Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another day, another 100 bucks poorer...

Where are we? It's getting to that point. Each day is a sort of whirlwind of packing up the car with cats and gear, trying to remember which way the Highway is and pointing the car east. Not saying it's bad, just hard to remember what's what. Anyway, where are we? Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And guess what, there's a horse shoe competition/conference going on and there isn't a hotel room for forty miles!!!! Not good.
Except it is. Honey Bunny has perfect timing (and legs!) and waltzes right into Super 8 at the same moment the crazy lady behind the counter gets a cancellation. We got a room. I can pee. The cats can cat it up.
But what about this horse shoe thing? Is it a horseshoe throwing contest, or shoeing contest? Both? No clue. I'm just having a hard time believing that, no matter which kind of contest it is, there could possibly be that many humans involved. Oh, and it's a week-long event! How?! What on god's green earth could these folks be doing for a frickin' week!?!? It's all to much for my 'mind'.
Oh, yeah, we went to a huge Whole Foods in Omaha, Nebraska and each got their famous $1000 salad bar and iced coffee. By the way, summer in the US=hot. Hot and steamy (like 9 1/2 Weeks). We've finally got a good way to keep the cats comfy (it involves many wet towels and chanting), but Kenny still spends a good 1-3 hours/day meowing. Hey, at least he's no longer screaming my name.

Check these pics!....

Turns out Both cats LOVE watermellon.

By the way, since we are traveling the Lincoln Highway, we've got a nice coffee table book about it, and Honey Bunny has been reading aloud about each town we go through and trying to take photos of historical sites, so some pics may seem pointless, but I assure you dear readers, they are not!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Nebraska, even better than Springsteen says

So we had this amazing idea this morning; wake up early, leave early, and drive farther (or is it further?), thus making up for a couple of lazy-ish days. It worked. Also, we finally got past the god-awful mountains and off of I-80 and onto the old Lincoln Highway 30 which was the original plan.
I cannot stress enough how much better and interesting it is getting off the big slab of 80 and hittin' the back roads, which until the 70's, were the way to go, and really they still are.
I'll hit you with some more photos, this time courtesy of the world famous Honey Bunny.
Oh yeah, one more extremely weird thing. Today Kenny, the yellow cat spoke my name twice and then huked a technicolor rainbow of grass and fish onto his towel. I mean he really said my frickin' name!! We were driving along just like normal when I suddenly heard a crazy old woman's voice say with a panicky tremelo "Brriian!" and I was shaken to the core of my dark, squishy soul.
I looked confusedly at Honey Bunny who returned my look. Who was that?! we silently asked each other. The hair-raising answer was only seconds in coming when the same voice, only more alarmingly hysterical repeated "Brriian!!!". It was Kenny, who somehow used up all of his precious little brain power to get those two words (well one, twice) out of his bug-brain and into our ears. Then he puked. He's a good boy.

Can you see the hidden Kenny?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Photo Time-Salt Lake to Rawlins, Wyoming!!!!

Oh, I could entertain you with more HI-larious observations on society and travel, but because I'm also a genius photographer, I decided to bless you with a photo tour of our travels of the day (with some captions, 'cos I can't not comment). Enjoy.....

They hung this guy and made shoes out of his skin (no crap!)

Check out the cool ghost sign : Strand Theatre

Most of the shops in Rawlins still have the neato original tile in their entryways from... uh, sometime in the past!

Great food. I had Tulapia and Shrimp with some kinda sauce and Emily had seafood alfredo. Y-U-M!

A creepy thing we noticed about these windmills... There are flocks of sheep around each of their bases. WTF is going on with that?

Very Good Looking Cowboys in this town.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Salt Lake City...We'll be Coming Soon!!!

Wow. Look at those windmills just windmilling away. Actually they aren't moving at all just like EVERY OTHER WINDMILL (or whatever they're called) that we've seen in the last three states. And there has been wind, let me assure you friends, there has been wind. Can you spell Boondoggle?
Anyhoo, it turns out it's hot in the summertime. Never would've guessed, after having been in the Great Northwest all these years, that from the time you awaken until your little eyes close for the night, it's frickin hot. I like it. The cats aren't so sure though...They wear little wet hankys to keep cool. Clyde, the truck, was clunking along beautifully today, not a loose pipe or blown seal to be found (poor seals). The whole driving experience would've been perfect if not for the INCREDIBLY CRAPPY roads in Idaho and Utah. Now, supposedly our 'friends' the STATE were paying folks to work on these rutted highways (paying them with money they stole from the 'citizens' of these states), and sure enough, scores of miles of highway were skooched down into one or two lanes of bumpy crappiness, but not a 'worker' to be seen. I ask my statist friends, who would build the roads if not the State? I also answer...anyone. Any-frickin-one could do a better, faster and more durable job than the overpaid, under-incentivised , state workers who were trying so hard to fulfill the needs of the average person that they didn't even bother showing up for work today.
Oh wait, wrong meeting. This is the road trip group right? Right.
Well, we stopped in Boise around lunch time looking for a little co-op to get some non-Dorritos type of food and instead we found the best co-op I've ever seen. Totally awesome, and it even had a super-mini picnic spot in the parking lot where Emily and I ate a huge tunafish sandwich. Boise seemed kinda cool, sorta like Portland, but more hippy, less hipster. Hard to tell though since we only went to the co-op and then split town.
Somewhere between Boise and Salt Lake we found some rain, lots of hills, and a bunch of cows. It was pretty, but after 5 hours of driving, i really didn't give a damn. When we arrived in Salt Lake where, according to my namesake, girl-for-girl they got the cutest in the western states, there was a rainbow over the city as evidenced by the following photo. Just a bit of rainbow, but still fairly epic for this weird old town. We decided to Motel 6 it again in the hopes that camping was in our near future, just have to remember to get to where we are going before night time. Either way, I think tomorrow we'll try to drive less/ enjoy more stuff. I'm used to road-trips being about getting somewhere, which is of course the ultimate goal, but, like that weird guy with that weird book said back in the '90's, the journey is the destination.
I think tomorrow's destination is Rawlins, Wyoming, which I'm hoping involves a new cowboy hat for me an some new kerchiefs for the kitties. Til then...
Bye Y'all

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On our way to Grandmother's House

Today we split town (don't look back, you can never look back) only a few hours behind schedule
with epic ideas of camping at this park in Idaho, but here we are in a Motel 6 and I'm feelin' just fine.
Though our plan is to take the old highways like 26 and 30 across this country (which, by the way, NOT overpopulated!) we decide to take 84 over the mountains and then do the backroads thing. Turned out to be a good idea.
After many hills and almost exactly 300 miles, we stopped at Baker City for gas...and all shit broke loose. After filling up the truck (from hereon known as Clyde) we couldn't get it started, like, at ALL! I thought it was fer sure the starter, so I climbed under and whacked it with my crowbar. Still nothing...Bastard! Then we discovered that Baker City actually has the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet. "Mother' Margaret "and her son, who wasn't really her son but her son's friend who she considered a son (heck, everyone called her 'mother' in town) stopped by and asked could they help? By gum, that would be swell, I said. Jason, the son-not-son, stayed with Honey Bunny , Clyde and the cats, while Mother Margaret and I drove to carquest and tried to decide if I should buy a starter and have Jason-not-son install it or...hey, who's that over there? Carquest has their own mechanic and his name is Dane, and he is very cool. Here's a towtruck right across the street and it'll bring Clyde right to Dane. I felt bad telling Mother that I was gonna have Dane and not Jason take a look, but she called me silly and took me back to Clyde et al.
Jason was now joined at the truck with Mother's real son, whose name I didn't catch, and they decided it might be the blobbidy-blah-blah that went bad. After all that they seemed perfectly happy to not have to do the work, and the three of them were on their way, but not before Mother made us promise to write her just as soon as we got to Pennsylvania and tell her all about our trip.
Seconds later our Tow Truck appeared (thanks to my Mom, my real mom, not Mother, and her AAA membership gift) and we were merrily spirited off to Dane at carquest. BTW, the cats (Kenny and Viola) didn't seem to give one crap about any of today's events. Just sayin.
Anyway, after much noodling, Dane figured it was the clutch relay by-pass or some such thing, and was able to fix it real quick-like. But this whole adventure ate another two hours off of our already late-started day, so we knew the campground was never gonna happen. But Motel 6 is happening for sure, and they have wi-fi, and we just ate some survivalist Indian food (dot, not feather) and, hey, is that a fricken TV?! I'm so gonna watch that. See ya'll tomorrow!