I’m on my way to Michigan, with JJ navigating from the backseat!
We left Los Angeles on Friday, and I’m writing this from a motel room in Wendover, Utah, right on the Utah/Nevada border.
We arrived a little while ago, and after I checked us into our room, I took JJ out for a nice long walk. It was a walk for the record books: it was our first walk that crossed a state line!
The dashed red line divides Nevada (on the left) and Utah (on the right). The exact border is even marked on the main road through town.
There are casinos on the Nevada side that butt up right against the state line, and after the first couple there’s a little hill that JJ and I scaled.
JJ ate his dinner when we got back from our walk, and soon, I’m going to head out and search for some dinner for me. There’s a bunch of hotel/casinos, so I’ll dig around online and find a restaurant in one where I can get a big salad or something. Or maybe I’ll go apeshit at a buffet! Ha!
I’m hungry. It’s been a long day of driving. We started at 7am in San Rafael, California, where my brother Steven and his family live, and we drove for nine hours.
This was my second of six days in the car to get from Los Angeles to Michigan, and it’s been going great. On prior road trips, I photographed all my road trip snacks, but I’m not doing that this time, because there’s only so many photos of almonds and beef jerky I can take!
But I have set up parameters for eating on this road trip. The main one is that I’d like to make it all the way to Michigan without buying any gas station snacks. I’m getting around that because I have a bag full of snacks in my trunk, but I bought ahead of time. It’s all the usual suspects: nuts, jerky, freeze dried fruit, protein shakes.
I’ve also been gifted road trip snacks, which was very sweet. My aunt Ellen and uncle Joe gave me a container of raw almonds, as well as some tasty, super dark chocolate, the kind that’s so high in cacao (90%!) that there’s very little sugar, comparatively, and it tastes almost bitter.
Then my sister-in-law Alexis and my nephews Eddie and Maren prepared a road trip gift bag, filled with more almonds, jerky, gum, and a whole lot of breath mints. Maybe they’re trying to send a message. But it’s just me and JJ in the car, and he hasn’t complained about my breath once!
They also threw in a couple containers of Quaker overnight oats, so I can have oatmeal for breakfast on the road without having to cook it. I tried one this morning, and it was a little bit on the sweet side for me, but was really satisfying and filling.
Lastly, I’m starting each day by stopping at an actual grocery store (not a gas station), and buying vegetables (in those bags where they are pre-washed and cut-up) to munch on. Today it was broccoli, cauliflower, and snow peas. Tomorrow it’ll be baby carrots, celery, and I also got an apple and some grapes.
Because of all of this, I’m not even stopping for lunch. I’m just having healthy snacks throughout the day. Most of the stash stays in the trunk, but when I start the day or fill up the tank, I grab a few things to enjoy over the next few hours. I even have bottles of water (flat and fizzy) and low-sodium V8 in my trunk, so I don’t need to purchase beverages along the way – although those will run out long before Michigan, so I’ll have to stock up.
I spent three full days in San Rafael with Steven, Alexis, Maren and Eddie before continuing on to Utah. It was really fun. Maren, Alexis and I ran in a 5K race, and Eddie came along too.
It was called the Sunrise Marathon – even though they only had 5K, 10K, and half-marathon options, and we opted for an 11am start time, well past sunrise.
The course was very hilly, around the perimeter of the College of Marin campus. It was beautiful, and one section of the out-and-back course was alongside a grove of moss covered trees.
I ate one of my last Bobo’s Oat Bites before competing, as that’s become a new thing I do.
One cool thing about this race is that they have cool swag: besides a t-shirt, I got a canteen-style water bottle and a finisher’s medal that I can use as a lid the preserve the contents of an open aluminum can!
(I actually use these all the time for JJ’s cans of wet food.)
This race was my eleventh of the year. I’m on a quest to do 40 in 2019, since I just turned 40 a few weeks ago, and I’m on track! My time was 33:15, slower than my last couple 5Ks, but this course was much harder, thanks to those hills.
The evening after the race, Alexis, Maren, Eddie, and I went to Sausalito for dinner at a harbor-side restaurant appropriately named Fish. Alexis and I both ordered one of the specials, halibut served over lentils and curried cauliflower. It was delicious, but I would’ve loved more cauliflower!
After dinner we walked down a dock, and checked out a couple boats.
Sausalito is very hilly, so we went on a quest to find one of their public stairways that has around 140 steps, only to come across the saddest sign I’ve ever seen:
Tragedy! (Both the closure and the mudslide!)
I took JJ on a hike each of the other days, one just the two of us, and one with Steven and Alexis. For that second one, we were literally the only ones on the mountain, so I let JJ go off-leash so he could run around and wear himself out. It worked like a charm – he slept the rest of the day!
I tried to help in the kitchen as much as possible, too, even if it was just chopping vegetables or doing dishes. Alexis and I made a huge wheatberry, arugula, and cashew salad, using a recipe that Alexis had, that we ate during two meals.
Once, for breakfast, Alexis made a veggie and cheese frittata, while I cooked up the bacon.
Next stop, after one more day of driving, is my sister Sarah’s place in Colorado. You better believe I’ll be making more healthy choices there!
Keep it up, David!