As I am writing this, it is day 11 of my big road trip, and I am having coffee and oatmeal at a campground in Sheridan, Wyoming, before getting on the road again. So far, things have been good – a little different than I was expecting, but in some ways better.
I haven’t had any major meltdowns. I did have a couple of minor ones – one when I couldn’t find my wallet and had to take a bunch of stuff out of the car (it had fallen in a crack behind the front seats when I was trying to slip it back into my purse), and once when I couldn’t find a campground in Bozeman, Montana (I was able to find a site in Livingston, the next town over, and I was headed that direction anyway).
I find myself pulling over and parking a lot more than I was originally expecting. To look at the atlas to figure out where I’m headed, to call campgrounds when I know where I will be ending up for the night, to get a snack out of the cooler (it is on the floor of the passenger seat, but the way the lid lifts makes it hard to get things out without pulling the cooler out of the car – it is a snug fit in my car these days). There is something about having a co-pilot that makes things easier, that you don’t really think about until you don’t have one.
I have found that I prefer sleeping in my car bed to the tent. It is more comfy. My 4″ thick memory foam mattress works well and I can’t even feel the plywood underneath. I have just enough room to roll over easily and stretch out lengthwise mostly, but my feet touch the back hatch door when I do (this is when being really short comes in handy). Getting in and out requires some acrobatics… When the sun goes down the temp cools off a lot, so I haven’t been too hot in the car like I was worried about.
I am getting better at using my selfie stick. It’s dorky, and people look at you funny, and surprisingly few people ask if you want them to take a photo of you when they see you selfie-ing. It does come in handy though, so I will continue looking geeky, as I am never going to see these people again. I do have to be better about remembering it when I get out of the car!
I do get lonely on the long drives, and sometimes at night. I sometimes find myself listening to sad, cathartic songs on repeat (I shouldn’t do that!). I am on my third audiobook already, but this one is longer than the first two. Mostly I’m so tired at night that I don’t lay awake much, which is good!
The mosquitoes are a bother, and I already long for the day when I don’t smell like bug spray. That stuff dries your skin out in a bad way too! I suspect this will just get worse as I head deeper into the Midwest, where the mosquitoes are as big as my face. Say a prayer for me – those critters love me, and I am already peppered with bites!
I am almost afraid to say the weather has been great. A few raindrops here and there, but I have hiked and touristed to my heart’s content without any downpours so far. Early this morning I heard some thunder, and it was windy, and there was a little bit of rain, but it is long gone now without a cloud in the sky. I just knocked on the picnic table, so hopefully that helps…
Today I will roll over 2,000 miles. Wow – that’s a lot of ground covered! I do admit, my path through Montana was a bit circuitous for the first several days. Montana is a really awesome state! As much as I did – there was a lot more that I had to leave behind.
I have a few friends I talk to consistently each day or every couple days – they help keep me sane. And I have been enjoying posting photos in mostly real time on Twitter and Instagram! If you want to follow along – my username is @wineandhistory on both sites. Wifi is often not good enough for photo uploads, so that’s where the current pictures are posted.
Farewell for now!