Road trips

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MJ5150, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    The wife and I just completed another drive across the USA. Not all the way this time. Just from our home to Lolita, Texas.
    I'll tell you what though, spending that much time behind the wheel of a vehicle and interacting with many different people in gas stations, truck stops, restaurants, and car washes around the country really enlightens a person.
    My father was a long haul truck driver, and I see why he enjoyed his job. Spending hours behind the wheel with nothing but the open road and your thoughts is nice. We broke it up by playing some music here and there, but after the first day, we didn't turn the radio on again.
    As an extrovert, it was oddly satisfying for me to sit there in a vehicle next to my wife and neither of us spoke a word for hours at a time. We weren't fighting or mad, just soaking up the quiet time. I thought about myself, my choices, my life, my actions, then I thought about them some more. My mind wandered to mundane things like NHL hockey, pizza, baseball, coffee, and more.
    Driving through the desert southwest and learning about the history of this country at rest stops along the way was a really great experience.

    Anyone else enjoy driving for hours at a time?

  2. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    That all sounds great, Mike :)

    I'm on the road all the time, mostly alone, and very rarely a passenger in somebody else's vehicle. Plus I've always had (at least part time) driving jobs in every city and state I've lived in. Some runs would take me to neighboring states and back weekly... PA-NYC, Los Angeles- Las Vegas, Seattle/Tacoma- Spokane/ Idaho. Only did the East - West Coast trip once in a van when I moved ... with my cat and a buddy for company. What a great time :thumbsup:

    By now I still drive a bunch, although i do suffer from some residual traffic trauma, thus currently do my best to stay off the city roads between 3-7pm. Around those hours, I mostly enjoy it. I do a lot of music listening, smoking & coffee drinking, and some of my best critical thinking happens on the roads :cool:

    Distance road trips are sweet if you got the cash, and the time to not have to feel hurried.
    Oddly likes this.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I’ve never done it but I’d like to. Farthest I’ve ever driven was to south Jersey. It wasn’t enlightening.
    Low84 likes this.
  4. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    I really enjoy driving, with someone or alone, for long drives. Heading to Capitola from Sacramento is about 6 hours driving ( 3 each way ) but oddly the drive home always feels faster. Usually we get our travel snacks ( we have a bit of a tradition ) and a few CDs I've created over the years. We'll play the CDs on the way up but the ride home is usually a silent drive.

    Glad you and your gal had such a nice time Mike.
    MJ5150 likes this.
  5. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have thousands of hours logged. Driven from coast to coast both directions numerous times, and when I was younger, hitched my way a fair amount. I have met lunatics, ne'er do wells, and some really awesome people; seen wonderful sights, and had wonderful and scary times.

    Some favorite spots:

    Chattanooga TN is beautiful; love every place in the Rockies; felt like it was a perpetual Road Runner cartoon in NV and of course, this Midwest is rife with fantastic spots. I have driven over 24 hours at a time, and am known for 10 minute naps to stay alive. My first long drive was in the 70s.
  6. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    I quite enjoy driving. Around this area, commuting sucks and even off-hours driving can be annoying because the traffic is bad and unpredictable. But going on long drives is something that I too enjoy.
    MJ5150 and catcauphonic like this.
  7. Yep, road trips are great. Some people hate touring, but long hours / months in the band van got me hooked. I seem to be happiest when I'm on the move, discovering new places, but also returning to old places and seeing friends you've made along the way. It's been six years since my last full time touring gig, but I replaced it by working as an adventure travel trip leader / guide which pretty much meant full time van travel again. After a bit of that I met a lady and put down some roots. I now have a job that involves me driving 5-10 hours a day, gets me out on the highway and out of town, but home at the end of the day. I just like to be going places. For vacations I still love road trips despite the fact I drive all the time for work. Living in the PNW means the scenery is always great and the roads are never boring. I don't think I'd have the same opinion of this if I lived somewhere less scenic.
    GregC likes this.
  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Yes, but on a motorcycle. Road tripping in car feels like cheating to me these days.

    Last summer I did a 2000 mile motorcycle trip to the farthest point north you can drive on a road in Quebec - half of that was on dirt road! Got up there, camped, fished and burned stuff. Then turned around and came home. THAT was worth it! In a car - not so much.
    elgecko, Gaolee and S-Bigbottom like this.
  9. I've either driven or ridden a motorcycle around many western states. I used to travel from Idaho to Phoenix frequently, and we drive to southeast Kansas every year to visit my wife's sister. We'e ridden our motorcycles up the Pacific Coast Highway from Crescent City, CA to Lincoln City, OR.
    I love driving and riding. But I'm always looking for fun roads with lots of corners and fantastic scenery. Which is very frequently a ways of the interstate. I like to challenge myself as a driver and motorcyclist. I bought my bike brand new 6 years ago and it has seen 32000 miles of the American west, national parks, the Rocky Mountains. A couple months ago I bought a new Ford Focus ST and it already has 3000 miles on it, ripping around mountain roads and general (minor) misbehaving.

    It's definitely one of my favorite pastimes.


    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
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  10. Indeed, I do. In fact, when I was a baby and wouldn't go to sleep, my dad would load me into the back of my folks' Toyota hatchback and drive me around til I stopped crying and fell asleep. To this day, the only true contentment I feel is when I'm on the road. We used to drive from Wisconsin to Arizona every summer when I was a kid, often with my sister and I in the back of the pickup (there was a cap and carpeting, etc), which was legal back then. I still make this same trip, and am about to do it again in about six weeks.
    I still do a great deal of driving, and used to drive straight through the night, although I don't anymore.
    There's just a great feeling, though, watching the sun go down in front of you, window down, coffee in the cupholder and music on and thinking, "I think I can make it to one more town." Nothing l love more.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I like driving cross-country in the west. In June my high class has it's 50-year anniversary, and I'm part of a small band of classmates that will perform one evening.

    My wife and I are taking the opportunity to drive in order to bring my bass and amp, and that drive will take us 1100 miles each way through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. It's a two-day drive and I like the scenery and the history we pass through.

    You don't know this country until you have done some long drives across a substantial part of it. The scenery, history and people are interesting. On our drive we'll stop at the Custer battlefield and possibly Fort Bridger Wyoming, which mountain man and scout Jim Bridger founded in the mid-1880's. I recommend it as a nice stop when on a road trip.
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  12. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    My wife and I are planning some road trips in the future, did a lot of them when I was young. I would like to drive to Yellowstone Ntl Park and Mound Rushmore, don't know if she will go for it. We are planning trips to Las Vegas, Oregon and Arizona. We might rent a motor home in Arizona and drive to Santa Fe with some friends.
    Left Long Beach when I was 19-years-old and spent about a year on the road with a friend. Drove from town to town, occasionally stopping to work for stretch than then move on. Finally ended up in Dallas, Texas working construction and digging ditches. When I got tired of that I decided to head up to San Francisco.
    Bought a 60 VW beetle in Dallas and drove that to California. Lost the belt at night somewhere near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Spent the night in my bug, got a ride from a trucker to the nearest truck stop, bought a new belt, hitched back to my car and replaced the belt. Somewhere in Southeast California I lost the master cylinder in the bug. Taped down the button on top of the emergency brake and drove carefully after that. :)
    Spent some time partying with my friends in Long Beach and found out my old girlfriend had been dating all my old friends. After a couple of days I headed up to San Francisco. Came into town with $40 and a VW bug that needed a master cylinder. Got a job making leather belts and moved into a house full of crazy youngsters like myself. Young people are fearless because they don't know any better.
    After that I spent a lot of time hitch hiking between San Francisco and LA when I was in my 20's. My furthest trip hitching was from San Francisco to Salt Lake City and back. Had a friend who was in band in Salt Lake and asked me to join. Always wonder what would have happened if I did.
    Several years later, a friend won a printing press in card game and asked if I would like to come out to Vermont to join him. Drove across country with a friend of a friend in a 50's Rambler. The car leaked oil and we were constantly re-filling it with re-claimed oil. We replaced the generator in Winnemucca, Nevada.
    They guy I was with was moving to New York and had a lot of stuff in the trunk weighing the car down. Because of that we scraped the gas tank going down a driveway and knocked a hole in the tank. Put some soap in the hole and that lasted until we hit a rain storm. Then we filled up the hole with liquid steel. We slept at rest stops and KOA's or wherever we could. We limped across country and he dropped me off in New York somewhere. I hitched the rest of the way to Vermont. When I got to Vermont the printing press and my friend were gone. Spent a day in Greenfield Mass, then hitched to Boston.
    Lived with my Auntie in Hyde Park and got a job as a cutter making leather coats. Then I moved in with some MIT students in Cambridge. Their idea of a good time was throwing darts at the cockroaches and calculating the time it would take for our lungs to singe if the building caught on fire.
    Winter was coming and I missed California. Had a friend who was returning from Europe so I hitched to NYC to meet her. We stayed with her cousin in the Village. We took a bus with a company called the Green Tortoise from NYC to San Francisco. It was an old school bus with half the seats removed and plywood pallets in the back where we put our sleeping bags. The driver wanted to pick up his girlfriend in Texas we headed down to the Southern Route. We had to stop and replace our fuel pump, I think it was in Oklahoma. Somewhere in a remote desolate stretch the driver lost his empty beer can out the window and the cops saw it. They were both wearing cowboy hats. They pulled us over and took all our beer. I hope they enjoyed it. We considered ourselves lucky that a couple of redneck cops didn't make things worse for a bus load full of stinky hippies.
    Lots more stories but I think that is enough for now, don't want the dreaded TLDR. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
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  13. :eek:

  14. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Just curious -- what's on the CDs?
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  15. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    I'd love to see Big Bend National Park.
  16. This reads like a good movie.
  17. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    I love a good road trip. There is so much to see around this great country. The longest drive I ever did was straight through from West Palm Beach where I lived at the time back to my hometown of Mpls. Mn, 1750 miles in about 25 hours. I would never do that again but I was much younger and just nuts enough to see if I could do it. the last 4-500 miles were the worst , but somehow managed to arrive safetly.

    Doesn't bother me a bit to spend all day driving along in silence, just thinkin.
  18. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    It's been a while. I have lots of air travel for work these days, and it sucks. Cross country travel should be on the ground if you have time. I have driven from NYC to Seattle a few times, drove from Connecticut to Oklahoma and back, drove from Seattle to LA multiple times, and Ohio to Texas and Arkansas a few times. Train from Seattle to Chicago round trip was similar, but different in that the train doesn't stop. So, no fuel stations, no billboards, no McDonalds.

    Given time, I would go on two wheels now. I have gotten completely addicted to life on two wheels, even commuting. You can smell the world. When it's cold, you are cold. When it's hot, you are hot. When the wind blows, you blow around with it. When it rains, you get wet. It adds a dimension that's missing even driving a convertible. Being part of the world instead of just passing through gets more and more important all the time. Plus, wearing a helmet means no distractions. Just the road and the world around.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  19. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Thanks, life gives us lots of material if we want to write. Some of this has already been reflected in the fiction I write and more will probably come on.
    On my way back hitching from Salt Lake I was picked up by a young female college student on her way back to college at Davis, California. I really liked her, but she could probably tell I had a serious drug problem.
    In one of my stories a hitchhiker gets picked up by a student returning to U.C. Davis. The hitcher really likes her, but she can't wait to get rid of him.
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  20. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I've read that there may be a serious spike in the price of petroleum in the year 2020. If that is the case, it will be good to do our road trips before then.