My mother and I are going to be sitting mere inches away from each other locked inside a car for the next three days as we drive 30 hours east. I am half excited and half terrified at where our relationship is going to end up by the time we reach Minneapolis. Luckily, we broke up our drive today by stopping in Las Vegas for lunch. You read that right. My mom and I went to Vegas together and no, this is not the start of a wacky movie, this is my life.
We decided - and by “we” I mean my mom decided – that she was going to do a lot of the driving. It does not matter how old you are, it is impossible to win an argument with your mother. I am feeling much better since the food poisoning incident, but that did not matter to the woman who birthed me. As much as I tried to argue with her that not only was I fine to drive, but I wanted to drive, she was not hearing it. She looked at me and told me that I had two options: catch up on my writing or rest. She was going to be behind the wheel and there was nothing that I could do about it.
Before leaving Los Angeles, I had decided that we would break the trip into three driving days of 10 hours each (not including traffic). I planned to stop in Salt Lake City, UT the first night, Rapid City, SD the second and make it to Minneapolis on the third day. My game is not scheduled until the fifth day, but I would rather have a 24-hour period to relax rather than go straight to Target Field. Luckily, part of my planning included a drive through Las Vegas.
What we listened to in the car:
Doug Loves Movies
Paul F. Tompkins – Freak Wharf
Book of Mormon soundtrack
I was able to convince my mom to let me drive at least from LA to Vegas which took us about three and a half hours. Once we got to the strip we pulled into the Bellagio Hotel and looked for a place to eat. The casino was packed, but we found a restaurant called Todd English's Olives which had a great view of the fountains. After lunch we walked on the casino floor and played a little video poker before getting back on the road and continuing our trek across the continent. It was a short stay in Vegas, but it was fun nonetheless. I did not get a chance to catch a game at the Las Vegas 51s, but that is being saved for my minor league tour next summer!
After leaving Las Vegas my mom refused to let me drive. For the rest of the day I sat in the passenger seat writing and relaxing. As we were driving through the southwest corner of Utah near Zion National Park both my mother's and my phones started buzzing in a way that neither of us had heard before. It was a National Weather Service alert that apparently is something that happens now. There was a flash flood warning for our area and we were entering some mountainous terrain. It was getting dark so we pulled over to get some more details on the alert. I am primarily a city boy, and for the previous six years of my life I have not driven a car at all, let alone through the mountains. It goes without saying that my mother and I were a bit nervous about the alert. I asked a local at a gas station if we should be worried or not and she informed me that the storm had passed through nearly an hour earlier so we should be fine. I took this fine upstanding girl's opinion to heart and we soldiered on as darkness began to fall upon us.
I wish there was more to that story, but the girl was right and the roads were fine for the rest of the drive. There was some heavy rain for about five minutes, but once that passed it was smooth sailing to Salt Lake. We got to our hotel at midnight and immediately turned in for some more driving tomorrow. The driving ratio today was 70% mom 30% me. I am going to try and move those numbers closer to my side tomorrow, but I am not confident I will succeed.
Miles Traveled: 684
Time in Car: 10 hours
Avg. Speed: 68.4 MPH
Gas Money: $64.46, 53.77, 12.98
Gas Price: 3.759, 4.299, 4.359
Gallons Filled: 17.055, 12.507, 2.978
Sleep Time: 7 Hours 50 minutes
Bottles of Water: 6
Bathroom Stops: 6
Traffic Jams: None
Food Eaten: Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, crab stuffed shrimp and sausage ravioli from Olives
Total Money spent today $216.06
Cumulative Miles through today 11,719
Cumulative Time in car through today 216 hours