Archive | October, 2009

Better Late Than Never: The Loneliest Roadtrip, Day 1

6 Oct

I haven’t been the most timely gathering this post (see also: entire blog, messy house, time clock at work for further enforcement of my specialization in lateness and laziness), but I think it’s important to record regardless. In August, I took what I call the Loneliest Roadtrip: just me (for the most part… I cheated a bit) in my Beetle, driving across 9 states in 9 days. For some time, I’ve had a dream of shooting 8mm film in every state and compiling it into an old-fashioned travelogue, and this was a trial-run for what I hope to be a singular months-long van adventure. It turned out to be somewhat a bust since my camera was on the fritz about 50% of the time, but I did enjoy getting out and exploring the good ol’ U.S. of A. while spending some quality time with myself. I also got to try out my Diana camera (yip yip!) and catch a few of my fella’s shows while his band was on tour – not a shabby use of time and gas money, if you ask me. Anyway, here are some musings and photographic evidence from the road.

Day 1: Colorado, Wyoming, Montana

Left Denver at 1:00 PM (gulp, late). Pokiness facilitated by locking myself out of my apartment building while loading up the Beetle. After a middling attempt at climbing through my too-high window (at which point BeaCat escaped, urgh), Smokes-a-lot lady let me back into the building, and she did so without getting off her celly or putting down her cig, even in the lobby. My type of gal. Gave the kitties kisses and hit the dusty road. Before I could even escape the city, this greeted me:

Jesus

It’s really unfortunate that I couldn’t get a picture of the side, which proclaimed “Abortion doesn’t make you unpregnant, it makes you have a DEAD BABY.” America the Beautiful.

Drove through Wyoming on the quick, and somehow managed to miss Little America. How does one miss Little America? Signs bloody everywhere. Saw signs for the Oregon Trail Ruts, and whipped off the road with nary a second thought. My parents took my best friend and I to the historical site (and many others) in 5th grade during our obsessive, long skirt-wearing, Oregon Trail game-playing period, and that remains one of my favorite vacations to this day. It’s still impressive that so many people took this trip in janky wagons that ruts were cut into the rock.

OregonTrail

(Note bullet holes – this seems to be a common issue with historical stops across America. Did I mention how much I love our country? No seriously, I do. Charming.)

WagonRuts

InARut

Look, I’m stuck in a rut! Yuk, yuk, yuck. I thought it would be a good idea to take cheesy self-portraits at my favorite stops, but this was the only one I managed… because cheesy self-portraits make one feel cheesier than any person should. However! this is a pretty good example of how deep those puppies are.

BlurryPlains

Sunflowers

StormBrewing

It had already been sprinkling off and on, but as I walked from the ruts back to my car, light rain quickly turned into raucous thunder and lightning, and there was imminent threat of a torrential downpour. Made it to register cliff as it struck, and managed to hop out and admire for a hot second. Love that it’s basically glorified graffiti.

RegisterCliff

Tex

Seconds after I pulled in, the wind picked up and was blowing my umbrella inside out, and I was forced back to the road. Made it to Montana courtesy chocolate-covered espresso beans and Amanda Blank.

Drove through the scariest heat lightning storm, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was one of the most frightening experiences I’ve ever encountered. The lightning would strike, then travel across the ground, then rapidly strike again somewhere nearby. Camping plans foiled. Reminded myself car is grounded. Did not help. Had to stop for gas, at which point I chatted with some bikers who had also been shaken by the storm. One tried to use the Porta Potty, but there was something alive inside. Started to get a massive dehydration headache, which was likely aided by subsiding strictly on cheddar goldfish crackers and the aforementioned caffeine beans. Vowed to make it to the next town, and called my Mom to say my last good-byes, just in case. That fine woman paid for a hotel room. I lived to see another day. Never thought I’d be so happy to be watching an infomercial for Bump It in the Super 8 of Billings, Montana.

Don’t lie, you want a Bump It too.