Day 1: Alone and Cross-Country Driving to The West Coast

Posted: March 19, 2019 in Uncategorized



This sunset reminded me of Arizona. And to be thankful.

I thought I had all the energy last night to write but I didn’t. Yesterday was the first day of this drive to the West Coast. I started rather late, having the intent to drop Mariska off to school before starting my long drive.

Thankfully it was not as bad. Emotionally, I should say. I thought i would be a mess but i wasn’t; it must be the nerves about the long drive, I figured. 

So I started in Jersey City, where I live. Since I-80 starts in Teaneck, New Jersey, it was easier to start the drive from Jersey City. Of course, right there, I already made the wrong start and took the long route but it didn’t take long for me to get to 80.

It didn’t take long for me to get out of Jersey, as well. Funny, because just one hour into driving, I started to feel sleepy already. Not a good sign, I thought. So I took the most sensible thing to do at the time when I hit the first sign I was nearing Mount Tammany on the Appalachian Trail, where we often hiked and run: I took the exit and parked to take a nap. I knew taking that “edge” off that feeling of sleepiness and exhaustion can go a long way. The power nap helped. I was ready to go again.

It was Pennsylvania after then. Man, PA is soooo long. I thought and wondered how my cowork, Mo, lives out in Pittsburg and work in Manhattan. Anyway, I must have taken a few pit stops. I realized that since gas is still cheap in PA, I might as well fuel up each time I took a break, regardless of how little was consumed in my tank. (As a side note: I already stored some gas in a separate container, just in case.)

Around 2pm, I took another nap somewhere. I realized that, indeed, we have those two periods in a day when our energy just dips. Just couldn’t remember what hormone that was. 

And then I hit Ohio. Man, that place is long, too. Long and flat. It flurried some but it was not as bad. I tried to remember what many of my friends said: enjoy the drive. So I did my best to look at the beauty of the highways and sun, even the clouds. Seriously, I tried. IMG_4718

Finally Indiana came. Then Illinois. I aimed to take sleep in a town called Joliet. Thankfully, I found a Motel 6 that took in dogs for free. That is a factor. And it was cheap.

There was not much to say about the first day except that it was “a PR” (personal record), as my friend Otto described it. I have not really driven 13 hours but I did. 

At 9pm something, I finally got to my hotel in Joliet. Then this part circumvents to my intro: I thought I had the energy but I was just beat. I guess thats what happens when you decide to pack 2 days your departure. But I have no regrets. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. Onward and forward. IMG_3745Thank goodness, EZ Pass works in Illinois and Ohio.


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