Things I Learned Driving Cross Country

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dented, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    You know you learn a few things about yourself and others driving along. For the most part it was excellent and this was my third time doing it and I would suggest at least once for all. This was my first time on a southern route.
    Putting Southern California in the rear view mirror was sad and exhilarating at the same time. The deserts were unrelentingly hot and unforgiving. I burned up a perfectly good battery that was 100% covered by warranty through AAA. AAA Card is the way to go with plenty of water and communication capability is a must. These were transcontinental highways and almost everyone knew what they were doing. But in deference you didn't see many license plates from all over the states they tended to stay regional, a sign of the times. Drivers had highway courtesy everywhere. People signaled, gave way, waved thanks, planned passes, convoyed and gave truckers a wide berth and did everything not to slow them down. I was impressed.
    Everywhere I stopped people were friendly, courteous and mostly smiling. Everywhere. Well except for one person in Mississippi but there's always one right? People were warm and friendly, no signs of anything else.
    The most frequent thing I saw were "Help Wanted" signs. The best ones were in Mississippi where they used the portable traffic warning trailers. It was awesome. Those yellow trailers by the roadside that give you traffic instructions were giving job application instructions for the local government and others. Totally cool. Signs were in the front of almost every business I encountered.
    Weather can change at any time. Before you leave plan on getting stranded. That way you have water, food, jacket , hat umbrella and sun screen with you. Planning is good.
    Reflection. At times I talked to myself when I turned off the music. It was time to reflect on things I've done and things I want to do. Apologize to myself and others for my shortcomings. Talk to Mom and Dad and let them know I still thank them for loving us even when I should have got a kick in the pants.
    I listened to hours of music guessing the chords in my mind and how to play them. I chuckled at my own horrible singing. I learned you can't find a Rock station in west Texas.....lol...why would you want to? So I Cowboyed for a few.
    I found out that the route I traveled was beautiful and clean. Someone had to keep it that way. I found out rain was just as wonderful as I remembered it to be and Mother Nature was still in charge. I realized thunder was not God bowling (like my parents told us when we were kids!)
    Solitude is good. Cleansing is good. A new adventure is better.
    Yield signs can be confusing at times, different locations and different approach in different states.
    California cuisine to southwestern food to Texas BBQ to Cajun food to southern BBQ to fried everything is interesting.
    People look at you smile and think "tourist." lol
    I'll take the other road, no grits.
    There is so much more but these are just a few of my thoughts and experiences. I'm now in the Atlanta area and I've started the ball rolling looking for a home from Charleston to Chattanooga. I'm missing the ocean already. Didn't think I would.
    It's 90 degrees, humidity is 49% and I'm loving it. I know that won't last but it's a sign.

    Do yourselves a favor and take a trip across the country. It's beautiful out there. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    There are no radio stations between the Mississippi River and the California border, when traveling on I-80
     
  3. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to travel for a living and have visited all of the lower 48. Lots of beautiful country out there, and good people.

    I'm from Chicago and lived in Denver for a long time. Eventually I could drive that stretch of I-80 in my sleep.* It's grim out there radio-wise.

    *Not intended as medical advice, per my attorney.
     
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  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did a coast to coast trip in 1964 with Dad doing the driving and Mom doing the smoking. The only state I haven’t seen a part of Is North Dakota. Most of the states I’ve seen were for business which meant flying over some to get to others. These days I’d rather fly over oceans but that requires an easing of travel restrictions and confidence that the guy next to me isn’t a reservoir of infection. Maybe a road trip is the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  5. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    2 things:

    1 - Satellite radio. Worth it.

    2 - my kid plays a sport that requires some travel to faraway places and every summer we take a 10-14 day driving trip to some tournament. We started calling it Camp Broski back when he was in 4th grade. Next month is Austin to Salt Lake City to Colorado Springs to Denver and home, probably will be 3,200 miles all in. This time it’s 3 recruiting tournaments and 3 college visits. It will be the last time. Here’s to memories on the road.
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    That's why RV and trailer sales are thru the roof. A friend of mine bought a small RV because he has to travel for work and he didn't like the idea of sharing whatever a motel had on tap.

    My favourite travelling is international, too. It's on hold.
     
  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    People should not get the impression that all the hate and bickering that you see on many websites is representative of the whole country.
    Divisions do exist, no denying that but it’s not the majority.
    I’ve traveled to every state in the lower 48 at one time or another.
    In my family we have had so much loss in the last 16 months. The first death my daughter flew back east to pay our respects. She hated being alone, but with so many flight restrictions and the cost it wasn’t practical to take the whole family. Also we didn’t anticipate that there would be several more. The next one came along 5 moths later. We tossed around the idea of the whole family flying, but with at least two hotel rooms a rental car it wasn’t cheap.
    This time it was my son in law’s brother. They didn’t want to leave me here by myself either. So one morning I said, “Let’s load up the SUV and be gone. Three hours later were on the road.
    The funeral not withstanding we had an absolutely great trip one that the grandkids will be talking about to their grandkids.
    We were met by the nicest, most helpful people anyone could hope for. We made it in 30 hours because we had two drivers. We stopped at a Waffle House at about 3:00am in Tennessee and every one of us found a conversation with people our own age. We stayed until daybreak yapping away. Left there with fond memories and a full belly.
    We’re all waiting for the next trip as long as it’s not brought on by the loss of a loved one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  8. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Great observations!

    I did the trip 7 years in a row on a motorcycle. Alone.

    No GPS. Just the Rand McNally road atlas.

    Big fun. Took northern central and southern routes. Sometimes combining all.

    Someone once told me that, if they had to go alone, they would freak out and go crazy. I said, "Why? You can't stand yourself?"
     
  9. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    :twisted: ?
     
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  10. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    What was that Lovin Spoonful song with the line "We drew a smile across the states" or something like that? I've always wanted to do that.

    I've driven quite a bit around Europe... Hard to draw a smile on Europe without hitting water though.
     
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  11. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I thought that the real America was regional , regional food, styles of dress types of manners,
    different accents , somebody from very rural Georgia in the late 60's to myself and my roommates "Yall taaauuuulk liiiiike peeeo-pole on the T. Veeeeee."
     
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  12. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had Sirius for over ten years. Wasn't worth it any more because the cost kept going up and the content kept going down. I have Amazon Prime, Kindle Audio Books, Pandora, Spotify all for the grand total of 15 bucks a month. Plays all through the entertainment center on the Jeep or through my phone. I tailored it all for me very easily. This works better for me. But I did like Sirius for a long time. College visits are the best, only what we see and what our kids see are completely different. One son liked the technology college, one liked the cafeteria and the other liked the girls. lol Good luck with that. :)
     
  13. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Naw... enjoy hunting for stations - and when you're so far out that there are none, enjoy that too. Part of the experience.
     
  14. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Drove across twice, solo, in the last year or so. Everyone should do it at least once. But, try to have some time planned to explore along the way. When you have to do it ASAP it's still good, but it's like running a marathon.
     
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  15. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Afflicted

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    I had an English teacher during my senior year in high school (when I lived in South Jersey), who told us one day that when he taught in the south, students would tell him "you talk like TV people." (Likely pronounced in a similar fashion as you've written above.) I guess it was a southerner's reaction to the sort of bland accents American TV newsreaders typically have. I think it must be fading, as I can't recall getting all that much grief over my very northeast accent.
     
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  16. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    Lovely.

    I've been there.

    Thanks for the reminder!
     
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  17. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    I have traveled across the country 6 times and in different conveyances Twice hitch hiking. Once by bicycle. twice by bus and once by Car. And thats just from coast to coast. Traveled up and down the east coast 40 times. The West coast 10 times and along the Rockies 4 times the mid west 2 times. I am a Highway Child. This is a Beautiful country. With alot to experience. Now that I am 68 years old my traveling days are past.
     
  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    The reason I've kept Sirius XM is that 4G internet drops way too often for me during exurban metro Atlanta commutes and on road trips. Recovering the connection is dangerous and illegal.
     
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  19. MickM

    MickM Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I drove alone from PA to Idaho (mostly to truck camp in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana) for 2 weeks each time for 4 straight yrs. The question most asked of me when I'd return is "Did you go by yourself? Don't you get lonely? Yes, I go by myself and no, I don't get lonely.
    It's nice to travel with a like minded friend but the upside of alone is that there is no discussion or arguing about where/ when to go next or how long to stay etc. You go see what you planned on seeing or just wing it and go by the roadside billboards. I met a bunch of cool people doing road trips with the number of jackholes being counted on 1 finger.
    Mine were all pre/early internet so any planning was done with books and or maps and an atlas. I still have an atlas for when the Garmin gets stupid.
    Advice? Stay away from Chicago or other city exits when looking for gas. Or, east to west just avoid I90. The more southern routes are nicer. (I should just say stay away from Chicago. I've hit bad traffic there at 3pm as well as 3am regardless of the weather.)
    And yes AAA is worth every penny especially when you're out of your element.
     
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  20. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe 30+ years ago. Now, it's all the same pre-programmed junk from some marketing executive team in an office in NYC.
     
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