See the USA in a ___________…

It is less than 2 weeks before we head out on our road trip.  We haven’t decided which car to take…  Little problems seem to be cropping up with the convertible (#1 choice). Our longest test drive has been up to the Catskills.  The trip up – no real issues other than it running HOT.  Jene tinkered with the idle because it was revving too high – then the battery was dead the next morning.  WTF?  The idle has nothing to do with the alternator/regulator thingie so we were puzzled.  Charged the battery and the ride home was fine.  But why isn’t it holding a charge.  We traded in the old battery under it’s limited warranty. Then there’s the issue of the windows –  still haven’t been aligned properly by the autobody shop.  But don’t get me started on that!  The ’67 black Cat just had a new transmission and new radiator put in ($2500) and it would be another few hundred to fix the AC.  I don’t think I want to drive through deserts or the badlands without it.  That’s leaves the Mazda.  It’s not the “cool car”  but it’s reliable and believe it or not probably has more trunk space than the Cougars  And with the price of gas being what it is – it does get good gas milage (over 30 miles to the gallon in the city).   It’s not about what we drive but the journey we are going on.

This trip was originally planned with the convertible in mind and we thought it would happen last year as our pre-wedding trip.  (We wound up taking to the rails which was wonderful).  The car was still in the body shop.  We’ve been working on this blasted car for 3 years and have spent oodles and oodles of money.  We just want to enjoy it.  But the cougar gods have not been smiling down upon us and we can either put off the trip til the end of Sept. (We have the Filmore East reunion get-together to go to on 9/24), or take one of the other cars.  I will leave the decision up to Jene – hey maybe we will sweat off 20 pounds between the 2 of us in the un- air conditioned Cat.

Futszing with the cars and other things in life has taken time away from planning our route.  And of course I keep interjecting places I would like to see along the way (which is really out of the way), so I am no help.  But Jene has added New Mexico to the list.  Maybe I will get inspired like a fave of mine – Georgia O’Keeffe.  When we figure out our course we will get a trip map from AAA.    Armed with that, Jene’s Road Atlas and the GPS, we shouldn’t get too lost.   (I will put a magnifying glass on the “to buy list”)

The to-do list is growing bigger and the time is getting closer.  So much to do….

We’ve pulled out the tent, seam sealed and sprayed it with silicone to water proof it.   Camping requires a lot of forethought and packing for varying weather conditions had me buying a rain jacket and pants.  Boy they can be expensive.  I opted for the stylish black waterproof and breathable ones in the mid-price range.  I need to test the air mattress and make sure we have batteries for the pump.

Because I want some creature comforts the queen size air mattress is a neccessity.  I’ve spent plenty of nights sleeping on the hard, cold ground to know that I don’t want to do that anymore.  These bones are getting older and although I have more padding on my body then I did years ago, it still wouldn’t be comfortable enough.  Spending hours in the car and then camping at night would be too much for us otherwise, so the mattress is a must have.  The more camping equipment, the less personal items is how I see it so packing will be a challenge.  Jene makes fun of me because I do a pre-pack a week before any trip and I am going to pack the trunk of my car with the camping gear and see how much room is left for suitcases.  Spatial relation is one of my strengths and I manage to squeeze more things in then possible taking into account the configuration.  It’s a gift  😉    The other major consideration is that the tent and camping gear has to be on top so that we don’t have to unload everything in order to pitch the tent.

Being away from the girls will weigh heavy on me with Matt being activated and away for a month’s training before he heads off to parts unknown.  Danielle, Rose and Sara have been through this before but that doesn’t make it any easier especially with a newborn this go-round.  I’m not sure how these women do it, but they do and I give them so much credit.  (There are men that also hold down the fort on the homefront too).  I’m happy for Skype for them and for me and will make the most of the wifi areas we come upon.

The weeks before any trip are hectic and this is no different,  I am trying to roll with the punches with so much still undetermined.  I am a planner so going with the flow can cause a bit of anxiety for me.  Jene’s easy going ways helps ground me and keeps the perspective in sight.  I am learning.  So this trip will happen, just not sure exactly how things will shake out but it will be interesting and I will remain flexible and keep my expectations at bay.

I will be blogging about the trip on another travel blog site Flights of Fancy

Happy trails to you.


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Filed under Jene Youtt, photography

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