I will happily awake tomorrow morning and NOT drive 12 to 13 hours to then awkwardly sleep in the car at a random location. I am finalizing this leg of my journey with my last blog entry (at the persistence of an unnamed person).
So I have a few crazy traveling stories to share. I last shared my journey up through Barstow, California which would have been Saturday night. As I was pulling out of my campsite in Petaluma (the night before), I discovered that my toiletries bag was on the ground along with my mouthwash. I just laughed, put it in the car, and drove away. Well I don't know why it was on the ground. But when starting to take a shower the next night in Barstow, I noticed that my face wash bottle was empty, and its top was missing. Slowly reaching into the bag for the shampoo, I realized that I must have run over part of the bag when I was pulling out the night before, because everything in the bag was covered with face wash. Random other things were cracked, too. That same night, I'm pretty sure I left my almost-full bottle of shampoo/ conditioner and bar of soap in the bathroom, because, when I went to take a shower in Arkansas two night later, it was mysteriously missing. Craziness. And you may wonder why I didn't take a shower every night. My answer - because it was too late, I was lazy, and I really didn't get that dirty or gross sitting in an air-conditioned vehicle.
After Barstow, I headed approximately 13 hours east to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Nothing super exciting happened during the trip, but I was completely creeped out at the KOA. I was cleaning out the back seat so I could comfortably sleep (I didn't set up the tent for the last three nights, because it was extremely time-consuming in the setting up and tearing down. See previous paragraph about my laziness). I was also turning on the computer and attempting to set up a nice little sleeping station when I heard a small voice squeak out "Are you by yourself?" I almost jumped, looked all around, and jetted out of the car to find a little boy on his bicycle. He went on to blabber something about their RV. I was pretty freaked out to say the least. Talk about the creepiest thing to say to someone alone at a campground. And you know how little kids' voices, in the right tone, can sound like they are right out of a horror movie.
I also had another unnerving experience. In the morning, I packed up and drove up to the bathrooms before I left. When I got back in the car, I was entering the next KOA into the GPS. When I looked up, I saw a little blond girl staring at me from the front of the car. And it was a pretty creepy stare. I just kind of sat there, and then she stopped staring. What the hell is up with the kids at this campground? Needless to say, I drove away pretty quickly.
Last story and then it's off to slumbertown. After Tucumcari, I was scheduled to stay at the West Memphis KOA right outside of Tennessee in Arkansas. Again, the drive was pretty uneventful, but the heat started to set in around Oklahoma. The digital temperature in the car maxed at 105 to the best of my recollection. Anyways, by the time I got the to KOA in Arkansas, it was still warm. But laziness overtook ambition, and I decided to bunker down in the car. I figured rolling down each of the windows a crack would keep the car moderately cool. It didn't really matter, because the outside was almost as bad as being inside at that point. Anyways, the open windows let in some crazy swarm of mosquitoes (slight exaggeration) and I was attacked (again overdone). So I had to roll them up. This time, I figured that my electric fan balanced on my stomach would magically resolve the heat while blowing warm air directly in my face. No. I rolled down the windows again. Still unbearable. Short story long - I decided that I could not sleep in a tent or in the car. So I pondered what to do while taking a shower (remember - without soap or shampoo). I ended up using some extra money to stay at a Holiday Inn in West Memphis. It was pretty serendipitous, because it ended up being a pretty awesome way to start the last leg of the trip. I slept in a King-size bed in an air-conditioned room with no alarm clock. It was like a real vacation.
And today was a pretty good driving day. The only problem being the remaining mosquitoes that I had to attempt to kill while not swerving off of the road or into another car. Let's just say that the car is in one piece and that there are at least four hand prints and two dead mosquitoes on the windshield.
So here ends my many crazy tales from my vacation. The traveling part of the trip (oxymoron?) included passing through the following states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina (the twelve bolded states are ones that I'd never been to). The non-traveling part of the trip was the best part of all of it, and I'm so glad I convinced myself to stick with my random aspirations of working on a farm!