Roadside assistance


roadsideThe second-to-last post on my upcoming Great North American Baseball Road Trip…

This is going to be a long trip.  A lonnnnggg trip.

Beyond the logistics, beyond the endurance, beyond all of that, I’m going to need some assistance along the way to pull this off.

That’s where, hopefully, local friends will come in.

Now, in a best-case scenario (for me; maybe so-so for them), my friends will have a spare bedroom I can crash while I visit or roll through.  That saves me plenty in cost and planning.

Next best, they allow access to their washer and dryer.  That would be a huge benefit over trying to find and fit in at a local laundromat.

Worst case, they can help me figure out a good place to stay and a nice place to eat.

Of course, then there’s all the stops that I don’t have a friend at.  Which is most of them.

I can try liberal use of Facebook (“Hey, anybody recommend a good place to stay in <enter city name here>?”).  The internet is obviously an option, with a simple search and dependence on customer ratings.

The whole trip is balanced on the head of a pin, so trying to set up reservations and buying tickets ahead of time doesn’t work very well.  One rain out might require me to re-map the entire remaining trip at that point.

About halfway through the trip, it will be time for my new car’s first service appointment.  I’ll be about 3,300 miles away from my dealership, so I’ll have to plan ahead at an appropriate Subaru dealership and hope I can get in and out in a reasonable time.

I’ve got the hair thing, too.  If I had straight hair, I could just let it grow.  But with a balding/curly hair combo, you get either mad scientist or Bozo the Clown, neither look is a winner.  That shouldn’t be too bad, though…”Just cut it short” should work even at a random cuttery.

I’ve got the GPS in the car and the iPhone, but I’m still debating on whether I should get some paper maps.  I mean, seriously, what happens in the freak chance I’m out of range (actually not that freak, probably) and the GPS get confused (hey, it could happen, I am passing through Roswell, after all).

Based on everyone else’s nervous comments, I guess I should renew my passport, too, since it expires about a month after I would be in Canada.  According to some people I know, border passages are more difficult if you have less than six months left on your passport.  Hmmm.

After all that, the only thing I’ll need to map out is where the next bathroom is!

2 Responses to “Roadside assistance”

  1. Scott Zucker

    Jeff: Definitely renew the passport. You are near Miami so it should be a cinch. You may also want to consider AirBnB for part of your trip. I did that in Shanghai and it worked out great. I assume you are still a AAA member so pick up a complete set of city maps and have them do a triptik for you … get your money’s worth out of the membership. They can also help you with visiting some obscure places along the way.

  2. JMD

    Yes, I am thinking of going for the passport renewal. Apparently you can get a passport “card” now (like a driver’s license) that works just fine on our continent, so I might consider that.

    I checked out AirBnB (never heard of it before). I don’t think that will be as helpful simply because I will barely be in many cities long enough to shower, sleep and drive out again.

    With the 3-years roadside that came with my car, I opted out of AAA. The current state of internet mapping relieves and replaces a lot of the need for the traditional AAA services.

    Looking forward to seeing you on the tail end of the trip!


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