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The Night Witch’s tips for traveling alone

1) In lieu of human or animal companionship, bring a plant. They don’t judge you when you start talking to them after ten hours of driving. When unable to obtain a plant, bring a phrenology bust as a companion. Better yet, bring both!

The pepper plants and Phrene get ready for bed after a long journey.

If neither of those options exist, anthropomorphize your car by giving her a cool name and pretend that the Google maps voice is hers. What the heck! Go crazy and do all three.

2) Derby folks, do not, under any circumstances, use your skills of weaving, blocking, or hitting an opponent while driving. Even if the Chevy Blazers and Jeep Cherokees look like giant quad skates. Use your powers only for good. 

3) Don’t think about the fact that if your car died out here, there is a chance that they won’t find you until your bones have been bleached by the sun.

4) Sing “Come on Eileen” at the top of your lungs. Get wild-eyed while you’re doing it. Really get in touch with those emotions. Bonus points if you sing through a swinging pendulum of tears and hysteria as you pass the semis and road crews. Wave and smile. Realize later you may be PMSing. Be grateful that you are alone and don’t have to subject anyone else to your terrifying mania.

5) Try not to puncture one of the PBR cans you bought last night and put into your bag next to the corkscrew you brought (just in case!) while you are driving down the interstate at 80 miles per hour.

6) Bring papertowels. See above. (You were right, gramps, I did need them.)

7) Accept your fate as Harvey Dent after half of you spends hours in the sun. 

8) Don’t bother putting deodorant on. Or showering. Shave off precious minutes, not your leg hairs! The road doesn’t care.

9) When realizing you need a break, make sure to do so when there is only one place to stop in 100 miles and that it is the creepiest gas station you’ve ever seen. Bonus if you suspect the attendant may be a serial killer. Be nice just in case she’s making a list.

10) You’re not there yet. Stop thinking about it.

11) When interacting with locals, remember that you are the weird one.

12) Appreciate just how fucking small and insignificant you are.

13) Weed helps.

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Greetings from the Outlaw Inn

Yesterday’s adventure began with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. I now feel fully prepared to face my enemies should they descend upon me.

The Night Witch needed a little TLC, so we pulled off at Rock Springs, WY to stay at the Outlaw Inn. It’s as cool as it sounds. I’m going to try to explore a little more in the morning.

Some observations today:

1) The only black people I saw in Nebraska were from Detroit. They were riding their bikes back from LA. The guy I talked to said they had to stop because of a tornado. Yikes! I gave them some extra water I couldn’t fit in my cooler. Thanks gram and gramps!

2) I stopped at a gas station that boasted “great bathrooms!” somewhere in Nebraska. Apparently, they have bidets in Nebraska. Extravagant. Did it make them great? The freaking toilet had a massage setting. And I didnt have to pay a dime. Of course they’re great! Truth in advertising.

3) I met a man who shot all the animals that were hanging in his gas station. The moose head was the largest. It is, allegedly, easy to haul one of those things into a truck after it’s dead. We also talked about tourists dying at Yellowstone for doing stupid things, like taking selfies with wild animals or tragically coming to their end by ignoring those pesky “do not leave this path” signs. They’re going to ruin it for everybody else, he said. People will have to ride around the park in a bus and won’t be able to get out and explore if they don’t cut the shit, he said.

That’s all for today. Weirdly, I don’t have any pictures. I did get to roller skate. 1040 miles to go.

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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

The Night Witch and I pulled into a flashy 2-star hotel, cuz we’re fancy like that. We actually contemplated spending the night in the car under the stars. We decided against that. Maybe tomorrow.

Lessons from the road – day one:
1) Eugene V. Debs’ Labor and Freedom makes an interesting soundtrack for the backdrop of Iowa and Nebraska. Especially the part where Debs argues that Jesus was a proletariat who started a working-class revolution against the oppressive ruling class. Gives a whole new meaning to those billboards on I-80 that say “Trust in the Lord!” (Shout out to LibriVox for the free audiobook) Also, the chapter on Theodore Roosevelt was fascinating given the current state of our upcoming election.

2) According to a plaque next to a wind turbine blade I saw at a rest stop (see picture), each complete wind turbine can power up to 700 residential homes. This turbine blade weighs 23,098 lbs. Neat!

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Don't be jealous of my ability to take blurry photos. I've had years of practice.

3) And, finally, I learned that I can make it about 12 hours driving the Night Witch alone.

Oh, and bonus lesson: 4) AC/DC is the best way to experience a Nebraska sunset. Thanks to 92.9 The Eagle for that one.

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California or bust

I’m currently at “the world’s largest truckstop” in Iowa. How does one measure something like that, I wonder?

I suppose when you have a dentist, barber, chiropractor, life size puppets, 4 restaurants, and every Iowa-related piece of memorabilia in existence, it’s not hard to be the world’s biggest anything.

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But, alas, they still don’t have a magnet with my name spelled correctly.

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Close, but no cigar. Onward I go.

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