Thursday, August 28, 2008

Movin movin movin

Yesterday: I drove through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and half of North Dakota. Today, so far (at noon), I have finished North Dakota, and half of Montana.

I was eerily intrigued by St. Paul, which seemed to have really neat shopping centers, at the very least.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are a bit quirky and amusing, in that they have these cheese stores, with huge CHEESE signs. These cheese stores, as best as I could tell, were not the meccas of stinky fromage you would find in Paris, but rather, temples at which one could buy vivid orange and white gels with low-melting points. I could not bring myself to stop at one.

North Dakota wasn't very exciting. No flax, and very few sunflowers, both of which I had been promised lots and lots of. Perhaps it was too dark when I was driving through, and I missed some of the more amazing vistas. What it is filled with, however, is John Deere stores --- almost at every exit. I tried to grab a picture, but mostly got blur.

Montana is amazingly empty. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Even Texas had little wineries and pecan factories to watch. Despite the vast nothingness, however, there is an occasional punctuation of beauty and intrigue. Trains, the lengths of which you have never seen (I saw one with 8 locomotives attached). Scenic bluffs, with views of Yellowstone River, and occasional flowers on the side of the road.

I am finding that I chose the absolutely worst time to drive cross country. All the hotels are all filled up! Every city! Some are overflowing with Harley Davidsons, and others are overflowing with Labor Day vacationers. I'm a bit concerned I'll get to Seattle, and have no place to sleep.

Meanwhile, I am holding in. My ears are constantly ringing, due to the loud driving noise (the car-top carrier reduces the effectiveness of the door seals). My lower back is getting sorer and sorer. My diet is increasingly comprised of peanut butter and jelly and mochas. Speaking of mochas, I have to call out North Dakota and Montana for having almost no Starbucks. I had to use Goog-411 to remotely scout-ahead for potential caffeination sources --- Thank god for Billings, Montana and their coffee-loving population.

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