Travelling this wide countryIt took 7 days to drive across this time. Lucy finally laid down and slept once Alison was on board as my copilot. Until then, Lucy stood up and was stressed out in the back seat. I think she needed to know I had somebody else watching out for me while I drove. What a dog.
Stayed at a cheesy motel in San Fran whose name I won't mention so I don't get spammed by them. In the bathroom, they'd stapled the wallpaper to the wall. Class-ey! Luckily I brought my own pillow so I didn't have to share anyone else's head lice - and for $160/night.
The weather was wacky right ahead of us, so we didn't rush. Got to Elko, Nevada the next night. They didn't care if we left Lucy in the room while we ate at the Olive Garden.
Next: a short drive to Boulder, CO where Lucy slept in the car while Alison and I ate at a nice restaurant (the kind with gay waiters) in downtown.
By then the weather had blown through. The Midwest had been dumped with rain, but we got through before the rivers crested. A night in Kansas City (at a great Westin - one night in a real hotel), the next night outside Louisville, KY at a motel. We went to the Waffle House for breakfast the next day. Great.
Past Colorado, there was no great scenery to write about. Miles and miles of mowed fields lay in front of us. Food became our only news. Across the board, the coffee shop coffee was lousy. Nobody cared about vegetarians. I think I "broke" mozzarella sticks that night in Elko. Only they were "mozzarella wedges," evolution of fried cheese. I think they're still stuck somewhere in my intestines.
After Louisville, we hauled ass through West Virginia and Virginia. Got to DC Thursday night. My sister greeted us with dinner and wine. Lucy was ecstatic to see Kathleen and the kitties.
There was enough drama between Alison and I just in spending 7 days in a car together to keep me awake the whole time. We listened to NPR - always reliably somewhere between 88 and 95 on your FM dial no matter what state you're in - and books on tape for 3,455 miles. I guess we took a long route.
The difference between us in 1992 when we drove across last time and this time, 2008, was not in the road or the food, but in ourselves. Left to our own conversational devices for that long, typical middle-age issues like loss, disappointment and shock at our bodies' failings surfaced. I learned I'm not nearly as bitter as I once was. Getting out of Hollywood was good for that.
And I had a chance to practice just letting go and not taking the bait. "Not giving the arrow a place to land," as my therapist used to say. Having a dog along for the ride made that easier somehow.
Next adventure: Capitol Hill.