A Driver’s Memoir

As I adjust my seating position so that the majority of my weight now rests on the left cheek, giving my right cheek a much needed break, I look at my wife. She hasn't driven at all and we’ve traveled over 14,000 miles! I’ve driven from Colorado to Alaska, down the entire Pacific Coast and now we’re in the southwest desert of the United States and this individual to my right hasn't driven a single mile.

She’ll sit cross legged, legs up on the dash, she’ll recline, and even nap from time to time. My comfort positions? Left lean, right lean, and cruise-control with legs crossed.

But here’s the secret, I enjoy it! Call me a masochist but for months I’ve been doing all the driving and it’s great.

To be clear, Katy has wanted to drive throughout this entire trip. She is a good, extremely capable driver but I’m on a mission.

I developed this peculiar desire to drive all the way to Alaska while driving from Glacier National Park to Calgary. The distance from Glacier to Calgary was longer than any previous drive on this road trip. Katy asked when she could get behind the wheel. I turned to her half jokingly, half serious saying, “I’m going to drive to Alaska.”

This statement was made approximately 35 driving hours away from the Alaskan/Canadian border. Then it occurred to me, it would be pretty cool if I was the sole driver all the way to Alaska. It would be an accomplishment I could brag about within the roadtripping community.

“Oh, you two drove to California from New York? Cool. I drove to Alaska all by myself.” It would go something like that and I'd make sure there were glimpses of my chest hair as an additional sticking point.

To give you an idea, driving from Colorado to Fairbanks, Alaska in the most direct route (not the route we took) takes the same time as a drive from Manhattan to Los Angeles, then Los Angeles to Portland. It's a long drive.

If I can take the words of George Costanza and Larry David, “It really didn't take that long either”. Well, more accurately it didn't feel like it took that long. We typically travel in short distances every few days so a few hours here and there with plenty of fun outdoor activity along the way really isn’t too bad. Some days we have the 9-10 hour drive but more often we drive 1-3 hours.

As we’ve shared before, our longest driving session was from Seward, Alaska to Whistler, BC (44 hours of drive time). We did this in four days and was easily the longest stretch of driving I've ever done and it really wasn’t that bad. Katy and I chat like crazy, dance to music, and listen to podcasts. Some new Podcasts we started to listen to are: How I Built This, In the Dark, The Way I Heard It, and Accused. We are always looking for more Podcasts so if you have some recommendations let us know!

At this point we have been on the road over 130 days and driven over 14,000 miles. I’m still going strong and I want to be the sole driver of this road trip, which will last until mid-November. Hopefully my health and my left/right cheeks will warrant this sick dream.

-Michael