Five Things I Learned While Driving Fifty-Billion Miles by Myself

May 16, 2013

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I’m home, you guys!

It only took me twelve days, four states, two countries, six tanks of gas and fifty-billion miles.

Okay, so that’s not an exact mile count – I lost track somewhere after a billion. Plus, a large portion of my trip was spent driving through Ontario, so I was forced to think in kilometers. Or “kilometres” as they spell it in Canada. So you can understand my confusion. I mean, how am I expected to do any kind of math when I can’t even spell what I’m counting? I’m not a robot, okay?

Of course, I plan on writing posts about each of the places I visited because I’d really hate for you to miss out on a single moment of my trip. And by “moment” I mean “meal.” Because this is ME we’re talking about here, guys.

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Just one of the many meals I ate while on my trip. How could I not tell you about this? That would just be RUDE.

But, first, I wanted to just write about a few things I learned while driving fifty-billion miles by myself. You wouldn’t think it, but you can really learn a lot while sitting in a car by yourself for hours on end.

Like, hey, the fact that you don’t really enjoy sitting in a car by yourself for hours on end because it’s boring and tiring and you only have an AM/FM radio for entertainment and every time you see the remnants of an exploded tire on the side of the road you freak out a bit because you’re certain that’s totally going to happen to your tire and, oh my god, what’s that noise? Does anyone hear that noise? What sound does a tire make before it’s about to explode? Because I think the tire is totally making that sound. OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD, MY TIRE IS GOING TO EXPLODE! I’M TOTALLY GOING TO DIE OUT HERE! I NEVER EVEN HAD A CHANCE TO WRITE MY NOVEL! OR CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST! NOT THAT I EVEN WANTED TO CLIMB MT. EVEREST, BUT STILL! I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIIIIEEEEEEE! Oh wait, it’s just the radio. Nevermind.

So, yeah, I learned that.

Along with these things:

5 Things I Learned While Driving Fifty-Billion Miles By Myself

1. You don’t have to go that far to experience a foreign culture. Or, at least, a culture that it totally foreign to you.
I ate cannoli in Cleveland. I had my first Cornish pastie in Traverse City, Michigan. And I had some of the best Thai green curry in a tiny little fishing village in Ontario.
Pastie time!

Pastie time!

I spent a weekend experiencing all things Dutch, including wooden clog dancing and windmills, in a city named (what else?) Holland, Michigan.

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Clog dancing time!

And, when I was in the Adirondacks this past weekend, my sister, who has her own goat farm, took me to another goat farm. And if you don’t think that sounds like a foreign culture than you obviously haven’t spent two hours listening to people talk goat.

Goat time!

Goat time!

2. Travel like you’re traveling with a three-year old. Even if you’re thirty-seven years old and traveling by yourself.
Go to the bathroom every time you happen to be near a bathroom. Even if you don’t think you have to go to the bathroom you should probably just go to the bathroom already.

Always pack snacks, a drink, a hat and some tissues.

And give yourself a time-out when you need one. Luckily, when you’re thirty-seven years old time-outs mean sitting in your hotel room eating green curry and drinking beer.

Best time out EVER.

Best time-out EVER.

3. Your tire will probably not explode.
You also won’t be kidnapped by truckers.

Or eaten by bears. Which isn’t even something you thought to worry about until you spotted that roadside sign in Canada telling you that you would probably be eaten by bears.

Sign telling me I'm going to be eaten by bears. In French. Because bears like their menus in French, apparently.

Sign telling me I’m going to be eaten by bears. In French. Because bears like their menus in French, apparently.

In fact, despite all your worrying, nothing truly disastrous will happen to you. You won’t even get all that lost thanks to the GPS on your phone.

Hello, Easy Street.

Hello, Easy Street.

This should probably teach you to worry a lot less and relax a lot more and stop imagining the worst case scenario and trust your instincts and believe in the basic good of your fellow humans and blahdeblahblahdeblah.

But, instead, you’ll probably just worry about other things.

Like being TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY ANGRY MOOSE. Which, again, is not something you would usually worry about, and it’s totally Canada’s fault that you even thought about it, but with all the signs all over Ontario showing you angry, people-trampling moose, how are you not going to worry about something like that?

Angry people-trampling moose. (And not-so-angry, not-so-trampley deer.)

Angry people-trampling moose. (And not-so-angry, not-so-trampley deer.)

4. Always keep your cookies within arm’s distance from the driver’s seat.
This seems so logical, but, seriously, it took me FOREVER to learn this one.

It was the second week, and I was still having to pull over ten minutes into the drive so I could rummage around in the back of my car and find the package of cookies.

I brake for cookies.

I brake for cookies.

5. It’s totally about the destination.
I’m sorry, you guys, but whoever said it’s all about the journey and not the destination has never been stuck in a car for six hours with only two radio stations to choose from. And one of those stations is classic rock. And the other one is a Canadian political talk show. In French.

Besides, you guys, destinations are awesome! I mean, why else would I drive fifty-billion miles to get to them?

Destinations have sandy beaches.

Wahoo! Sandy beaches!

Wahoo! Sandy beaches!

Destinations have good food and cold beer.

Wahoo! Cold beer!

Wahoo! Cold beer!

And destinations have family and friends and other nice people – people who will maybe talk to you and give you beer. And if they’re really nice, those people might agree to drive you around while you visit so you can sit back and watch the scenery whizz and relax because you don’t have to worry about your tire exploding.

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Wahoo! Scenery!

Not that you’re not going to worry about the tire exploding because that’s totally a thing you do because, really, the tire could explode at any moment now, and, waitasecond, what’s that noise? OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD. DOES ANYBODY HEAR THAT NOISE?

What things have you learned while on a road trip?
71

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On May 16, 2013 at 11:54 am Christy@SweetandSavoring said:

    This post made me miss road trips! Frequent bathroom breaks are number one; sometimes I find myself reviewing rest stops in my head (hooks on the stall doors, definite plus!).

    One big thing my husband and I have learned is that AAA gold membership WILL come in handy. Oh, and get out of the car whenever you see a historical marker sign so, you can impress your hosts when you rattle off some random info 🙂
    Christy@SweetandSavoring recently posted..Strawberry Basil Shortcakes + Revealing Imperfections

    • On May 18, 2013 at 11:10 am Sally said:

      Omigosh, I was totally going to do a blog post that reviewed all the rest stops! I thought it was so fascinating how they’re so different from state to state. Oh, and my favorite were the rest stops with historical markers. It’s like a two-for-one deal!

  2. On May 16, 2013 at 11:55 am Carmel said:

    the most important thing I have learned is that I make a better passenger than driver. I start thinking about how much I want to move around and want to look at stuff and then I start complaining in my head about how unfair it is I’m stuck driving. The only good thing is I can stop as many times as I please for bathrooms breaks. But luckily my husband’s bladder is just as tiny and pathetic as mine, so it works if he’s driving too. Really sucked when we had a car that was a manual transmission because he couldn’t drive it (and practically refused to learn), so I was stuck driving all the time.
    Carmel recently posted..FINDING MY VOICE

    • On May 18, 2013 at 11:09 am Sally said:

      When I took the Indiana road trip with my dad this past Christmas, I drove most of the way and I didn’t really mind it. Mostly because that meant I could stop at pretty much any rest stop I wanted, whereas my dad’s motto is “hold it till we get there!” Plus, I liked the fact that I had someone in the car who would know what to do if the tire exploded!

  3. On May 16, 2013 at 11:57 am Priya said:

    I’ve never driven to another state by myself, partly because I have No sense of direction ( no GPS on hand or in my head) and I’m kind of a sucky driver. But I have learned that you should kind of, sort of know the Person before going on an eight hour ride with them.
    You have some good tips here ( even for people who aren’t driving) – like the whole taking a break thing( totally gonna steal that). And the cookies thing. And the bathroom thing. I’m gonna steal it all!
    PS: WTH? Where was your Mariah?
    PPS: I’m super excited you’re back! My life was beginning to feel meaningless.
    Priya recently posted..Officially Wisdom Teethless

    • On May 18, 2013 at 11:07 am Sally said:

      Yeah, “know the person you’re about to take a road trip with” sounds like pretty good advice.
      PS: I KNOW.
      PPS: Me too! I missed my internetz buddies.

  4. On May 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm Penguinlady said:

    Most of what I’ve learned is cat related. We’ve done cross country several times (Los Angeles to MA; MA back to South California; SoCal to Edmonton, Alberta; Edmonton to Maryland) and one thing I can say for sure: pray your cat does not have explosive diarrhea. Also, don’t assume cats will stay in the backseat, out of a carrier; they will leap onto the driver’s head and crawl under the brake pedal. I have also learned that opera drowns out the screaming of unhappy cats. And, cats can be smuggled into motels at 2 in the morning inside a suitcase, but they are not happy about it.

    Honestly, a road trip without cats and toddlers would be bliss at this point!

    • On May 18, 2013 at 11:06 am Sally said:

      I’ve only driven with a cat once — I had to take my pet cat from Buffalo to her new home with a friend in Washington, DC before I moved to Japan. She spent the whole drive crying. As did I. NOT FUN.
      So, yeah, I guess I should be happy that I got to take this trip by myself!

  5. On May 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm Madhu Bhardwaj (@madconnection) said:

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had fun. Will look forward to the rest of the story. 🙂
    Madhu Bhardwaj (@madconnection) recently posted..How Does Modern Healthcare Touch Lives?

  6. On May 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    The sign actually says “Do not feed the bears” … and I always thought that the other signed totally looks like it’s saying: “Warning Horny moose chasing not so interested deer!”.

    being alone for really long drives can be brutal. But it can also be rewarding I think. It’s an accomplishment. After all not that long ago a woman would have not dared or …. *gasp* been given permission.

    So kudos! And glad that tire held out. LOL!
    Montecristo Travels (Sonja) recently posted..A Traveling Dog’s Logo and Matching Harness

    • On May 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm Sally said:

      The sign also says “Bears are dangerous” which in my mind totally means “Bears will eat you.” And, come to think of it, the moose does look a little horny… pun intended. 🙂

  7. On May 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm kathy said:

    So happy you are back. You really need your own Travel Channel show.
    Get working on that, will ya?

  8. On May 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    As for lessons we have learned from road trips(warning shameless plug ahead!) http://montecristotravels.com/taking-your-dog-on-a-road-trip/
    Montecristo Travels (Sonja) recently posted..A Traveling Dog’s Logo and Matching Harness

    • On May 18, 2013 at 11:01 am Sally said:

      After everyone’s comments about driving with children and pets, I don’t think I will be attempting either anytime soon! It’s hard enough driving with myself! 🙂

  9. On May 16, 2013 at 6:27 pm Isabelle said:

    I understand that you make fun of everything, but you do know that the bear signs says ‘please do not feed the bears’, right?

    I totally get the being in the car alone for hours sucks! I drove non stop for 16 hours once (not my best decision!) from Halifax to Montreal. What a stupid thing to do………!!!

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:59 am Sally said:

      16 HOURS? Holy moley. I would have died.
      And, yes, there was an English sign before the French one so I am aware of what the sign said. But I think we can all agree that by “don’t feed the bears” they really mean “the bears totally want to eat you,” right? 🙂

  10. On May 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm mzuri said:

    The literal meaning of the sign might be, “Please do not feed the bears,” but this is just the tactful Quebecois way of saying, “Do not be ze lunch of ze bair.”

  11. On May 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm Jessica Pepe said:

    I’ve learned “We don’t have those where I’m from” isn’t considered a good enough excuse for getting really confused by toll booths.

    I’ve also learned CT was really smart to get rid of all the toll booths, because they ARE confusing. Really.

    I’ve also also learned that when I start thinking every other car in the traffic jam is personally out to get me, it probably means I need to eat. And to NOT keep the cookies in reach of the driver’s seat. Because then I go ten miles and there are no more cookies and I have to stop again.
    Jessica Pepe recently posted..DC Cup-pies

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:58 am Sally said:

      Ha ha ha. Since I didn’t drive for about 6 years, I’ve also had trouble re-acclimating to tollbooths — especially the automated ones. I can never get close enough to the machine to grab the ticket from my window. I always have to get out of the car to grab it and hold up all the traffic. So annoying!

      • On May 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm Jessica Pepe said:

        I usually have to open the door and do a full-body lean. Sometimes I need to take my seatbelt off to lean far enough. I can feel the other drivers silently judging me the entire time.
        Jessica Pepe recently posted..DC Cup-pies

        • On May 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm Sally said:

          They totally are. Just like how they’re judging me when I can never get close enough to the drive-through window and have to get out of my car to go get the beverage or whatever it is I just ordered.

  12. On May 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm Jessica said:

    My memory of road trips in Ontario is driving along, and then suddenly seeing a whole bunch of cars pulled over and people with their cameras out: I would always pull over too, thinking “Yes, this is something exciting! I bet it’s a bear…or a cougar!”. Then it always ended up being a deer. So disappointing. I mean, deer are pretty and everything but I don’t think they’re pull-over-to-the-side-off-the-road-and-take-pictures impressive.

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:56 am Sally said:

      Really? I didn’t see anyone pulling over to the side of the road taking pictures at all. In fact, I was usually the only one doing it! Although, admittedly, I didn’t do it in Ontario as much as I would have liked as the sides of the roads were pretty narrow. There were so many times I wanted to pull off to take a picture of a sign, but I was afraid my big tanker of a car wouldn’t fit on the side of the road.

  13. On May 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm Lisa said:

    I learned that I don’t like road trips.

    I used to like them, but now that I’m older, my joints get stiff for sitting so long. And I like getting to my destination faster.

    However, now that I think about it, there’s not the cavity search by TSA.

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:55 am Sally said:

      For me, I don’t mind the time that it takes to get to the destination so much. I love taking trains even though trains tend to take longer than driving. In fact, I’d rather take a train than plane anyday. But it’s the lack of freedom — I hate the fact that I can’t walk around or take a nap or read a book. I just get so bored sitting there driving all the time! If they could invent a car that I could drive while I was reading a book, I’d be all for it!

  14. On May 16, 2013 at 11:52 pm Brittany said:

    Looks like you had a great time! I love road trips – I myself just got back from a 4 day trip to Washington State… and yes the destinations are always better than the drive! I look forward to reading more about your trip.

  15. On May 17, 2013 at 5:18 am Paul Farrugia (globalhelpswap) said:

    Hang on a minute, is that an orange slice in your beer? Is that some type of beer cocktail fad? lol.

    Great post.
    Paul Farrugia (globalhelpswap) recently posted..Weekend in London

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:50 am Sally said:

      It sure is! In Michigan they have a beer called Bell’s Oberon that’s served with an orange slice. I always love lemon in my beer, so this was a fun twist on that. Plus, since it was served with an orange, I felt that meant my beer was practically juice.

  16. On May 17, 2013 at 6:22 am Heather said:

    I used to worry every time I passed a tractor trailer that one of its tires would explode and come crashing through my windshield. Luckily, that never happened. Oh, and playing an awesome soundtrack on your ipod through the car’s stereo can be a big help.
    Heather recently posted..Baisha Village and China’s Famous Medicine Man

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:48 am Sally said:

      I always worry about the stuff on the back of the big trailers would come sliding off and crashing into my window. I can’t even drive behind them without hyperventilating a little.
      And, unfortunately, the tape deck in my car eats up tapes & there’s no CD player (it’s my grandma’s Oldsmobile — so it’s a little behind in the times), so there’s no way to hook it up to an iPod. Hence all the Canadian talk radio.

  17. On May 17, 2013 at 10:37 am Zandria @ I Choose Buffalo said:

    I’m jealous of your road trip! I’ve driven from Virginia to California twice (round trip there and back each time), so I’ve spent many solo hours on the road myself. The last time I did it was 2006 though, so I’m way overdue. 🙂

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:46 am Sally said:

      WOW. Virginia to California? I can’t even imagine! I’ve always wanted to do a cross-country road trip. But it would probably take me, like, a year. I am just not that good at doing all that driving at once. Plus, I need to stop all the time and take pictures of signs!

  18. On May 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm Sine said:

    OMG, I already wrote about exactly that – lessons I’ve learned from driving a billion (okay, more like 5000) miles. With kids. Pretending you’re traveling with a three year old is so much easier than traveling WITH a three year old. And three more kids on top of that. Trust me. So here goes my list:

    If it’s appreciation you’re after, you’re gonna be one unhappy parent

    I will not leave a child by the roadside even when pushed beyond limits by said child

    It’s always funnier in hindsight

    It always takes longer but that does not make me leave any earlier

    When someone tells you they don’t feel so good you should stop ASAP even when approaching the last two minutes of your 9-hour trip

    You need a good car charger for your phone if said phone is also your GPS; if Amazon sells one for $0.99 there is probably something wrong with it

    Always remember where you parked your car

    Don’t park your car anywhere in Boston

    Turn off your wipers before starting a car with a frozen windshield; if you forget, avoid driving in rain thereafter

    Be careful what you eat before driving all day

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:40 am Sally said:

      Totally agree with you on the trip taking much longer — every single one of my drives took at least 2 hours longer than Google told me they would. Either I’m the slowest driver ever or Google is a jerk. Possibly both.

  19. On May 18, 2013 at 9:48 am Patty said:

    I use to love road trips but ever since my sister started working for an airline I love flying, free of course! I think I miss road trips every once in a while then I remember about the tires, and the dark deserted roads…….not so much.
    I was just in Holland Michigan though, we may have passed on the street!
    Love your blog design!

    • On May 18, 2013 at 10:39 am Sally said:

      Wow, I can’t believe we were in Holland at the same time. Were you wearing wooden clogs by any chance? 🙂
      And, thanks, I do so love my blog design as well — the lovely Bridgid & Brian designed it for me. They’re amazing!

  20. On May 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm Erik said:

    I’ve driven over 100,000 miles while trying to visit all the National Parks of the lower 48 states, and I know the feelings you went through here. It get easier the more road trips you take. (Although I still sometimes forget to keep my cookies close to me.)

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time in my home state (Michigan)- there’s more to the state than people know.
    Erik recently posted..Europe 2013 by the Numbers

    • On May 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm Sally said:

      I LOVED Michigan — especially upper Michigan. I was not expecting it to be that beautiful — in fact, I didn’t know what to expect. I can’t wait to go back!

  21. On May 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm James said:

    I went on a cross country roadtrip over the winter. The US is kind of way bigger then I expected it to be! I think my tip would have to be listen to classic radio dramas! We got into one called the Shadow! Good times!
    James recently posted..The time I inadvertently made a Aquaphilia video.

    • On May 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm Sally said:

      Classic radio dramas sound AWESOME. Were they just on the radio or had you brought CDs/tapes with you or did you have some kind of fancy satellite radio? I’ve never actually heard a classic radio drama on the radio before.

  22. On May 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm lynn said:

    I actually did have a tire explode once while driving cross country. Somehow it bypassed the flat stage. However, a nice guy stopped and helped me. I’ve found that every time I’ve had a flat tire, a nice guy has stopped and helped me. And they weren’t serial killers, except maybe that one time. Although I can change a tire, it’s one of the few times I will use female to my advantage. Along with getting out of traffic tickets.
    lynn recently posted..wrapping it up

    • On May 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm Sally said:

      I’ve only ever had my tire go flat — not explode. Unfortunately, I have no earthly idea how to change a tire (I should really work on that). It was also pouring down rain & rush hour traffic. Luckily, I did have some nice guy stop and help me. I totally would have married him afterwards if he had asked as I was SO grateful.

  23. On May 21, 2013 at 7:42 am Liz said:

    Loved your article made me smile so much!!! I’m always worrying about noises I hear coming from our rental cars… and debating whether we should have taken the optional recovery package!

    • On May 21, 2013 at 10:40 am Sally said:

      At least the rental car comes with an optional recovery package. My only option would be: Flag down trucker, ask for help, hope he doesn’t kidnap you.

  24. On May 23, 2013 at 12:02 am Rachel said:

    the main thing i learned on my first road trip:
    radio stations all play the same songs. its annoying.

    • On May 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm Sally said:

      Yep. That’s why I ended up listening to a lot of country music stations — the music was different than what I usually listen to and I didn’t have to listen to the same Rihannna song over and over again.

  25. On May 23, 2013 at 5:16 am high school summer study abroad said:

    This is the most fun and inspirational things that people learned over the miles that they are driving. I hope bloggers can have a look at your sense of humor.

  26. On May 23, 2013 at 11:39 am Arianwen said:

    Brilliant tips! Especially the 3-year-old one. Luckily for me, I never had the experience of driving alone – not even to my local supermarket. I passed my driving test 8 years ago and moved to London the very next day. Score! PS. Don’t watch the film Joy Ride!
    Arianwen recently posted..So, what exactly are travel blogger conferences?

    • On May 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm Sally said:

      Lucky! I would love to not have to drive as much as I do. One day I will move to a city where they have decent public transportation. Or I’ll get a chauffeur.

  27. On May 23, 2013 at 11:55 am Kate - CanuckiwiKate said:

    I hear ya on the bathroom breaks whenever there is one around – I am definitely a just-in-case/while-I’ve-got-the-chance girl. My boyfriend and I are spending this summer driving from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, so I completely understand fifty billion miles (or kilometres, if you will)
    Kate – CanuckiwiKate recently posted..Tofino is easy to love

    • On May 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm Sally said:

      Whoa, that sounds like some trip! Hope you have better luck at finding rest stops in Canada than I did. I couldn’t find any!

      • On June 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm Rachel said:

        Rest stops = Tim Hortons! haha Stop and have a coffee or a doughnut and go to the washroom! Although it becomes a bit if a viscous circle – stop, coffee, bathroom, stop, coffee, bathroom…

  28. On May 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm Alouise said:

    Love this. I actually just got to the final destination of a big road trip I did by myself across Canada (or part of it). Can totally relate to your radio comment – I actually started listening to the French station to see if I could pick up anything (I took French back in High School). I think I recognized every 50th word…so yay me?

    I’m probably going to write a post about this, but I’ve learned that people are pretty spectacular, and that Canada is really big. Cookies would have been a good idea for my trip.
    Alouise recently posted..Hi, I’m Not Here Right Now Because I’m Driving Across Canada

  29. On May 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm Brian said:

    I LOVE road trips! Our road trip before we left to travel abroad has been one of my favorite travel memories. Now, after being on the road for a year, I miss it even more since we don’t have our own transporation.

    And the one thing I learned is essential for road trips: podcasts. I seriously don’t know if I could drive long distances without them.

  30. On June 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm Ofelia said:

    I’m glad to know that the tires did not explode and that there was enough food and drink at every destination and I’m ever gladder that you were not eaten by a french speaking bear!
    My last major road trip was almost 13 years ago, from San Diego to South Florida with two small children and lots of toys, books and clothes in the back of the truck. I did almost all of the driving except when we got to Florida.
    This post makes me want to rent a car and take off for a weekend or something (How brave of me, isn’t it?!).

    • On June 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm Sally said:

      THIS post made you want to take a road trip? You may want to reread this post. Because seriously even THINKING about this post makes me want to swear off road trips forever.

  31. On June 15, 2013 at 2:44 am Ceri said:

    Oh my gosh, when I took a road trip through California with my friend last year he mentioned so casually that there were bears and my mind just exploded. I was like, “GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR, THIS STATE, THIS COUNTRY!” Got to love the threat of those animals when you’re on the road.

    Wish I’d known about keeping the cookies at arms length though. Ours were on the back dashboard. 🙁
    Ceri recently posted..NY Bucket List: #1 – Visit Central Park

  32. On September 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm Rekha Devarapalli said:

    Hey Sally,

    I think your blog posts are absolutely funny and I love the way you write. We recently did a road trip and I wanted to share my experience with you.

    http://beaches-cities-wildlife.blogspot.com/2013/09/pch-road-trip.html

    Regards,
    Rekha
    Rekha Devarapalli recently posted..Awesome Road Trip on ‘Pacific Coast Highway’ – Part III

  33. On December 31, 2013 at 5:07 am Michelle said:

    I am a travel junkie! I get bored and restless in one place too long and need a road trip. I have been to every state including Hi, Ak and the Virgin Islands. Most places I worked 3-6 month contracts of 3 days per week so I had plenty of play time on my off days. First of all, it’s nice having hubby along because we share driving. Drive a tank of gas then change drivers. Virgin Islands were a bit different since you drive on the left side of the road. I caught myself going the wrong way more than once after coming home from the islands. Second, we took our two cats on all of our road trips and they are awesome travelers. Third, if you want an adventurous journey to get to an exciting destination, drive the Alcan highway from British Columbia through the Yukon Territories into Alaska! In fact the journey was more adventurous! We always travel with camping gear so we can spend time camping and while we did see 21… Yep I kept count… Bear, none tried to eat us. Sample of driving the Alaskan Highway…. Everything is 2 lanes and a lot of that is unpaved, have extra spare tire and gas can because you can actually drive hundreds of miles without seeing another person. We had a large hiking back pack loaded with books just for the road trip. When I wasn’t driving I was reading, sleeping or saying STOP the car so I can take a picture. There is a book called the milepost that is updated yearly called the milepost that tells you what can be found on your journey and at what milepost. Soooo, riding along, it’s almost midnight and the sun is still shining(confusing) and I read ohhh ohhhh at mile post such and such is a gas station, restaurant, souvenirs, and motel… Yah! So we keep going and I’m watching the milepost numbers until I realized uhhhhh I think we passed it. So back we go and sure enough is this tiny gas station. We go inside for the bathroom and I see in the back of the store is the video rental section and the tanning bed room?!, then the restaurant consisted of a couple of burgers under a heat lamp from the Jurassic age and the souvenirs were a few postcards by the register. Ooookkk… Motel? Hmmmm…. Outside we missed the trailer with 4 doors, one for each room! Not no but NO! So back to driving until we finally come upon a real motel called the Robbers Roost…. Really? At that point they could have taken everything, I needed a bed! Oh and none of the motels have a/c, most do have an oscillating fan… From New Orleans to Ak takes about 10 days of driving. From Southern Cali about 7 days. Definitely a journey never to forget! And we did it twice!!

    • On January 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm Sally said:

      I would love to be able to drive to Alaska! But I doubt my old lady car would make it. I guess that will be a goal for when I finally get a sportier vehicle — or at least one that could handle unpaved streets.

      • On January 1, 2014 at 3:32 pm Michelle said:

        You’d be surprised at the Junkers we saw. But personally I would want something a bit higher off the ground such as a truck or SUV with 4×4. We used the 4×4 a few times on the trip mostly in Canada but I’m sure a regular car in summer months….I wouldn’t try that drive outside of summer for nothing! All the tiny gas stations/motels ect are open during summer only usually Memorial Day to mid September just past Labor Day. And have a very good triple A or similar plan than will cover Canada. But a car check up is most important bc their is no cell phone service on most of the trip past the Canadian border and very little if any radio reception. The ppl are super friendly and will help if they can but I wouldn’t want to get stuck out there alone! Definitely should be a bucket list item. But if you can manage the time, you want to drive or fly. I wouldn’t want to cruise, you miss most of the state and all of the adventure!

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