Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dirtbag Trip Begins!

Day 1. Leaving Atlanta, Georgia. 
We started off on our adventure we had been planning for months. So much of this was thought out in advance. For me: what food would pack best, meals that we can easily prepare, where and when we would have to stop at markets along the way. Eli is more of the map guy. He knows where it will be coolest at night, the best campgrounds and how long each day's drive will be. We are perfect together.

Since we won't have access to a freezer, we figured we'd take Ziplock freezer bags to fill with bags of ice along the way. I didn't want to dump the ice in the cooler, because then everything gets soggy and it can ruin a good cheese (am I right?). The day before, I came up with, what I thought was, a brilliant idea! Smaller ice pieces melt faster because of the greater surface area. I had the ice machine going all weekend to make sure we had enough cubes to get started. But if I could make giant pieces of ice, it would take even longer for it to melt because it has less surface area. So, I pulled out a couple freezer bags and filled them with water. I placed them ever so carefully, flat, in the freezer. So. Smart.

The time came to finally pack the perishable food. I pulled out my ice blocks and put them in the cooler. The plan was to have one on the bottom and a second one in the middle so everything would had a little bit of ice around it. The plan did not take into account the measurements of the cooler nor the ice blocks.... They did not fit. 😳 So, plan B, ice cube bags for the cooler.

We have a "cool bag" that is probably marketed to keep your frozen goods cold on your drive home from the store. It is probably not advertised as a cooler substitute. I was reminded of its limitations as we pulled into the rest stop to sleep.

Since I had the ice blocks, I figured we could use them in the cool bag. I placed one at the bottom of the bag and put our dinner items and things that don't necessarily need to be refrigerated (cauliflower, peppers, onions, carrots- everything cut and prepped for usage) on top of the ice. Zipped it up and kept it close, incase we need it while  driving.

Thank you, Starbucks parking lot!
The plan worked great for dinner. We set up our kitchen station at our last coffee run for the night; we pulled out our veggies, lettuce greens, chicken and cheese. We mixed all the ingredients and topped with homemade dressing and some walnuts. Balancing my salad in my lap, we pushed on through the evening. 
Finally, it was time to rest. Our planned rest stop was closed for remodeling! Google didn't tell us that. We pushed through until the next stop about forty miles later. We were cranky and ready to sleep. As I start making up the bed, I find a giant wet spot where this cool bag was. My brilliant idea leaked as it slowly melted. 😬 And now there is a wet spot in the bed, down to the wood frame. Eli had to wring out the egg-crate and we had to ditch the sheets for the night until we could dry them out. We packed extra blankets as an after thought but they have already come in handy. We layered all the dry things and finally went to sleep.

The mistake that keeps on giving: this morning, my seat was also wet from all the moving I did of the cool bag. I used my rain jacket as a barrier and we drive on.

All in all it was a good night. One car alarm went off in the rest area and there were a couple of noisy visitors, probably trying to wake up in the middle of the night on their trips, but we got in some good sleep and weren't too hot with our personal fans.
I wish this was in focus but this is the best I can do without my glasses on. 

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