Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tips of the Road

1. Even if you have a GPS, you should probably look at a map if your trip covers a great deal of unfamiliar territory. Doing this will alert you to the fact that said GPS is going to go trixie on you and throw you randomly on curving and steep mountain country roads. These may be fun scenic views on a normal Sunday drive in a normal car, but in a U-Haul with every possession you own in it, not so fun. And on such roads you will find "Dangerous Mountain," signs. I know this signage is referencing steep inclines and sharp turns and all, but I like to picture the mountain trying to steal your lunch money. Hooligan mountain.

2. Always save one of the billion cup holders in your car for change for toll roads. If not, you will be the car backing up the "Cash Only," line of the Pennsylvania turnpike while you try to cram wrinkled dollar bills into the machine. I knew I would be going on a toll road, but I assumed that there will be a person there to make change and not vending machine like money collecting boxes that spit out your wrinkled dollar bills. Hooligan machines. 

3.  Specially made road trip music mixes are great, but sometimes you luck out with out local radio stations. In rural Pennsylvania I found a station that only plays Slovene polka music. You might think it strange to be hearing Eastern European polka music in the hills of PA, but a lot of folk from the former Yugoslavia settled in the Quaker State. I know this for a fact, because my great grandparents were some of them. And our love for the button box, is deeply rooted.

Speaking of radio finds, I love driving at night, and actually prefer it if I have to drive through a lot of open road and barren landscape. And it is also at night that I can usually find either a marathon of "Prairie Home Companion" or other old tyme style radio programs, which make great traveling companions if you are driving alone. If I am super lucky and it is super late, I can usually find some conspiracy theory talk show which is best, especially if UFO are mentioned, and they usually are.

Other favorite music of the trip were anything classic rock (Led Zeppelin and CCR were played on repeat) and REM's Monster album.

4.  Even if you know that big changes in your life are needed, it is still OK to be scared and cry for the last little bit of the trip as you drive into the unknown. 

5. America is beautiful. The sunset that I caught going from West Virginia into Ohio was one of the most fabulous one I have ever, ever seen. I also saw bridges and rivers and mountain passes,  and red barns, all in their own way, took a little bit of my breath away. 

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