Yes, it has been a week since I posted. For those of you who thought I had forever disappeared, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, I just was packing, getting ready for the trip down to school, and still don't have internet at my house in SC. It's supposed to be ready tomorrow, if AT&T feels like getting their shit together. However, I'm now sitting on campus and I have campus interwebs, so I will post the things that I already had written in preparation for when I did finally have the opportunity! And so without further ado, some serious catch-up:
Prior to any long drive there are things that you will almost always worry about. Being that I am leaving for school in a few days, I took some precautions, like getting my oil changed and fluids topped off, making sure my tires were inflated and rotated. But there are some things that are always sorta in the back of your head when you have a lot of miles to put under your belt.
1. If you get a flat tire, you have to get it out of your truck. My spare tire is under my car, but my spare tire kit (with the tire iron, lift, etc) are in my trunk under the carpet. Flat tire + highway + tons of stuff in my car = a really long and difficult tire change. Normally this should take only ten minutes or so, but it would be much longer.
2. I drive down I-81, so there's tons of trucks on the road. Truckers can get tired, and if they drift... you're toast.
3. Speaking of being tired, if you get tired and your eyes get heavy, you might be the one drifting... driving long hours, it can happen. You just gotta know your limits. But sometimes the drive to keep going clouds your judgement, and you think you can go longer than you can. In this situation, best to just play it safe.
4. Gas. You need it to go, and if you run out, you're shit outta luck. I almost ran out once on the way home. There's no guarantee you'll get a rest stop with a gas pump when you need it. You just gotta make sure you get to a pump before you're running on fumes.
5. Accidents can occur, people can get in the way, traffic can be heavy. When you're on the road for a long time, things happen. Stay awake and alert. Being overly cautious and as defensive a driver you can be won't hurt either.
6. Weather. The storms can be a pain in the ass, and if you do break down, you're out sitting in it with tons of other traffic whistling by. So far I've been blessed to avoid anything serious on the drives back and forth to Clemson, but it does happen.
7. Speaking of storms, a lot of people disregard the wiper blades. But in heavy rain, they can save your ass. It's certainly much better to replace them for 16 bucks than have all sorts of streaks all over your windshield and not be able to see.
When push comes to shove, you just need to keep yourself awake and alert to be safe. I take precautions to make sure I'll be sharp for the whole trip, because I'd like to stick around in this life for awhile. It's a long way, but the long trips are definitely doable!