A Road Trip: The Battle to Leave Champaign

Who’s ready for another installment of my road trip story? Doesn’t matter, because I’m ready to tell it!

So if you recall from last week’s post, my friends The Rival, Camp Daddy, and myself had decided to take a road trip around the southwestern United States after The Rival had a job fall through in Las Vegas. UPDATE: He’s now taking the same job and going at the end of the month so now he has to travel on his own.

But anyway, this story isn’t just about him, it’s about all three of us. So the morning of July 30th we were all awoken by The Rival and pushed to shower and get ready to leave by 9.

To say we did well at this would be a joke. There was a lot of fumbling around with showering and getting ready and a reluctance to go shopping for groceries since we had put that off. However, in the end we finally got moving.

We first went to McDonald’s for a breakfast that can only be described as “cheap.” For real, I don’t think any of us spent over $5.00 before we headed over to ValuCheck, where we loaded up on what we believed to be all the supplies we needed.

After what seemed like an eternity, which was only 20 minutes in real time, we finally had all our groceries and were headed back to the house to begin packing our “midsize” SUV. I cannot stress enough how much Hertz sucks for giving us the vehicle we didn’t want.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t call and complain either, trust me I did. The few times I called and questioned if I had the right car, they insisted I did and would hang up. Don’t book with them.

Back to the story. Once we came home the true battle was on. A full week’s worth of groceries. Sleeping bags. A tent. Coolers. Random assortment of camping supplies. All of this was to be wrestled into a compact SUV and we still had to get a small charcoal grill to add later on.

It was a long, uphill battle but after some wizarding moves by Camp Daddy (something he’d continue to do the whole trip) we got everything to fit with just enough room for the three of us to sit comfortably. Sadly, we did have to leave behind camp chairs, which would bite us in the ass later on.

Once the car was loaded, there was just one last stop before we hit the road: a pickup at Walmart. It only took us 10 minutes to get there and while Camp Daddy and The Rival went to go snacks and drinks for the trip, I was charged with grabbing the charcoal grill.

The pickup experience at Walmart is what I would call “bizarre.” You essentially enter your information either on their app or a screen near a desk and just wait until someone shows up with your items. There really wasn’t any indication that it worked until someone came out with my product.

Once I had the grill, I decided to sit and wait on a bench for a few minutes as the guys wrapped up shopping. However, this did not last long as I learned a lot of people do not have a concept of personal space, as multiple people about ran into me while I sat looking like a lost child clutching the small grill I picked up.

I eventually went out to the car and waited for Camp Daddy and The Rival to find me. After cranking some pop hits on the radio and blasting the AC they finally arrived. I was given the Kyle Juice I requested and we were on our way to our first camp location, which was found with the help of the Campendium app.

That’s it for today! If you haven’t followed this blog or any of my social media pages, make sure to click the links at the bottom of the page to do so! Also, check out Camp Daddy’s and The Rival’s Instagram pages. Both are well traveled men and have some great content to check out.

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Professional writer and blogger. Author of the book A Monstrous Tomorrow.

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