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1. An ex- girlfriend! Well if you do don’t make a platonic relationship agreement. I did, and I slept alone a lot on this trip. It’s better to leave your options open!
2. A tumble weed! Yep you heard right. I stopped in the New Mexico desert and retrieved a tumble weed that was mindlessly bouncing along in the desert next to the interstate that reminded me of myself at that time. I was later pulled over by a New Mexico State trooper and was asked ,”Son what in the hell are you going riding around in the desert with a damn tumble weed in the back seat?”
3. An absolute date that you have to be back by! If you can’t leave and not give a damn when you get back …don’t go! You will constantly be checking your schedule and missing interesting places and people that you would not miss if you were not on a schedule.
4. A bottle of champagne. I took one given to me by a friend from Atlanta who requested that when I reached the Pacific Ocean for me to get the bottle of champagne out and think of her with a toast as I drank from the bottle. Upon reaching the Pacific Ocean I retrieved the bottle from my trunk to toast my friend but the bottle had exploded from the exposure of the cold Aspen Colorado nights. We took a picture of the exploded bottle and sent it back to her. She wasn’t amused!
5. A pre conceived route. When Lindy and I left Atlanta our goal was to reach Aspen, Colorado and to not worry about what happened before or after that point. And we didn’t! Additional 10 states and another country later, I by myself, ended up back in Atlanta a month or so later after pulling into Aspen, Colorado the day before Thanksgiving!
6. Any Doubt that our vehicle would make it out west and back! Our trusty steed the Green Pig was marvelous. We traveled 7,500 miles and this steady stud only burned two or three quarts of oil, of course gas was only 20-30 cents per gallon so that wasn’t a big number either.
7. An extra bag of pot. As the earlier mentioned as the New Mexico state trooper was searching my vehicle with his drug dog and Chief Geronimo (a Native American Indian) he picked up an old paper sack that this old pot was in and I guess it was so bad the dog couldn’t even smell it.
8. Any bright idea that you can stop in Wichita Falls, Texas, buy two Dallas Cowboy /Los Angeles Rams NFL play- off tickets (price $12.00 each) to be played in Dallas the next day and make money on them . I don’t even want to talk about it. You will have to read the book .Dammit!
9. Idea that you can go from never seeing a professional black jack table to winning big money in Caesar’s Palace. Although I came out ahead, it could have been much worse than it turned out.
10. Any notion that just because your main squeeze (ie the girl you love) is still in love with you just because she visits you in Los Angles on your road trip. Find out what really happens. It may change all of your ideas about road tripping across town, much less across the country!
11. I know this is a top ten list but this’un was too good to leave off!
An empty gas tank….Yep, in the book I tell the story of a road trip within a road trip that happened on a trip from Troy, Alabama to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. A couple of years after I had graduated from college I met two of my old teammates, Jack Smith and J.” Moe” Gillespie in Troy for a road trip to the Mardi Gras. We met at Lefty’s Bar in Troy and was very diligent about loading the 5 cases of beer that I won in a pool tournament in the bar while waiting for these two “knuckle heads” to get ready to go. We were also very diligent about loading their luggage, which consisted of two Piggly Wiggley grocery sacks with dirty drawers and socks in them.
At around midnight we were ready for the trip and with much fanfare from our fellow bar mates .We struck out for New Orleans… only to get half way between Troy and Luvern, Alabama where we gave out of gas!! We had forgotten the most important thing for a successful roadtrip…gas!!