Monday, November 13, 2023

On the road

I have to do some proper, serious driving in a couple of months, taking two different cars on the same 1000km+ road trip. It's going to be two hard days of traveling each time, including a three-hour ferry ride between the islands. 

I will be on my own for several days, just me and the highway. And every time somebody expresses concern about how rough it might be, I want to tell them to seriously go to hell, because I can't fucking wait to hit that road.

My American brothers and sisters might mock my 1000-kay odyssey as extremely weak sauce, and I know where they are coming from - I drove two days solid heading east from San Fransisco and got about 1/8th of the way across the country. Even my trans-Tasman cuzzies can scoff at my distance, because they have roads so endless people are always getting gobbled up by the desert.

I've done some miles, all around the world, (and seriously think Americans are the best drivers in the world). But I love the groove of my native roads in Aotearoa - the State Highway One I need to drive early next year has lakes and deserts and foreshores and endless rolling hills.

And while I haven't done a solo road trip like this in quite a few years, I haven't forgotten that the most important thing is the sounds. I've got weeks before I have to go, but I'm already thinking about what I'm going to listen to on the drive. I don't usually have complete control of the stereo in the car, and can't listen to as much Faith No More as I would like, and Anika Moa's excellent kids songs are mighty ear-worms that really get stuck in there. But this is my time.

There will be all sorts of music to cruise to, nothing eats up the distance by getting lost in the tunes.  I've been getting back into the full albums lately, rather than just playlists and other singles, and two or three of those and you're making some serious time.

It's always fun to tune into local radio station to see what is going on in the area you're shooting through, although I am also very wary of that after the time we got stuck in the American desert and only had - for some goddamn reason - OK Computer and Era Vulgaris on CD to listen to in the car.

There's also the obvious option of podcats and audio plays, and it's a chance to get through some Dr Who adventures that I bought from Big Finish a decade ago and haven't got around to yet.

I have also deliberately saved the last two Fall of Civilisations I haven't listened to - that's eight hours there, baby - but don't think I'll be able to hold off on the Band of Brothers podcast I just found the other day. I could catch up on the Black Sheep, a podcast by most excellent colleague William Ray - I only just realised I missed two whole seasons of that.

I got a bit more time to find something else. In the end, I'll only be on the road for a couple of days, but I have to make them count.

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