It's 11pm EST and I'm just now settled into my hotel room in Indianapolis, Indiana, ready to get a good night's sleep in preparation for the mayhem that is Gen Con tomorrow morning. I drove down with my friend, James, and this trek was so different from the one I took just a little over a month ago for the Origins Game Fair.
In June 2016 I took the 8-hour trek from my home in Virginia to Columbus, Ohio completely solo. The weather was great; the rolling, tree-filled mountains of West Virginia were incredibly beautiful; and the surprising amount of roadkill I saw on the side of the road once I entered Ohio was curious, puzzling, and interesting. But I will never...EVER...take that trip alone again. EVER!!! I had to make a pit stop just 2 hours into the trip, otherwise I would've ended up stopped at the foot of a mountain after having driven off the top of one. I had to stop several times actually. I think the only reason that I made that trip alive was because God must have some higher purpose in mind for me in the future because that drive was brutal. It lulled me straight into "let's take a nap" mode. The trek home was just as bad, maybe worse.
Today's trip to Indianapolis was two hours longer than the one to Columbus, and I can't believe it's already over. Granted, we did whine about why no one has yet created a teleporter (we literally did), and our backsides are still tingling from the blood just now being able to rush back into our glutes, but with a driving companion the drive was so much more tolerable. We chatted, laughed together, and even played Ben Pinchback's and Matt Riddle's roadtrip game Cow Tiger Santa Claus (that clown is so elusive). We snacked together on beef jerky, gummy bears, and my favorite roadtrip food, Gardetto's snack mix. And because of this awesome companionship, the drive went by in a breeze, and that 10 hour drive was only as brutal as maybe 2 of those 8 hours of me driving solo to Columbus.
I know some people like to drive alone. But for a long drive like that, to an event that, to me, is mostly about the people I get to spend some extra time with participating in a hobby I love, starting out the trip with friends can make what I believe to be the hardest part of the trip tolerable and even enjoyable. That's your Convention Trek PSA of the day.