So I just got back from a vacation that had a bit of a road-trip element. I’ve done that kind of thing before, but – I grew up in a small town and learned how to drive in the middle of podunk nowhere where there was no one else on the road, so I still get very jumpy behind the wheel if there’s a lot of fast-moving traffic (like on an Interstate) or if I am not 100% sure where I’m going (like if I’m on vacation). Most of the time I was in the Adirondacks – lovely, and with few roads and fewer people on them – but eventually I had to come home. And that meant driving on the Interstate on a holiday weekend.
I left early enough and drove nearly non-stop for six hours, so I was able to beat the worst of the traffic. But still – that was six hours, in a car, on a busy-ish Interstate. Which is a long time in a car alone with your thoughts, particularly when you want to quell anxiety.
Here’s some of the things I did on the way to keep up morale.
* Let myself pull over for two last pictures of pretty barns.
* Ate handfuls of raspberries from a tub I’d brought and forgotten to eat while I was at my various homestays.
* Sang the Raiders Of The Lost Ark theme, loudly, when I was pulling onto I-87 South.
* Crossed myself twice.
* Inexplicably got the song Thank God I’m A Country Boy stuck in my head somewhere north of Ticonderoga.
* Decided to actually sing Thank God I’m A Country Boy, on the premise that trying to remember all the lyrics would be sufficiently distracting.
* Remembered only half the lyrics to Thank God I’m A Country Boy.
* Started to intensely dislike Thank God I’m A Country Boy somewhere around Saratoga.
* Promised myself that I could stop because I needed to pee.
* Passed three rest stops when I noticed they didn’t have toilet facilities.
* Finally stopped at a “text stop” and snuck into the woods and tended to things there.
* Cursed out a huge trailer that was trying to pass behind me and taking up two lanes.
* Cursed out other drivers by suggesting they do something to me that technically is anatomically impossible.
* Waved when I passed a road sign for Hudson, NY, because I know someone who lives there (Hi, David).
* Audibly cheered when I saw a road sign for Poughkeepsie because “yay I’m halfway home”.
* Audibly cheered again when I saw a road sign for Hyde Park because “yay I’ve been there.”
* Boggled at the sight of a road sign directing people to the Donald J. Trump State Park, a park of which I have been previously unaware.
* Flipped off the next two road signs I saw for the Trump State Park.
* Audibly cheered when I got to the city line.
* Tried to figure out why a man was pirouetting in the middle of the road just under the Taconic Parkway underpass at the NY-100 Exit somewhere outside Yonkers.
* Briefly considered getting gas.
* Wailed when I saw my directions were taking me onto the Major Deegan Expressway, one of the busiest and ickiest thruways in the city.
* Gave up on getting gas because that would mean crossing six lanes of traffic on the Major Deegan and OH HELL NO.
* Audibly cheered when I saw slow traffic on the Kosciuszko Bridge because oh thank God I can slow down a little.
* Kept driving slow when I got to my exit.
* Found a place to park right in front of my house, called the person who was borrowing the car after me, ate an entire bag of Cheetos for dinner and went to sleep at 7 pm.