A Solo Roadtrip

This is the Tiffany’s necklace, the LBD, the sweet vermouth, the ice cream on a hot day, the- you get it.  This is the thing for travelers that you need to have under your belt.  This is the solo roadtrip.  I’m planning mine for August.

Alright, so my roadtrip will be less of a meander and more of straight shot towards an end destination, but I’m nervous and excited for it all the same.  The starting point will be Denver, CO and the end point will be Duluth, MN.  My mother’s side of the family is from Duluth so we tend to gather there every summer.  I’ve missed a few trips to Duluth here and there and summer just never feels complete!  This is the city on the Big Lake, a city of gentrified industry, great fish, great beers, great people, and a beautiful mix of the outdoors and a city lifestyle.  The “Minnesota nice” adage is alive and well in Duluth.  The drive should take me about fifteen hours, give or take, and I plan to make the drive in one day.  Since my work days are about that long it’s not exactly unusual to find me on the move that long of a time period, although I’ll admit I have never driven for that long in one go before.  When Mom and I roadtripped out to Colorado last October we split the drive into two days (we had my two cats and my two rabbits with us and those babies needed a break!).

I’m looking forward to powering through Nebraska and then having some more fun in Iowa and Minnesota.  My little Diana F+ camera will make a great companion to help document (as well as my trusty Nikon).  What things do you need for long road trips?  What secrets have you discovered for making a long trip a success?  I’ve written about this in previous posts, but here are a few of my favorite road trip items.

1) Coffee and water and snacks (duh).

2) Harry Potter OR Outlander novels on audiobook.

3) That said, I also need a sweet roadtrip playlist.  Sometime you just gotta blast that Florence + The Machine.

4) A comfy tee and shorts combo to throw on but still feel stylin’ in.  I’m ogling some great adventure tanks on Etsy right now…

5) My Nikon and my Diana F+ to document!

6) Great friends to text you and make sure you’re still in one piece!  This is a bit of a joke, but it’s also nice to be able to reach out and share things digitally when you are alone.

I’d love to hear what other people like to bring on their trips.  Maybe I can get some inspiration for mine! 

Thoughts From the Road (WI, IA, NE)

After a stressfull 2 weeks we are finally on the road!
It’s just past 6:30 am and I am somewhere in Nebraska. We- that is Mom, the cats, the rabbits, and me- are staying at a truck stop motel. It’s a pretty nice room and very pet friendly, meaning that I saw tons of dogs in the hallway, and the floors are not carpeted. It felt a bit unusual to run in the door with cats on the verge of a nervous breakdown, followed by a somewhat soiled litter box. The rabbits are pretty nerves up too, but they are quieter about it. They are quietly protesting by refusing to come out of their crate. The cats, meanwhile, are having a ball running around, exploring, climbing, jumping…good thing this room seems fairly sturdy.

The bunnies in their travel compartment.

Yesterday we left Madison around 9:30 am after a looong night of trying to fit (let’s be honest) just too much stuff into two Toyotas. Mother worked some kind of voodoo magic that involved un-boxing most stuff and shoving it into every nook and cranny. In the end 90% of it fit. Unfortunately, the rabbit hay was left behind. The bunnies are relaxing in a hay-lined crate, and have a bag of emergency car hay, but the good stuff is all two states east. In the scheme of moving across the country this is a small loss compared to the victory of just how much of my stuff we crammed into a Yaris and a Prius. Including two comfortably large crates for pets.

Cat in jail.
Enjoying the view of Nebraska.
A chilly sunrise in NE.

We drove for about 11 hours all told. This did include three pit stops along the way and a huge slow down around what I think was Omaha. *Side note: Mom had the map…so the location vagueness stems from me not bothering to ask what city is which*. The drive through Wisconsin and Iowa was quite pretty for the first few hours. Then it slid into corn fields and flat plains. I was keeping my eyes peeled for the ‘Welcome to Nebraska’ sign, since I enjoyed sighting the Iowa one, but alas, Nebraska did not welcome us. They stuck us in a traffic jam. Taking breaks on the long drive was a lifesaver in that I could stretch, jump around, and check on all the animals. They spent most of the trip looking upset. If I had been clever, I would have set aside the rabbit pellets and ca kibble in their measured amounts in plastic baggies. These baggies could then be kept somewhere handy like the glove compartment and pulled out at meal times. As it is, I just stuffed the bag of cat kibble in the car and have been pouring out small amounts for their dinner and breakfast. The rabbits have their unlimited supply of hay, which is the main and most important component of their diet, but they have also been dining on little treats like carrot shavings, dried strawberry bits, and hamster o’s (from Oxbow). So the fact that I can’t find their bag of pellets for breakfast shouldn’t be the end of the world.
It’s time to leave Nebraska (which is quite chilly this morning, I might add) and hit the open road again. Today we arrive in Colorado!