8/13/2006

Roadtrip of Luxury

Its finally time for the Road Trip Wrap Up!!! There's so much that happened and so much that we saw! Luckily, Roommate and I kept a journal! To set the scene: Roommate and I have never driven farther than Michigan since living in DC. That 14 hour drive is a fete in and of itself, so we felt pretty excited to be making the trek across the ENTIRE country. We picked up our rental vehicle on Friday, August 4th. We expected to rent a Chevy Uplander but instead we were blessed with the Toyota Sienna!! Let me tell you, Chili Palmer needs to ride in this luxury mobile because it must be the official Cadillac of Minivans! This beast was so smooth to drive and it had at least 17 cupholders for just the driver and passenger! Based on this development, we decided to name our trip the Roadtrip of Luxury. Here's how it went:


Friday, August 4th, 16277 Miles on the Sienna: After picking up the Sienna, I had the awesome task of loading it up. I thought I hadn't packed too much stuff, but apparently I was wrong b/c I ended up having to ship two boxes to myself in Spokane. Don't worry, they're not here yet. Roommate and I are officially faster than UPS Ground. Anyways, I picked Roommate up from work and off we went! Our first leg was to Indianapolis, where we rendevouzed with the female half of Married Couple, who I had stayed with before leaving DC. This leg included the following highlights:
- The states of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
- We called in a drunk driver near the Cumberland Gap in Maryland (not WV as previously stated). This guy was ALL over the road and could barely hold his head up to watch where he was driving. It was actually pretty scary.
- A stop in Washington, PA, where the Subway is the city center and they sell faux Coach and Chanel handbags for $59.99.
-The aforementioned trickiness of Mapquest and the State of Ohio. Our directions told us that we would only be in Ohio for 10 miles. But you know what? They lied! We had to drive across the whole godd*mned state and we hated every minute of it, especially the traffic jam at 10:45pm and the confederate flag accessories at the Dayton Travel Center.
- The confederate flag accessories confused us, seeing as how Ohio was 1)played a central role in the underground railroad; 2)its in the "North"; 3)the Civil War has been over for about 141 years; 4)we didn't think people still considered slavery to be politicall correct. Blesus, however, said he would not hold it against me if I bought a pink confederate flag belt buckle that said "Redneck Woman." Too bad I don't wear belts.
- We decided that Ohio is just filled with really stupid people.
Final Mileage, Leg One: 16894



Saturday, August 5th, 16894 Miles on the Sienna: We spent all of Saturday at Female Half of Married Couple's family's home on Sweetwater Lake in Indianapolis. All I can really say here is that the house was amazing, the lake was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, the food was amazing, and Roommate and I both got great tans. We did, however, have to drive to the lake, making our final mileage for Saturday 16956

Sunday, August 6th, 16956 Miles on the Sienna: When we left Indianapolis, we of course had to make a quick stop at Appleworks, which is a fruit stand/petting zoo. Seriously. We picked up some berries and off we went! We knew this was going to be our really long day, and it didn't disappoint. This day included:
- The states of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas.
- The first sign that we had actually entered Jesusland was the giant sign that said "What Will You Do With Eternity? Jesus is the Answer!!!" I actually thought to myself, "Actually, I was hoping to go to the bar."
- In Effingham, IL, we saw what must be the world's largest cross. At first we thought it was a memorial of some sort, but I guess its associated with crossusa.org. I could go to the website and check it out but I'm afraid I will be inundated with bible stuff in my email if I do so.

- The giant cross was followed up by a pitstop in somewhere where a guy was wearing a Property of Jesus t-shirt and so then I had to buy cigarettes. I don't smoke, but I was so stressed by all the Jesus love that I needed to do something and clearly drinking a bottle of wine in the car is not acceptable.
- 4:45pm: MY FIRST TRIP TO WALMART!!!!!!! Holy shit. What a crazy place. Lace blouses, produce and air freshener all in one place. No wonder its the midwest Mecca.
- 5:15pm: Kelly displays White Trash capabilities by smoking cigarette and drinking Diet Coke simultaneously.
- We took some pictures of the Arch in St. Louis and crossed the Mississippi River. Despite these two monumental moments in my life, Roommate and I decided we hate Missouri almost more than we hate Ohio. There's just NOTHING there except bad drivers, flat land and Jesus Humpers. None of which is for us. Oh, and there were a lot of porn warehouses. In Jesusland. Go figure.
- Once we crossed into Kansas it was about 8pm. This drive was actually pretty nice until we hit an incoming storm and literally felt like we were in the movie Twister. Random stuff was flying past the car and the wind on the plains was so intense I thought that the Sienna was going to blow over. Luckily I had packed so much stuff we were weighted down!
- At one point we encountered a toll. At the toll booth I paid our $2.00 in change and said "Have a great night!" to the woman at the booth. She snapped back at me "I'm not done counting yet!!!!!!" I said "Um, ok." Seriously, did she think I was going to try and cheat the toll booth?????
- I got pulled over in Kansas for going 90-something. The officer was very nice and only gave me a warning. I think he could see my fear of the oncoming twister in my eyes.
- There are NO lights on the highways in Kansas. For miles at a time we would be driving on a pitch black road in the middle of a pitch black corn field in the middle of a downpour and I swear I saw my life pass before my eyes.
- Thankfully, like a beacon in the night, we spotted the AmericInn in Rawlins, KS where we stayed the night. This is the hometown of Senators Bob Dole and Arlen Specter. Woo.
Final Mileage: 17490

Monday, August 7th, 17490 Miles on Sienna: Due to some intense waterskiing in Indy, Roommate awoke with intense arthritis in her hands and I can barely read her notes and she's not here in Spokane to translate for me. So, if none of this makes sense, sorry :)
- The states of Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.
- In Oakley, KS we came across Prairie Dog Town, which is actually a dirty shanty owned by a woman wearing a horrid wig and who decided she needed to tell us her entire life story, which we did not want to hear.
-Prairie Dog Town (PDT) consisted of a lot of prairie dogs (which I was told can bite!) running around and digging holes and some other randon animals like foxes, turkeys, goats, buffalos (spelled "buffaloes" in Kansas) and a giant rabbit. Our big draw to PDT had been the sign for the world's largest prairie dog. This turned out to be a big wooden statue.

- Roommate was headbutted by a hungry goat. It hurt her.
- I got chased by a turkey after mock gobbling at it to get it to turn around for a photo op.
- We got attacked by red ants.
- In Colby, KS we FINALLY found a Starbucks. We hadn't seen one since leaving DC. The bathrooms were some serious luxury accomodations.
- We pulled into Denver around lunchtime. We were underwhelmed by the whole city, but I was able to make a Walgreens purchase!!!! I was in and out in 2 minutes. You just cannot get service like that at CVS!

This next part of Monday deserves its own section because it was hands down the best part of our trip. What is it, you may ask? Its the State of Wyoming.

- First of all, there were little antelopes in the prairie. They were so cute.
- There were WINDMILLS!!!! Since I was a child, I have loved windmills. If you are ever one 80 West from Cheyenne, you will come over a hill and see tons and tons of windmills. I did a happy dance in my seat.
- We took dozens of pictures of the mountains and rocks and valleys on this drive. They were so beautiful and were so many different colors and shapes and sizes. Its also such a quiet place. We got out of the Sienna a few times to take pictures and there was literally not a sound aside from us walking on the gravel.
- We would also drive for miles and not see one person or car. I can totally see why people want to live there.
- Except, we did learn that Wyoming now refers to itself as the "Equality State." Unfortunately, it took Matthew Shephard dying for that name to come about, but at least they're accepting now, right?
- We spent the night in Riverton, Wyoming. We ordered Domino's Pizza and bought some Bud Light. What else could you need after a long day?
Final Mileage: 18486

Tuesday, August 8th, 18486 Miles on Sienna: We decided to head up through Yellowstone and check out Old Faithful. This was an interesting day for us and included:
- The states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
- On our way out of Riverton, we stopped for coffee at the Pony Express Espresso Drive Thru.
- We then passed through Kinnear, WY, Population: 44.
- We entered Shoshone National Forest and were surprised to then be caught in a traffic jam due to road construction. Its kind of hard to enjoy the scenery when you're constantly being slowed by the pace car leading your lane of cars or driving over really dusty dirt and gravel. I'm sure Shoshone was lovely, but we were too busy yelling at the people in front of us to hurry the f*ck up and drive faster to pay attention.
- To get to Yellowstone, we passed through the Grand Tetons. If you've never seen them before, stop reading this blog, get in the car and drive there. The park and the mountains are the most beautiful natural creations I've ever seen. We were in complete awe, even more so than we were while driving through southern Wyoming on Monday.

- Once we entered Yellowstone, we headed for Old Faithful. For those who don't know, OF is a geyser. So, its a hole in the ground and some hot water shoots out of it. We missed an eruption and had to sit around for 93 minutes and wait. It was lame.
- On our wayto OF, we read the material handed to us when we entered the park and we learned that a lot of people die at the horns of buffalo. Its called being gored. Buffalo can run up to 30 miles per hour, which is faster than a human can run, so they chase people down and the smash them with their heads. Of course later in the day we saw an entire family wading out into a valley to take pics of a buffalo, but we heeded the warning and stayed away.
- Roommate was really upset through most of Yellowstone because there were a lot of cars and she would have "prefer[ed] to be alone right now."
- After Yellowstone we entered the Big Sky State of Montana. We again encountered a heavy rain/Twister scenario, and this time it was almost completed with the flying cow because the wind was so strong.
- There are a lot of tall trees in Montana.
- A friend of mine who went to school at the University of Montana had told me that contrary to rampant rumors, there is in fact a speed limit in Montana, but that he had never seen someone get pulled over in Montana. Lucky for him he knows me, because I got a ticket. We had a lovely visit with a state trooper just outside of Superior, MT. He was like a one stop shop! He pulled me over, gave me a ticket, allowed me to pay on the side of the road (he even had change!!!!) and then wanted to know what I had done in DC and why I was moving to WA. Roommate had a nice chat with the horses on the side of the road. It was getting late.
- We stopped in Superior for a bathroom break and discovered that in Superior there are Blockbuster/Pizza/Liquor store combos! But they don't sell Sudafed, which Roommate was in desperate need of.
- Before entering Idaho, the Sienna displayed some questionable behavior, such as claiming the temperature went from 68 to 93 in .08 seconds, so we petted her and talked to her like we would a dog.
- We spent the night in Kellogg, ID, on the recommendation on the same U of MT friend. Its a ski town, but seeing as how its August, it was emtpy. We stayed at the Baymont Hotel, otherwise known as the Kellogg Senior Center for Checkers Players.
- We ended the day with the final mileage of 19150.

Wednesday, August 9th, 19150 miles on the Sienna: When we returned to the Sienna in the morning, we realized she was no longer the beautiful, flawless, glowing white she had been when we picked her up on the 4th. Instead, she was a muted caramel/puke color with large bugs and their guts plastered to the front. We only continued to contribute to this on our final day of the trip, as we:
- Traveled through the states of Idaho and Washington.
- We stopped at the Mocha Junction Caboose for coffee in Kellogg.

- We drove through Spokane so that Roommate could get a sense of my new home here. Then we got back on 90 West and soon realized that parts of Washington are uglier than Missouri and Kansas combined.
- Fittingly, we ended the trip in Seattle, WA at Microsoft. We started in the seat of the federal government, and ended at the technology empire of the world.

All in all it was a great trip! It was sad to say goodbye to Roommate and to drive back to Spokane by myself, but we had so much fun and highly recommend a cross country drive to everyone, if its a possibility. Now that I am in Spokane, expect many more updates on life in Spokompton and maybe we'll even hear from Blesus sometime before New Years!!

2 Comments:

Anonymous max said...

Have you read the Inlander, yet? It's like the City Paper, but much crappier.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Kelly Taylor said...

No!! But I'll have to check it out, especially if its trashy!

12:33 AM  

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