wreck-less1.jpgAs I settle in my new digs—hey, there’s a Trader Joe’s a few blocks from here—here’s a couple of action photos from the road, including this fine sample of what I probably shouldn’t be doing while going 90MPH.

This is what most of the trip looked like.

This is a very corny photo. (Har.)

Some final tallies.

Total Miles Traveled: 3118
Average Mileage: 29.6MPG
Average Gas Price: $3.44/gallon (my car requires 91+ gas)
Most Expensive Gas: Indiana ($3.91)
Cheapest: Idaho ($3.20)
Animals Hit: 0
Deer Carcasses Avoided: 10
Bugs Killed: Oh the humanity! Or buganity!

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.

Hello from scenic Fremont, OH. Where is it? I have no idea. But the Rutherford B. Hayes presidential library is here, so you know it’s a rockin’ place.

After a slow start—packing up my car took about an hour longer than expected—I headed out from Burlington at 10AM. I arrived here at 11:30PM. I was wiped at the end, but wanted to get past Cleveland so I wouldn’t get stuck in commuter traffic in the morning. Here’s the journey I’ve taken thus far.

Observations: The tolls in New York state are out of control. Albany to Buffalo cost me $10.60, and then it was another $2.50 to get from Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border. But it’s a pretty drive on I90.

Pennsylvania passed by in an hour or so. I’m sure it’s nice.

No one speeds in Ohio, at least until you get to Cleveland. Seriously, everyone drives the speed limit, or below it. What’s everyone’s problem?

My car is eating up the miles. Thank God I got a tune-up; I’m getting 31-36 MPG, which is about 6-7 more than I’ve ever gotten on the open road. Awesome.

I haven’t driven on these toll roads before, with their standardized exists for food and drinks. Some had Starbucks, which was a helluva lot better than the other coffee swill I sampled. (There was some truly awful Green Mountain coffee… it was way too weak.)

So, lots of coffee, some McDonald’s, a slice of pizza, three bottles of tea, four bottles of water… yeah, I may not sleep tonight.

TubesSo, it would appear I’m hitting the road for a bit. Not today, but tomorrow. Today, I need to turn in my cable modem. Unless I can find some unsecured Wi-Fi in my apartment—which is a possibility—I’ll be gonzo for a while.

No Internet for a week or more? Yikes!

Now this is how you do clever promotion.

I’m moving next week. My entire life—well, the parts that are in physical form, at least—is sitting in boxes.

So, I was supposed to fly across country today, but my flight was delayed in Burlington because of bad weather in NYC for so long that the connection was likely canceled. So they let me (and others) off the plane and I’ll try again tomorrow.

I took a cab from the airport back to my apartment, and the driver was blasting speed metal from his stereo. Rawk!