Connecticut to California: Part 1 – DRIVE!

It’s been about a week since my first post introducing my current trip and filling in some blanks on my new direction in life, as well as the trip I’m taking to get to it.

Yup, I’m currently in middle America, specifically in Jefferson, Texas, putting together a little something from my first leg so far.

Heading into a windy and rainy New Jersey. I’m also about to get 30 bucks in tolls taken from me in the process, but hey, sweet license plate.

My departure from Connecticut last week brought with it the longest and most painful drive thus far. I wanted to get out of the snowy cold on the east coast and get down to the south straight away. That decision faced a grueling nine hour drive to Richmond, with a toll every few feet in New Jersey, and torrential rains deep into the night. Let’s just say there’s not much to talk about from that ride. Podcasts, traffic, rest stops, withered hot dogs, and splitting stomach aches lead into a Motel 6 next to the airport, in Richmond, Virginia.

My girlfriend and I, Catherine, who is also accompanying me on this trip, found ourselves in the downtown section of Richmond the next day, which had a quaint and down-to-earth culture that felt a lot like New Haven, actually.

This is Catherine. We worked from a great little cafe and market in Richmond. The weather was not rain nor snow. Ahhh…

From Richmond, we drove straight to Asheville, North Carolina. This was the first stop we were both really excited about. After another long drive, this time through some beautiful mountains, we arrived in the city of Asheville at about 10pm. For those that haven’t been to Asheville, it’s a mountainous town that has a thriving community built around great beer and the outdoors. Let’s just say I felt right at home.

Here, I learned quickly that traveling on a budget will also lead you into finding some hidden gems for motels and lodging.

We found a great place straight from 1960’s era, called the Mountaineer Inn. This place was as awesome as it was just nuts. Upon getting the keys to our first room, I parked the car in front of the door to our room. As I opened the door I noticed that it was locked from the inside with one of those chain locks that won’t let you open it past a few inches. I quickly put my hand around it and started trying to grab the end of the chain to pull it off until I heard, “He-he-HELLO?! I’m a man in here. Stop insisting to enter!”

Yup, there was a panicked man, probably thinking I was there to rob him, that ran to pull the shade open, wearing nothing but tight blue underwear and a Rascal Flatts t-shirt, looking as scared as a cat about to get flung into the tub or a rabbit peakin’ in to the stew pot (you’ll have to forgive me at times during my current writing, as I know the south is starting to rub off on me).

The Old Mountaineer Inn front desk woman eventually gave us the right keys and the blue underweared man eventually went back to sleep.

Anyway, the next morning I noticed the bathroom light switch turned on these two bright red 70’s looking heat lamps in the bathroom. Yeah, I know, that was a random segway…

Let me rephrase, they were from the 70’s, in fact everything about our room was from the 70’s and 60’s. Nothing had been changed since it’s opening, which was both charming and kind of creepy at the same time.

So, back to these heat lamps…

Yeah, they were red. They were hot. And I kind of liked them on this cold morning. So, as I took a red light infused shower I got out and dried myself off. Much like any human being does after a hot shower. I had left the bathroom for maybe two minutes until I heard this weird crackling and smell of firewood. I ran back to the bathroom and noticed the top of the door had been literally cooking from the red 70’s heat lamps.

Apparently, as I exited the bathroom, the door had been left half open, which allowed these 70’s red heat lamps to cook the crap out of the top of the door.

It’s my pleasure to introduce to you, the last two remaining 70’s themed red bathroom heat lamps in the country. And yes, a burnt crackling bathroom door!

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming up this Thursday! Then, I’ll get more into my great day and night, in Asheville…



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