It’s 24 degrees when I start the car. I tiptoed around the ski cabin, careful not to wake anyone since we started drinking yesterday around 2pm when the ski area handed out free PBR’s after the races. Most of us didn’t stop until about 10pm.
Hour 1- I’m tired. Possibly too tired for an 11 hour drive. At least the visions of mountains are enough to entertain my mind.
Hour 2- The sun rises over the mountains. I breathe deeply. Everything’s going to be fine.
Hour 3- I stop at Chick fil A for breakfast. Starbucks and Panera are right next door, but Chick fil A is my road trip food and I think this is the only one I will see.
Hour 4- Why have I done this to myself?
Hour 5- I call my dad to tell him how we went skiing one day and hiking the next. He says maybe I should be moving to New Mexico instead. I tell him New Mexico might be too weird for me. He says Austin is weird, California is weird. I say Yeah, but New Mexico is weird in a trailer park with meth head neighbors way. He has been here. He agrees.
Hour 6- Two of my best friends now live in NM. They’re from Texas and Tennessee, and I think they are reconnecting with their southern roots. Everyone I met was from Texas or Oklahoma and I said I was from New York, but not in the proud way like I sometimes say it. I said it in the way where I quickly follow up with, “Upstate, not the city” like when I want the listener to know that I’ve gone fishing and ridden four wheelers through the woods.
Hour 7- 468 miles of I-40. Dear God.
Hour 8- I call my grandma. She is excited that I’m going to stay with her brother tonight. I haven’t seen him in about 20 years. She asks what if I have so much fun that I want to stay another night and postpone my drive to LA. We’ll see.
Hour 9- There is another Chick fil A in Flagstaff. Soon I will be moving in with two vegetarian girls and will probably become a vegetarian, so what’s one last chicken sandwich? I ask my great aunt for their address and discover that they live another hour past Vegas.
Hours 10 & 11- @#*/>!
Hour 12- My car climbs the mountains over Las Vegas. My grandma calls again and tells me about her visit here and says I have to visit Death Valley. Later, her brother tells me that they ran out of time to take her to Death Valley. I’m not sure who to believe.
I’m in Pahrump, NV. It’s 74 degrees.