So my dad decided to crash my cross-country road trip. I ended up being really grateful he came along. Dad and I have travelled before, so I knew that we could travel together. We’d been hiking in Southern Utah and fishing in Montana in the past. I was hoping this trip would be about growth and I was worried that with him crashing, I wouldn’t grow since he’d make it easier. But really a cross-country adventure is best done with more than one!
Dad is not technologically enabled. He still has no cell phone, and I’m constantly trying to get him not to pay attention to the ads on the right-hide side of the google search screen. One day he called me to say he was searching for fishing supplies and following the ads, he finally ended up looking at girls with guns (suspect!!!!)
So I am doing all the research, navigation, and posting on this trip. Dad is never tagged in the photos on Facebook since he has no online presence. However, for those of you following this blog, you probably want to know a little bit more about this party crasher.
Dad is retired and spends his day golfing or fishing in between starting projects he rarely finishes. The few exceptions of finishing projects happened when I was laid off. He decided he need to finish the shed he’d always wanted to build in case he had to sell the house so we could all move to Portland. He didn’t believe me when I told him I was going to enjoy Oakland for a few years before I moved.
One of the ways I was afraid that dad would keep me from growing on this adventure, is that he is super outgoing and talks to everyone. I’m shyer and was hoping this trip would force me out of my comfort zone and talk to people along the way. But he’s helped me a lot with outgoingness. He starts a lot of conversations that I can then easily hop into without stress.
However, taking a super outgoing small town guy into a big city is rather interesting. He still talks to absolutely everyone. I keep having to give him cash because he empties his pocket for the poor people who ask. He even then apologizes to others that he has no cash to give them.
On the subway in NYC, he got all verklempt over a young guy playing bucket drums and gave all cash. The kid was super talented, but it took Dad at least 10 minutes to regain his composure.
I also tried to teach Dad about the proper subway behavior. Don’t talk to anyone, don’t make direct eye contact, when you look don’t stare and avert your eyes. He couldn’t handle it. He would constantly try to talk to people and get ignored. Definitely a in a bit over his head.
Dad had not been enjoying the small towns as much as the national parks we visited early in the trip. By the time we got to New England, all he could think about was how he wasn’t able to go flyfishing. It wasn’t until NYC, that he final said that was really cool. So when it comes to fishing he’s pretty obsessed.
However, he was overwhelmed by NYC, which I think most people are when visiting. I could hear him snicker twice and and then sigh. Heh, Heh, hmmmm. I kept wondering what he was thinking.
Every time he complains a little or says he’d rather be camping I start making fun of him and threaten to send him home. And every time he complains about traffic and asks why they drive like they do. I tell him because they sense that he is hear and they are driving bad just to bug him.
I definitely don’t thing this trip would be as interesting without him. He has definitely moved from support team to partner on the journey. Some of the most memorable moments would never have happened without him!