Westward Ho – Day 19

Ben being cute

Buffalo, NY to Cambridge, MA

(kay)

I was awoken to the sound of 20-something chattering far too loudly in the hall outside our door. I so wanted to stick my head out and say “Really?… _REALLY?!” but I was naked. Eventually they wandered off, but soon thereafter Lita started staring at me. So, I got up, walked the dogs, and took my shower, then crawled into bed to wake Dachary.

We had brought almost nothing in with us, so packing up was trivial, and we hit the road after a brief pit-stop at Starbucks for coffee, iced-tea, and breakfast sandwiches.

I drove, until we got to a rest-stop, where whilst holding a water bowl up to the dogs for drinking Lita suddenly lifted her head, looked to the side, barked at someone, and startled the crap out of me (not literally). I jumped back, and in the process wrenched my back. Whatever was wrong with it from yesterday morning just became 10 times worse. Looking to the side really hurt. So, Dachary took over driving.

The roads were ones we’ve driven many times, and there wasn’t much of note, so I attempted to entertain her with tales of ridiculous, and extraordinary adventures I found at KickAssTrips.com as she drove.

Before the day was over I had relaxed / stretched it enough to drive again, but she was still looking out for me.

Sometimes we listened to podcasts. Sometimes we chatted. Sometimes we read each other interesting stuff from the web, but mostly… the trip was over in our heads, and we were looking forward to getting home to comfortable beds, and no stressing about fucking bedbugs or having to be paranoid about walking Lita so that she wouldn’t pee in the hotel room.

It was very different than coming home from the Argentina trip. We were really looking forward to being “home” that time. This time, we were just sick of dealing with driving to make miles, and dealing with stressy things that were the result of us not having our own place to sleep.

I’ve vowed that we’re not doing any more trips until we get our own… something to sleep in on the road. I don’t care if it’s just a roof tent, or the car itself. Things were so much easier in the Vanagon. You pull over and have a nice comfortable bed for the night with all your things already where you need them, in a space that is yours. I seriously doubt it would have survived this trip without something significant failing, but it was certainly a nice way to travel when it worked.

This was… an interesting trip. We saw some gorgeous things, and we had a lot of discussion, and practical education about what our requirements really are for traveling vehicle solutions. We still believe that the EarthCruiser is the best vehicle for actually living on the road for years and traveling to the kinds of places we want to travel. We just can’t figure out how to afford it. I think I’ll save the lessons learned for another post though.

There may have been a lot of time spent just driving west, and then driving back as quickly as we could, and we didn’t get to camp at all, but it was still great to be on the road with Dachary again, and somehow 2.5 weeks of vacation days managed to be 19 days on the road, and that’s awesome. I feel like I’ve cheated the system somehow.

Ben being cute

[Dachary’s Note] After bedbug incident, I’m definitely ready to be home again. I enjoy the novelty of these trips, but I don’t feel as miserable as Kay does when he’s not traveling. I’d *like* to travel more… but I don’t feel like my life is meaningless if I never get to take another ‘big’ trip. In short, I’m more content to be a homebody as long as I get out for long weekends or an occasional ‘medium’ trip. While I’d definitely like to spend more time out west, I’m ok with being done with traveling for now – I’m not disappointed to be home.

It might also have to do with the fact that this trip was particularly full of adversity for me. First, there was the wisdom tooth infection. That was *really* painful, made it impossible to eat normal food for several days, and required me to take antibiotics for a week which basically meant my eating had to be time-restricted so I could take pills every 6 hours on an empty stomach. Oh, and the inconvenience of having to wake up in the middle of the night – sometimes twice in a night – to take pills.

And then there was the negative side effects of my medications. The pain pills made me sleepy, and they made me feel dumb, which I didn’t like, so I only took a few of them and lived with the pain the rest of the time. And the antibiotics… caused some pretty unpleasant digestive issues. Which involved emergency pooping by the side of the road, with strangers driving by. And then taking the generic equivalent of Imodium to seal things up – two days in a row. Which has now turned into not passing anything for four days. TMI, I know, but all this to say – I haven’t felt great on a number of these days. So I’m kind of ready to be done and just be at home, where I can deal with these issues in relative peace and comfort.

And while I enjoyed the trip, and got a glimpse of things I definitely want to revisit when we have more time, I’m super bummed that these issues started when we got to the West Coast, where I’d never been before and really wanted to savor and enjoy. This definitely hampered my enjoyment. And I’m also super bummed that we didn’t get to camp once, and mostly that was due to me feeling crappy on too many of these days. So yeah – I’d love a do-over where I don’t get a tooth infection and we can just spend time in beautiful places and enjoy.

In the meantime, I’m going to go pass out in our comfy, bedbug-free bed, with my chosen (awesome) pillow and air conditioning that is set appropriately so I neither freeze nor wake up sweating. Although I might be a little bummed that I have to wake up and go to work in the morning.[/End Dachary’s Note]

About Kay

An old-school geek, addicted to travel, with a love of programming, writing, Esperanto, and starting businesses. -- @masukomi on Twitter.

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