I’ve had this idea for a while now but just haven’t really grasped that it was achievable until recently. Honestly, writing it out makes it seem even more attainable because literally thousands of others have done it before me. However it’s still a little daunting…I want to road trip across the United States. I don’t mean just drive either, I mean actually see shit. See amazing shit. See the country through my own eyes and not what movies or TV have shown me. Hell not even what business trips have shown me. So what the hell do I need?
A boon companion (or two) – What’s a road trip without someone to share it with? I already talked to my BFF Brad and he says he’s in but this is a daunting trip and I’m going to give him some time to back out. He’s pretty much the most awesomely fun dude to ever walk the earth and I’m grateful he values me enough to be my friend. Seriously though, he has no idea what he’s volunteered for because every story needs a foil.
In the meantime, I’m looking for volunteers. I have a foolproof plan to see if we can survive each others company too! We’re going to eat a ton of Taco Bell and baked beans and then lock ourselves together in a closet filled with unwashed socks for 24 hours. If we can survive that we might be able to survive two weeks on the road together.
Seriously…any other takers? Yea I didn’t think so.
A friggen plan – Can you imagine just renting a car and driving without any idea of where you’re going? Well, yea kinda. However, as romantic as that notion sounds… it’s definitely foolhardy. There needs to be a route with at least some idea of where we’re going and what we want to see. We don’t necessarily have to stick to the plan but it makes for a good backup should any meanderings go awry. I suppose this one can wait until the boon companion is figured out.
A Car - This seems simple as there are two real options right? Either rent a car or take someone’s. Well that’s two options for most people who have less than overactive imaginations and ridiculously nerdy pipe dreams. I want to take Boss Hog’s caddy across the US! No wait, Che Guevara’s motorcycle (possibly with a sidecar)! OMG no let’s get a vintage Batmobile! Doc Brown’s Delorean! The bus from Almost Famous! Ooh a Porsche Spyder like James Dean had! No wait. he died in that. Badly. Scratch the Spyder.
Do you see the problem now? I can’t just go rent a fucking Chrysler, I don’t have it in me. I can be practical and sensible when it comes to a lot of stuff but not this. If you know me at all you know I’m absurd when it comes to these decisions. Someone needs to talk me down and inject a little common sense into this idea. Otherwise, Brad’s going to die of thirst in the Arizona desert after the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile bites it and he has to walk for help. That would be pretty damn embarrassing and the guy deserves are far more poetic end. It might elicit some chuckles or even make the Darwin list though…hmm.
A paper road atlas – Yea I know what you’re thinking. WTF!? Paper?! Yes paper! What if the technology fails? What if we run out of magic go juice? What if we don’t get a cell signal? Besides, technology has taken the fun from the road trip. Who doesn’t want to see the wind slap a massive map that can never be refolded correctly in Brad’s face while I blissfully drive along and pretend not to notice?
Cat Care – I have 2 seventeen year old felines who are still going strong. Someone is going to make sure they get food, water and love while I’m away. Oh and you’re going to have to clean and change litter. Any takers? Oh now you want to volunteer to go to avoid cat shit duty (heh heh, I said duty).
Time off work - I can save up vacation time and I get 4 weeks a year so this probably isn’t an issue. That said, I’ve never taken more than 5 days off at a time and this is going to require at least 16 days without doing anything work related. I know that sounds pathetic but I’m tethered to my job everywhere I go.
Preparation for the unknown - What if we’re captured by some rednecks because we saw their moonshine still in the deep woods and they torture and ass-rape Brad for days before we manage to escape by the skin of our teeth? It could happen. I might have to carry him and then nurse his ass (figuratively) back to life.
Hey Bradley, you might need to squirt copious amounts of Neosporin in the darkest of places before ever sitting down again. Still want to go?
A Soundtrack – I’m a firm believer that this kind of adventure needs the proper score. I’m pretty sure we don’t have the budget for Danny Elfman or John Williams and hiring a band to play our theme music seems really expensive as well we’ll have to rely our own music selection. B-rad is a music lover and has turned me onto some good tunes so maybe I should leave this to him. Just remember dude it needs a little Zepplin, Skynyrd and maybe some Beatles.
Documentation – You can’t take an epic adventure without capturing it for future viewing pleasure (or evidence at a trial). I could probably use some social medium like Twitter, Facebook Tumblr, etc. and maybe even take a ton of pics. It would be really nice to have a plan for this and maybe even some trials to see how it works. I don’t know the first thing about being a documentarian unless the subject is Brad and we’re both three sheets to the wind. Suggestions?
Money for gas, food and bail - This honestly shouldn’t be an issue but how the hell do you budget for something like this? I can probably figure the gas money out based on assumed mileage + 25%. We can set some kind of budget for food and motels as well based on some kind of per diem average. I might even be able to judge how much we’ll spend on booze and fun but what about the other shit? How do you plan for a bad decisions? We all know Brad’s going to jail at some point and I’ll probably want to bail him out. Will there be property damage involved? Hospital bills? How much does Neosporin cost? Will we need spiritual healers? Exorcists? Lawyers? Bride kidnapping experts? DJ’s? Pornography historians? You just don’t know!
So this is where you come in. What am I not thinking of or what am I taking for granted? What tools are out there I can use to help plan this or get ideas from? There’s no such thing as a bad idea either because while I might make bad decisions from time to time, a few crazy ideas have turned out to be hidden gems. Besides, what do you have to lose? You probably aren’t going along.