Hazards of the Road

roadhazardI’ve driven almost seven-thousand miles since leaving Maine two weeks ago. I can hardly believe it.

The past few days have been some of the most challenging on the road, with night driving, aggressive drivers, terrible thunderstorms, and road fatigue.

A few nights ago I drove into Albuquerque, New Mexico, late at night. The lights were beautiful and dramatic, but I was tired and had no plans for the night. I eventually found a motel, but it was after ten, and I fell into bed exhausted. Today, two days later, I drove through a thunderstorm with the most dramatic sky to ground lightning I’ve ever seen (really saying something because I used to live along the front range in Colorado, famous for its dramatic storms).

I also had to put up with excessive speeders and ridiculously close tailgaters—you know who you are, Mr. Illinois, who was about two feet from my bumper as I drove next to a semi-truck. Terrifying. Also, today (for the first time) I felt incredibly drowsy while driving, so I pulled into a rest stop, covered my head with a blanket, and slept for twenty minutes. It really surprised me that I could sleep at all because I’m usually not a napper and there was a thunderstorm going on (gives you an idea how tired I was). I awoke refreshed and drove on another two-hundred miles.

Tonight, right over the Iowa state line in Illionis, I had a quick dinner in my motel room, and now I plan to fall into bed. I’ll be getting up early to try and dodge more predicted heavy rains.

I haven’t been able to relax enough to enjoy the sights along the road, but the farmland in Iowa was beautiful, and I really loved the prairies of Nebraska. I also saw three camels right at the Wyoming border, passed John Wayne’s birthplace, and I saw some really, really weird freeway overpass sculptures in Iowa—I thought they looked like Edward Scissorhands (here’s a blog I found that someone else wrote about them).

I’m hoping I’ll get home early Sunday…I’m ready to be home. When I get there, I’ll catch up on blogging about two wonderful blogging friends, Melissa Crytzer Fry and Shary Hover, who I had the opportunity to visit while I was on the road!







  1. Melissa Crytzer Fry says:

    I’m so sorry the last few days have been so grueling! Keep taking those power naps, woman!

    • The drivers seemed more and more intense the further east I got — not sure why! Consequently it was a little bit stressful! Glad to be safe and sound at home, now, but it’s weird being out of the car!

  2. Shary says:

    You’ve covered a lot of miles! Fingers crossed that your last full day is an easy one. I hope you do get home early Sunday, but if you’re too tired to keep driving, stop and rest. Be careful!

  3. Cynthia Robertson says:

    Stay safe, and enjoy your last day of driving, Julia!

  4. Oh Julia, you are so brave to do this! I hope the weather isn’t too hard on you and you don’t get any other idiot drivers on your bumper (I am being very polite here – it is one of my pet hates!) Some lovely moments too by the sound of it though. Drive safely xo

  5. What an experience. Sometimes the harrowing ones are the ones we value the most for the growth, or mere survival, experiences they are. I hope you are safely home now. I suspect YEH will be glad to have you back safe and sound.

    I agree with Abi that you were brave to do this. What a memory you’ve made.

  6. Barb Riley says:

    Wow, you were probably driving right through this weird cluster of mini, but very powerful, storms that hit the midwest the other day. And I can’t believe you did night driving… ALONE! (so many things to worry about—numero uno, falling asleep)! I would give you a tsk-tsk, but since you’re home safely now (and you took a power nap), I’ll lay off the motherly scolding. 😛

    Glad to hear you’re back and have a chance to rest now. And I agree with others who say you were brave.

  7. Glad you are home safe. Wow–what a driving marathon! I have enjoyed reading about your trip. Get some rest.

  8. Did you take that photo?! The sky is unbelievably gorgeous!

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      I did take the photo, Annie! And although I’d like to take credit for all the colors in the photo — I’ll admit that I took it through the tinted portion of the car’s windshield, so the sky was not quite so spectacularly dark! Still, it was quite a gorgeous sky 🙂