Provisioning The Road Trip

We made it to San Francisco!!!!

We made it to San Francisco!!!!

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

Initiation – For one reason or another, I find myself doing several thousand mile road trips a couple times a year.   Jumping into a car, van, truck and camper combo and driving for four days is just not something that new to me.   In September, I adopted two four week old kitties who had been abandoned.   So when I had to get to San Francisco to do the keynote presentation for International Project Management day November 4, 2010, it just made sense to pack the kitties and the puppy into the cheetah mini-van and head to San Fran from Connecticut.   It took about a week to customize the mini-van for the road trip.   Besides making it safe and comfortable for the baby animals, I also decided that unlike other road trips, I was going to survive on food that if I didn’t grow, at least I prepared from ingredients I knew the origins.

Planning – Provisioning this type of trip takes a bit more planning.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of time cooking on the road so I had to have food that would keep for at least four days.   And when I am driving, I want to drive.   I’m not much into stopping to eat a meal.   So whatever I prepared had to be easy and not messy to eat while driving.   Plus I wanted to eat food that would keep me awake and alert, without having to rely on drinking copious quantities of caffeine.   Also, it would have to be food that I was somewhat into as I did not want to be tempted to eat fast food.   I can only be so disciplined.

Execution –   To fit the above criteria, I made my homemade bread that is made from wheat I mill myself.   I learned at cooking school in France that this bread does really well if you slice it very thin using a meat slicer.   A small amount of peanut butter on one of these thin slices of bread with a little non-fat milk makes a great snack that kept me satiated for several hours.   This became one of my staples.   I also made a berry smoothie with non-fat greek yogurt and non-fat milk.   Without a lot of sugar, this shake gave me a power boost without the concurrent sugar spike then energy sag.   For snacking, I made beef jerky from rump roasts from my cattle.   It takes forever to chew and the protein kept my  energy level high.   I also learned how to make this vegetable soup called Pistou Soup at cooking school in France.   The soup is all vegetables with beans and left-over home made pasta (in CT most came out of my garden).  The soup can easily be heated up in microwaves at the quick mart gas stations or in hotel room microwaves.   This soup balances out all the beef jerky snacking while driving.  I did have to eat the soup while stopped – usually at night in the hotel after 15 hours of driving.  (I opted NOT to sleep in the van too).  The quick marts also let you have free hot water and I could make my own tea back at the mini-van.

Monitoring and Control – I used a cooler that could be plugged into the outlet of the mini-van.   This meant that I did not have to get ice. However, the cooler would not run unless the mini-van was running.  I could get away with this as it was late October during the road trip and it got below 40 at night on the route I was taking.   I had a kitchen set up in the back of the mini-van where the hatch acted as a rain tarp. In back of the mini-van kitchen, it was set up for easy access to the most used items – such as paper towels, peanut butter, tea.  I also brought 5 gallons of water – which I used a number of times for a variety of reasons throughout the trip.   It helped that I set up easy access to the water as well.

Closeout – I have more easy to eat foods for the road trip back.   In Portland I discovered this little pie maker and now have small little chicken pies to eat.   On the trip out, I had the soup in this vacuum packed sealer bag that I could microwave.  But it was kind of messy eating it this way.  So for the return trip, I am using glass bowls with the clip on lids – it will be easier to microwave and eat the soup all in one in those bowls.   The baby animal management system went fine – I have to make sure that I keep the access to the front seat area blocked as the kitties are very exploratory and have found their way recently to my feet – not cool.

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