Ann Arbor, MI to Sherman, TX
09.03.2016 - 10.03.2016
I began my month long journey around the United States the same way I begin anything: overzealous, overcaffeinated, and on the wrong foot. I had originally planned to leave on the afternoon of March 8th, giving myself a night halfway to Texas to stop and recharge, but it wasn't meant to be. Luckily, my unsurprisingly delayed departure at 4 the next morning provided me with exactly what Day 1 of my adventure was missing: a real challenge. My new goal was to change the rest-stop dotted route to Texas into a 23 hour driving marathon, no stopping for rest until I reached Dallas, TX in time to get a beer at a downtown bar that night.
Two hours into my trip, I realized how little I had prepared, mentally and physically, for such an endeavor. It was dark, it was raining, and my GoPro that was attached to my dashboard had fallen off and hit me while I was driving FOR THE LAST TIME.
As the sun slowly inched its way into the sky, I pulled over in a Catholic school's baseball field parking lot to plan a better route, verbally abuse my camera equipment, and cook breakfast.
Speaking of cooking breakfast...
As part of my mission to save money and force adventure on myself, I bought the Jet Boil portable cooking machine to prepare my meals the old fashioned way: boiling water over a tiny flame powered by a gas canister. Adding to the fun, I had never cooked a meal with my new toy before leaving on the trip, so naturally the first attempt was a failure. I used boxes and the car to shield my tiny boiler from the wind and rain while it struggled for several minutes to reach a boil.
After pouring the semi-heated water from the boiler into a Simply Asia instant soup bowl and beginning to pack things away, a policeman pulls into the parking lot and asks me why I'm there. I wasn't sure if he saw me cooking or if lighting a fire was even legal in the parking lot of a school baseball field so I tried to smooth talk my way out of it.
Somehow it didn't work and he didn't leave...instead, he got back into his car, drove to a spot slightly further away, parked, and watched me from afar. No longer able to eat my soup bowl in peace, I left with a bowl of lukewarm soup in my lap to drive another 20 minutes down the road before finding a spot to finally pull over and eat.
The rest of the day, the weather reflected my mood. Gray skies and light rain paired well with the mind-numbingly long stretches of highway. The only exciting part of the drive today was when I caught a glimpse of the Gateway Arch as I passed through St. Louis, MO.
Snapchat definitely made the cities I passed through look more interesting than they were
It was a long and painful drive, and towards the end my body and brain gave up just an hour away from my destination. Instead of camping in my car, I treated myself to a hotel just off the interstate in Sherman, TX to get some rest at last and plan my next days travels.