Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Do Not Read This if You are My Mom
When I told people I was planning to drive to Dallas alone, they all thought I was crazy.
(Duh. I'm seeing a psychiatrist...)
So many people asked how long it was going to take and where I'd be stopping along the way.
It takes about 20 hours to drive from Orange County, California to Dallas, and since I used to drive back and forth to Utah like it was nothing, I knew I could handle that much time in the car.
On the subject of where I'd be stopping, however, I was intentionally vague. "Gonna try to get to Albuquerque," I said.
Honestly, I didn't know what time I was actually going to get on the road or how far I'd feel like stopping or what time I'd get to Albuquerque on the first night, or if I even would. So I didn't make any hotel reservations, even though it's possible I might have let a few people believe that I did...
I hit the road at about 1:30 after taking care of some important things like getting my oil changed and meeting with my therapist. It was a good time to leave because there wasn't much traffic, but I was also 11 hours from Albuquerque. Twelve if you counted crossing into the Mountain Time Zone and thirteen if you counted stopping for gas, which I was probably going to have to do at least once.
The interstate was beautifully clear by the time I started heading east. No traffic to speak of. Which was good because I was used to driving north and dealing with Vegas traffic, which sucks every day of the week.
The road across the southwest is beautiful. I love the desert. Well, more specifically, I love to look at the desert. But it's full of things that terrify me, so I'm more of a look but don't touch kind of girl. Because, snakes.
Now when I said I was vague about where I'd be stopping, I was being vague with you, dear readers, too. Because I had pretty much already mapped out where I'd be stopping and just didn't want anyone to know because they would have surely freaked out and told me I was crazy.
(Again, seeing a psychiatrist...)
But the truth is, when I'm on a road trip with a specific destination and a specific time to be there, I just want to go. I don't want to take my time and laze my way across four states. I want to get there with plenty of time to relax and rest and get where I need to be.
So I knew before I ever left that there would be no hotel stops along the way.
Okay, before you freak out, NO. I did NOT drive for 20 hours straight because that would be insane. And we've established that I'm crazy, but I am not insane.
But, really, in my own mind, I just couldn't justify the expense of staying in a hotel for the five or six hours (tops) that I'd be sleeping before continuing on my way.
Not when there are plenty of places to stop that are free.
Now, before you COMPLETELY freak out, let me just remind you that I am safe and sound and totally fine and back home in my warm house and using my roommate's computer after the fact. So I totally lived. And nothing scary even happened. So calm down.
I'd been driving about 10 hours when I started to feel the first signs of drowsiness. And I know how dangerous it is to drive while drowsy. I had every intention of making it to Dallas and did not feel like getting into an accident on the way there, so when I started to feel tired, I stopped. At a rest stop. Because they are for resting.
It was 50 miles west of Albuquerque, so a little earlier than I'd planed, but still pretty good. There were cars in the parking lot and a few big rigs and it was well lit. I listened to my spidey senses and everything felt fine, so I pulled up right in front of the main building, under a big, bright lamp, reclined my seat and slept for a solid two hours.
It was bliss.
I probably would have slept longer, but when I woke up, it was -243 degrees because Albuquerque is apparently in the mountains. Of Antarctica.
But those two hours had me feeling rejuvenated and ready to continue, which I did for 2 or 3 more hours until it was time to stop again. And then I carried on all the way to Dallas.
I did the same thing on the way home.
And I totally lived.
Plus, I saved like a hundred bucks and didn't end up with lice or bed bugs or creepy phone calls in the middle of the night.
So everything turned out fine.
Just like I knew it would.
But just like everyone would have tried to convince me that it wouldn't.
Which is why I didn't tell.
Because I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid.
You are awesome. And if you share this post, you'll be even awesomer!