Car Trips

We are getting ready to head to Colorado for a family reunion tomorrow night. Well, the girls and I are going and caravaning with my parents. T is off to Boise for drill this weekend and will fly into Denver Sunday night. It is a 15-hour drive from here to there. We are doing it mostly straight through. The plan is to drive until either my dad or I can’t see straight, pull over, sleep for a few hours, and keep on truckin’. The only part of this that overwhelms me is the fact that I’m not usually a pleasant person without my allotted 8 hours of sleep a night. So I’m hoping that by Monday I’ll be able to enjoy my vacation.

I’ve been planning this car trip for a while by stockpiling arbitrary crap to keep the kids occupied during the awake hours. My kids are pretty good in the car. When we lived in Idaho I made many a trip between there and here to visit. It’s 400 miles one way. With kid music, books, and coloring supplies along with the bribery of a Happy Meal at McDonald’s for lunch/dinner we usually made it just fine. There have been, on occasion, horrendous trips. One of them started out with B (who was about 4 at the time) asking 15 minutes into the trip, “How much longer?” That still induces a deep sigh from me thinking about it. She made this request repeatedly over the next hour. I finally showed her the clock in the car and told her that when it read a certain time we would be there, and she stopped asking. The realization of how slow time can pass was a hard one.

I am kind of a car trip nazi. Ask one of my oldest friends who made the trip from Texas to Idaho with me and B. We did Albuquerque to Nampa, ID straight. She has refused to ever take a car trip with me longer than probably 30 minutes. I have always looked at this process as I want to get to where I’m going. The more stops you make, the longer it takes to reach your goal.

I have a history of long-day car trips. I drove from northern Nevada to the panhandle of Florida alone when T was in tech school for the Air Force. It took me 3 days, one 15-hour day and two 12-hour days. T and I drove from Central Texas to Nevada straight. We alternated sleeping and driving. I don’t remember how long it took, but I remember being happy to finally get to our destination.

It’s in my blood to make these kinds of drives. My brother is the same way. We get it from my dad. We made lots of moves and there was lots of driving involved. We also took camping summer vacations when we were stateside. Those were less dramatic though because we were actually sight seeing and having fun.

I’ve been prepping the kids for this trip. I’ve compared it to our trips between Nevada and Idaho only twice as long and that’s why we are driving about half of it through the night. I don’t think they believe me that it will be less painful for them.

I’m only thankful that T is going to be driving home with us, so we can relieve each other. It’s enforced family bonding time mixed with trying not to drive each other too crazy.

So posting might not happen while we are gone for a week. I am hoping to get some awesome pictures. We are planning on taking a 12-mile bike ride (mostly coasting), a float trip, and some hikes in the mountains with maybe a few hot springs trips. This, of course, interspersed with getting to spend time with my cousins, aunts, and uncles who I really only see every couple of years during these reunions.

Anyone else want to come and be my relief driver?

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