = less free time.
The more "stuff" you have the harder you have to work to keep it.
Freedom Isn't Free
Of course freedom isn't free. You will essentially be living on the fringe of society. Be prepared to be regarded as the old, weird single guy. Be prepared to have people constantly pressure you to "get into a relationship". Be prepared to almost never hang out with your friends again since they prefer to hang out with couples. You'll also be forced to witness others celebrate their accolades as they progress through each phase of life's checklist.
Obligatory Takeaway Paragraph
I guess if there's anything I'd like to get across in this post it's this: Actually stop and think about what you want from life. Not what other people think or what society thinks but what you want from life.
The Setup(You need this)...sorry, RBF inside joke - I've always wanted to write blog posts that dig a little into all that is Neal but I've usually chickened out and found something lighter to write about. In the past couple months I've had nothing to write about...since I went on vacation in May, so without further adieu...
About two years ago, during deer hunting (note for 3 years in a row, November was pretty much the low point of my year and therefore I'm in "thinking mode") I was watching Demetri Martin a lot. If you know anything about Demetri Martin, you know he loves to drawwittycharts. Around this time I drew a chart of my own which I've thought endlessly about for the past couple years.
Above is my version of the chart I jotted down on paper back then (although it looks a lot nicer using Google Charts!). The bottom axis represents time while the side axis represents my happiness. I was recently in a short relationship (I no longer am) but once the dust settled, there I was thinking about my chart again.
The single line on the chart represents my happiness/mood when I'm single. As you can see, life is less interesting but also less stressful. Each day is very predictable and I know exactly what I'm getting. I like to call this the safe route as I'll never really dip that low.
In a Relationship
The in a relationship line on the other hand is quite different than the single line. Life is full of excitement on this line. I liken it to riding a rollercoaster whereas the single line is more like walking from one side of the amusement park to the other.
The downside to the "in a relationship line", is of course, the second half of it. Unless you've found the person you're going to grow old and die with, all relationships have a start and an end.
It's always a gamble. It's like investing your money, and not just a little, but more like all of it. Relationships have a greater potential for return but are also extremely high risk. Single is a safe investment, but isn't going to pay off anytime soon but you'll never lose it all.
I could also relate it to Final Jeopardy. Do you risk your entire amount or just a little? It's a choice you need to make because only you know how much money you're playing with.
I titled this article Yin & Yang because there's another hidden meaning in the chart. You'll notice that if you were to add up the negative (-) and positive (+) for both lines, you'll find they're equal to one another.
It's all the same in the end
I interpret this as saying "It's all the same in the end". What this means is that neither route will give you more happiness or lack of happiness than the other. They're equal. This means that neither route is right or wrong but simply just is.
For every positive experience you have, you will have an equal and opposite negative experience
The quote above is another philosophy I've recently subscribed to. I think it fits nicely in the lens of single vs in a relationship. I'm sure not everyone would agree with this, but at least in my own experience this seems to hold true for me.
Obligatory Final Paragraph Where I Draw a Conclusion
Haha, okay this is blogging OCD on my part as I always feel like I need a final conclusion paragraph.
I think the gist of my post is it's ultimately up to you to choose what you want. Life too boring? Try a relationship. Need some stability? Go single. Both paths lead to the other eventually. My other point is of course its all a wash. Pick the path you think is best for you at the right time and roll with it.
It was October of 2008, which now, seems like forever ago... I was sitting in the basement of my house at that time, diligently placing markers on a custom Google map of the places I'd like to see in the western United States for what would be my first vacation since moving out of my parent's house. It should be noted that at this point, I was already 0 for 1 for successful vacations on my own.
Fast forward 2-3 years later, a wife, house, and a job later and life was finally ready to let me take a vacation again to many of those original great places. The spreadsheet, vacation.ods had been sitting on my hard drive ever since October 2008 roughly 75% finished waiting for me to finally finish the job. So in March of 2011 I decided it was time to really do it this time. I pitched the vacation to my friend Mike who had a window of time available at the end of May to do the vacation.
Okay, I'm tired of writing in the past tense in story mode! Present tense now! After a week of rest I finally have some time to write up this much needed blog post on my vacation to the Colorado Plateau. This vacation was resurrected this year out of a notion that my life was becoming stagnant/routine and that in 2011 I was going to try to mix things up and put myself in more uncomfortable situations than normal. I was quasi-inspired when I saw a "things to do before graduation" sheet of paper on a high school kid's wall which prompted me to draw up a list of my own of things I wanted to accomplish in 2011. Following through with my 2008 vacation was a top priority on this list. The vacation took me in a giant loop through the state of Utah, into Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
Day 1: Salt Lake City
After a long day of traveling via the airlines from Appleton, to Minneapolis we finally arrived in Salt Lake City. Right when I got off the plane I could see the giant Wasatch mountains that surround SLC. Having lived in Wisconsin my entire life, I must say mountains are a dramatic change. I don't recall a single point during my vacation in Utah when I couldn't see mountains towering over the horizon off in the distance. In Wisconsin, we're lucky to to even see the horizon with our flat, tree laden ground.
After getting our rental car, and checking into our hotel we drove around the city. We attempted to hike a large hill on the side of SLC but it started raining and we (mostly me) became exhausted running around in the rain. After that we ate at a really really good restaurant in SLC called Red Rock Brewery.
Day 2: Antelope Island
Day 2 was our day to tour SLC. Having sort of done that the night before, we decided to check out the Great Salt Lake. In that lake sits a state park called Antelope Island State Park. We drove around Antelope Island for 15 minutes and found a hiking trail that leads to the summit of the mountain/hill. Being spontaneous we started hiking up the 3.5 mile trail. The views from atop of Antelope Island were awesome. We enjoyed 360 degree views of the Great Salt Lake and neighboring cities. Also we ran into wild bison roaming the hills 2 miles up the hiking trail.
After almost reaching the summit the weather started getting really nasty, with wind and rain. We took shelter under a radio tower but the situation didn't appear to be improving and the remaining climb didn't look too inviting so we headed back down. On the way down, we saw a 60 year old hiker practically running up the hill. At this point we realized we needed to pick up some hiking gear if we were going to do any serious hiking on the remainder of the trip.
Day 2: Driving to Moab, Utah
The drive to Moab was a 5 hour trip that took us up the mountains, through giant valleys and through snow laden areas of the mountains. Towards the end we started entering the desert and the roads started straitening out again. After a difficult drive through the Ashley National Forest I welcomed these long straight roads. Apparently I enjoyed them a little too much because I ended up getting my first ticket ever in my life (some people find this surprising) while 10 minutes from my destination of Moab.
Day 2: Dancing in a local bar in Moab, Utah
I was pretty wore out after my 7 mile hike on Antelope Island but Mike convinced me to check out a local bar in Moab after we arrived. It's probably a good thing I did this as I was still sort of upset about getting a ticket. When we walked into the bar it sort of felt like in the movies where everyone at the bar realizes your not the normal patrons. However, It was a pretty cool place with a large outdoor patio area and a live band playing country and southern rock music. After a couple non-alcoholic drinks I somehow ended up country/ballroom dancing with an attractive local girl which I consider a highlight of my vacation. I don't know if I'll ever forget the girl repeating "never let go of your girl" in her southern accent as we were dancing...lol. Day 2 complete!
Photos From Day 2
Day 3: Arches National Park
Day 3 started out with a visit to Arches National Park. Most of the beautiful scenery in Arches requires a couple miles of hiking to view. The most famous arch, Delicate Arch is a 1.5 mile hike up a slickrock hill (3 miles total). While the hike takes awhile, it was well worth it! Delicate Arch sits on the edge of a giant canyon and offers a great view of the surrounding area. I was surprised to see roughly 100+ people hanging out at the top of the hike enjoying the view. We ate lunch with the arch in our view and then headed back down.
Next up we embarked on what would be our longest hike of the vacation. Called "Devils Garden". The hike was roughly 9-10 miles total after we checked out everything. We saw Landscape Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arc and Double O Arch. I'm pretty sure that by doing this hike, my legs were injured for the remainder of the vacation. Even still, it was worth it as we got to ascned to the top of the park and hike on some pretty primitive trails. At one point we even encountered a guy running through a remote trail of the park drenched in sweat looking for his friends he had gotten seperated from. Fortunately for him, a couple miles later we found that he had caught up with them but we were worried.
I would say, that of all the parks, we probably spent the most time at Arches so I might be somewhat bias in my thinking but I thought Arches and Moab were my favorite stops during the vacation. I'd deffinately like to visit there again perhaps for a bit longer next time.
Photos From Day 3
Day 4: Mesa Verde National Park
Day 4 started out with a lot of pain. While at Arches, we both used sun screen, but forgot to use it on our neck and head. After roughly 8 hours in the Southern Utah sun, our faces were bright red. Also, my legs were pretty much shot from the 12-13 mile hike the day before and the 7 mile hike the day before that. Fortunately, Mesa Verde National Park's hiking trails were all relatively short.
The park literally sits on top of a mountain/mesa. The drive into the park took 30-35 minutes and included going through a tunnel and up long, steep, curvey cliff roads. A lot of people I talk to aren't familiar with the park by name but it's Pueblo Native American cliff dwellings have been featured in a lot of videogames. Below is a video from one of my favorite videogames, XIII, which had levels which were both very similar to Arches National Park and Mesa Verde.
Touring the park was much more "people oriented" than previous stops since in order to visits the cliff dwellings, we had to leave at a specific time with a large group of people and with a park ranger. This led to an amusing conversation with the park ranger and a couple other visitors over my NRA hat. The park ranger jokingly asked if NRA stood for "National Recreation Area". When then talked about the recent law allowing concealed carry on federal lands in which another guy said it was "disgusting". Regardless, the park ranger actually supported the law as well as another visitor. Speaking of laws, we also managed to narrowly evade another ticket on our vacation while at Mesa Verde when we passed a park cop and he quickly spun his car around and followed us after we were driving a bit fast.
After touring the cliff dwellings, we checked out the museum and then went back to our hotel for what would be our only double stay at a hotel.
Photos From Day 4
Day 5: Monument Valley
Day 5 can be summed up by driving. I drove over 400 miles for 8 hours and into 4 different states. The drive took us through some of the most remote areas of our vacation. It's appropriate that the day included a lot of driving because one of my primary stops during our trip was at the famous Scenic Byway of Route 163. Almost everyone recognizes the picture of Route 163 as it approaches Monument Valley. To be honest I don't even know why this stretch of the road is famous, but its been ingrained in people's collective memory somehow. I've always liked how the road appears endless. If you look close enough you can actually see the backside of the buttes in Monument Valley in the distance.
Monument Valley is the only stop we made which isn't a National Park. Like most of the places we visited, there is a great deal of Native American history at the parks but Monument Valley is still owned and operated by it's original tribe, the Navajo. Because the park isn't funded by the Federal Government (assumption here) the dirt road going through the park is pretty terrible. We were driving in our 2011 Toyota Camry rental car so I drove extremely slow. If I had to do the visit again, I would probably just walk the road or see if bike rentals are an option.
Day 5: More Driving
Like I mentioned before, our drive through the rest of Arizona was pretty remote. Our first real sign of civilization was in the city of Paige, Arizona. If I had an extra day during our vacation I would have probably stayed a night in Paige and checked out all the cool sites nearby. Unfortunately I didn't do enough research on the area to learn about them. Paige reminded me a lot of Moab but with much more water. Both Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon are located here. Also, the extremly beautiful Antelope Canyon is located nearby Paige.
Photos From Day 5
Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park
Day 6 started out in Bryce Canyon National Park. My first impression was "wow it's cold outside". The city that neighbors the park sits at roughly 7,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation which explains why it was only 40 degree out when we arrived. The road of the park snakes around the rim of the canyon which contains a giant "amphitheater" of spiked rocks called hoodoos. After a short day of touring the park we moved on. It would have been nice to hike around it more as I'm sure there's some pretty cool things to see.
After that we drove back to Salt Lake City up highway 15. It was cool to drive on a road that has a speed limit of 75mph which was the first time I've done that. Unfortunately for most of my portion of the drive it was raining pretty hard so I could really only go 75 or 80.
Day 7: Travel Madness
Day 7 started out in Salt Lake City back at the same hotel we started out at. We had to clean out our rental car and get it washed since it looked pretty bad after a week of driving around in the desert. We also had, somewhere around $40-$50 dollars left of groceries that we never ate so we left all of that in our hotel room. Not sure what the hotel cleaning staff thought of that.
We checked in our baggage and went through airport security. This was the first airport I've been do that had that body-scan security machine. I think I even had my carry-on searched for whatever reason.
During our wandering around the airport Mike discovered that the airport scenes from the movie Dumb & Dumber were filmed at the Salt Lake City airport so I tried to find some of the shots that took place in the movie. Unfortunately I think the airport has been renovated since then. Apparently the scene where Lloyd Christmas falls of the jetway was filmed at gate B2 which I have a picture of below.
Finally, when it was getting closer to our departure time we walked down by our gate only to discover that our plane had been downsized to a smaller one with 30 less passengers. Now we were on a waiting list to see if we would even be able to get on the plane. The next available flight was at 7pm that night, which was 5 hours later than our flight. After about 30 minutes we discovered that we would be able to get on the flight. Once we were boarded we had to wait 30-45 minutes and then the captain told us that the plane's generator was leaking! So then we got off the plane. After another 45-60 minutes we were finally on board a new plane and flying to Minneapolis. While I really enjoyed Salt Lake City I didn't want to stay there another night and have to get a hotel!
When we arrived in Minneapolis it was already at the exact time our flight to Appleton was leaving. I wouldn't be surprised if our very own plane was waiting to get on the runway when we landed. We headed over to the customer service line and found that the next available flight to Appleton would be 2 days away or we could fly to Green Bay the next night. Since my car was parked at Appleton there wasn't much of a reason to fly into Green Bay so we decided we would try to rent a car.
While in line for the rental car a random guy behind us who apparently was on our flight also need to get to Wisconsin. He offered me $75 if I'd drive him to Wausau, which was on our way so I took him up on the offer, considering the blasted rental car was going to be $288! After a 5 hour drive home and several deer sightings we were home around 1am and my vacation came to an end. Miraculously, my luggage somehow made it to the Appleton airport the next day, even though there were no flights scheduled.
Photos From Day 7
I'm super happy that I decided to take the vacation. Even though I spent a little more money that I planned it was deffinately worth every penny. Its easily the most exciting thing I've ever done and also some of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen. I've already begun researching some other places I could check out in the area because I feel like there's still a lot more to see.
If you've made it this far in reading my blog post, thanks! Its probably the longest one I've written so far!