One more post about my trip home, if you'll indulge me.
My friend Mike who lives in Seattle had gone to Wisconsin to visit family. He was about to return westbound just as I was leaving Brewster, WA to go south. Turned out that we got on the road at exactly the same time, around one o'clock, my time; just after noon, his time. His drive was only two days, a little shorter than mine. As we do, we kept each other company on the phone as we droned along on the Interstate, going our separate ways together.
My plan was to drive until midnight or one a.m. or so, then find a rest area to stop in and get four or five hours of sleep. It's not that I'm cheap, but what's the point of stopping in a motel if you're only going to be there for a couple of hours? I had the seats out of my van. And with a thick, cold-weather sleeping bag rolled out to lie on, a big quilt and a couple of pillows, I had a warm, comfortable place to catch some shut-eye when the time came.
Mike had said he was also going to drive until midnight and then crash for "...two and a half hours." He said he didn't need much sleep. Plus, he wasn't driving a van and would have to recline his driver's seat of his rental SUV and sleep in it.
By midnight I was done - couldn't keep my eyes open. I hadn't gone as far as I'd hoped, but I know better than to force it. A sign saying “Rest Area” beckoned. I pulled in, climbed in the back and snuggled into my makeshift bed.
Rest areas are cool out west. The cops don't bother you if you pull in to sleep for a while. At this particular rest area, someone had even raised their pop-up trailer and was sleeping in it. I don't know how well that would go over down here in the south, but I'd bet they frown on it. "Find a Walmart!" they'd probably say.
Next thing I knew my alarm was going off and it was five a.m. Feeling good, I got back on the road, cruise-control set at 79. I thought about calling Mike to see how he was doing - but no need. As if on cue my phone rang. It was him. “Wakey, wakey!”
Mike said he also stopped around the same time I did. And instead of sleeping for just the intended couple of hours, he slept until five a.m. as well. He would drive another ten hours before getting home to his own bed. I would drive for another five days.
What a crazy life we lead.