The Girl and Her Dad Take a Road Trip

Home is not where you live but where they understand you.

~Christian Morgenstern

I wasted little time after High School. I spent two months as an office girl at a salvage yard that Dad would sell to. (Don't think I mentioned it, but Dad runs his own scrap metal salvage business.) It was great and forced me to get over my fear of incoming calls. I still hate making outbound calls and do not know where this phobia originates. I'm just really convinced that whoever I call is going to yell at me and be downright mean, so better to just not call.

Two months passed and it was time to move 1800 miles from my midwest town to the big desert city of Phoenix, AZ. Points to know: I never had been that far from home in my life and the longest I had ever been away from home was may one or two weeks and almost always with a relative, but I was moving for school and it was either Phoenix or Orlando.

Ever since third grade when I read Marguerite Henry's Brighty of the Grand Canyon I knew I was Arizona bound. Admittedly, going to become a motorcycle technician was not something I had dreamed of at the time. But deep down I just knew it was somewhere I was meant to be. Housing was prearranged through school so I didn't need to worry when I got into 'town'. I was renting a room from a lady who owned a six bedroom house and lived there were her two sons. She often rented to students from the school and Dad felt safer leaving me in her care than letting me room with four strange guys from who-knows-where (standard procedure for the housing of the school was just put people together in an apt and pray for the best).

I'm getting ahead of myself. It was the trip out west that I wanted to talk about. Dad and I hadn't really done any really big trips for awhile. The biggest thing we'd done since my parents' divorce was move Sis to Oregon and Mom was along for the ride. Talk about your awkward family vacations, they'd been divorced five years at that time. So this was an adventure to be had. Dad and I have insanely similar tempers. Genetics are probably mostly to blame but we'd also spent a lot of time together and he rubbed off on me. Two incredibly stubborn people in the same truck for a weeks time is not a good thing.

Lessons Learned on this trip:

A) Dad will do anything to avoid tollbooths. We ended up taking the scenic route to avoid Illinois. Pretty much through the map out the window at the stateline.

B) Oklahoma has some really scarey bugs that come out at night. Dad wears engineers boots that go like half way up his shins and he keeps his pants over them. We stopped for gas one night and when he got back in he felt something crawling down his leg. He squished it and it was nasty!

C) Route 66 is not the smoothest road in the world. There are areas that you actually run parallel to it because the road has been reclaimed by the desert.

D) The people of Amarillo, TX are some of the nicest in the world. Dad dropped a $100 bill in the Harley shop there and the girl ran after us to return it.

E) I cannot drive a truck with a carhauler. Dad drove most of the way and for some reason in New Mexico he decided it was my turn. Yeah, after almost getting sideswiped we quickly returned to him driving.

F) I am not that bad to travel with, honestly. AKA never start a road trip the same week you start your period. That is really what comes to mind when I think back on this trip, not the majestic scenery, not the people, or the experience, or the time with dad. I remember three days without a shower because we were on the road in vast stretches of nothingness. I would say I did very well in the not being a b*tch category that week.

G) New Mexico is now another state Dad will avoid. Although there is a gas station/casino/hotel in the middle of the desert half-way between Gallup and the AZ border that is a God send! Never was I happier on this trip.

H) I saw the Grand Canyon, something a lot of Arizona natives can't even claim and I fulfilled a lifelong dream.

I) Hot is hot. Does not matter about dry heat or humid heat, it's still hot. I found the best practice to be not to complain about it. The more you complain, the more it's noticeable.

J) Guys in large numbers can be rather nice. We went to the campus of my school after we unloaded my car from the hauler. Dad recruited a bunch of students to help him load the hauler into the truck. Now, Dad babies his vehicles, he is the one that parks in the middle of nowhere to keep all possible dings away so this was a nerve racking activity. There wasn't a single problem with this mass lift and place. The problem came when we went for an oil change and the local parts guy backed into the truck causing a huge dent. >.<

K) I don't really like being alone. Dad left a few days after we arrived and I was on my own, starting life by myself without knowing a single person in the entire state I was in. I didn't even own a cell phone yet! Dad was still supporting me financially but it was up to me to support myself emotionally and that was going to prove interesting.

NOTE: There may be a bit of a wait on the next post. I'm going to my sister's for Thanksgiving and will be in Boston for a week.



Welcome to my little part of the blogosphere. I started this blog for the express purpose of proving that no matter what happens in life, you are not alone. I am sharing my stories from my school days, dating disasters, and personal trials.