Call me nuts, but I really enjoy the long drives to the
mountains from Wisconsin. To see any peak above 8,000' requires
me to lay down at least 1,100 miles and spend a minimum
of 16 hours in my vehicle. That's some serious driving---especially if I'm going solo.
I like the feeling of having everything
I'll need crammed into my vehicle. I even enjoy planning the
packing configuration before the packing even begins just
to see how much room I'll have in the back to sleep.
I like having a cooler next to me
on the passenger seat when I'm driving solo. I've got my
dinner, a snack, fruit and milk for tomorow's breakfast
right beside me. Man, I don't have to stop for anything.
Anything. Those smaller Gatorade bottles are handy for things
other than holding Gatorade---if you know what I mean. When
Yumi is along, she gets the passenger seat but the cooler
is in the back seat within an arms length.
I like being able to drive 80-85
mph through North Dakota and Montana. Makes the trip go
much faster, you know? It also sucks gas but that's a small
price to pay if it gets me to the mountains faster.
I like scraping dead bugs off the
windshield when I stop for gas. Sometimes I forget, which
sucks, but I know in 4 hours I'll get another chance. All
squeegies are NOT created equal, by the way.
I like listening to whatever music
I want to when travelling solo---even my country compilation
which Yumi can't stand. I can sing along if I want. Does
anyone sound bad when singing alone. No, and I don't either.
Favorites for driving: Lapdog, Bon Jovi, Eric Church and
I like pushing on to the next rest
stop even though I'm tired and know it's stupid to do so.
I'll usually do this at least once after I decide it might
be time to stop. Sometimes I'll skip anothert if I get a
second wind and it isn't too far.
I like sleeping in the back of my
truck at interstate rest areas. Nothing like putting down
a therm-a-rest, covering with a light fleece and snoozing
4 or 5 hours next to an 18-wheeler with its engine running or train whistles hooting seemingly a block away.
The sounds coming from the interstate are soothing to me---the
sounds of freedom, really. I like the soft summer breeze
on a warm night somewhere in the Dakota's---it soothes
me to sleep. Yeah, I might get eaten by a few mosquitoes,
but so what? A small price to pay.I know when I wake up
I'll be in the mountains later that day.
Can anything really compare to catching
that first glimpse of the mountains after hours and hours
of boring prairie? Sometimes you can't really be sure if
what your'e seeing is clouds or the mountains. Does it even
matter? Not really.
Yes, give this middle-aged guy an Exxon credit card, cooler full of food, my gear and I'll go for a drive to the mountains.
Who wants to go?