On The Road Again

Tomorrow morning I’m getting up quite early to go to the airport. I’m flying to Memphis, TN for my uncle’s wedding. The 5 hour flight to Memphis isn’t the truly fun part though. The truly fun part is the 4 hour drive I have to make after the 5 hour flight to get into the remote part of Missouri where this is actually taking place. In fact I’m staying at a hotel that is half-an-hour drive from the place where the wedding is being held because that’s the closest hotel.

I have to say that I like living in the “big city”. Or at least in a suburb of it. I don’t get this whole living out in the middle of nowhere business.

A couple of years ago my dad gave me a little hand-held GPS for Christmas. He also gave me some mapping / route planning software that interfaces with it. It’s only Windows unfortunately which means I have to fire up the ol’ Virtual PC to do things and use a USB to Serial Port adapter to download the information to the GPS but I’m thinking it’s going to save my butt on this drive.

I’m trying to figure out the best route to take. The automatic one it’s calculated is basically the same one I got from Yahoo Maps. It’s a ton of little State and US Highways. 194 miles: 3 hours, 42 minutes. Or there’s the way that I was told in the directions, I-55 North to US 60 East. 246 miles: 3 hours, 55 minutes.

Fifty miles farther but only 13 minutes longer. One major freeway and one major highway or the equivalent of the back roads?

When I was a junior in high school we had to read Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley” and Least Heat-Moon’s “Blue Highways”. I liked “TWC” but I fell in love with “Blue Highways”. There’s something romantic about just getting up and going. Experiencing real life as it happens, not loading up your truck with every amenity possible.

Of course at this point I’m just trying to get in and out, and not get lost. Plus I’ve been informed that I’m expected to be at the 6pm dinner. So it’ll probably end up being the longer but more sure route.

Whatever I choose, I don’t really know what the internet situation is going to be like when I get there. I have a cable modem at my place through the local cable company so I don’t have dial-up any more. (When I first got it, Earthlink provided the internet layer, so I could use their dial-up. But now Charter is in control.) When I went to Las Vegas last month I had everything I needed right in my room. Broadband internet access and a printer to plug into. I just don’t know about Small Town, Missouri. Needless to say, there might not be any updates until I get back to Los Angeles on Sunday night.

The things we do for family.