I am not really a numbers person, but this seems like something that should be done, to document the breadth of the whole thing… so here is the final recap:
- 6,881 total miles
- 153.05 gallons of gas, costing me $589.63
- 20 states [Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia]
- 15 driving days/12 rest days [days where I drove less than 75 miles]
- Longest drive: 704 miles (Alabama to Maryland)
- 97 total hours on the road [counting driving days only]
- 4 baseball parks [St. Louis, Kansas City, Arizona and Houston]
- 1 speeding ticket
- Approximately 27 free beers from strangers
I find it interesting that people asking about my trip really want to hear superlatives- the BEST this, or my FAVORITE that. The trip doesn’t really shake out that way in my mind. But here is my attempt at a “Best of” list:
Most Useless Thing I Brought Along: My bathrobe. I still can’t figure out why I thought this was a good idea. It is fluffy and delightful, but it was also totally unnecessary and took up a lot of space in the backseat. And let’s face it, nothing says “strange homeless girl” like a bathrobe in the backseat of your car.
Favorite Recurring Sign: “Correctional Facility- Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers.” Ummm… glad to see you guys are pretty confident that you have them on lock-down. Thanks for the tip. Runner Up: “It’s Not a Road Trip Until You’ve Seen the Beaver.” So I guess it wasn’t a road trip. [I am afraid to Google this to find out what it's actually referring to, but if someone knows, please fill me in.]
Favorite Accent: Cajun, hands down. Have you ever heard a Cajun accent? Watch this video. You’re welcome.
Best McDonald’s Meal for the Cheap Traveler: Four-piece nugget Happy Meals. Such a bargain. It’s only slightly embarrassing to turn down the toy and the little house-shaped box. It is not, however, difficult at all to turn down the option of APPLES as a side in lieu of french fries. Are you kidding me, McDonald’s? This is the most ridiculous thing you’ve tried since those salads that came in a cup.
Strangest Ballpark Feature: The little hill in the outfield at Minute Maid Park- with a flagpole in it!?
Most Ridiculous American Holiday Celebrated During the Trip: Cinco de Mayo. I know you probably assume that I would be a big fan of a holiday that is essentially just the date in another language, providing a completely legitimate excuse to get silly no matter what day of the week it may be. But it’s an utterly meaningless holiday, and Mexicans don’t celebrate it, for the most part. So can we just put away the sombreros and the fake mustaches, and drink just because we feel like it on the 5th of May?
State With the Best Bears: Colorado, hands down. Remember these guys?
Scariest Bird: The Grackle. I still have nightmares about those yellow eyes.
City to Stay the Hell Away From Unless You Need a Lot of Drugs: El Paso. Enough said. Or, if you want to read more, click on this link. http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_18174788
Favorite Picture I Forgot to Post: Of a t-shirt sold at the Green Mesquite BBQ joint in Austin, Texas
So there it is. 20 states in 27 days. The only thing I know for sure right now is that I am not ready to settle anywhere. Stay tuned for more details about the next adventure for Panda, Terry and I!