The journey of 10,000 miles begins with figuring out just how the hell you are going to get from point A to point B. While I have been doing a lot of planning on Google Maps, the availability of reliable wifi and GPS in places such as Tajikistan (let alone Mongolia!) mean that the actual trip is going to have to be navigated using old fashioned paper maps.
I'm not sure about you, but I don't happen to have any road atlases for Azerbaijan laying around the house. I braved the arctic conditions of Portland and headed downtown to Powell's Books. A truly world-class book store, they also have a mind-boggling collection of maps. Unfortunately, they did not have any of the maps I truly needed.
While there were no fewer than three different maps of Afghanistan, I promised both my wife and my mother I would do my best to stay away from any active war zones. There were also a staggering array of maps of Moscow. However, if one were to believe the map selection, the country of Russia stops just east of the capital! How am I supposed to make it from Ulaan Ude to Vladivostok?
I left with a massive road atlas of Europe. That means I am good all the way through Turkey. I did find a few maps of the missing 2/3 of the trip online and ordered them. They should be here Tuesday. From there it becomes a balancing act between deciding what I want to see in a country and my need to get back home some time before the start of the school year. How many sick days do I have saved up???