Thursday, July 28, 2016

Road Trip Recap, Part 1

I remember what it felt like to wake up early when I was a child: exciting.

Those were always the nights where I couldn't sleep in anticipation for what was to come. The following day would either be a holiday or the first day of vacation. Usually, I had motivation due to my sense of adventure.

So when the clock struck three in the morning, I would hop out of bed and finish packing my suitcase with the remainder of items. Braid swung to the side, hat on backwards, I jumped into the car once everything was loaded. And I would look behind my shoulder to say 'goodbye' to the home we left behind.

Now that I'm twenty-two and live life as an adult with two jobs and my final year of college to look forward to, my view is a little different.

I look forward to the travel. But I value sleep so much more.

When the clock struck three in the morning, I hit snooze. I didn't want to get up right away.

Before I knew it, though, I was ready. I guess things haven't changed too much. I tucked my hair into the same braid I have since I was thirteen. As usual, it only took me about twenty minutes to pack the rest of my things because I had it all laid out and ready. And, as expected, my passion for travel overcame any desire to go straight back to bed.

Lacey - the lovable yet stubborn two-year-old pup - and I shared the back seat of my father's black Toyota Tundra, the same one we've used to tow our twenty nine foot trailer behind us since its purchase in 2010. My father was at the wheel, and my mother sat beside him in the passenger's seat.

Back at home, Lacey and I get ready for our upcoming adventures around four in the morning.

Immediately, I returned to rest, cuddling with my Anaheim Ducks blanket and lying my head on my pillow. Lacey sat on my side half of the time as we made it to our first stop: Wheeler Ridge.

In true road trip fashion, we stopped for McDonald's around seven in the morning. The usual "Sausage Egg McMuffin" was purchased for me and my mother, while my father had the "Big Breakfast". It tasted like the regular McDonald's meal we normally get.

Already, it was getting warm in the midst of this nasty heat wave, but we traveled on.

On the way to our next location, I brought back another childhood love of mine. Anyone remember the Nintendo DS? Anyone remember Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team? Just me? If so, that's okay.

 I was thoroughly entertained with how I swept through three dungeons in a row, since, when I was twelve, that was an impossible task for me. Flashbacks of constantly getting kicked back to the beginnings of the dungeon because I couldn't defeat the boss ran through my mind. Due to my extra ten years of knowledge, though, this task was a piece of cake.

Between the previous location and the one to come, gas and a delicious ice cream cookie sandwich were found at Chevron.

The next place we found ourselves was at Williams,  about 150 miles further north. For about twenty miles, the pack tried to settle on a place to eat lunch. We passed a few fast food restaurants that our stomachs were not fond of, such as Wendy's and Jack in the Box. But Williams had what we all craved: Taco Bell.

The heat... The further we went up the 5, the warmer it got. It probably was around 90 degrees at that stop. Our Southern California bones couldn't take it.

After Williams, I slept most of the heat off in the air-conditioned car. Another chance at reliving my childhood occurred when I pulled out a portable CD player. It was my brother's, but I remember the memories well. My own CD player, which is either lost or broken, used to play the Jonas Brothers or High School Musical.

With a more refined musical palette, however, still obsessive, I instead played the Twenty One Pilots' album, Vessels. I murmured the lyrics until I couldn't, eventually falling asleep to the soothing sounds that come after Migraine.

I was out. At one moment, I heard some car doors open and felt Lacey jump on top of me. My parents were getting gas. But I didn't move a muscle. I continued sleeping until we approached Redding.

My mother and I found an escape from the heat in the local Safeway - or, for Southern Californians, Vons. We were relieved to discover a Starbucks could quench our thirst and cool our bodies. As mom proceeded to shop for tonight's meal, I entertained myself with Snapchat. I discovered that Redding has some cool looking Geotags.

The Starbucks in Safeway is where I discovered that this
town, Redding, CA, has amazing Geotags on Snapchat.

Once we finished, we walked back into the 110-degree heat. Unfortunately, for us, this Safeway had those carts that can't go past a certain point. There was a little bit of a struggle to carry all we had, but we successfully lugged our items to the trailer.

Eventually, we found solace in the car yet again, blasting the air. A few more miles down, and we found our nest for the night: Mountain Gate.

With five hundred and eighty-one miles down, we have 350 to go until we reach our first official destination of the trip: Mount Hood, Oregon. (I have to admit, the emo part of me loves that name.) The rest of our night is spent in an attempt to rest and refuel for that last stretch.

Each of us created our own dinner of a simple sandwich, or, attempted to. After I made mine, I took a few bites until I realized the mustard that I put on was spicy. My mouth couldn't handle that, so, instead of finishing my sandwich, I made do with crackers and cheese.

By nine at night, beds were made. There's something rewarding about putting all that effort into making my bed, because, in the end, I'm exhausted enough to sleep right away.

In an attempt to cool off before I made my final adieu to the night, the television remained on HGTV and my tongue was soothed with half-melted mint ice cream. That was the most important purchase of the night.

Finally, my head fell onto the pillow once more, in hopes of eight hours of sleep. Vessels playing in my ears, my mind finally drifted off, looking forward to the adventures ahead.

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