I 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:
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. >; )