My heterosexual life partner Mark is doing this crazy thing. He’s moving in with his wife. It’s a long story, but they’ve been bicoastal for a while thanks to school and career complications. That’s okay in the big picture because both of them are the kinds of supportive individuals who somehow manage something like that where it would break most of us. Impressive folks, my people.

Still, it will be wonderful for them to actually be able to have the same address finally.

So Mark has to get from the East Coast to the West, and we figured a road trip was in order. Sure, he could have shipped the last of his stuff and flown west, but where’s the fun in that? Where’s the sense of adventure?!

I’ve always admired Mark’s ability to take the mundane and ordinary and tweak it here or modify it there and build it into a grand adventure. Business trips start to sound like something James Bond would be jealous of. Need groceries? By the time he’s done with the trek, you’ll have a story you’re telling your grand kids. That’s really not an exaggeration.

Today we started that road trip. But before we could get on the road, we had some work to do.

Moriah and Mark have a ketubah of sorts. They’re not Jewish and it’s not exactly a traditional ketubah, but they both like much of the idea behind such a document and they decided that they wanted something like that as a part of their marriage. It’s a fairly large circular design at something like 42 inches in diameter. It’s mounted, and protected by glass. This caused some troubles with the way that Mark originally planned on getting it cross country – by shipping it.

After a consultation with a (thankfully) very honest UPS employee, we knew that he couldn’t ship the piece and expect it to arrive whole. That meant that we would have to bring it with us, but with the glass, and the car packed with our personal gear, we were worried about damaging it ourselves.

So we did a crazy thing to transport the piece of art across the country. We built a table – in the car.

“Don’t Worry People – We Have A Plan!”

It was a bit more chaotic a start than we hoped for, but in hindsight, it makes for great story fodder. It’s just the sort of thing that I was talking about earlier – about things bending towards adventure around Mark.

The interesting part of the whole table building process was the improvisation it required. Mark had limited tools and supplies since most of his possessions had long ago been shipped to the West Coast. My apartment and my (admittedly limited) supplies were over an hour away.

Thankfully, Home Depot will make some cuts in your plywood and shorten your 4×4 ‘table legs’ upon request. They also rent drills by the hour, so will some mental math and some determination, we wound up with something which worked quite nicely.

No sandpaper? Try your nearest pavement!

The ketubah protected, we got our gear packed back into the car, returned the rented drill, and got on the road.

We did as we did way back on our motorcycle trek – we got out of Dodge as fast as possible. When you’re leaving home on a road trip, you don’t want to look around and see familiar sights. You want to be in the New Place – The Wild Blue Yonder. So we put the pedal down and headed west via routes 76 and 70.

Sadly, that meant that there wasn’t much exciting about the travel portion of that first day, but we made some decent time, and the day ended in the best possible way – with friends. We landed in Columbus OH to stay with our dear friend Jill and her husband Greg. We somehow convinced Jill to be our friend all the way back in high school, and she’s been stuck with us ever since.

Good people make for good times.

I also renewed my friendship with another friend. Meet Lille Lort (which translates to “Lil’ Shit” in Danish. He seems to think I’m alright. He’s one of a couple cats that won the feline lottery when they got Jill as their vet/mom.

He also seems rather fond of Mark’s shoes.

This post is part of a series describing the Road Trip west I took with my best friend. To read about our travels on the following day, click here.