June 2007


So, I’m here. Or at least close to here. Here being my new apartment in lovely Kirkland, WA.

But I’m not at my apartment. I’m at a hotel. I got here about an hour after everyone left at my apartment, so no one was there to give me my keys and hand over my lease for signing. So it’s off to the Comfort Inn for me.

Today was just one big blur. It was hot and sunny, and I just blasted across the highway with almost no stops. Montana was foggy; Idaho was gorgeous. Eastern Washington is bleak, but holy crap the drive in on 90 as you near Seattle is breathtakingly beautiful.

I’m exhausted. I’m not sure I’d want to do this 3000-mile trip again… at least by myself.

Today was all about one word: speed. And rain. Two words. Or one word: rainspeed. Speedrain. Take your pick.

It poured rain for a large part of the journey through South Dakota, which was OK since traffic was light and people weren’t driving like retards.

Observations: Southern South Dakota is the most boring place to driver, ever. OK, maybe not ever. But yikes, it’s all flat and farms and nothing as far as the eye can see, at least until you reach the badass Badlands. And Deadwood, cocksuckers. I didn’t bother stopping at the latter; the buckets of rain made it easily skippable.

Even with the weather, how could I not stop at a place called the Corn Palace? It was highly disappointing, though. It’s just a building where the outer shell is corn. There’s no load bearing kernals or anything. Big whoop. (But, as the signs say, it’s free!)

Also free is the world-famous Wall Drug. The signs start as soon as you enter South Dakota: “Only 322 miles to Wall Drug.” And they never stop. Every mile or so is another, touting 5-cent coffee, or cowboy boots, or write-ups in various publications. It’s very Burma Shave.

By the time you finally get there, you’re obligated to stop at a giant tourist trap of a general store. It’s just the usual crap you find at all of these, spread out over multiple buildings. It’s kinda awesome in its stupidness.

Other South Dakota notes: The world’s most powerful hand dryer can be found at the Triple H Auto/Truck stop in BFE, SD (no idea where it is; sorry). But the dryer will rip the flesh off your hands.

Also, South Dakota smells like shoe.

Wyoming was kind of pretty for all of the hour or so I was in it. I passed the place Richard Dreyfuss crafted out of mashed potatoes but I couldn’t actually see anything because of the cloudiness.

Once the rain stopped, the roads opened up and it was a virtual racetrack. I averaged 85MPH in Wyoming, and probably 90MPH in Montana. I even topped 110MPH for a while… wait, can I be held legally accountable for that admission?

And now, I’m off to sleep. Tonight, I will be a smoker, for all the rooms in Billings, MT were taken by people in town for either a steer/cow convention or Jehova’s Witnesses. I can only imagine the crazy parties when those two groups get together.

Hello from… where am I? What’s Blue Earth, Minnesota?

Headed out at 9AM this fine morning, but got stuck in Chicago traffic. (On the Ryan “Not An” Expressway.) I ran into my first non-sunny weather, some torrential showers near Madison, WI. And I saw some lightning in the sky as I pulled off the highway before my original planned stop tonight. (I was trying to make it to Sioux Falls, SD.)

Observations: There’s a surprising amount of porn stores off of I90. You’d think it would be frowned upon in these god-fearing states. The best was in Rochester, Minnesota. It had a huge neon sign a few stories tall repeating this:

Pleasure
Sexy
Lingerie
DVDs
Organic
Smoking

One of these probably doesn’t fit. But it’s sorta awesome.

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