Woohoo! The car issue is finally settled. Not only does my brother want to drive it back, he wants to use his car (a giant, cushy boat of a Mercury Grand Marquis, if you can believe it. He's twenty-one). There was a brief moment of uncertainty when it seemed that he wanted to leave from New York, but the issue of parking got over that. (The car will be living with our grandfather in Fort Meyers for the two and a half months between when I end my trip and he starts his).
I also have my first hotel reservations, in Las Vegas and New Orleans, and I'll probably be making a few more in the next couple of days. I know it kind of flys in the face of this being a free-form sort of trip but, on the other hand, I can get better deals doing this in advance. I'm not going to schedule every night though- that's just asking for unnecessary stress.