What Happens When You Drive For 21 Hours?

Let me preface my comments by letting you know that both Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese told me they were unavailable to work with me on making the video above.

Howard’s personal assistant told me he was washing his hair and Scorsese’s guy said he was having his eyebrows done so what you have is the very raw version of an emotional day.

It doesn’t do justice to the place I called home or give you the sort of insight that would make you nod your head and smile because you know why I say I am going to miss that place. And if you know me well you know that I am not sentimental about too many things, but homes tend to be one of the few.

What Happens When You Drive For 21 Hours?

I left Fort Worth on Friday and drove straight to El Paso, Texas. My good friend Google Maps measures that as taking more than 8 hours to complete a bit more than 600 miles.

Saturday morning I woke up and decided that 600 miles on day one wasn’t enough driving for me so I punched in the coordinates for LA and set out for the 800 mile plus trip with the idea that it would be better to see my family sooner than later.

The net result is that I drove for a bit more than 21 hours which means in two days I went from Texas to New Mexico to Arizona to California.

Have I mentioned that the last two hours were brutal and that after dinner Sunday night I threw up twice. Haven’t figured out if it was exhaustion, the beef jerky I bought at a gas station in Bowie, Arizona or something else that did me in.

But I can tell you that my eyes look simply fabulous, there is nothing better than stomach distress to help make you look like someone beat you up. I figure when I walk onto the basketball court I can tell the guys I stopped two muggers at a truck stop.

Won’t make me play any better but if I can intimidate the other guys it might make the game easier for me which fits with the philosophy of work smarter and not harder.

It Feels Like A Lost Weekend

Since Monday is a work day I made a point to push hard so that I could get back and have some time to relax before the work week starts.  It also meant that I only stopped to fill up with gas and to hit the restroom.

A sizable chunk of driving time is through the desert which has a sort of stark beauty to it.  It provides plenty of time to do nothing more than keep your eyes on the road and think because radio stations seem to be few and far between, at least for us non satellite listeners.

The lack of consistent connectivity meant that I really didn’t listen to the news and because my stops were limited and short I didn’t go online to check things out.

It felt strange to be so disconnected from the world. I don’t always update the blogs on the weekend but I do make a point to check the news and see what is going on in the world.

The lack of connection left me feeling like I have lost a couple of days.


And just like that I have moved from living alone for an extended period of time to being with my family again. The family time is great. It is important, necessary and needed but there is no better word than reentry to describe some of how I feel.

The noise level is exceptional and it comes with this weird sort of Deja Vu. I know my place, what I expect and what is expected of me but it would be a lie if I said it isn’t an adjustment to have be concerned with everyone else’s schedule and my own.

It is not a bad thing and it is something I have been working towards but it is different.

And part of that comes from having had an important and memorable time in Texas. Maybe it is because Texas has always attracted me or because so many good things happened there.

Or maybe it is because it is on the list of places I could see myself living.

Maybe none of it matters, but I took the video so that I would have more active memories. I suppose the one thing I probably should have done is have made a point to have run the tape before the packing and movers.

And now here we are. Should be interesting to see what comes next.

(Visited 90 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Pingback: For Your 100th Birthday

  2. Craig McBreen October 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes I should have framed them 😉

  3. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes October 31, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Craig McBreen Seepage shorts, now there is an image for you. 😉  Did you throw them away or did you wash them?

  4. Craig McBreen October 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    When My wife and I did our cross country trip way back in the 90s (Baltimore to Seattle) our longest drive was probably Breckenridge Colorado to San Diego. She did most of the driving though because I had saddle sores from a very long horsey trip through the Rockies 😉 Was sitting on layers of gauze and ruined my favorite pair of shorts. At least I made her laugh when I got up to pump gas in what we soon called my seepage shorts 😉

  5. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes October 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    susancellura Hi Susan. That is a long time to be driving, especially when you get to Houston and you are so tired you want to speed through Bellaire. Damn cops. 😉

  6. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes October 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    RobBiesenbach Hi Rob,
    810 miles is a very respectable drive, much respect is given to you for that. This aging thing is out of control, especially the jerky issue.
    Can’t get enough Beef Jerky, at least I couldn’t–now I am not quite sure any more. Goes with the mystery aches and pains. Huh. 😉

  7. susancellura October 28, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Way to go, Josh! My personal best is 15 hours straight – Jacksonville, FL to Houston, TX – without beef jerky. I’m glad you are home.

  8. RobBiesenbach October 28, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Congratulations on making it through to the other side in (mostly) one piece! My personal best is 810 miles of solo driving in one day—Chicago to NYC. Also, as I age, I find my tolerance for jerky (once an indispensable element of any road trip) has gone down.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like
%d bloggers like this: