Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 8

Tucson, Arizona (where we took a morning hike at Saguaro National Park, pictured below) to San Diego, California, our destination for this road trip.

Distance: 417 miles (3,198 of 3,198 total miles (100% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 6 hours

Temperature Range: 47°F to 77°F (then back down to 63°F and foggy by the time we got to San Diego)

Where we ate: At our temporary apartment (tamales, chicken with sweet potatoes and onions, sautéed green beans, chocolate ice cream)

Miles Remaining: 0

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 7

Las Cruces, New Mexico (where we took a morning hike at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, pictured below) to Tucson, Arizona (where we met up with one of my friends I haven’t seen since junior high and her partner)

Distance: 279 miles (2,781 of 3,198 total miles (87.0% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 4 hours

Temperature Range: 31°F to 79°F

Where we ate: Maynard’s Market

Miles Remaining: 417

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 6

Abilene, Texas, to Las Cruces, New Mexico (where chilies are a very popular ingredient and where they also have cool public sculpture, like “Eagle Man” pictured below)

Distance: 497 miles (2502 of 3,198* total miles (78.2% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 7 hours

Temperature Range: 30°F to 55°F

Where we ate: Dragonfly

Miles Remaining: 696

More notes about this leg of the journey:

  • We drove through El Paso and glimpsed the border fence and Ciudad Juárez on the other side.
  • Passed some high-density feedlots in New Mexico that put me off steak again, at least until my memory of the taste of steak again overpowers my memory of the smell as we went by those feedlots.
  • We visited the Las Cruces library, our first library of this road trip. My children were immediately in their element. There were a few titles I wanted to have on hand for the 24in48 readathon later this month, and I found myself thinking, “I’ll pick those up when we get home,” before realizing that we kind of don’t have a home right now. Home is where the library is for my children, and I made a mental note to take us on a tour of the San Diego branch libraries once we reach our destination. Our thoughts about the branch libraries might carry a lot of weight as we decide which neighborhood to settle in.
  • It’s exhausting enough traveling cross-country, but traveling with everything we think we’ll need for two months (and our cat and everything he needs for two months) is even more exhausting. And I packed one too few pairs of underwear for this road trip, and I’m down a shirt after the underarm seams of one of my shirts tore yesterday when I stretched. I am officially road-weary and in need of a washing machine.

*You might notice that this number is different than it was on days 1-5. Google Maps must have had some kind of argument with itself between Day 1 and today, and decided 3,198 was the more accurate number. If the total doesn’t match up when we get to San Diego, I’ll change the numbers until they do match. It’s a good thing I’m not an accountant.

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 5

Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Abilene, Texas (which is the Storybook Capital of America and in the downtown of which we visited a variety of fairy-tale-inspired sculptures (Goldilocks and the Three Bears are pictured below))

Distance: 477 miles (2005 of 3,156 total miles (63.5% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 7 hours

Temperature Range: 19°F to 55°F

Where we ate: The Beehive Restaurant
Miles Remaining: 1,151

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 4

Jackson, Tennessee to Hot Springs, Arkansas (where we visited Hot Springs National Park)

Distance: 273 miles (1,528 of 3,156 total miles (48.4% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 4 hours

Temperature Range: 5°F to 25°F

Where we ate: Bubba Brew’s Brewing Company Spa City Taproom

Miles Remaining: 1,628

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 3

Northeast Ohio to Jackson, Tennessee (where we had catfish, po’boys, and steak for dinner)

Distance: 634 miles (1,255 of 3,156 total miles (39.8% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 10 hours (including two rest stops)

Temperature Range: -2°F to 26°F

Where we ate: Redbone’s Grill and Bar

Miles Remaining: 1,901

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 2

Northeast Ohio

Distance: 0 of 3,156 total miles (still 19.6% of the total trip; this was a zero day set aside for visiting family, including my baby niece, for New Year’s Eve)

Driving Time: Not applicable

Temperature Range: -2°F to 12°F

Miles Remaining: 2,535

2017: My Year in Books

Here at the end of 2017, I’m in the midst of my 17th relocation since I graduated high school (and my 23rd move since birth (not including the relocation from my mother’s uterus into the world at large)). That’s a lot of moving when I put it like that. It feels like a dubious accomplishment.

I vowed to make 2017 a travel year, but I didn’t know until November that in addition to the trips we took to California, Utah, Washington, DC, and Spain, we would also be relocating 3,000 miles southwest.

At the time this post publishes, if all goes according to plan, I’m sitting in a rental car with one spouse, two children, one cat, and a box full of muffins and pretzels, driving farther and farther away from the below-zero temperatures of this New England winter. I’ve spent the past few years in New England assembling a wardrobe largely made up of black and gray wool, which I trust will be of great use in San Diego.

Planned and unplanned travel and wardrobe choices aside, 2017 was, as usual, a year of books.

I read 101 books this year. The average (mean) books read per month was 8.41, and the average (mean) per week was 1.94. Total number of pages (according to Goodreads) was 27,931 (76.5 pages per day, 537 per week). Of course since a lot of these were audiobooks, not all of these were pages, per se.

Of these books, 69 were fiction (including children’s books), 10 were memoirs (up 100% from last year), and the remaining 21 were other nonfiction (an increase of nearly 150% from 2016). Of these, 16 were audiobooks and 6 were DNFs.

My Cavalcade of Classics list expired in January with disappointingly few books checked off. I plan to use my TBR List Declutter to help assemble a new, more reasonable Classics list. I’m not terribly skilled at “reasonable” when it comes to books, but it’s a laudable goal and probably something of a spiritual practice. Biblioasceticism or something.

Between Dewey’s and 24in48, I think I hit my readathon stride this year and learned a lot about how to assemble a readathon pile that holds my interest throughout 24 hours of reading.

As 2018 dawns, I am reading White Tears by Hari Kunzru. I predict that the first week of January will be filled with audiobooks, but after that I hope to be able to spend at least a little bit of time with my reading-with-my-eyes books in between house-hunting and connecting with homeschooling groups, orthodontists, veterinarians, pediatricians, dentists, and the myriad other members of our entourage.

 One of the biggest downsides of this late-breaking moving madness (we didn’t know we were moving until November 30; yippee!) is that I didn’t get my usual birthday/Christmas present of five library books selected for me by my spouse. Maybe I can convince him to get me a half-birthday/Christmas-in-June stack of books. Or maybe once we’re in the land of perpetual good weather, I’ll no longer want books as gifts. That would be strange development, indeed, but I rule nothing out anymore.

Below is my book list for 2017, by the month I finished each book. Click on the month name for the “Bookends” for that month, which includes other information about my reading progress throughout the year. I also cross-post most of my reviews on Goodreads. If you’d like to just go straight to Goodreads to see my reviews there, here’s the link to my Goodreads profile. You can also go there to see all 1163 books I’ve read and logged on Goodreads. If you’re not a Goodreads fan, you can check out my collection on LibraryThing instead, although it’s not as up-to-date as my Goodreads (alas).

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Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 1

Central Massachusetts to Northeast Ohio (via Pennsylvania, pictured below)

Distance: 621 miles of 3,156 total miles (19.6%)

Driving Time: 12 hours (should have been closer to 9.5)

Temperature Range: -1°F to 23°F

Miles remaining: 2,535

For those who might have missed our previous cross-country road trip, here’s Day One of our move from Utah to Massachusetts in June 2011.

Weekly Walk 38 1/2: Prince Edward Island

When last we met, my family had just spent a couple of days wandering by car, foot, and boat around Bar Harbor, Maine, and Acadia National Park. Once I’d done enough lunges up the sides of mountains, we packed into the car and headed north through the spruce-fir forests of New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.

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Brackley Beach area of Prince Edward Island National Park.

When I tell you that I’ve been wanting to go to Prince Edward Island since I was twelve years old, you will probably know what triggered my interest in Canada’s smallest province and the birthplace of Confederation. If you don’t know the connection between PEI and twelve-year-old girls, don’t worry; there are some clues coming up. Read More