The thing about ridiculously long road trips – which I suppose are not really all that ridiculous, but increasingly feel ridiculous as the trip wears on – is that the driver inevitably needs something to divert her attention just enough as to not cause insanity to set in while at the same time not so much that it causes her to crash into oncoming traffic or some such similar hazard.
I drove 19 hours straight to reach Virginia and split the trip back into two days – 15 and a half hours one day and about 3 hours the next. You have no idea how quickly a USB with a couple of hundred songs and a handful of CDs will get old and start irritating your ever lovin’ nerves. Well, maybe you do. Maybe you too live in the USA and have taken one of many road trips so many of us make at some point in our lives here. Maybe you have been even more ridiculous and committed to driving even further distances at once. (Like Hubs and Dane… both have driven over 30 hours in near straight shots when they were younger.) Maybe you’ve even made the interesting choice to do it for a living by being a semi driver…. Then you’d be well aware of the struggle. Maybe you’re Australian and just used to it by now… thereby having given into the insanity long ago.
I waited much too long to give up on the music option during that first leg of my trip. Somewhere just short of hitting West Virginia I finally put in the audio files hubby had given me to keep me entertained… The audio book versions of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the multiple sequels by Douglas Adams. I got through the first book and part of the second before I arrived. On the way back I listened to the rest the entire way – and still did not finish the last book – Mostly Harmless – I’ve been listening for the past four days in little 15 min spurts as I drive to and from work… Still I have more to get through.
I was actually amazed at how well it held my attention just enough to stay the oncoming madness, which seems an odd statement given the content of these books.
Though, I must say – Stephen Fry narrated the first and Martin Freeman narrated the rest… and Mr Freeman’s rendition of Zaphod Beeblebrox annoyed the fuck out of me. Martin, hun, love you to death… But pleeeease stop with that pseudo Jersey-or-something-like-it accent you gave Zaphod.
Regardless of this particular annoyance, I really have been enjoying listening to these audio books and it helped me keep from going off the deep end in front of my children. Who, by the way, were veritable angels during the drive… Amazingly so at ages 5 and 7… However, they had their own distractions and the ability to sleep so I guess that’s not entirely implausible.
The real road hazard, it turned out, was attempting to get myself out of the car at the end of it all… after having sat in the same position for hours and apparently growing old and creaky in that time.