Road Trip Pre-Game, Taking Inventory

I want a puppy. I also want a jet-ski and a plumbed-in espresso machine in my kitchen.

At different seasons of life, however, certain things simply don’t make sense. (And, truth be told, perhaps some things that really don’t make sense regardless of the season of life. As much as I want one, let’s be frank: who needs a jet-ski? Exactly.)

While wants are of course miles apart from needs, more than all those things listed above, I really want a van. I want a van that I can live out of for a weekend or month or year, I want my two-wheeled toys to be easily accessible, I want to play around with insulation and protective window covers and fans and vents and I want creative tiny cubbies to meticulously store all my crap, I want to use the hashtag #vanlife with great aplomb, I want a comfy, cozy bed, a micro mini stove, and my favorite three t-shirts all within arm’s reach, and I want to be able to wake up and ready to play in mother nature’s playground.

But the #vanlife season of life hasn’t yet aligned for me to make that an optimal choice right now, so in the meantime I have my car, which is quite comfy in it’s own right, and despite lacking a handful of accoutrements listed above, most notably the ability to store stuff in it AND sleep in it, it does have an extensive Thule rack system, for all those toys and therefore the ability to make a pretty world class road trip a reality.

In my relatively recent lifetime, I’ve driven from New Hampshire to Colorado and back. I’ve driven from New England to Atlanta and then out to Arizona and back. Plus I’ve driven from New Hampshire to California, so I’m fairly adept at this whole road trip thing. But those examples were all pretty much a case of “Dang, that’s really far. How do I get from point A to point B as quickly as possible?” Whereas I’ve never done a multi-week trip with the purpose of going from points A to B to C to D to E then back to C then onto F and back to A.

Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I can’t just take three weeks off and not work, TED! Yup, totally get that. I’m not proposing (un-)paid time off or asking for a three week vacation or quitting your job. And let it be known, the amazing Laura and I worked literally every single day of this entire trip. Laura’s job is done 95% remotely and behind a computer screen and 5% needing to be on-site for particular events. My time is closer to a 50/50 split behind a computer screen and on-site. So with a little creativity, pliability, calculated planning, and thanks to wifi and cellular service in most places these days — including the passenger seat of a car on scenic Highway 75 in Idaho — work gets done! I’d argue that if you’re hard charging enough to plan this sort of adventure in the first place, you’re the hard charging type who feels tremendous accomplishment in a job well done, and you’d therefore end up working as much or quite often more than required to let your superiors/boss/clients know that you’re not skipping out on a job.

Enough talk, let’s jump to the nuts and bolts. The aforementioned A, B, C, D, and E are:

  • California’s Bay Area
  • Ketchum, Idaho
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Oakridge, Oregon.

Which breaks down in the following format:

  • 53 hours 1 minute of driving. Yup, two entire days plus five bonus hours.
  • We left on Tuesday August 29 and returned home sweet home on Monday September 17. That’s exactly three weeks.
  • The horizontal width of the United States is 2680 miles. Our drive spanned 2764 miles. So presuming that my car is 4×4 and therefore can drive through and over everything, had we chosen to drive in a perfectly straight line across the US we would have covered the entire country in this trip with 84 miles to spare.
  • I loathe wastefulness. The fridge was therefore purposefully left pretty barren so as to not have anything spoil in our time away. I was very content to open the fridge on Monday night and see a mostly empty fridge and four jars of maple syrup. Because there’s no such thing as too much maple syrup. Fact.

There’s a lot of thinking that goes on on the wide open road. So before setting out, I put every one of these terms into my memory bank. I don’t have a CB radio, but I feel pretty cultured knowing what a wiggle wagon is.

And before I get too long winded, and since I’ve got my nightgown on as we say in CB-speak, plus because we haven’t started covering the actual trip in this here blog, I’ll let that be all for today. Next up will involve the actual road trip rather than all this talk. But rest assured that it does include an installment of this rad pic below, which was squeezed into an already tight afternoon, so I think you’ll find it worth your while to come on back!

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