prepping Road Trip 15 (a play-by-play)

Finished updating at 10:33pm Mountain, Sunday the 10th

As I wrote in the introduction to Road Trip 15, I plan to have some fun with this blog over the next week. To kick that off (while I’m still at home in Dallas), I’ll update this post throughout Saturday and Sunday as I count down 24 (or so) hours until I head for Vegas. Newest entries at the bottom.

Saturday 10:47am: Showered – probably my last before I leave tomorrow morning. (Who needs to take a shower before a day in the car? Preposterous!) That’s the first thing to cross off on today’s to-do list: a list that is quite daunting. Way too much to get done before leaving. And I’m sleepy – it took hours to get to sleep last night.

I think I’ve decided to take my dad’s advice and drive as far as I can Sunday. I wanted to stop near Portales and then explore Eastern New Mexico University a little Monday morning, but getting further on Sunday (Flagstaff, maybe?) will make things a lot more flexible.

Saturday 12:12pm: Eating. Calling the people who run the Dallas North Tollway. Paying a credit card. Emailing a pastor about John 1:1. These aren’t exactly pertinent issues for the upcoming road trip… but they needed to be done. The cross-offs on my to-do list are encouraging.

I have the awesome chance to attend a Messianic-style Seder meal with friends tonight. Otherwise I would have left for Vegas a few days ago, I imagine, but I’ve been looking forward to this.

Saturday 12:37pm: An email about needing cash for the meal tonight presented a more pressing problem: Needing cash for my road trip. It seems unwise to drive thousands of miles with an empty wallet… but that’s my present state of affairs, and my local bank is closed weekends. A hitch.

A year between giant road trips means I’ll probably forget some other stuff, too. Road Tripping is a delicate art.

Saturday 1:26pm: On the yearlong trip, I quickly realized I might need to do banking at someplace other than my Texas-only credit union. So I set up a random Bank of America checking account in a foreign state – and besides the occasional cash needs on road trips, have used it very little.

But today, it came in handy – and so did the fact that I’d been negligent in cashing one sizeable check.

Cash in hand. Disaster averted.

Saturday 2:15pm: Spent some time making the new picture for my FB profile (above). Spent extra time worrying that it might look like I don’t advocate seatbelts. Hoping it’s clear that I’m parked at a gas station.

Picture-making was not on my original to-do list. 18 items still remaining.

Saturday 4:27pm: 17 college T-shirts stacked on the floor (and several hoodies – iPhone says I’ll see temps in the 20s on this trip). Four file boxes of books, socks and stuff, DVDs, and snacks (I find file boxes handier than luggage). Bedding piled up by the door (because my sheets and blankets are way better than Motel 6’s). It’s starting to look like I’m taking a road trip.

The Rangers are losing. Which may be good, because I’ll be less distracted.

Saturday 5:39pm: Taking a moment to look at my seminars for Wednesday (which are, as always, a work in progress). I use pictures of the campuses whenever I can in my talks, and these pics are pretty fun indeed.

Realized I may need to change my pic of Southern Utah University. Not sure these local Nevadans will find it as interesting as that group in Indiana did…

In the back of my mind, I continue to wonder if I might end up hitting the road tonight. If the Seder goes quickly, it will be very tempting to get a few hours’ head start…

Rangers still losing.

Sunday 12:37am: Our meal & Messianic Seder (and the subsequent hanging out and cleaning up) lasted ’til about midnight, so I will indeed be sleeping in my own bed. At this point, sleeping well is more important than “getting on the road,” so no alarm. (The Seder was neat, by the way.)

Technically, 7 things remain on my to-do list, but some are last-minute morning things (taking the trash out, drying some clothes that are in the wash). I’m mostly ready to pack up the car – multiple piles by the door, and a small ice chest ready to be filled by ice and yogurt.

It’s probably great that I’m rather exhausted, because otherwise I think my excitement would keep me up.

Sunday 9:24am: My body woke up at 9:01am; brain still waking up. My full driving days are probably more affected by tiredness than any other part of the road trip – not so much because of the safety aspect but because it’s a lot harder to use my driving time well while I’m tired. So I’m thankful for a fairly full sleep.

Now the biggest key is to get out of the house as soon as I can. An hour here makes a world of difference.

Sunday 10:03am: Almost forgot to eat breakfast. I’m not that hungry, but that would have been problematic from a road trip standpoint. I won’t eat in a super-balanced way over the next week; starting with some good stuff helps.

Speaking of which, my in-car snackage includes beef jerky, yogurt (in an ice chest), grapefruit juice, V8, and Mountain Dew. Protein and fruits tend to be the hardest to come by on these trips, so those “supplements” should help a lot.

I might rue the moment I chose to wear my heavy-duty Concordia Cobbers sweatpants for today’s long drive, but with a little A/C they are very comfy. And since I’m headed north, it may make more sense in a few hours. It’s 73 degrees here right now; in Flagstaff, it’s 20 (with a high of 43 today).

Kansas State T-shirt.

Sunday 10:15am: Kashi cereal and oatmeal in milk. Two yogurts. A glass of milk. I’m definitely… protein’d.

I feel full. Ug. But this will help me avoid Chick-fil-As for a while. Ug again – why do I always crave Chick-fil-A on Sundays?

I’m ready to head out. Looking forward to this. I’ll probably post a few more logistical updates today here, but stay tuned to Twitter, and look for new blogs here this week!

Sunday 8:40pm (Mountain): Dinner break in Grants, NM. It’s been a long but pretty easy day of driving. Getting enough sleep makes a big difference. The 40 degree temp when I stopped at Taco Bell was a shock. The three $60 gas fill-ups have been a little annoying.

I’ve decided (I think) to stop for the night some 100 miles short of Flagstaff, instead of pushing all the way there (which would still be 4 hours or so to Vegas). It will mean a little more driving tomorrow, but still nothing compared to today. 733 miles so far, with about 150 left to go tonight.

Driving at night isn’t as neat.

Sunday 10:33pm (Arizona time): I happily finished off a yogurt with my finger (I can’t find my spoon) at the Motel 6 after 13 1/2 hours of driving. It feels awesome just to stop. Tomorrow’s shower will feel really nice; taking out my contacts already does. (I shoulda washed my hands after the yogurt, though.)

It feels great to be on another road trip. The “real blogs” this week will tell that story, but it’s been fun letting people in on the nitty-gritty. If I can muster up the energy, I’ll write a blog tonight.

To Vegas tomorrow.


  1. Pingback: benson’s travels « symbiosis

  2. Larka

    Ha ha I enjoyed the play-by-play, especially little details like the importance of seat belts and that fingers can be spoons too. Hope you come across some fun little oddities and you really do find that recharging you have been longing for. I’m not sure I am sold on file boxes because of their bulk but to each his own.

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