Hungry Horse Montana Sunset

My First Travel Listicle

One way to drive 2500+ miles in four days (3 full days + two half-days = four days):

  1. Don’t string all those days together – break for a day, or maybe a few days to hang out with your friends along the way.
  2. Don’t bring food in the car you’ll regret eating later. In fact, if you only have healthy snacks in the car, you’re likely to eat nothing else until you stop for dinner – a traveler in motion tends to stay in motion.
  3. RE: #2 – Good for making time, bad for really seeing the country you’re driving through. Also bad for your attitude by the end of the day.
  4. Relearn how to pump your own gas efficiently.

    taking photos while driving
    This one has everything – poor framing, not enough zoom, streaks on the windshield and a bit of the steering wheel.
  5. Notice all the billboards and road signs that say “Don’t Text and Drive.” (or alternately, “Don’t TXT & Drive,” because that guy was hip to the young people). Notice how none of them say “Don’t Take Photos and Drive.” Proceed accordingly.
  6. 80mph in South Dakota. Seriously?
  7. Do not plan to see a national landmark at the end of a long day of driving when the weather has quite unexpectedly turned cold and snowy. You will not enjoy it.Mount Rushmore South Dakota snow
  8. Realize you should have gotten an EZPass for driving through the northern part of the Central and Eastern Time Zones. You’re spending a lot of money and extra time paying a ton of tolls.
  9. RE: #7 and 8 – Acknowledge that the need to do research for a long trip does not completely go away just because you have Google Maps.
  10. Notice how amazed you are when you recognize street names and realize you are able to actually drive all the way to Cleveland, that place you used to live. Marvel at the surprise you feel, though this was your goal all along.
  11. Try to explain #10 to people and watch them be very confused by you. Be glad they are friends and like you anyway.
  12. Send blessings to the Google Maps people for helping you navigate strange cities.
  13. Don’t assume cool tourist traps will be open for business before Memorial Day just because they have the Blues Brothers out front.Blues Bro VT
  14. Give yourself smug cool points for your Oregon license plate as you get further east, until you see the dude with the Alaska plates. Decide Alaska dude had his truck shipped out here and go back to feeling smug.
  15. Notice how your car is downshifting to climb that hill and realize it hasn’t had to climb a hill in four states.
  16. Decide that upstate New York looks much like the Wisconsin Dells.
  17. Be surprised that some areas of Vermont and New Hampshire look much like the Matanuska Valley.
  18. Curse the Google Maps people for being unable to locate your sister’s house in rural New Hampshire.

3 thoughts on “My First Travel Listicle”

  1. Great ‘listicle’ Bev!! This does make me realize my age as I have yet to traverse the USA without my trusty atlas beside me or my oldest riding shotgun as the world’s best navigator. Must be the age since I tend to trust the hard copy atlas in my hands as opposed to Google maps that can consistently screw me up even getting to an address downtown Portland!

    Safe travels my friend!

  2. I was feeling like I was in the seat next to you… especially with the windshield shot. It has been a long time since I did this same trip across country. I was 19 years old, driving a gold Chevy Impala with my girlfriend, Kim, and gas was averaging us 43 cents a gallon. The drinking age was 19 in Idaho, which just thrilled us at the beginning of our trip. It doesn’t seem that long ago. Keep these entries coming.. love doing the journey with you. XO Michele

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