Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Travel prepared

Today I have to go out of town.  It's just for the day and not even that long of a day.  It's just a wasted day.  I have to drive three hours to go to a meeting in another county then drive the three hours home.  We are doing a project that the county is pleased we are doing.  It's using grant money and it's one of those things where it costs a little up front or a lot in hindsight.  It's not a huge budget project.  Unfortunately a group of wackos is arguing against our project.  It's not that they don't want it.  They do.  They just want us to do the project using a lot more manpower.  Sort of a putting people to work project rather than get the job done quickly and well. 

It's akin to needing to sew a wardrobe.  If we hired five professional seamstresses and let them use sewing machines we'd get the project done in two weeks.  Instead, this group wants us to hire 20 seamstresses who will all do the work by hand.  No machines.  It will take six months and cost twenty times as much.  Sorry.  The project has to be done in two months so even if there was a little compromise in hiring more people we'd still need to use the machines.  We have a budget and a time limit. 

Instead, the state has to spend about $5,000 paying for a bunch of us experts (wow, I'm an expert, I feel so special) to show up to answer questions put forth by the supervisors.  Even if they vote for the project the wackos will appeal.  The bottom line is the project will probably get killed due to lack of time before the grant runs out.  Then when the SHTF because this project didn't get done we will get blamed for not doing anything.  You just can't win sometimes. 

Anyway, it will take me three hours to drive.  I'll stay for however long the meeting lasts and then leave to come straight home.  Sorry Beewench.  I'll just waive as I drive by!  If all goes as planned I'll be home around the same time the grand kids get home from school.  But what if something doesn't go as planned? 

There is supposed to be a storm coming in today.  It's supposed to follow me home but I have a feeling I'm going to be right in the middle of it.  There's really only one main road through the mountains, unless I have to go on a detour which could make it a five or six hour drive rather than a three hour drive.  So, if things go bad what are my plans?

Do I have enough fuel to get home even if I have to drive for six hours rather than three?  Yes.  I will fill up the truck prior to heading through the pass.  I have several gas containers in my truck that are full.  I can get myself home with the fuel I have on hand, even if I didn't fill up. 

Do I have a spare tire and know how to use it?  Is the jack in the truck?  Work doesn't want us changing our own tires.  They'd prefer we call for assistance.  But what if there isn't assistance?  I work with people who have no clue how to change a tire!  Of course I can change a tire.  The last time I had a blow out I was driving my van on 4th of July a long time ago.  My front passenger side tire blew.  I got my kids out, plus the extra kid, jacked the thing up, changed the tire, and got to the fireworks at Travis before it even got dark.  The road we were on didn't have any traffic on it the entire time I spent changing the tire.   Good thing I didn't hang around waiting for someone to help out.

Do I have extra clothes and food and water?  Always.  A blanket too.  And a backpack just in case I have to walk home...not that I want to do that as it will take several days.  How about extra money?  I'm not expecting to spend any money at all, other than for gas.  But I'll have a few hundred dollars on me anyway.  Protection?  Knife and gun.  Wonder if either will be allowed at the meeting?  The knife probably will.  The gun, I'm sure it won't.   

What about a plan for the kids if I don't get home before dinner?  Do they know what to do?  Yes.  They can make their own dinner if I don't show up.  I have lots of canned stuff they like.  Spaghetti O's.  Yuck but kids like it.  They know how to use the MREs if they want to do it that way.  I taught them how to use the heater bags.  Tear the water pouch and pour it into the bag.  Then put the food container in the bag.  Seal it and let it cook for about 10 minutes.  They love making those when we are out working.  They're probably secretly hoping that I don't show up! 

What if they are at school and something happens that they are stuck at school on lockdown?  It depends why they are there.  They understand civil disobedience.  They may bolt and run.  We live five miles from their school.  They can make it home in a little more than an hour!  They have a couple ways they can go.  The biggest problem I have is keeping them together.  If one wants to go one way the other always wants to go the opposite. 

They do have little kits at school with extra food and a sweatshirt if they are stuck at school.  The only problem with this is they keep getting into their extra food and don't replace it.  I go through their backpacks every Sunday night and more often than not the food is eaten.   

I have two cell phones.  One is for work, the other is our house phone.  The house cell phone is left at home if the kids aren't with me.  We have a system for them to call me.  Right before they leave they call.  As soon as they get in they call.  If they don't reach me they text.  When they get home they are to lock the door behind them.  They are to do their regular chores then each go to their own room.  I've found that if I tell them to stay separated there's much less bickering going on while I'm not there to referee.  If there is a problem they are to go to the next door neighbor's house.  But it better be a big problem like someone is really sick or the house is on fire...that they better not have caused...

Unfortunately neither is responsible enough for a cell phone.  It would be lost or broken in less than a week.  Not that I think they need one all the time but if I'm out of the area, it would be nice for them to be able to instantly reach me.  Maybe soon they will mature a little.   What am I wishing for? Teenagers?  No, stay young and immature.  Please!


  1. It's fortunate that your work travel is normally by vehicle. I actually enjoy reading about all the things you do for trips... when I travel it's usually by plane and across the country. That's a long walk home.

  2. Work travel can be a pain especially if it turns out to be a wasted trip. I liked your vanilla bean post and am going to try it. I get so many great tips here I nominated you for a blog award. See http://apartmentprepper.com/?p=3859

  3. Great minds think alike! I left something for you at my blog! http://www.theprairiewife.blogspot.com/2012/02/im-so-excited.html