Jimbo MontanaI made it to Portland On Wednesday the 19th. I’m not sure if I was unbalanced from the altitude going over the mountains in Idaho or simply exhausted from the long drive, but I was a wreck by the time I got into town. I drove from the 10th through the 19th with a two-day break in Wisconsin to visit the family so that makes 7 days of driving. I don’t think I’ll be doing a trip like that again, at least not with a big moving truck. It was always a point of stress on where to park it every night, and filling up the tank cost about $100 a pop. And the average fill-up was about 1.5 tanks per state crossing. And lemme tell ya – South Dakota took FOREVER to get through. The photo to the left was taken somewhere near Opportunity, Montana. I bought the hat at Wall Drug in South Dakota. By the time I got to Montana I was getting a little koo-koo and putting lyrics to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony to the tune of “SHEEP HORSES COWS! Sheep horses cows…” Anyway here’s a picture of me and my truck, somewhere in Yellowstone:
me and my truck
I unloaded the rental truck on Thursday and returned it today. I am glad to be rid of it. I plan on getting a car some time soon, but am still settling and recovering. I just unpacked the computer today, thus the blogging. I am staying with Kiri and Mary, friends I know from DC, but will be living with Jon and Ed, who I also know from DC. But Jon’s house isn’t finished yet so I’m staying with the lesbians and their cats. I already have a job this weekend taking care of the cats while they’re off camping in their Subaru.

Along the way I stopped at many rest stops. I drank a lot of coffee and had to go a lot. I compiled a list of best and worst of states’ rest stops, with the following awards:

Most Modern: Ohio, with uniform design at each stop, including a Starbucks.
Most Progressive: Wyoming!? With a “Unisex” bathroom option and good WiFi.
Most Disgusting: Indiana. Gross. Just keep driving and don’t stop in that state for any reason.
Most Helpful: South Dakota. Volunteers at every stop who were dying to answer your questions.

It was clear that stimulus money was at work across the country, as there seemed to be highway improvements in every state. And Minnesota had thousands of those new giant white power-generating windmills for miles and miles.

I have many more stories and pictures to share, but I already have a happy hour date with a bearded ginger from Portland in a few. >; )

14 Comments

  1. first mom says:

    Thank you for the update. Like others, I am sure we all have to decompress from following your Odyssey from our pcs.

  2. rusty, out on the factory floor says:

    Glad to hear that you arrived safe and relatively sound. Hope the settling in and job hunt are quick and easy.

  3. Mari says:

    My what a beard you have. Glad you’re safe and so get some rest.

  4. Mike P says:

    I’ve driven back and forth across the country twice, with a side-trek through western Canada on the second return. Those trips allow me to state that I’ve been to all 50 states. (Though I just barely snuck through Nebraska.) It’s a wonderful way to the see the country. Towards the end of one trip I entered the Columbia River valley as the sun was setting, it was truly a gorgeous sight. That trip went all the way to Astoria, at the very northern tip of Oregon. It was raining. When I went through South Dakota my friend and camped at a KOA campground. We saw the famed Corn Palace, the Badlands and Mount Rushmore. From there we went to Rapid City and the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

    DC’s lost is Portland’s gain. Sorry to see you go. I’ve seen you a couple of times around town but never had the courage to say “hello!”

  5. Ohio Tom says:

    Ohio … we’re number one in rest stops. :-)
    Am looking forward to your West Coast blogging.

  6. Kara says:

    Loved watching your adventures on FB. A date already? Make a bold move to switch up your life, the universe somehow answers. I don’t know how that works, but it does, somehow.

  7. Luther says:

    Congratulations! May you find there what you did’nt here in DC. And a whole new eco system to explore. New birds and critters and plants etc…. How Fun! Later!

  8. Luther says:

    ps. and the new face in town!!!!

  9. Sean says:

    Great to hear about the trip! So happy you made it safely, if not quite sanely.

  10. Marc says:

    Sounds like you’re hitting the ground running!

  11. brettcajun says:

    Jimbo’s Date: “So, let me wrap my head around this. You quit your job and moved clear across the nation to start a new life. You have no car, no job, and no permanent residence.”

    A friendly word of advice (because I CARE and I’m NOT SCARED of you): TRIM THE BEARD… you look like a goddamn HOBO!

  12. Harper's Keeper says:

    thank goodness you stopped at Wall Drug!

  13. Jim says:

    How was the date?

  14. cb says:

    And at *least* South Dakota has a few interesting topographical things during it.

    Try going through Nebraska. It’s longer. And flatter. and there is NOTHING there.