No Reservations: USA Tour '08
by Jared Andrukanis, Segment Producer
It starts to get strange at hour six of driving.
First to go are the cluster of muscles in your neck. It begins as a subtle stiffness, and then, before you know it, your head is locked in a forward position. To turn and look at the side mirror becomes a full body motion. Speaking of the side mirror, the gaff tape we used to keep it from lolling uselessly forward above 50mph is flapping wildly as we rocket down TX-287 South.
Hour seven brings the lower back cramping. This is most likely from wrenching your body around in the seat to look out the broken side mirror. There is no real way to fix this you just have to deal with it. I toss four Advil in my mouth like candy and wash them down with an entire can of some sort of Red Bull clone. I hope the inevitable stiffness will not be too crippling tomorrow.
At hour eight your eyes start to blur. This is extremely
disconcerting. I wear contact lenses, so I reach for the Visine we
always bring on our trips, and start spraying it in my eyes. Left. Right. I repeat this every ten minutes until I am out of Visine. Shit.
My executive producer is sitting in the passenger seat of the 30 foot
RV we are using for this road trip. He is trying very hard to stay
awake most likely because he is worried about my driving after seeing
me rubbing my eyes to keep them clear and doing strange stretches to
keep my back from freezing up completely. I tell him he can nod off. He just shakes his head no and points towards the road. I am not sure
exactly what this means, but completely understand for some reason. I
must be exhausted because that last sentence I just typed makes no
The Red Bull Clone kicks in, and now I am a really awake guy with a
frozen neck, cramping back, and blurred vision. I immediately wish I
had taken the Advil with water.
I check the odometer and we are at mile 1900. California’s Salton Sea,
where this trip began, is not even a memory. It is ancient history. All I can remember clearly at this moment is that we have been driving
for a long time.
At hour nine the Red Bull Clone wears off. I immediately wish I had
more Red Bull clone. If I had three wishes, which I guess is pretty
much standard for wishing, the other two would be:
I wish I could fully extend both my right and left legs right now.
I wish we were arriving at our in hotel in Waco right now.
In a moment of desperation, I rub my empty can of Red Bull Clone. No
overly hyperactive genie (or magical miniature bovine) appears to grant
my wishes. Dammit.
At hour ten my third wish comes true. As I open the door of the RV and
step out I nearly fall to the ground since my legs have atrophied from
not being used for anything but pushing the gas and brake pedals for
the last 600 minutes or so.
My right ankle is surprisingly limber though.
At hour eleven, I crumple onto my bed in a hotel room located somewhere
in south central Texas. As the darkness of exhaustion closes in, I
grope for the alarm clock. I have about five hours to sleep until call
The next five hours are quite possibly the best of my life.