My mother is gone, leaving me alone with the open road for the rest of this tour. Luckily the majority of the long stretches are over so I have a string of four to five hour drives to breeze through. Today was a quick five hour jaunt to Milwaukee where upon reaching, I promptly ordered some dinner and got some writing done. As this was a relatively uneventful day I will use this post to answer one of the more common questions I have gotten thus far.
What kind of car are you driving?
Deciding on a car was a tough decision for me. Before embarking on this 16,000 plus mile journey on May 28th I had not owned a car in six years. I spent months weighing my options between buying a new car and renting a car for the summer. Initially I targeted a hybrid or at least a car with great gas mileage. As I thought about the longevity of this tour I began to rethink what I would need from the car. Spending 95 days on the road is not so much a road trip as it is a new way of living. Saving money on gas would be nice, but there are far more important things to consider when choosing a car for this type of marathon driving.
What I listened to in the car:
Comedy Bang Bang
Dead Authors Podcast – Scott Aukerman
You Made it Weird – Hannibal Buress
Todd Barry Podcast Live
Safety, reliability and comfort shot right to the top of my list of concerns. If anything were to happen to me on the road I needed to be assured that not only would I be safe, but I would be able to get the car fixed within hours rather than days. With such a tight schedule in most cities (48 hours and I am back on the road), I would not have the luxury of taking my car to the shop. Comfort was also a major factor for me as I have had back problems stemming from an old injury when I was a teenager. Sitting in a car for stretches of 600 plus miles at a time every other day was something that my doctor and massage therapist were not too happy about me doing. The last thing I could afford was for my back to spasm out on me and for me to be laying on the side of the road somewhere unable to stand up.
The car that I eventually settled on was a 2002 E320 Mercedes Benz. By choosing a car that required premium fuel I estimated that I should add roughly $1,500 to my total budget. That was a small price to pay for the safety, reliability and comfort I would need to spend 95 days sitting inside of the same car. You can check out photos of how my entire life is packed in the car in the gallery above. If you have any questions about the car or anything else you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miles Traveled: 332
Time in Car: 5 hours 30 minutes
Avg. Speed: 60.36 MPH
Gas Money: $40.00
Gas Price: 3.849
Gallons Filled: 10.392
Sleep Time: 7 Hours 15 minutes
Bottles of Water: 5
Bathroom Stops: 3
Traffic Jams: None
Food Eaten: Tilapia and edamame from Bonefish Grill, grapes, blueberries, strawberries
Total Money spent today $60.86
Cumulative Miles through today 13,390
Cumulative Time in car through today 243 hours 30 minutes