So there I was, imprisoned, when suddenly, like a shining light through the darkness, an offer letter to intern at Squid Labs split my shackles, and I was free. There was only one caveat: I had to make my way across the country to sunny Alameda, Californ-ai-ay.
Rushing around Cambridge, I formed an alliance with prank, who was moving out to the city of the angels.
We piled our earthly possessions into his prius hybrid, sent the rest ahead by post, and pointed west. We blasted through a last desperate line of mole people and were free, rocketing westward at some fraction of the speed of light.
Step 1: Acquire Stuff
What you need:
- A Car
- Maps (click and drag your route, at google maps!)
- Lots of water (especially if you're crossing a desert at any point)
- A buddy (ideally, one who can drive)
- A First Aid kit
- A spare tire
- Things to sleep on
- Other entertainment (books?)
- A camera
- A patch of free time
- A Towel
- AAA - $50/year gets you awesome maps of everything! And Trip Tiks!
- Tire Pressure Gauge
Step 2: Visit Canada
every country has its own unique culture.
Canada was similar in many ways to the United States - but they did something entirely different with their bulldozers.
Step 3: Eat Regionally
Nutrients are important. Ideally, you should be shocked by every restaurant you enter, either from the ambiance, which you find utterly bizarre, or the food, which you find utterly _______.
Eat while driving or find your favorite podunk diner and have a seat for a good chow down. No matter which way, you don't want to be eating the same energy bars or trail mix after a week in a car. Let your mouth feast as your eyes will.
Step 4: Void the Warranty on Your Car
What most people don't realize is that a prius is actually the epitome of off-road vehicles. Treat it as such. Even if your car isn't a glorious prius, take it places you wouldn't during your morning commute.
Unimproved Route 66 - bad. Stay on that road too long with a regular car and you're asking for trouble. I lost a headlight in less than a half mile (at which point I turned around).
Step 5: Stop to Enjoy the Sunset
Especially if you should find yourself in Nebraska
Nebraska is one of the great states of our union. hooray!
Step 6: Make Small Talk With Local Law Enforcement Officers on the Interstate
Policemen are lonely, sitting on the side of the road all day. The best way to invite them to chat is to drive really fast by them.
Don't get pulled over, while road-tripping.
Step 7: View the Wildlife
After rumbling through their habitat in an off-road vehicle, capture the startled looks on their faces.
Step 8: Brush Your Teeth on the Road
Always practice good oral hygiene.
stasterisk tried to brush my teeth. I didn't let her.
Step 9: Fill Up on Gas
When filling up with gas, strike a pose! Make the "sexyface". This will improve your mileage, and bless your gasoline.
Try not to run out - even if you're blasting across the countryside at 222 mpg in a hybrid.
Fuel stops are a great time to check your tire pressure, oil and WASH YOUR WINDSHIELD. But, and I say this from experience, smell the washing fluid first - make sure no one pee'd in it :/ Check your tire pressure if you've had large changes in elevation ;)
Step 10: Take Pictures Everywhere
Be sure to practice touristic behavior, to the maximum extent, especially when you see beautiful features like this bridge
Step 11: Make Mexican Hot Chocolate in the Desert
There's only one thing to do when you run out of water in Death Valley - cook your milk!
After extensive research, we discovered that the best location is at ghost lead mining towns.
details at the How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate instructable
Step 12: Stop in Ghost Towns
And swing on their stuff.
Step 13: Stay Awake
If you are driving.
Caffeine, loud music, daylight, fresh air, and sugary cold drinks can all help, but nothing is as good as getting sleep.
Step 14: Catch Exits
It's a drag if you miss 'em - keep a map or a navigator handy.
Step 15: Just for Fun: Straddle the Coasts
If you're starting on one. Put your foot in the ocean. When you arrive, put your foot in the other ocean. If you feel so inclined, do the same in any lakes, ponds, puddles, or streams you come across.
If you're going from Montana .. to Utah .. you won't be able to straddle the coasts. eit!
Step 16: Get There -- It's Delicious
All road trips end in California. If you're not in California, your road trip isn't over yet. You might have to finish it at a later date.
Wasn't that fun? Of course it was. Canadian bulldozers, Nebraskan sunsets, goats and more! Do it again!