Saturday, September 8, 2012

We've Got a Great Big la la? (The Washington Files-A Cross Country Saga, Pt. 1)

Hello there. I never take a trip without telling all the gory details.  ;)
Ok, maybe not ALL...but at least some.
This trip was an interesting one, in that...I was driving cross country and leaving my best friend behind there.

And this beast you see above this text?  Well, my chariot awaited.  More like scariot.

I can't say we got off on the best foot the night before the trip or even the morning of.  This picture might not do Ol' Bumpy (who started off being named Billy) justice, but Ol' Bumpy was a 20 FOOT moving truck.  That's a lot of feet.  Not only was Ol' Bumpy 20 feet of truck, it was 20 feet of FULL truck.  The first time I got behind the wheel, I was not ok with it.  I've driven big things, but especially with the way things had gone this year, I was warier than ever driving in general, let alone manning a freaking leviathan.  I took the wheel the first time the night before we left, from Round Lake to Gurnee and the hotel. I was scared. It was large. Large and full and floaty and strange.  But we safely arrived. That was about all I was asking for.  It was really late at night when we got there thanks to some STELLAR movers (all sarcasm should be increased by 11 here, since they were evil) and just some misfortune.  We didn't get to sleep til late, and the next day after our first delightful gas station sandwich (a staple of this trip, and something I won't miss for a long while, if ever) we headed off to Wisconsin. Our goal? Fargo, ND.  Seemed very, very far away.  On top of this was my lingering question:

"What happens when two (kind of) strangers (myself and fellow road warrior Tim) , picked to live in an ol' bumpy moving truck for 30+ together and have their being polite, and start being real?"

Tim and I were the chosen ones for the truck, and though it's a bit of a spoiler to the above turned out really well. :) We made an excellent team.  That first day I remember it was part of my anxiety, but it started melting away pretty fast, and we became fast friends, which would be crucial later on. (foreshadow'd!)

The truck got easier to drive as we went along, and we got in a rhythm. One thing I liked is that the gasup schedule for the truck seemed to really coincide with the point at which Tim and I really needed caffeine/water/gas station sandwiches (unfortunately) or to just get out of the dang truck and run around a little.  What happens if you don't do that?

Butt legs.  It's a term I coined by 6 that evening, if I remember correctly.  When driving Ol' Bumpy and sitting in much the same position for hours on end, the bumpiness and sitting still and y'know, general road-like scenario- will make it so that when you get out of the car, you can't feel your butt or your legs. You can't tell the difference between your butt or your legs. You're not sure if you're standing or sitting.  You're not sure HOW to stand.  This, my what we call buttlegs. There should be a telethon. Or maybe there shouldn't be...

I will say...I do love driving, and I love road trips.  There was a certain responsibility that came with this one, and a lot of anxiety, but soon even a 20 foot truck started to be something I could enjoy driving or riding in, and the scenery started changing quickly.  Wisconsin is really a gorgeous state, and we got to see quite a good slice of it on our way up 94.

Minnesota wasn't our favorite state, if I recall.  This was probably due in part to it being dark, and in part to it being trafficky...and I'm fairly sure, when you're on state 3 for the day, it's got a disadvantage from the beginning for being anyone's favorite.

One thing I enjoy about road trips is the small towns.  I love to get out of the car and be on one of those specks on the map.  It's fun to try and get the feel for a place.  Oftentimes, even when you're just off the expressway, everyone knows each other, and tell stories about secretly living in a house they were supposed to be out of a month ago, what happened to Bill's truck, and who's dating whom.   You can pick up the local specialties and imagine life in a town like that.  Trading stories over coffee every morning and then working in the fields, or the factories...or grabbing your coffee and hitting the big's fun to weave yourself into established stories that way.

Fargo was our stop for the night.  I think we were all ready for it when it came, though it was NOTHING like I pictured it.  I thought it'd be much more of a small town, and instead it reminded me of Gurnee.  There was a crazy alien themed bar that reminded me of Pizza Planet from Toy Story. I was dying to go there, but it was already closed when we got into town.   The Best Western in Fargo is wonderful, and we were glad to get there, get settled...and order pizza from....

Nine Dragons Schezuan and Pizza

I kid you not.  We got pizza from a mashup place-it came with fortune cookies.  And though that sounded like an unfortunate mix, it was glorious.  Fresh, hot...not from a gas station!!!  The cats got let out of their bags too, and got to run around, stretch their furry little legs, and if you're Frankie...generally amuse the public, roll around and be adorable.

Though she was bright eyed and bushy tailed...we were not, and turned in for a decent night's sleep before more open roads, bug murdering, and sightseeing. 

No comments: