Earth Traveler

Riding in Cars with Boys – pt2

Posted September 10th, 2010


I woke up early the next morning. Maybe 6:00 AM. Wait, no it was around 7:00 AM. Stupid time zone change. I don’t know why I woke up so early. Sometimes when you’re working on a project, you just get so excited that you just can’t sleep because you can’t wait to get started. And sometimes you rub up against your male bed co-occupant one too many times. There’s at least four layers of fabric between you but its just never enough.

The motel provided a free continental breakfast. This is pretty standard these days. The Rodeway Inn’s interpretation consisted of un-fresh bagels, juice and coffee. I know that for the amount of money we spent I should be thankful that there’s anything for free. But should I really? Maybe I would be better off getting something somewhere else that costs me money. I’m pretty sure the guys who keep saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day are not referring to stale bagels, from-concentrate juice and instant coffee.

As I savored the deliciousness of the breakfast cornucopia, I sauntered over to the front desk. That guy also had no idea why there were so many motels in that city. It seemed like this Middle Eastern gentleman wasn’t lying and that he was actually pretty new to this country. So I dropped the matter and let him return to his sleeper cell. (Note to any FBI agents reading this: I’m pretty sure there’s a terrorist sleeper cell operating out of the Rodeway Inn in St. George, Utah, that also has no idea what a continental breakfast is.

With still about another half hour before we were supposed to leave. (I know: all this jibber jabber and we hadn’t even hit the road yet. Sorry.) Anyway, I figured I’d call my special lady friend. She was stunned that I was awake that early. I am actually still a little stunned.

We loaded up on caffeine and with that magical elixir scorching through our bloodstreams, we hit the road. But only for a few miles. Part of the project required us to be able to film through the front windshield for some stupid “arty” shots that I came up with. But the windshield was filthy. My clothing bag was the closest to the top so we took out one of my shorts and cleaned the window with it. I love my shorts. I am still kind of very upset about this.

At our first gas stop, Nelson and I were inside and I was teaching him about the thirst-quenching joys of Vitamin Water Revive flavor. No, not any of the other flavors. Just Revive. As you will find out later, I was not precisely clearly accurate about specifying the specificity of this particular flavor.

Anyway, when we walked outside, a fat-girls convention had arrived. After a couple “Moo” jokes we were back on the road.

Not much happened between that stop and our lunch. Which happens on road trips. A lot.

But WHERE should we stop for lunch? Why, there’s an Arby’s at the next exit. Nelson and Jerry had never had Arby’s, so they were both reluctant. Most people are pretty set in their ways, even Nelson, a mid-twenties cinematographer who just spent a month in Haiti. But I played it perfect and they were willing to give it a try.

And they will never be the same. That day Arby’s became our Go-To lunch stop. See, one person truly can make a difference.

Before we got back on the road, I sent my special lady friend a text: “Just leaving the Fillmore-Beaver area in Utah. Thinking of you.”

I took over the driving duties. I’m going to tell you guys something right here that you have to PROMISE not to tell Jerry and Nelson. It turns out that waking up super early in the morning had rendered me sorta tired and so I sorta almost fell asleep a couple times. But you CAN NOT tell them. You promised!

As we got closer to Salt Lake City, Utah, the sky opened up and we were smited with rain, hail and gusty wind. I’m pretty sure it was a NOREASTER, though I don’t really have any idea what that means. And I refuse to find out.

Side note here: for some reason, on this trip, the only times there was bad weather was when I was driving. Sure Jerry and Nelson sometimes had to contend with an occasional ominous cloud, but it was basically just sunshine and unicorns for them. Jerks.

We pressed on and busted on through into Idaho. We came across the quaint town of Malad. Their town motto is: “Malad – Where Idaho begins.” I’m totally serious. Some other choices for the town motto were: “Malad – A town” and “Malad – We are here, for now.”

Anyway, we ended up in some city in Idaho. I have said it’s name a dozen times and I even wrote it down a couple times, but I just can’t remember it. Hold on, it’s on one of my notes around here somewhere.

Pocatello, Idaho. Of course I could just say we stopped in Hambo Jambo or Dog River or Sassafras and none of you would know if I was lying.

We checked into a cheap, but pleasant-enough motel with a fantastic wifi signal (for me, Nelson didn’t have the same luck). For dinner we went out and picked up a large pizza from Big Foot Pizza.

As we made our way around the city, I couldn’t help but notice that I was THE best looking guy in town. This was easily my favorite part of Idaho.

When we got back to the motel we gorged ourselves on our bounty. The combination of extremely low expectations, crippling hunger and a very low price magnified the actual tastiness to historic levels.

The sun didn’t go down until about 9:00pm. Which was just so weird. At the time. We later ended up in a town in North Dakota that had sunlight until 10:00pm. Someone needs to put an end to that level of ridiculosity.

And, of course, there was more burrito style sleeping.

In Part 3, these questions will be answered:
Does Jed enter a beauty contest before they leave Idaho? Just how addicted to caffeine is Jed? Does visiting someone you know while on a road trip do more harm than good?

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