note: this is a collection of ramblings pieced together from a very disorganized series of scratchings on a Mead Management Series 5" x 8" memo pad. Don't expect it to make much sense. most of this was written at 75 miles an hour while trying to keep my car, the Stannous Bebop, from carooming off the road in 50 mile an hour winds.
Also, Iowa is missing because I already covered it in a daylog.
And now, while waiting for your sanity to return, please play tic-tac-toe in italics:
tailgating is not a cure
the passing lane has its own set of problems
Friday: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
PA: there is an adopt-a-highway sign that is sponsored by "Quaker Steak and Lube". This is not a misspelling, and it disturbs me to great extent*.
OH: in the interest of speed, I neglect to take the road down to Columbus and see zot-fot-piq. I'm an arseface.
IN: I ♥ giant signs that read
just before the toll booths. I'm so tempted to speed through the toll gates and, when I get pulled over, feign ignorance. "But, officer, if I slowed down, the signs said I'd get a ticket!"
Feh. I need to think of more entertaining things on the road.
I'm driving past I-69 for a little bit. For some reason, it's just not nearly as exciting as all the Penthouse letters make it out to be. I can't find any Hershey's anywhere!
Elkhart, Indiana is where I end up sleeping. 11 hours on the road. My mom used to race motorcycles here. Now her entire Christmas wish list is composed of: a waffle iron. Please don't let me become my parents.
Saturday: Indiana and Iowa. About 8 hours of driving. An overturned motorhome is on the median at Indiana mile 53. A truck jackknifes in front of me at Iowa mile 301. A Greyhound bus is mashed on the side of the road at mile 287. There is a flipped semi at mile 189. All told, there are about 30 cars that I count flipped or forced to the side of the road, including the two that get bashed together by the wind in front of me. I get to Omaha coming down off a high from testosterone, adrenelin, and about a million other natural flavors. After finding a kickass comic store and picking up a few issues of Transmetropolitan, I go to the hotel, write my big dicked daylog and fall asleep.
There's a train carrying train cars on flatbeds. WTF?
The Nebraska National Forest along state route 2 looks like a prison for underprivilaged trees. Some of the pines even look like watchtowers. Creepy.
So very many coal trains. Each of 'em has about 110 cars, each filled with an energy source I could've sworn was outdated. Huh. Someday we will all be coal and oil.
Sometime before the sunsets (and it's so very amazing: reflecting all around a valley in the Sand Hills) I compose a really stupid poem. I hate poetry. Especially stuff as insipid as this:
late night & early morning
are just abstract notions
an attempt at eloquence
explaining the distance
of time spent with you.
Ick. That's not even the really bad part. Ick ick ick. This is why I stick to prose, folks.
Wyoming is sterile and stupid, but has cheap fireworks, which makes me happy to be alive (also, the sunset is beautiful and almost makes up for the starkness and blizzards along the seven hour drive).
Abandoned vehicle count:
Mobile Homes: 1 (poor sucker)
Tuesday: Utah and Nevada
After being stuck in a lot of stupid traffic around Salt Lake City, I open it up on the open road. I got it up to 130 MPH in Nebraska, and I have bouts up to around 110 before sanity gets ahold of me. Regardless, I'm pulled over at Utah mile 50 for doing 82 in a 75 (like, practically nothing).
Officer: How are you this morning, sir?
Me (with hands on the steering wheel to suggest that I've dealt with cops in places more ghetto than Utah): Just fine, sir. How are you?
Officer: Oh, all right. May I have your license, registration, and insurance please?
Me: Oh, sure. (making slow, deliberate movements) Massachusetts doesn't require carrying proof of insurance, but here's everything else, sir.
Officer: Oh. Okay. Do you know what the speed limit is around here?
Me: Probably around 75, sir.
Officer: Okay. And do you know how fast you were going?
Me: Well, officer, I had the cruise control set to around 85.
Officer (with a quizzical look on his face): Right. Er. Well, I clocked you at 82 coming down the hill. Where are you headed?
Me: Reno, sir.
Officer: Are you moving there?
Me: No, sir. Just home for the holidays. My uncle made a cradle for my sister, so I'm bringing that to her as well. It's been kind of a long trip, sir.
Officer: Oh. I see. Well, I'll be right back.
(ten minutes pass)
Officer: Well, I'm just going to give you a warning for the speeding. Have a merry Christmas and drive safely.
Me: Okay, officer. You too.
So I kissed his ass. BFD. I avoided a ticket, and that's all I cared about.
around mile 26 there's a strange sculpture: four spheres attached to the top of a column, much like a post-modern tree. stunning in the middle of nowhere.
I stop for lunch in Wendover and the border of Utah and Nevada. The casinos sit perched along the state line, capitalistic sirens, vultures with slot machines for stomachs.
I arrive in Reno at 5:30, just in time for The Simpsons. I should drive like this for money. Or sex. Or some other earthly tie.
Miles traveled: 3019
Average speed: 64 MPH
Time spent in car: 47 hours and 34 minutes (a little crank and I could've done the drive in two days. bummer.)
Average gas usage: 25.4 MPG
Total number of vehicles laid to waste by my wave of mutilation: 40
(according to sleeping wolf, the Steak and Lube is a restaurant with a garage theme and they require you to sign a waiver for the spicy wings. I'm still disturbed.)