On second thought, this doesn’t really warrant the title “megablog.” I’m going to save that one for later.
To kick of my actually kind of average blog, I want to highlight the difference between solo road tripping and group road tripping. They are very different beasts and I have ample experience in both. I can’t say I have a favorite type, because there are definite pros and cons to both. For example, a pro of driving by myself is that I can throw my heart into singing along to my road trip playlist (it’s essentially my “21st Century Artists” playlist plus One Night in Bangkok and Tubthumping) with abandon. Con, there’s no one to make clever jokes to about road signs, like how the exit for Clinton Falls looks like a headline from November 2016.
Instead I make the same jokes to myself every time, often on accident. Like every time I drive over the Straight River in Minnesota I say, “ha ha I wonder if it goes through Gaylord, Minnesota” and then I remember that I already made that joke to myself and then I turn on All By Myself and cry.
I really don’t mind driving by myself, though. I am the sole decision maker re: things like lunch and pit stops, and since my car has no cruise control and I have no respect for the law, I can get away with speeding. I mean, I still speed when I’m with other people, but when I’m alone there’s less judgment. There’s still some, but it’s not sitting in the car with me, it just rapidly becomes a spot in the distance I see in my rearview window. But don’t tell my mom.
For the record, I’ve only gotten a ticked for speeding one time, and it was when I was driving for Secondhand Hounds. And, honestly, who can blame me for rushing to meet these little goobers?
Sometimes I drive with others, though. Sometimes it’s even people and not just dogs. The majority of these road trips are largely uneventful, but marked by at least a handful of noteworthy events, like a small-scale mutiny in the back seat when SOMEONE (Dad) refuses to stop for lunch. But maybe that was revenge for the time we drove from Savannah to Omaha together and I seriously underestimated how long my “ID/JTG” playlist is, so he had to listen to Imagine Dragons and Jukebox the Ghost from Macon to Birmingham.
That road trip was also particularly noteworthy because of the backed up traffic incident, in which we kept seeing signs warning us about slow or stopped traffic up ahead and Dad decided to go around it. The plan seemed like a good idea as we zoomed past backed up interstate traffic on a service road; so good, in fact, that Dad smiled condescendingly at the suckers crawling along and tapped the side of his head with a finger in a wordless “I’m smarter than you.” The plan, however, seemed less good when the service road veered off to a small park where the road stopped, and we had to turn around and do a drive of shame back out to an on ramp.
We also took some dope selfies.
Now the interesting thing about types of road trips (solo vs. group) is that there is actually a much rarer in-between version. I experienced this when I moved into my apartment in Minneapolis, and it took two cars to fit all my stuff. (For the record, there was like, one box in my mom’s SUV and everything else fit in my tiny little Fiesta because, after a childhood spent playing Nancy Drew computer games, I have excellent spatial reasoning skills.)
Anyway, my mom and I took two cars and I followed her from Gretna to Stadium Village. I wanted to have walkie talkies so we could chat along the way, but we never got around to obtaining them so instead I called her, oh, maybe thrice an hour to share my observations along the road. About a quarter of those calls were panicking that someone merged into our lane between us, but there was also one placed about 2 minutes after we crossed the border into Minnesota that started, “Was that a herd of caribou?”