February 27, 2021

My Grandma Ashdown once told me a story of how when she was a little girl at about 8 years of age, she and her father had driven from Detroit up to Imlay City to visit the old farm they had in the family.  This was in the 1930's during the Great Depression.  While they were driving down the old roads, a little bunny ran out in front of their car, and before they could hit the brake, they hit the poor bunny rabbit.  Her dad looked at my grandma and said "Should we go pick it up?" They were both very sad for the little bunny rabbit, but they were also very, very hungry, and meat was very, very expensive during the Great Depression, so my 8 year old grandma said "Ok, let's pick it up before someone else gets it, and bring it home to mother."  They had a really delicious rabbit stew that evening.  
My life partner who works in logistics had a project down in Texas, and had to meet with one of the largest aircraft in the world - an Antonov 124.  He decided to drive rather than fly as a precautionary measure to Covid 19, plus driving would have less CO2 emissions at 0.83 metric tons, versus a round trip flight at 1.86 metric tons.  I tagged along since I worked in the airline and air cargo industry for 20 years and needed to get out of the house so bad.  This also would be a nice challenge to practice zero waste. 
We packed up our own food in containers, and were happy with the decision especially with the food and water shortage in Texas. We packed clothing that was sensible to each climate we would traverse through, oftentimes wearing the same items again to be as eco as possible.  We also took the "Good Dog Ambassador" - Marlin, to keep our spirits up. Plus he is our furchild.  We learned he would only tolerate 9 hours a day in the car with several potty breaks along the way, and if we were in the car any longer, he would be very vocal with his displeasure.  He would like to let everyone know that he has traveled to 14 states in total now, and he refers to himself as a "distinguished traveler".  
Each evening I washed our insulated flasks, coffee mugs, and any containers that we had used.  I made our snacks for the next day.  My personal favorite was the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  We had plum jam, and it was so good!  Immediately it made me think about how people didn't have restaurants to go to when they traveled, but instead would pull off the road and make their own lunch or dinner on a road trip.  
What did we pack?  Here is a breakdown for 7 days / 3500 miles roundtrip
  • Food - Tuna, sardines, bread, crackers, cheese, mustard, peanut butter, jam, ranch dressing, pickles, tea, water, energy bars (I did breakdown with the energy bars and their wrappings)
  • Kitchenware - two camp plates, two bowls, camp cutlery set, cutting board, can opener, bottle opener / corker / tea bags, kitchen twine, scissors, paper bags, paper towel, travel bowls for dog, insulated flasks for tea and coffee, insulated coffee mugs with lids.
  • Other Travel Necessities - First aid kit, dog food, poopy bags, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, extra masks, shower wipes, shampoo bar / conditioner bar, soap bar, deodorant cream, moisturizer, sunscreen, razor, toiletries, vitamins, medications, a book to read, phone / device chargers / Toys for dog, travel blanket for dog 
  • Clothing - 1 pair of heavy mid-rise boots, 1 pair of running shoes, 4 pairs of socks, underthings for each day, two pairs of pants, a belt 1 smartwool long sleeve shirt, 1 t-shirt, 1 tank top for layering with any of the other articles, 1 quarter sleeve shirt, 1 hoodie, 1 winter coat, hat, gloves, pajamas. 
  • Work Essentials - laptops / calculators / mouse / plugs / electronic devices / cell phone / notepad / pen / chargers
  • Absolutely Necessary - Wallet, sunglasses / eyeglasses / contacts, mask and Green Card or visa for those who are not citizens.  We did get stopped at a secondary border checkpoint northeast of Laredo by border patrol.  It was totally weird and my life partner was instantly reminded of when he was a child visiting Communist Czechoslovakia.  Let that sink in folks and draw your own conclusions.  In Detroit, we don't have such things, yet we border Canada.  

So in closing, here is a photo of the Antonov 124.  It has a crew of 17 total: Pilots, copilots, loading crew and maintenance.

  

 


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