It's kind of weird saying good-bye to a hotel room that's become more of a home than anywhere in the last year.
Four years ago, Skye and I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime, father/daughter road trip across the US. We took around three weeks to drive across from LA to Atlanta and back to visit Cindy who was working on a job there.
Since then we've gone back and forth more times than I can remember. And we've made the journey in a leisurely manner as well as like bat-out-of-hell depending on any number of things.
This time around was certainly one of the more brisk crossings and little went according to plan.
My job finished shooting on Friday July 12, Skye was starting a Shakespeare camp on Monday July 15th in Mammoth Lakes, CA, a 32 hour drive from where we were staying in Baton Rouge.
Cindy was due to start a show in New Orleans in the next few weeks, although there is as of this point no definite start date.To lighten our load we boxed up and stored a goodly amount of our "stuff" in NOLA. So now we have some of my work stuff stored in Atlanta, a mix of personal and work stuff in New Orleans, the lion's share of our stuff in storage in the San Fernando Valley, and our day to day living stuff as well as more of my work stuff, camping supplies, circus accoutrements, and Burning Man gear jam packed in and on top of the Rav4 as well as in a little trailer we're hauling.
We have a mailing address in Marina del Rey and Atlanta and we are currently residing in a tent in a campground in Mammoth Lakes a mile or so away from Skye's Shakespeare endeavor.
Cindy still doesn't know when she's starting her show. But we do know that the Monday after the Friday that Skye's 2-week camp comes to an end, her and I are flying to Atlanta for an orthodontist appointment.
We also know that I am signed up to run the Spartan Beast in Monterrey CA, August 10th and that after that Skye and I will camp for a few days up at Crater Lake before I drop her off at my mom's house in Oregon so that I can drop down to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to be part of the Burning Man experience. We also know that the three of us will all reunite in Ohio for my neice's wedding September 7.
Also I'm supposed to be finishing up my course to get certified as a personal trainer by the end of July, (I see yet another extension coming) I'm training to run my first ultra-run at Burning Man, a barely-qualifiying 50K and I have mandatory saftey training class to take in LA for my IATSE Local 44 card.
2000 Miles Three Days No Problem
I wanted to get on the road by 4:30 or 5 am.
That didn't happen. We headed out of Baton Rouge around 11:30. We did however put in our "minimum" day of 12 hours, not quite making it out of Texas, finally succumbing to exhaustion somewhere between Wichita Falls and Amarillo Texas.
The next day was our "Big Day" and I pushed our limits, landing us on a ridiculously crowded Las Vegas Strip just shy of midnight on a Saturday. Did i mention we were pulling an 8' trailer?
Somehow I navigated us through cut-throat traffic that consisted of extended cab/limo humvees, town cars, cabs out on their money night as well as newbie tourists from all over the globe with their regional driving cultures to somehow slide into a Mobile 6 just off the Strip that happened to have a cancellation for a room with two beds.
- Face Book Banters
Jon Danniells July 14 near Spring Valley, NV
- The empty light is on, the red arrow is shifting over the capital E and we are stuck in ridiculous traffic because of an accident that shut down the freeway
- Carlos Barbosa Seems like the empty light is coming on frequently? What is going on there Jon?July 14 at 1:09pm · Like
- Jon Danniells It's a game we play to make the road trip more interesting. The most "interesting" one yet was on the Bay Bridge. That one got pretty stressful.July 14 at 1:14pm via mobile · Like
- Carlos Barbosa You guys are nuts!July 14 at 1:15pm · Like
- Carlos Barbosa Have an awesome trip...July 14 at 1:15pm · Like
- Jill Carvalho We were leaving Palm Springs and instant four hour delay lots of empty tanks... People walking with gas... You just never know.July 14 at 2:11pm via mobile · Like
- Beth Carr Cohen ha ha ha ha... always interesting!!July 14 at 5:50pm · Like
There have been many times when the empty light has struck fear in my heart on these long journeys.
Sometimes its due to daydreaming and not paying attention and other times it happens because gas stations are closed or I believe that a decent sized town would have a gas station and for some bizarre reason doesn't.
But I have never run out of gas.
Until the Highway 168, just north of Death Valley.
We fueled up in Las Vegas and somewhere along the 95 I napped while Cindy took the wheel. When I woke up we were in the middle of nowhere (could have been the same place as when I had fallen asleep) and the gas gauge read 1/4 tank.
We didn't pass any gas stations as crossed the California-Nevada state line and turned onto Highway 168 where we were greeted with the No Gas for 58 Miles sign.
It was literally around 100 yards after that when the empty light came on.
I was concerned but knew that in the past I had driven more than 58 miles after the light came on.
I wasn't hauling a trailer which makes a huge difference particularly when going up steep hills which we would run into shortly.
Worse than the hills though was the fork in the road, that didn't have any signs indicating which direction was the aforementioned gas.
We went the way our GPS told us which ended up being the wrong way.
I did my best to not use the brakes and coast downhill even though it was ridiculously windy and narrow. Again the trailer made things more challenging.
We finally sputtered to a stop going up hill.
Luckily there was some one driving right behind us who were kind enough to give us a lift. Unfortunately there was only room for two, so I found a comfortable place to lie down under a pine tree while Cindy and Skye went off for help.
A couple of hours later they returned with gas and we were back in action.
We pulled into Mammoth as the sun was setting. Even though we would be camping for the next couple of weeks, we had the foresight to book a hotel for our first night, which turned out to be a wonderful thing.