– Denton, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas –

All right everyone, it’s go time. The trip has begun. Atlantic Canada here we come. We will be in Canada some of Sunday, and for the long haul starting on Monday, so it won’t be long now. I’m really looking forward to the cooler temperatures, though I hear Montreal set an all time record high in the last couple of weeks, so it might not be as cool as I’m dreaming.

As on the Alaska trip, today was only a half day. We like to start trips this way because it gives us plenty of time to pack up and get the last of our things ready without needing to do it frantically at 5 in the morning. It’s a much more pleasant way to start a vacation.

Goodbye plants!

Mark, Ripley, and I got up at 5am and did our regular runs. We even took a last dip in our pool before we left, since we won’t be able to enjoy it again for almost a month. Our friend Ana will be enjoying it instead while we are away. We left it nice and clean for her. I probably won’t miss it as much when the high temperatures are under 70.

My parents brought the Suburban over on the 4th of July and left it with us, as well as most of their luggage, so we were able to pretty well finish packing up the car before we left. My parents had a few last minute things to add when we got to Gainesville, but overall, it was mostly done.

Goodbye pool!

Mark and I had lunch at home and then met my parents in Gainesville at 1pm. We were on the road again by 1:30, though we made a detour at Quiktrip for tea and ice, and another at a car wash before we left Gainesville, since the Suburban was covered in sap from our trees. Silly trees.

Ripley is ready!

Not long after, we were really on the road. Most of today, like the first day of most trips, was pretty quiet and boring. We only planned to make it to Little Rock, so we weren’t in a huge rush, and since Mark and I have driven this way recently anyway, it wasn’t too exciting.

It’s the road trip gang

I’ve brought several awesome books for this trip, but you’ll have to wait for the reveal as we start each one. You can definitely see some Tony Hillerman in our tiny library box, though, so you know that’s coming. Today we started Whoever Fights Monsters, by Robert Ressler. He is famous for his work psychologically profiling violent criminals with the FBI. He was a pioneer in the field. His book is pretty cool so far.

Our tiny library

We stopped for dinner in Texarkana, which was really the best choice for us to have lots of options, since there aren’t very many big towns between Texarkana and Little Rock. We ended up having Jimmy John’s. I love their pickles. That’s honestly my favorite part of stopping there.

Our hotel for the night is a very tall La Quinta just outside downtown Little Rock. It’s a little older, and all of the wood on the first floor makes me think this used to be something else, though I don’t know that for sure. I do know the parking garage is full, and the place is packed. I also know the internet isn’t great. We aren’t even out of the U.S. and we are having internet troubles. That’s not a promising start.

Another Ripley pic, just because

Tomorrow is a long day: we’re going all the way to Columbus. We will get up very early and just hit the road as soon as we can. Tomorrow is about making miles, so I’m afraid the blog post for tomorrow will be pretty sparse, like today’s. Breakfast doesn’t start here at our hotel until 7am, and I expect we will be on the road by then, so we will see what we do for breakfast. Such exciting drama, right?

– Trip Total : 360 miles

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