17 February 2011

Road trip!!

Amazing. It's been three months since I posted anything here. Yes, I've been writing -- my fingers to the bone, actually. ;-) I'm several chapters into a novel, as well as a non-fiction piece I think my cyclist friends will enjoy. But blogging -- not so much.

So where am I right now? How about Stockton, CA? Last week, almost on the spur of the moment, I asked for six days off, starting two days after I made the request -- and I got a "yes!" My son was in the process of loading up to move to northern California, and I decided to help him drive. And it really was a quick decision; I think I considered it for about 30 minutes after thinking it might be a good idea and before hitting "send" on the request e-mail.

We spent Friday and Saturday running errands, tying up loose ends, and loading the truck. (I actually had very little to do with that. Procrastination worked in my favor. ;-) We left Sunday morning around 10, with a 12-hour drive planned for the first day.

Twelve hours turned into about 14, what with pit stops and weather and all. We had a good room with comfortable beds, though, waiting in Oklahoma City. Monday morning, Sean slept in for a bit while I had breakfast, rode the stationary cycle in the fitness room, then swam a few laps.

Monday through Wednesday were supposed to be 8-hour days on the road. All three turned out to be 10 or more. A word to the wise: If you find a discrepancy between your printed directions from Google Maps and the very patient voice from your GPS, go with the map directions. I'm just sayin'... Not that the GPS isn't great; our "nice lady who lives in the phone" saved us quite a bit of time and frustration this afternoon after we zigged once when we should've zagged! She got us back onto the correct highway in a matter of minutes, and I mean single-digit minutes.

(BTW, I got a new phone last month -- a "smart phone" that I think may be smarter than I am. I mean, it can get me un-lost in short order, and I still haven't figured out all the things it allegedly knows how to do. All I know for sure is that the GPS and internet access alone are worth the price -- I haven't used either that much outside of this week, but if you're going to be traveling much, a smart phone could be invaluable. Just remember: GPS works on the fly. Google Maps starts with the least stressful route available. You can always reroute from there.)

Monday was Oklahoma City to Albuquerque. Another long drive, another good room. (Another word to the wise: If you use it properly, Priceline can be a godsend.) Look for pictures on Facebook.

Tuesday was Albuquerque to Needles, CA -- a LO-O-O-O-O-O-ONG drive. And today was Needles to Stockton.

Tomorrow, we head north. At the moment, the plan is up in the air. Plan A was to swing by the San Francisco airport for a rental car, then heading on to northern California with Sean leading the way. If that holds up, I'll help him and his buddy unload the truck, then head back to San Francisco -- at least 8 hours on the road for me. But the weather is looking iffy at best, so we may go to B or C. Plan B is for me to follow Sean as far as Redding, with Josh getting a ride down to meet us and drive the truck -- and Sean -- the rest of the way in. Plan C is for Sean to drop me off in San Francisco and head to Redding and points north on his own. It all depends on the weather.

We'll leave Friday's plans for Friday. Right now, it's late, and I have work left to do.

A reminder: Check Facebook for pictures and details!

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