Lonely Drive East : North America

It has been a stressful 4 days.  I am not a ‘stressy’ person, but I can feel the build up in my neck, shoulders, and in the headache…  But everyday I push all negative thoughts away from me and I do some stretching after every journey to keep my self feeling…ummm….normal.

The first day in these four stressful ones wasn’t even part of my road trip.  I had to “pop” to BC to get my car registered.  That was a 4 hour drive (one way) alone.  To me, that was fun.  I knew people either end of the journey, I was just getting used to Hank the Buick, I saw old friends   I stayed the night then shot back to Calgary, Alberta to pack my stuff (late as always) ready to leave for the North America Road Trip in the morning.

North America Road Trip : Day 2

I am on day two of the actual road trip.  I have travelled from Alberta to North Dakota in Hank, the 1988 Buick Century, and I still have a long way to go until Maine.  Within the first day of my road trip I did an 11 hour drive to make up time.   And it took it’s toll on both me and Hank.  I need to keep resting him, and me.

Hank and I chug along at between 90-100k.  The roads we have travelled so far have been relentlessly windy and unforgiving.  We have been bullied by truck after truck wanting to get on with their working days.  Tumble wind shoots across the road in front of us, like giant spiders scuttling to their holes.  Sat inside him on my own I feel every bump Hank takes, I hear every sound of the engine, take every wobble and blow with him, and I worry and hope he will make it to the next town.  There is vast space between the inviting lights of “life” up here in North Dakota.

I hit the border between Canada and United States. They always question you.  I know that.  And I should always be prepared, but never am.  They always scare me a little bit.  But after they questioned if Hank would get there and what the hell I was doing, my passport was stamped and I was sent on my way.

Driving from the border to the next town felt like FOREVER.  My phone was not working, and there was just miles and miles of land with no houses, no people.  With immigrations words ringing in my ears “Is THAT going to make it to Maine?”, I felt pretty panicky.   What have I got myself into?

Note: Sort out American phone before crossing the border.

It doesn’t sound like fun does it?  So am I brave or mad?

I have confidence that Hank will make it all the way there and I HOPE all the way back too.  We don’t go fast, and he is a trooper.  I put my tunes on and sing aloud and look out at the beautiful landscape we drive through.  And so far we have made it.  Sometimes I wish I had flown, or taken the bus so I do not need to worry, but that would be easy wouldn’t it?

I read about people flying around the world in balloons, or jumping out of a space ship to parachute down to earth.  I don’t think I am the mad one.

I stopped driving early today.  It got dark and the wind battering us.  I was avoiding sleeping in Motels (for the cost), but seeing as my Couch Surfing friend was another 3 hour drive, I bit the bullet and pulled over in Rugby.

Even though it was dark, the little town had a nice feeling, proud of what it had achieved and a community spirit.  I shopped around a bit for a cheap Motel with WiFi.  Some friendly locals at the convenience store rang around for me.  How sweet is that?  I love when you feel a bit down, a friendly face pops up.

One really cosy Motel unfortunately didn’t have WiFi in the room.   So I opted for “that big one” with bright shiny lights (actually called The Northern Light) and a swimming pool.  This actually turned out to be the same price as the smaller ones here on the main highway.  That is around US$85.   I justified that as I did a lot of work (web design for small businesses) in that room.   And I was so glad to be there, as I turned on the heater and listened to the wind hammering on the window.