I took a vacation to attend a radio conference in Wichita, Kansas. I went with my friend from high school, we’ve been doing this for decades.

I drove from the coast of California to Kansas city, MO, then to Wichita, KS. Over 4100 miles and used close to 100 gallons of gas. With 60,000 miles on the car, it doesn’t get the 50 miles a gallon it use to. Now it’s more like 43 miles to a gallon.

12 days on the road. Only 4 of them did not involve serious driving. By serious I mean 8 to 12 hours of driving.

I had planned to have my friend drive some of the trip. He wasn’t feeling well most of the time so I ended up driving the majority of the time.

I had planned to write while he drove. The first time he drove I dug out the lap top. I had remembered to bring the car charger so I was all set. It didn’t work out. Bouncing around in the car with the laptop makes it hard to type. I don’t need an Internet connection to write, but the laptop screen is hard to see in the sunlight. Could have used a big card board box to put over the computer to make it better to see the screen.

I tried to write in the hotel room. After eight to ten hours of driving, plus stops along the way, I just wanted to get some sleep. I also found that I had left the thumb drive, with all the current files on it that I needed, back in California. It’s hard to think after being on the road ten to twelve hours. It’s near impossible if you have been driving those ten to twelve hours. I was able to plow through a couple of hundred emails, a night, in the hotel room, but not much else.

I did get some writing related things done. I made notes in the paper log I keep. Again I couldn’t write well while my friend drove. My handwriting is bad enough, but bouncing around in the car it gets illegible. In the hotel room I would jot down a few key notes. I had to stop at a dollar store to get a new Pilot Gel pen. The one I was using ran out of ink. Next time I’m packing a spare. I also picked up a spare five by seven note book, the one I have been using is running out of blank pages. Note, pack a spare note book next time.

Taking notes on the smart phone is too slow. The soft keypad, on the screen, is too small for my fingers. And it looks like I’m texting all the time. The screen on the cell phone is easier to see in the sun light than the laptop but not much better. It also gives me neck pains if I use it too long.

A vacation is for fun, so the blog posts did not get done. A vacation is for relaxing. Driving for ten to twelve hours is not relaxing. I had to have my friend read the questions from cross word puzzles to me to keep me from falling asleep at the wheel. A lot of the central United States looks the same. We would do two or three cross word puzzles a day. It’s getting harder and harder to find a newspaper, even at truck stops. There are almost no paper back books at truck stops. If someone comes up with an audio version of a cross word puzzle, they could make a fortune.

Stay strong, write on, and go take a vacation.
Professor Hyram Voltage