First stop, North Carolina

What is it about moving day that turns an otherwise adequately functioning brain into a sieve?

Our departure from Baltimore on our trip to who knows where was delayed for a couple of hours — not through any fault of Ace, but by mine own forgetfulness, a case of my brain getting so full of things to remember that a few of them got lost in the shuffle.

After my last trip to the storage unit, I returned home to find my bicycle, which was supposed to go in the storage unit. I went ahead and packed for the trip, loaded Ace in the car and made one more trip to the storage unit, with plans to leave straight from there.

Once the bicycle was loaded into the unit, I remembered I had forgotten to pack my pills that I never remember to take. So it was back home one more time to pick those up. I will probably continue to forget to take them, but at least I have them now. Then we were off, for real.

Ace, after some head out the window time, settled down in the back, where he has plenty of room because I put all my camping gear on the roof. As I suspected, that happy and carefree feeling I get on the road kicked in around Fredericksburg. It was smooth sailing, mostly, down I-95 to I-85, and into North Carolina. We made a quick stop for some barbecue for dinner — the drive-up window of Hursey’s Pig Pickin Bar-B-Cue in Graham is always good for a sandwich, and for a dollar more, they throw in a pig bone.

We dined in a parking lot, and Ace happily munched the bone — don’t worry FDA, I was monitoring him through the rearview mirror — all the way to Winston-Salem.

We arrived late, about 9 p.m., and — this being a frugal trip (we won’t allow ourselves to spend more on our travels than we were spending on rent) — confiscated my mother’s room in the retirement community for the evening. (Dogs are allowed in her room, but not the guest rooms. So she stayed in the guest room and I took hers.)

It was a clean start to the trip, once we got rolling, with only one snafu. Around 10:30 p.m., I stepped outside for a cigarette. Five minutes later, when I tried to get back into my mother’s building, it was locked. Apparently, I was out past bedtime.

The situation was quickly remedied with a call to security. They popped the door open and I stayed inside for the rest of the night.

Day one was relatively inexpensive — that, as I said, being one of our major goals.

Total costs for the day:

Gas: $50

Food: $2.55 sandwich for me; $1 bone for Ace.

Lodging: Free.

Liberation: Priceless.

0 comments for “First stop, North Carolina

  1. May 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Sounds like a solid start! Looking forward to more…

  2. Mary Schmidt
    May 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    It’s going to be fun to do some vicarious traveling by reading your blog. Hope all your travel days go well!

  3. debbie
    May 27, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Greetings Ace and John.

    I must admit that I am going to enjoy this adventure,maybe more than you guys

    I have always had that ‘hit the road’ dream way back when I was young and my sister and I looking at the weekly black and white TV show ‘route 66’.

    I was looking at one of the episodes ( on DVD of course) last night, and I thought of you guys. Also the movie ‘lost in America’.. I guess it’s that ‘wind’ thang..

  4. Pugmom216
    May 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    We miss you already!! sorry mikey and i couldn’t say bye 🙁

  5. Eighteenpaws
    May 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    JW, as you are reconnecting and trying to find a place for yourself, I hope that you too feel your next book coming on! Your readers see it, for sure. “Dog Zen and the Art of Jeep Maintenance,” or somethin’ like it. Right on — Write on?! — to you and Ace!

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