[AAA] The plan.

10 Aug
After a great morning conversation with jD and lunch out at the new mexican restaurant in town with my prom date from years past, Timmy, the day has become hectic, nerve-wracking, and crazy.  There have been cute stories in and amongst the day – if life is a literary creation, I’m trying to keep my eyes open.  I watched an older sister get her younger brother out of the car seat while the mom went to get a cart in the parking lot of a store. She seemed like a great helper.  I loved stopping at Starbucks inside Target for an iced coffee and grinning as the [too young for me] barista asked, “How you doin’ today?” all Joey-from-Friends-like.  I giggled in response.  I had great conversations with the lady at the bank and the women at the insurance office, all of whom seemed to know who I was while I had little clue who they were.  I received mail that included a cut-out of my surprise debut in the Blooming Prairie Times.  [More on that to come.]
But right now – the plan.  Therein lies the hectic, nerve-wracking, and crazy.
What I know now is that I will hope to be on the road tomorrow by 8am.  I just scored a hotel reservation in Valley City, ND, which is right about nine/nine and a half hours northwest of here.  I figure I will try and front load my trip with long driving days; I’m not much intrigued by MN and ND at this point.  Get me to Canada and then I’ll take my time.  [Though I will mention that I’ve never before been to ND – this will be the first time!]  From Valley City, I have another long day of driving to Havre, MT where I will happily visit and stay with J&M.  [So excited.  We had talked before school was out about how I would have to take the train to come visit next year – how about this summer instead and I’ll drive?  Deal!]  I hope to spend a bit of the morning with J&M on Saturday and maybe make it to Calgary for Saturday night.  It’s from that day on that the scenery will become my reason to drive.  [Melissa’s mom – who makes the drive to summer in AK every year – said she felt like she was in sensory overload on her drive through the Canadian Rockies.  I can’t wait!]
Beyond that, I have no plan.  [Therein lies the hectic, nerve-wracking, and crazy.]
I’m torn between making reservations a few days out and just playing it by ear.  I fear once I begin driving, I might not make it as far as I hope or need to cancel for one reason or another.  I’ll be packing blankets and a pillow just in case a night or two needs to be spent in the car at a campground.  [While I will be physically prepared for this with proper materials, I don’t think I will be mentally prepared if this needs to happen.  Will Lindsay go crazy?  Let’s wait and see.]  I hope this lack of plan lands me in Valdez on Thursday the 18th if not – even better – Wednesday the 17th.  Once in Valdez, I’ll have free lodging, a dog to pet, and be better able to relax and enjoy this place where my brother lives.  [And watch the salmon.]
I have seven books on tape [more than I could ever actually listen to on this trip but a variety to suit any mood], an ipod of music and new podcasts, and a bunch of food.  [I don’t plan on stopping for food but on occasion.  I’d rather stop for photographs and make myself a sandwich while doing so.]  Extra oil, a gas can that will give me an extra fifty miles if needed, and a cell phone that will allow me to text for free while in Canada but not make phone calls.  [Please note.]  With my Milepost in the passenger seat and Borg, the travel gnome, on the dash – here we go, folks.  
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