Sunday, January 21, 2018

Road tripping.

DeeDee51 | CC0 | Pixabay

My topic last week, lake effect snow, was not by random chance. Nope, I was on the road. I drove across the frozen plain from DC to the Midwest, a trip that was supposed to be for business and pleasure, and ended up being mostly pleasure, except for the snow.

I know people who avoid long-distance driving at all costs. They're the type of person who would rather take a two-hour flight than spend four or so hours sitting behind the wheel. Of course, today there's no time savings in a two-hour flight -- not when you have to be at the airport two hours ahead of departure. Plus, at the airport, you can't come and go as you please -- not unless you're willing to go through security again -- and once on the plane, you can't change seats or stop for a bite whenever you want. But hey, if you'd rather hang in a metal tube in the sky than control your own destiny behind the wheel of a car, you do you.

Besides, I tend to get airsick.

I actually find long-distance driving relaxing. Which is not to say soporific, although that can be a problem. But seriously, there's an open road ahead of you and hours before you're expected anywhere. It's a great opportunity to turn off your brain and just be for a while.

I don't, of course, fully turn off my brain. Someone this week asked me what I do to occupy my mind while driving -- do I listen to audio books? Well, no. I'm actually not a big fan of audio books. Either I get lost in the story and miss my exit, or my thoughts drift away from the story and it's too hard to both drive and go back to the place in the story where I checked out.

No, I tend to talk to myself. Or I have conversations with people who aren't there. Or I put in a CD and sing at the top of my lungs; as a bonus, the extra oxygen from singing wakes me up when my eyelids have begun to droop.

The older I've gotten, though, the less fun long-distance driving has become. I have a touch of sciatica, which gets worse when I hold my gas-pedal foot in the same position for a period of time. (Note to self: The next car will have cruise control.)

And on this trip, the roads looked like this for too much of the drive:

yapennington | CC0 | Pixabay

I don't mind driving in snow, but it's been years since I've had to do the unplowed-highway-in-traffic dance. I did consider myself lucky in one respect, though -- I managed to dodge a lake-effect snowstorm that dumped ten inches on the area.

But I'm home now, where the high today was 56 degrees, and I don't intend to make any other road trips for at least a few months.

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These moments of on-the-road blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.
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