And last … but certainly not least … Murder She Writes welcomes B.J. Daniels as our last new blogger! (Applause, whistles) … B.J. has published a gazillion books (OK, not a gazillion, but more than 50 which makes her very, very special!) I’m thrilled she has agreed to join our fold.
By this time next month, we hope to have the new blog unveiled, and Stephanie, Deborah, and B.J. will have their books and faces blessing our wall. Plus, we have lots more goodies in store for our loyal readers! I’m getting excited 🙂
But first, please give B.J. a BIG welcome to Murder She Writes!
Road Trip Indulgences
By B.J. Daniels
Whenever I leave the small Montana town where I live, it quickly becomes a road trip. That’s because the next closest town is an hour away.
Wanna go to Target or Costco? A three-hour road trip with only one tiny town on the way. If I want to see old friends and family in my former hometown or get a better flight? It’s a five-hour road trip one way with only two small towns in between.
Living in a state as large as Montana means I take a lot of road trips.
Unfortunately, when you live in a state that has such extremes in weather and such isolation, a road trip requires being prepared for just about anything.
In the winter, I take a sleeping bag, food, water, matches and a change of clothing including heavy-duty snowboots. There is always the chance I will slide off the road or get caught in a blizzard and end up trapped somewhere when the roads close. Believe me, it has happened before.
The rest of the year, I still have to be prepared because not only are all the roads out of my small Montana town narrow two-lanes, they go through some really isolated country with no cell phone coverage. In this part of Montana, the only cell phone coverage is within a few miles of the towns. Also the population is .03 people per square mile. In other words, there is nothing out there but wild country.
At least that’s the way I approach it, which means road trip food.
I was thinking about that on the five-hour drive from the airport to my home after a week in Anaheim at the Romance Writers of America conference. As I stopped to pick up my road-trip food, I wondered what other drivers stock up on for their road trips.
For me, Coke Zero is an absolute. A problem with driving through isolated areas of Montana where there is NO traffic is falling asleep at the wheel. I find I have to consume a lot of caffeine. Unfortunately, I was already tired after the long days and late nights at RWA so it called for large containers of Coke Zero.
As much as I really did not want to snack, snacks were an essential part of the road-trip. I’ve learned that these must be small, bite-sized, something that takes a while to eat on this 300-mile trek. Eat it all in the first hundred miles and you’re out of luck. Of two small towns along the way, some several hours apart, most stores are often closed when you get there.
I’m really good when I leave the house for one of these trips. I take a nice healthy sandwich, some raw vegetables from the garden, maybe a homemade cookie or two for energy.
But all bets are off on the way home. I’m usually tired and anxious to get there so I treat I like an adventure race. My goal is simple: Do whatever I have to so I can sleep in my own bed that night.
That means whatever road-trip food it takes. I’m a sucker for anything sweet and salty like butter toffee peanuts, but a bag of Fritos will do the trick too. Or a bag of barbecued potato chips. I like jawbreakers too. They take a while to eat.
So I stock up and hit the road. It is do or die. I get into it by driving (usually too fast), plotting my next book and drinking and snacking to keep up my stamina.
Eating on the road unfortunately is a lot like snacking while you write or read a book. Memory loss is involved. You look down and that whole bag of chips is just gone.
By the time I get home, I’m sick and I swear I will never eat that junk again.
(Amazing how by the next road trip, I have completely forgotten those regrets.) But I’m home so it was all worth it.
Speaking of no regrets though, I’m beginning to suspect that it might be a myth that road-trip food calories don’t count.
So what is your favorite road trip indulgence? And do not tell me it’s fresh fruit and vegetables.