Posts Tagged ‘driving

08
Feb
18

The Road

 

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” 

-John Steinbeck, “Travels with Charley: In Search of America”

The road trip, it has been immortalized by many an author, from Kerouac’s stream of consciousness, to Steinbeck’s descriptive narrative, to the frenetic, drug-fueled musings of Hunter S. Thompson. It’s an American tradition.

Tires humming beneath me, chewing up endless miles as they roll west.  The loneliness of the small hours of the morning, the only company my four-legged companions snoring contentedly in the back, and the music – Tom Petty, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, all whose lyrics I belt out at the top of my lungs, windows down to let the cool air wash over me and keep me alert.

Gas stops pared down to minutes – fill the tank, let the dogs stretch their legs, grab a drink to make sure caffeine levels remain high enough that if I had to push the vehicle to my destination, I could.  The sun peeking over the eastern horizon, lighting everything ahead of me. The terrain changing from Midwestern corn fields to the rolling short grass prairies of eastern Wyoming, Montana or Colorado.  That first glimpse of the Front Range in the distance.  Approaching my first night’s stop, delirious exhaustion bordering on hallucination, overridden by the excitement of the new surroundings and the possibilities.  This is my happy place, the place I feel at home, the place I feel alive.

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11
Apr
13

Pups Go West 2013 – Begin Again

After weeks of anticipation, the morning was finally here, time to leave for vacation with the dogs to Utah. Since I worked a late shift yesterday evening, I packed the remainder of my gear and clothing this morning…that, extreme weather in the area and two overexcited dogs underfoot delayed departure a bit. It was cold, wet and gloomy, which would continue throughout the day and across five states (with a little snow an sleet thrown in).

I made my traditional stop in Davenport, Iowa to grab the amazing sub that is Capriotti’s Bobbie (shredded turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo). During the time I was in the sub shop, Mira, the crafty little Aussie that she is, figured out how to open the cooler and had dragged a 2-pack of vacuum sealed New York Strips out. Thankfully she didn’t have time to get the package open. I think my future dogs will need to be stupid, that speckled little nut is always a step ahead of me 🙂

The Bobbie
Rain and cold were a constant throughout the day
Wet weather = muddy paws 🙂
Mira was enjoying the windy day (so much that she forgot she was out to potty)

My original destination for the evening was North Platte, Nebraska but between battling the Jeep in the heavy crosswind and dealing with the rain and snow I was very sleepy and stopped short. One thing that always appeals to me about driving rather than flying, are the amazing things you see while on the road. In the last hour before stopping for the night, I saw hundreds of Sandhill Cranes – I must have lucked out and hit Nebraska during the crane migration. What an absolutely amazing thing to see!

Tomorrow…Utah or bust!

20
Apr
12

Pups Go West 2012 – Day One

Finally the day is here, no work and Utah bound!! My intent was to be up, loaded and ready to roll at 6 am. That didn’t quite pan out, between working way too late the night before and trying to load up the Jeep with two overexcited dogs underfoot, we ended up heading out of town around 730am.

First stop, the Circle K gas station about a mile from my house. I had stopped for gas on the way home from work the night before but needed ice for the cooler. During my incredibly brief stop, my crafty little Aussie had thwarted my efforts to keep her out of the dog food bin by chewing one of the gear ties I used to secure the lid (bloody toothmarksas evidence). Thankfully she didn’t get it open far enough to eat much and we were on our way again!

Ready to Roll Out

I planned my first non-gas stop for Davenport, Iowa – weird place to stop but my stomach won out!  At the north end of Davenport sits a chain sandwich shop, Capriotti’s, that my sister introduced me to in Vegas.  We don’t have them in Michigan and I had been dreaming about one of their signature sandwiches, “The Bobbie” for weeks!  This delight of the sandwich world consists of sub bun, shredded turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo…Thanksgiving to go 🙂

After enjoying half of the delicious, long anticipated sub, I filled up the Jeep and hit I-80 once again.  During planning, I thought “Hey, I’ll just drive straight through to Utah…what’s 24 hours of driving?!?!”  I had done it more than once in my younger years, a quick nap at a truck stop and I’d be all set.  Well, apparently my 30’s are catching up with me (that and two antsy – I don’t wanna be in the car anymore dogs) because by the time I hit Nebraska, I realized my visions of a marathon push west was NOT in the cards!!  I took a  peek at the map (and consulted the mighty iPhone) and decided that the Motel 6 in Kearney, Nebraska would be our home for the night.  Bonus…dogs stay free at most Motel 6 locations!!

After unloading a few necessary items and feeding the beasts it was time for bed.  Now, Yuk and Mira have stayed in motels in the past, but the first night out is always a challenge.  They were both on super-high alert, I guess they felt is was their duty to protect the room because every noise in the hall triggered a low growl or quick bark from Yukon with Mira quickly following his lead (she has no clue why she’s barking – she barks first and asks questions later).  I’m a terrible dog mom because after about a half an hour of that nonsense I decided it was time to break out a Benadryl for each of them, for the sake of my sanity as well as the sanity of those in the surrounding rooms.  Thankfully, they settled in after a bit, the next day would be up and at em early – we were going to get to Utah come hell or highwater!

How can this be comfortable?  Mira as seen at a rest stop just east of the Nebraska border.




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Yukon, once again unhappy that I wouldn’t let him swim 😂 #Lab #labsofinstagram #blacklab #labmix #muttsofinstagram #olddogsrule #seniordog #rescuedog #rescuedogsofinstagram #michigan #newaygo The water flow at Croton Dam is pretty impressive right now! #crotondam #newaygo #muskegonriver #river #dam #flood #waves #michigan Got out of work early and it wasn’t raining when I got home so I geared up to head out hunting.  Of course by the time I reached the parking lot it was an all out downpour.  I drove to another spot in hopes that the rain would magically stop.  Alas, it didn’t so I decided to suck it up and hunt regardless of the downpour.  I was out for about and hour, ended up pretty soggy and saw exactly zero animals (apparently they’re smarter than I). I did get to try out the little single shot backpack Savage Rascal I just picked up, at 2.65 pounds the weight penalty is hardly noticeable and the little peep sight is quite accurate. #squirrelhunting #hunting #publiclandowner #publiclandhunting #savagearms #rascal #michigan We lost one of the good ones this weekend.  Yesterday I got the message that one of my fly tying buddies left this world while on vacation with his wife.  Last time I saw him (a couple of weeks ago), we were drinking a beer and he was giving me dating advice and assuring me, Stuart Smalley style that “I am good enough, I am smart enough and doggone it, people like me”

He would often enthusiastically talk about horse packing trips into remote areas of Yellowstone, of giant brown trout on the Ausable and of how amazing his wife is

Our post tying meeting beers tonight were checkered with stories about our great friend and more than one tear was shed.  It was hard not thinking that he was going to burst in, order a beer and regale us with his adventures from his recent trip

It’s times like these when someone is taken far too soon, that remind me to never wait, live your life like there’s no tomorrow "I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time" - Jack London
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