By the time you read these, I’m already back home, safe and sound. (Yay!) But I have a lot more stories to write, and I have no one to remind me about them later in life, so I need these stories as much anyone.
As you can imagine, I’ve burned a lot of gas on this trip. I feel a bit bad about it, actually. They might as well have designated a whole oil rig for me. I’m probably responsible for the deaths of about 12 ducks. But I’ll keep telling myself that the good I’ve gained from the trip will make me a specimen who does more good for the world than those twelve ducks would have done. Sorry, ducks. Step your game up. Now, typically, the rule of thumb is that the higher gas prices are further into any given metropolitan area, and the lower gas prices are further out in the country. That’s true — to a point. I only just learned on this trip that, at a certain distance beyond any civilization, gas prices soar higher than in (almost) any center city. In multiple parts of the
country wilderness I saw the only gas station for 50 or 100 miles. Those places are like monopolies. Every single car that passes by has to stop for gas, and every driver is thanking their deity they made it. You often don’t realize you should have stopped until it’s almost too late (see Wyoming Nights), but a few places are kind enough to put up warning signs like “Last Services for 58 Miles.” I saw one of those at the Colorado state line and did a sharp U-turn.
Highest Gas Price Spotted: $3.69/gal for unleaded 87 in San Francisco, CA
Lowest Gas Price Spotted: $2.05/gal for unleaded 87 in Tennessee
Advice from TrucKing magazine in Indiana:
“Always drive like your family is in the car in front of you and the state trooper is behind you.”
If you’re ever looking for a laundromat but you see signs for a nail salon, follow them. In big cities, nail salons and laundromats have a relationship much like smoke and fire.
How to Sit:
It’s no secret that I have problems with my back, so the long days and nights of sitting in the car sometimes posed a challenge. I’ve tried about 837 different pillow combinations, and the reigning winner was: Sit on top of one pillow, in front of another pillow, and with a round neck pillow around the lower back. They feel so normal now, I’m not sure I could go back to driving around town without them.
More Impressively Far-From-Home People Spotted:
Motorcyclist from New Hampshire met in Colorado
Virginia plate spotted in Texas
Pennsylvania plate spotted in Oklahoma
Favorite Bumper Stickers:
“In God We Truck”
“I owe, I owe, so off to work I go”
Favorite Spotify Playlists for Driving (or Anytime):
From the Delta to Chicago
Indie Rock Road Trip
Stand Up Comedy
70s Road Trip
100 Greatest Punk Songs