The Envelope, Please

It’s the official Roadtrip Awards!

States

This one definitely surprised me but the best state to drive through is Montana. Sure, it’s ridiculously beautiful and all that but get this – nearly every gas station I stopped at had a liquor store AND a casino. It’s the ultimate one stop shop.

The worst state? It’s a tie between Missouri and Indiana. I’m sorry, Brian Lindsay, but both states were windy and endless. Now, add some casinos at your gas stations and you’ll move up the rankings.

Campsites

The best was at Kicking Horse Campground in Yoho National Park. It was closed (so you could argue it was technically our 3rd illegal campsite because we camped there anyway) but it was wooded and was one of the few sites where we could have a campfire.

The worst campsite? Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park. This picture sums it up.

Overnight Parking (or boondocking to people like me)

My criteria are simple: not too loud, not too bright, and not too serial killer-y. You know, like my men.

The best was the first one, the Cabela’s in Lexington, Kentucky. I got lucky that my first night was safe, not creepy, and close to an entire truck filled with bourbon.

The worst? It’s a place I didn’t actually stay in overnight. I was somewhere in Nebraska and pulled into a Walmart around 5 pm. I immediately passed a hollowed-out school bus with no tires in the parking lot. One guy was sitting on its hood, drying his hair with a dirty towel. The other guy was staring at my camper. Nope.

Driving entertainment

We have a tie! First, I loved Drivetime, a free trivia game. The questions aren’t very hard, so I feel like a genius. But two of my heroes on this trip were Emerson and Ellen Thompson. They had a knack for knowing when I was discouraged or just plain tired, and would call at exactly the right time. They never fail to make me laugh my head off, so they were the best possible entertainment!

The worst but most binge-worthy was Forensic Files which airs on HLN on Sirius all afternoon. There’s really nothing like listening to stories of rapes and murders as you drive around looking for a campsite. Yet I couldn’t stop listening to it.

Snacks

How have I lived my whole life without knowing about these Scooby Doo things? They’re fantastic AND a good source of calcium!

The worst snack was the Starbucks brownie that Bev ate right after Mighty nibbled away at it. Sorry, Bev, but that was simply hilarious!!

Acquisitions

You all know plenty about the stuff I lost on this trip, like my car’s battery and my camper’s fan, but you haven’t heard about the stuff I gained!

My best acquisition was a snow brush and scraper. I left Banff in a terrible snowstorm, which turned out to be a blizzard that actually had a name, Aubrey.  I stopped in High River to get gas. The gas station employees both had perfect deadpan faces and voices. This was the conversation:

Him: Why are you driving in this?

Her: We live here and we don’t drive in this shit.

Me: Well, I didn’t really think it would be this bad.

Her: We don’t drive in this shit. You should just stop. [Takes drag on cigarette]

Me: [I was thinking, “I swear they were in Fargo.“] Um, how much is this ice scraper?

Him: If we give it to you, will you promise to go stay at the Ramada?

And that’s how I came to own a lovely scraper and how I spent two days at the Waterslide Ramada. I had no idea that I could be bought for an $8 tool.

Worst acquisition? Come on. You all know it was the damn mouse.

Thank you, Jenn Grover, for the idea for this post! To see her amazing photos from this trip, click here.

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