I was in my early twenties the first time I did a cross-country drive. I waited until we were about an hour out, and then I asked, “Are we there yet?” Although it wasn’t well received, the memory still cracks me up every time I think about it.
Four years later, I did the cross country drive by myself in three days. While I normally dislike driving, I thoroughly enjoyed myself on this trip.
It was my introduction to books on tape. I brought a Mary Higgins Clark mystery, The Last of the Mohicans (I’d seen shirtless Daniel Day Lewis in the movie and wanted to “read” the book), and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.
From the time I left the hotel in the morning until I stopped for the evening, my only company was gas station attendants and fast food restaurant staff … and the books. It was as if someone was in the car reading to me, which is why I love them so much.
Strangely enough, my favorite memory of my solo trip actually had nothing to do with the car at all. I wanted to stop in Yuma for a pit stop and lunch before I crossed into California. Unfortunately, the thermometer read 113, and I had a hamster in the car …. Doesn’t everyone travel with a rodent?
I was prepared, however, and had brought an over-sized bag and a travel cage. I woke up the sleepy (and very bite-y) hamster, “Bear”, did the cage transfer, put the cage in my bag and walked in. It was WONDERFUL being out of a moving car. The hamster agreed and started jumping around in her cage. I hadn’t realized that an active Bear could make my entire bag swing. I held it very close to my body as I ordered and then walked with my tray to the furthest empty booth.
I opened up my bag to give Bear some air, and I started to eat. A couple minutes later, I got a weird feeling. I looked down to see Bear sitting on top of her cage staring at me.
“#$%#!” went through my mind, “I’m the reason there is a loose rodent in Jack in the Box!” (Not a sponsored link … but could be. Jack, call me! And I promise not to bring another hamster into one of your stores if you do!)
Fortunately for me and the health department, Bear was content prairie dogging on the top of her cage. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves, then I slowly grabbed the hamster and returned her to the cage. I then set my purse over the lid (making sure plenty of air holes were still available!).
When I returned her to her main cage in the car, I gave her a treat for being such a good girl and cooperating.
I laughed the whole way across California. For those last few hours, I didn’t care if I was there yet. The journey was so much fun.
Have you ever done a solo road trip? What is your favorite pet travel story?