Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another trip out of town

I have to leave town for five days to teach a class.  I never like leaving home for any length of time but during this time of year isn't as bad as during the summer.  Because of the rain we had at the beginning of the week I don't have to worry about watering anything.  The chickens have big enough feeders that they won't need to be fed.  They shouldn't run out of water unless it gets really hot and they drink more than usual.  The dog will just go next door and eat there.  Army daughter is supposed to come by and pick her two dogs up tomorrow or Monday, otherwise they'll be eating next door as well.  I should probably bring over some dog food for the neighbor since they will be feeding my dog.  Their 5 pound dog doesn't eat nearly as much as my 85 pound dog!  Oldest daughter will be coming by a couple of times.  She can check up on the animals, and will collect the eggs and some food from the garden.  Grand kids will stay with their cousins.  They like doing that because bedtime at their cousins is 30 minutes later than it is here at home. 

The work truck has a camper shell on it so it's easier to carry the extra supplies that I need.  Remember, I'm going to be gone for less than a week but will carry enough supplies for a month.  I always have a clothes and food container in the truck along with a backpack, sleeping bag, etc.   If I need enough gas always on hand to make 350 miles (my furthest distance I'll be from home), and a tank of gas can get me that far then the amount of gas that I'm carrying in the cans should never be less than the amount that I'll use in the tank. If I carry 10 gallons in the gas cans then I should fill up when I've gone 150 miles.  I've got a couple of gas cans and I make sure the truck is never less than 1/2 full.  This means stopping every two hours or so to fill up.  That's fine.  I can stretch my legs. 

Five nights in a hotel means I'll be coming home with a bunch of soaps, shampoos, etc.  I usually play a game when I travel: how little money can I spend.  It's hard to do when I travel with others who want to go out to eat each night.  Or they want to go out to breakfast.  Work pays for the hotel, there's a limit, but where I'm going most of the hotels come in under the limit.  So, I pick out a hotel that gives free breakfast (real food, not continental) and also free evening snack.  Most often the evening snack is enough for dinner.  Lunch is being provided each day.  This means I can go the entire time without spending money on food.  I get a little stipend for food and miscellaneous items each day.  It's not enough if I have to buy three meals at restaurants but it's plenty if I buy my food at the grocery store, or for this week, most will be provided at the hotel.  I will probably still end up going to the store to get something fresh toward the end of the week.

I could possibly come home with $200 extra.  That would be most of the money it's going to cost for my new hidden room.  That, by the way, is going to be built at the end of the month.  I have travel this coming week and the week after.  Then I think there's only one scheduled travel day for the rest of the year.  I'd rather be home but the extra dollars are nice to have.    

I do want to play a survivalist game this week.  It will be to find the public food.  What do I mean by that?  Around here there are fruit trees planted in the roadway medians.  Almost every grocery store that has plants growing in the parking lot grows rosemary.  When I was a young adult, along the freeway in Southern California one of the decorative plants they grew were pomegranates.  I know that there are some date palms growing in one area.  I know there are lots of blackberries, but even with the late summer, I'm sure most of the blackberries will be past their season.  I don't know what else there is that's public.  I'm not looking for weeds, although plantain, mustard and purslane are available just about everywhere!  It will be a fun challenge. Maybe I'll find enough fresh stuff to eat that I won't have to buy anything. 

I never really expect any disaster to happen when I'm traveling.  For the most part, unless our country is attacked, a natural disaster, or some major accident, I would expect some sort of warning that some event is going to happen.  Like the little protests that are going on (I'm not sure if they are little in other parts of the country, but they really haven't caught on around here) they aren't stopping anything.  I am concerned about food prices going up once again.  I may have a chance to go shopping for dry goods while I'm out of town.  They have both a Winco and Costco not too far from where I'll be so if I have a quiet evening to the store I'll head.  I'd suggest you do the same!


  1. I do the same thing when I travel for work-try to spend as little as possible-free breakfast at the hotel, lunch at the company cafeteria with a voucher and either lunch leftovers for dinner, or covered by the job. Co-workers shop for souvenirs but I avoid it, don't want more junk. I think trying to find free food will be fun and look forward to your posting about it.

  2. Actually that sounds like a pretty good time to me. You have it planned out pretty well. Enjoy the change of pace and luxuriate in knowing you don't have to pick up the bill.

  3. I thought I was the only person who came home with a ton of hotel soap and shampoo!
    I always pack it away before the maid comes by so I get a fresh bunch. This week in Vegas I had my coworker do the same and came back with a ton of stuff.
    Have fun on your trip!