Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My favorite road trip experience

Road trip! Its a phrase that I am oh so familiar with why?? I was a Deadhead, thats right I spent about three years of my life running around the country following what remaining members of the band were left, and having a fabulous time doing it.

But I can remember one trip from Connecticut to California, one that should have taken three days but it ended up taking two weeks! 

Granted, we took this trip in January, we had stayed in Connecticut for winter holidays to spend with our families, before heading out west for some shows and family. I had questioned our route, surly the northernmost highway was not the wisest choice in the middle of snowstorms. However, our friend from Rochester New York assured us that everything would be fine, how bad could it be?

The first few states were simple, New York was dusted, Ohio it started to snow, but we were on the highway and road crews were heavy so we trekked on. It was about this point that our radio stopped working, not to worry though, we had CD's (as any good traveler would) So we stuck them in the stereo.

I guess now is the time to tell you the amount of money that we had alloted for the trip, we had all made it before  for under $400 so we were positive that we could do it again. I guess what we hadn't factored in was that when we got to Nebraska there would be hours where we would be sitting in stand still traffic in the middle of nowhere! We also hadn't anticipated the amount of gas required to keep us all warm and the windows defrosted!

Being that we had all been on the road before we didn't see this as a major problem, so as we passed dozens of flipped tractor trailer trucks in Nebraska, we were confident that we would be able to make the trip only needed to ask for spare change a few times.

That was until they shut the highway down. Yes thats right, when we got to a rest stop in Wisconsin on of the truck drivers (they knew by now that we were the hippies in that slow Volvo station wagon, the only crazy group of people to be out on the road at this time) 

So we dug into our pockets and shelled out money for a hotel room for the night because fitting five people in a volvo for the night wasn't an option. After staying the night in a Best Western (and taking full advantage of the hot tub) we continued on.

It took us another day to drive to salt lake city, here we were forced to get another hotel room. We decided to go again with the Best Western, forgoing the cheaper motel six because we were positive that the Best Western would have a pool. That night, we drank a box of wine and enjoyed the pool... or at least the  perfect view we had of the glass enclosed pool at the Motel 6 next door.

But Utah was amazing, especially driving past the salt, because the only way I could tell which was snow and what was salt was that the salt sparkled.

After that night (and believe me by this time we were all getting sick of each other, we continued on to Colorado, when we made it almost to Reno, we learned that Donner Pass was closed and yes this meant another hotel room. 

I guess by now you are wondering how we made it this far on gas. Well, we would be those kids that you see at gas stations in patchworks with a couple of dogs, waving around a gas can or sitting on the corner with a sign that may read one of the following

"On the road and out of luck.. anything helps"
or my personal favorite
"Hungry Hungry Hippies"

It worked well for us, especially being that there was about six feet of snow on the ground everywhere that we went.

After another night in Colorado, we finally made it into California, and as we got off the mountains of Lake Tahoe,  those first palm trees were amazing.  As we got closer to the coast we stopped. took off our coats and smelled the clean air

Tips for road trips

  1. Be prepared for the worst: always have someone you can call for backup money
  2. Take some peanut butter, and bread, they stay for a long time
  3. Bring a gas can: most people are glad to give you a little of their gas before it goes into their car. ask a couple people and before you know it you will have a full gas can
  4. See the sights: being on the road for so long we often forgot to stop and see the sights, don't forget it because thats half the reason of driving across the country
  5. Stop and rest: marathon trips are fun, but driving while you are tired is unsafe
  6. AAA: get triple A its worth it!
  7. Grab a Walmart map they tell you how to get to every Walmart in the country and this can be helpful in the middle of nowhere, because as eco-friendly and local as you try to be in rural Oklahoma, you won't find much more.
I hope that your holiday trips are safe and quick avoiding traffic! And I hope that my experience can help you with you future road trips, remember to have fun and don't forget to be safe!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, click here


  1. i remember this trip.... well.... at least hearing about it when you guys got to my house... OH MAN! i LOVE you girl... what a long strange trip its been.

    ~ nicole

  2. That was a pleasant road trip alright, with all the long hours of driving, meeting the locals, staying in a motel, and more! Gosh, that was exciting! Also, when going out for a road trip, be sure to prepare everything beforehand, to ensure a safe and smooth trip.

  3. When planning for a road trip, make sure that you bring your best camera. You may never know what will surprise you along the road, as wonderful sightings surely await you. Also, some moments deserve to be captured, so go grab the opportunity! Compile those photos so that you’ll have the chance to reflect on and cherish some of the most priceless moments. =)

  4. “Stop and rest”--- If you feel so tired and sleepy, take time to rest. Don’t force yourself to drive because driving very tired decreases your awareness on the road. Those drivers who try to fight off drowsiness are most likely the ones who’ll be involved in an accident.