Monday, January 24, 2011

Westward Ho, Day 2, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Cheyenne, Wyoming

I'm at a La Quinta Inn on the outskirts of Cheyenne, Wyoming tonight.  Duke, James, and I are taking part in a tradition that is as old as this country, and is tied in integrally with its culture.  The loading up of all of ones worldly possessions into a small vehicle, and traveling cross-country into the unknown, without any sense of what the future may hold.  Going west.  Here's a rundown of the day:

Woke up stinking early at Chelsea's in Chicago.  Showered and on the road by 7:15.  Now, on the road doesn't necessarily mean on the highway heading west.  This morning it meant navigating the city, working our way down from Wrigleyville into the downtown, and then over to 90/94 to catch that highway to 80 to head west.  The primary concern was finding a gas station, which apparently is harder than it looks in Chicago.  We drove around near 90/94 for almost an hour and finally found one, filled up, got Dunkin Donuts, and then drove back to get on the highway, magically passing a half-dozen other gas stations on the way.

From there it's been pretty much standard roadtrip fare.  Trade-offs on driving (Duke for the first shift through Illinois and Iowa, and then I had the second shift through Nebraska and the smidge of Wyoming leading up to here), road games (Marry, Fuck, or Kill), laughing at bizarre signs on the road (a trucker had a sign on his cab reading "Be A Flirt, Lift Your Shirt" (I almost flashed him)).

We determined a few things:
  • The Mississippi is a big river.
  • Iowa resoundingly sucks.
  • Nebraska is really long.
  • Wyoming has huge sky with tons of stars.
I saw a shooting star just over the Wyoming state line.  I had a conversation with a gas station attendant about adult footie pajamas.

And now, with James and Duke passed out in the hotel I'm checking e-mail, updating the blog, figuring work tasks out, and other nonsense.

In other news I got another rejection letter to add to the pile of rejection letters while I'm hunting for full-time work, but I also got a letter forwarding my resume on in another search (this one in Seattle, WA), so apparently the trickle is starting to happen.

Tomorrow we finish the trip up to Portland, passing through the rest of Wyoming, a corner of Utah, Idaho, and most of Norther Oregon.  With the slight adjustment to our trip (we ended tonight in Cheyenne instead of making the drive out to Rock Springs) we'll be facing the longest leg of our journey (figuring on 16 hours), and also the hardest (the Rockies).

More pictures and adventures to follow.  I'm tweeting about them with the hashtag "westwardho"

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