Friday, 24 August 2012

Ok, maybe it was not one of my best ideas....

Have you ever had what you thought was a great idea only to discover that you were completely deluded as soon as you put your idea into action?

Let's take my great idea for a 24 hour road trip. 

I wanted to drive on my own, up a rural highway, through three States in my little black sporty Mazda. A vehicle which unfortunately like its owner, is built for city living not life in the wild west.

So it all started like this.

An idea. A map. Directions from Point A to Point B. Good intentions.

Easy as.

My journey from A to B, however unfortunately because I trusted my Sat Nav I went A, Z, X Y, P before I noticed I was going in circles.

I left early and all was going well until about 40 minutes into the journey. Yes, 40 minutes. I started to wonder where I could stop to get a decent coffee.

Detour.

During the second hour I was asking myself, "Am I there yet?" There was only so much scenery I could comfortably look at before boredom set in (what do you mean I should have been paying attention to the road....)

Detour.
 

  
And by the third hour I was ready to call it quits for the day and find the nearest bar.  Detour.

I know.  Absolutely no stamina whatsoever.
 
      My two day trip turned into four. I arrived...eventually.
 
     And now I have some tips to share for anyone else considering a long road trip.
      
     1. Seriously don't do it.  Bad idea. Fly instead.

     2. OK, if you insist on going you need more than a positive attitude and perseverance. Take whatever performance enhancing drugs you can find.  Two or three days on a mainly straight highway with only passing trucks for company will present challenges for even the most committed traveller.

     3. Sign up to Jenny Craig before you leave. Because I swear you are going to put on 10 kilos during your trip. The ONLY food you will be able to buy is PROCESSED CARBOHYDRATE CRAP which is full of  SUGAR and TRANSFATS. Those bloody golden Arches are everywhere.......for a reason......

    4. No matter how much you like your own company do not attempt to make this trip alone. Because it is a really long way and you are going to look really, really pathetic when you keep pressing the Sat Nav just to hear another voice .........a voice which says over and over again, Continue on the same road.

    5. Be selective about the music you take. After hearing Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley over and over I was ready to throw myself off the nearest cliff (and fortunately for me I did not take the coastal road where cliffs abound). Take music that is up tempo and that you can stomach listening to a few times.

    6. Learn the only rule of the highway that matters - Size is everything.  Just ask those cowboys in those big rigs. They own the road and there is no point in arguing.

      
      7. And speaking of those big rigs, NEVER ever stick your finger up at a truck driver (I just may have...) and expect to get away with it. So what that he was driving on your tail for kilometre after kilometre and refused to pass until he forced you off the road.  They rule the road.

     This is what happens when you mess with semi trailers. Remember Duel with Dennis Weaver? You will if you are at least 100. This should be enough of a reminder to turn you off road tripping......forever.



     8. And finally, have a Plan B. Work out how you can get your car back to point A if you decide midway through the trip that this was an ill conveived idea and you would rather fly instead. I am in the middle of devising Plan B now.....those trucks know my number plate for goodness sake...I am flying back home and one of those semis can take my car back down the highway this time. That way everyone will be happy.





 

46 comments:

  1. LOL! Your highways sound like ours. TOTALLY boring. When we go to the capitol (4.5 hour drive) I always count down km....sooooo boring!
    Great tips!

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    1. Yes this particular highway was and it just has kilometre after kilometre of straight road. I am glad I did it but never again. It is four days of my life I will never get back again, ha ha.

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  2. Dear Lilly,
    Next time, call me! I promise to help make the trip painless, happy and oh so much fun! Promise!!! I am really good at road trips.
    (I'll bring music + healthy snacks)

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    1. Yes, gorgeous Helen. Aren't you planning on a visit to Australia soon? There are much more scenic drives up and down the coast lines that we could go on. Now that would be fun!!

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  3. Wow! Lilly, you are the bravest person I know. Just thinking about you on that long road by yourself sends shivers up my spine. Our son just did a long week long trip and said he got pretty tired of his own company and driving. He said we're more than welcome to join him next time.

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    1. I must admit Kay that halfway during the trip I did think that if somethign happened to the car I wouldnt know what I would do. There is no mobile reception in that part of the country and very few cars other than trucks. Good job my car behaved beautifully. Yes, I agree with John you do get a bit tired of the driving and lack of conversation..lol.

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  4. Oh Lilly how frustrating for you! I pride myself on being good with directions but sometimes I don't think I am really. It's easy to get lost when you don't know where you're going!

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    1. No my Sat Nav had me going in circles for a while and because I have no sense of direction it was not clear to me for some time, lol. I had my Ipad which was far more useful as it happened.

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  5. You arrived safely, that's all that matters!

    In my younger days, did road trips to get paid for the mileage. Win, win, bosses saved on the fares and the decrepit banger earned it's next rego.

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    1. Absolutely, never been more pleased to see Brisbane. Oh yes, the old mileage expenses claim. I used to do that when I worked in the public service too. Decrepit banger, lol.

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  6. LOL, LOL....Very Funny, my dear Lilly...And you are so right about ALL of your advice, after-your-experience....
    Sometimes it is fun to take a Road Trup---IF you have a companion you really like and can have a lot of laughs with! Back in the day, I took quite a few Road Trips, but...It was ALWAYS with someone else. The only way to go....lol! Plan B....FLY! (lol)

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    1. Yes it is the only way to go. I thought it might be a bit quicker than it was but I underestimated all that driving. I just got sick of it and could only manage 6 or so hours a day without drifting off....lol. I bet you would be great on a road trip - Route 66 isnt it in the US?

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    2. Route 66 - the mother road - yes it stretched from Chicago to San Monica. I've posted a few times about it.
      http://afcsoac.blogspot.com/2011/08/traveling-memories.html

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    3. Sounds like an interesting road trip - will go chack out your posts. Thansk Bill very much.

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  7. Oh my gosh that is so funny. That is a long way to drive. I am not sure I would be up to it at all. You made it at least and now I have to find out how that movie ends. It was directed by Steven Spielberg too, did you know?

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    1. It was a long way to drive. I guess people are doing this all the time for a living. No wonder those truckies are such angry people....I would be too.

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  8. You would love my family on a trip. We used to drive everywhere, until I turned 21 and flew to Maryland. We were known as the "Traveling Grimballs." :)

    One year, Dad wanted to take the red van on a road trip from Louisiana to the Grand Canyon - a long distance. The van had rarely been used. It was old but very few miles on the vehicle. Unfortunately, the red van is somewhere in Arizona. A belt broke and it would have cost more than the van was worth to fix everything. We ended up renting a small vehicle (packed with people and luggage) to get back home. It's a memory! (Dad actually took a picture by the van before we left it to rust at the mechanic's shop.)

    The worst place to drive though, in m opinion... Texas... flat land, nothing. At least where I've been. Very boring. When we drove back from the Grand Canyon, my brother ate two Maple Sugar pops and on a sugar rush, declared... "We are NOT stopping in Texas, we're going to make it home." And we did :)

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    1. Oh I already love your family Aleta, lol. How hilarious....oh the poor red van. I bet that story gets repeated a lot at family gatherings, lol. Loved it!

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  9. "call it quits for the day and find the nearest bar" sounds like a great trip to me.
    Next time mix you CD's (assuming you have a CD writer on your computer and a player in the car) for the different phases of the trip. Remember you have a volume control and if you are getting bored pop in some heavy metal and crank up the jam. Sing along there is nobody to complain.

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    1. Thanks Bill, yes I should have spent more time planning the trip really...says everything you need to know about me, lol. Heavy metal would have been ideal to keep me awake and focussed.

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  10. Auggggh - you poor thing! Whenever GPS takes you on a detour, it is always longer than it should be, and almost always through a not great part of a city or town!

    That Dennis Weaver clip was creepy - I thought he was going to get killed! Very infuriating and very weird. I hate getting tailed by semi's -- or having to breathe in their stinky diesel fumes!

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    1. That movie was one of the scariest I have ever seen, even today. It is exactly what it feels like with these trucks right on top of you. they force you to speed or pull over one of the two. You have to watch the whole movie.

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  11. It was a good idea at the time. You tried it and never have to try it again. I would go on a road trip with you except I hate driving especially on highways. I'm good at mixtapes, however. Some people swear that listening to books on tape helps them on long trips. I love how you find the humor, irony and joy in everything.

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    1. No, I won't be doing it again. Another idea will pop up instead, lol.

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  12. I detest some of those big truckers too. The GPS has taken us on a few detours = big fights too many times. Hate them.
    Wave if you pass through Dubbo !

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    1. Oh Trish I did pass through Dubbo - I never knew that was where your farm is....oh.....I would have definitely found you.

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  13. Oh I LOVE reading your antics Lilly! Yes listening to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley whilst driving could certainly end up tragically!

    Would love to do a road trip with you one day dear friend.

    Hugs
    Peggy ♥♥♥

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    1. He he Peggy, well with you I KNOW the music selection would be way better than I could come up with. You know where I am then, on another trip up north!

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  14. I can just imagine this trip. You got there in one piece thats the main thing. You are so funny.

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  15. Thanks Anton, you could drive around the UK twice in that time couldn't you?

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  16. I have just come back after a road trip in the US. We really enjoyed it as there was lots to see but I agree, you have to be well planned. I don't think I could drive all that way on my own. We had three people sharing the driving and it was great.

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    1. Glad you had fun Margaret. Was it coast to coast - that would be amazing to see all the different States.

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  17. Sure you weren't traveling somewhere in America? In 2000, I drove a U Haul from upstate New York to Seattle with my elderly mom riding shotgun. It was an experience, and I learned to have a healthy fear of truck drivers :)

    Very funny!

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    1. Woah Gran, so pleased I found your blog again. Seems like truck drivers are the same everywhere - I guess they have a hard life too!

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  18. My fiance and I drove from NJ/NY to Michigan for a wedding. The fact that not only were we still talking, but engaged (yep, last night of the trip while stranded at a motel he proposed) at the end speaks wonders about our relationship. I'm in no hurry for another long road trip like that.

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    1. Wow what a great ending to that road trip - fabulous!

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  19. Sounds like quite the adventure, hilarious actually!!!

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    1. Hello Jenn, lovely to see you visit. Yes just another one of my adventures. On with the next one.

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  20. I hate car travel and try to avoid it at all cost - trains, planes, ships...whatever. You are brave to go all that way by yourself.

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    1. It was fine really just so boring - better to take a scenic route next time.

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  21. No way would you get me on a long haul car trip, I cna barely manage it on a plan these days.

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    1. Old age will do that for you, lol

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  22. That was some road trip experience you had! At least you were able to get some beautiful photos of the country side. The big rigs remind me of our blog friend Eric, who's now a truck driver. He loves it, by the way. He should come and read your post.

    I have to tell you about one of my road trip experiences.
    Wait, I think I should write a post then you can come read it. It's quite long to put all in here. Okee, dokee?

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    1. Tasha, yes do write a blog post, I miss your blog...

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  23. Ahh the fabled road trip. I have been on a road trip for the last two years. 400,000 + miles. gotten to see all 48 of the lower states, and then some. loving every minute of it.
    You are right, don't tangle with those big rigs, we don't appreciate it, LOL

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    1. Wow Eric what a shock to find your comment. 400,000 miles? Amazing! Thank you so much for stopping by.

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Thanks for your comments.