I have returned to the land of salvation and sin. Road trips are grueling and this one was no exception. The overall effect is one of constant movement that still hasn't stopped. Here's the lowdown, last Thursday at 10:30 am we left the valley. Saturday at approximately 4:30 pm local time we arrived in Bradenton, Florida. Sunday was football day, Monday at 9:30 I was on a plane for JFK. After a brief layover I was headed back to SLC. By 4:30 I was back home and headed to the 7eo. So that is how far I have gone in under five days. What have you slackers been doing?
Trans-continental road trips can be instructive so I thought I would explicate some of the lessons I learned, or in some cases relearned.
LESSON #1: The first day always sucks. It is simply impossible to get your mind right before you are on the road. I suggest that in order to alleviate some of the difficulties you leave a day early and use it as a kind of warm up day. Obviously I will never do this because it would require planning that is beyond my capacity. The first day of this trip is indicative of the problems that can occur. First of all we were towing a U haul trailer with BBA's Hyundai Elantra. This made trekking over the Rockies a real joy. The normal 5 to 6 hour drive from SLC to Cheyenne took eight hours. We decided to find somewhere to sit down and eat, we looked for an Applebees because we had seen the sign upon exiting the freeway. We drove around for almost an hour before we stopped to ask someone where it was. If you don't know Cheyenne is small and in an hour we covered almost all of it except where the Applebees was located. Upon arriving at said Applebees, we decided to go to the Chilis across the street. We sat at the bar ordered a drink and our food. There was a nice woman who thoroughly enjoyed the fact that we had been lost in Cheyenne. We chatted with her for a few minutes and then Boom...The power on the whole block went off. They promptly told us to leave and we were still without sustenance. When the power went off I, in classic Chancelot mode, said, "Fuck it! I'm going to smoke and wait for Armageddon." After I leave the lady who had been laughing at us says to BBA, "Is he always like this?" To which he responded, "Oh this is nothing, you should see him in everyday life." or words to that effect. Which is funny because I was at that moment on the phone with my previous road trip partner, KJ, who was telling me, "You know sometimes you get grumpy when you travel." or words to that effect. This caused me to have an existential crisis, as I have said before introspection is not really my thing. This is all leading to...
LESSON #2: I do not deal well adversity. The above anecdote displays this trait quite accurately. While I do not generally completely fall apart I tend to adopt a "woe is me!" attitude which is rarely productive and in the worst case sends me into turtle mode. Mostly, this does not cause me many problems, but looking at my life I can see times where adversity has kicked my ass and my reaction has been inadequate or down right harmful. Anyway enough about me.
Lesson #3: Nebraska is way better at night. Nuff said.
Lesson #4: I am really good at driving across the country. I did some calculations and in the last 11 years I have driven from Salt Lake to the east coast or from the east coast to SLC 10 times. Five times heading east and five west. I have never received a speeding ticket or had an accident. Admittedly on this last trip I was encumbered by a trailer and couldn't speed if I had wanted to, but still that is pretty good, I think.
Lesson #5: Utah is not the only place you can see Bush/Cheney bumper stickers. I love the South, really I do.
Lesson #6: Road trips are better if you are with someone with whom you can have sex. I'm just sayin.
Lesson #7: KFC in KC delivers. Why can't this happen everywhere?
Lesson #8: You always get lost in the ghetto at least once. This time it was in St. Louis, where you can't make a left turn and we ended up in south STL looking for a gas station. The first place we stopped the local squiggey guy thought he knew BBA and said "Hey, Nathan..." before he realized it wasn't Nathan. I thought it was funny, BBA not so much. The gas pump we were trying to use was of course broken so we headed to East St. Louis and pulled over at a gas station next to Larry Flynt's Hustler Club on King's Highway. A really nice part of town.
Lesson #9: The south is sexually repressed. The adult supercenters that litter the highways really speak to the level of repressed sexuality in the Bible belt. Do these idiot Bible thumpers think that the .001% of the population that are atheists in the south support all these stores?
Lesson #10: Flying is not so bad. My flight home was quite enjoyable. I watched the West Wing for most of the way, thank you Jet Blue.