Four Days in a Car
By Greta Neimanas
Last week, I moved from southern California to Asheville, NC. And yes I drove all 2500 miles- four days- by myself- well, with the company of a poinsettia plant- pulling a trailer. I confidently call myself a seasoned road tripper and driver but that’s a long f’ing way to drive alone and there’s no other way to put it.
The first day’s drive was actually pretty easy- San Diego to Tucson- a drive I’ve done many times before. Like any good solo road tripper, my iPod is loaded with music and good sing-a-longs*. By the time I arrived in Tucson I was hoarse and sounded more gravelly than usual- a good start to any road trip.
Day two started with a big goal- Tucson to San Antonio in one day. After a quick dinner and a coke I caught my second wind at 7pm and drove till midnight. I made it just about to Houston for 990 miles and 17+ hours on the day. This is one of the dumber things I’ve decided to do. It was miserable between hours 8 and 11. After that though it’s like breaking through a wall; you’re so cracked that most anything sounds like a good idea since your thoughts and actions are fueled by caffeine and adrenaline. When checking into a hotel after 18 hours in car, hotel staff looks at you with expressions saying She looks like she just came off a three day bender in Vegas or Lost another one to meth. That makes you ugly.
Day three was highlighted by lunch with a friend in New Orleans and day four was highlighted by finally arriving in Asheville. Despite sitting for four days, I was exhausted. I wanted to do nothing but shower, stretch and lay down.
If you think you have some serious, weird or funky conversations while riding a bike, try sitting in a car for 7-17 hours a day and see what you get. Here are some of my thoughts, observations and experiences from the drive:
-Arizona is where people west of the Mississippi go to die. Based off their driving patterns, they often die while driving. Pretty sunsets and sunrises though.
-At 7:30am on day two, an appropriate time to have a coke, I chipped the enamel off my tooth. What was I doing? Holding the can in my teeth while adjusting the coozie it was in. I was that kid that had braces in middle school and elementary school and junior high. After that, I’ve grown attached to my teeth. Immediately, I imagined the coke leeching its way into my tooth and leaving me with a brown tooth of shame. This led to emergency stop to brush teeth. So far, no brown tooth of shame.
-Texas is ridiculously big. It took over 560 miles of driving through the state to see a giant Texas flag.
-Louisiana is very wet. I drove over water for hours.
-While watering my companion plant, I poured water all over floor- while driving, of course- thank the universe for utility interiors!
-Sections of Texas have stretches of 100+ miles with absolutely nothing. No rest stops, no gas stations, and as far as I could tell no people or towns. Only nothing, more nothing and then after that, a little bit more nothing.
-Texas is ridiculously big.
I’m getting settled in Asheville now and am looking forward to this new adventure and the next chapter in my life.
*A good sing-a-long is not necessarily a good song. Rather, it’s one to belt out the lyrics- or what you thing are or should be the lyrics since you’re th