Monday, July 1, 2013

The middle of things

There are many places in America I would like to visit. Unfortunately, they are not in the "crossing-the-middle-of-America" states:

(stolen from a political blog. I would totally color in Texas there too. I have driven through the upper part and it is very empty.)

Now, no offense, people who live in the crossing-the-middle states. There are probably some lovely towns and cities and cute things to see in those places. But, when you need to transport your car from one end of the country to the other and need to cross those states, stopping off in a neat little town or historic site doesn't help with the crossing part, which is long and flat and boring.

Also, it is now July and very hot. And America is full of heat waves and all sorts of nasty traveling weather. Great. Why could I not be given the job offer in April and swoosh outta here as soon as I possibly could in early May??? Sigh.

I was looking around at crossing routes that might take me through some actual interesting scenery and finally decided I was just going to have to go up, up, up, portage my canoe across the Canadian border,* drive along the bottom of Canada and then travel all the way down the West Coast. 

I would kinda like to add to my list of states I have been to, but I also kinda just want to get there, you know? I have been given one piece of advice, to stay off the 80, which kinda sucks as I have previously driven through Kansas (and been bored) and sorta wanted to knock Nebraska off my list. Also, I could go through Wyoming but on inspection of the various tourist web sites for the states, there are actually a lot of things I would like to go visit in that state ---- Grand Tetons! Yellowstone! Cool Rock Formations! ---- but none of them are actually near the 80. In fact, the 80 appears to go through the most boring part of Wyoming of all and if you use a trip like that to count off your 50 states card I think you should get docked points instead. But I have weird rules like that. Airports don't count, for example.

Still don't know. But at least I have managed to force my self to start looking and planning. There are some other things I have to deal with before then ---- like taking a friend to the airport and having the apartment complex be repaved and sealed, which involves all of us not being able to park in here for four days, for example ---- but at least I am not hiding under a rock and avoiding it all any more.

I did plan to go to see Local Tourist Historical Site today, though, and after getting up nice and early in the cool of the day I managed to fall asleep again on the couch with my cats and waste most of the morning. I am clearly not a morning person nor a go-getter traveler. At this rate, it might take me a month to cross the country just because I sleep so late!

*When my sister was a teenager and in Girl Scouts, she did a two-week canoeing trip up along the border that involved portaging the canoes for an entire afternoon along some trail before hitting a navigable part of the river again. I have no clue where this was exactly. It has become family shorthand for any huge and sweaty expenditure of effort. Also, mosquitoes.


Flavia said...

My folks drove me cross-country to college, mostly along 90 and 80. I recall Montana and Wyoming being incredibly gorgeous--though they did keep on going for a long time.


Anonymous said...

We've made that drive many times... corn to wheat to salt-flats to desert. Booooorrrring. (My father would always take the more scenic route which often involved perilous mountain driving with no railing and an extra day or two onto the trip.)

Can you get some good audio books and podcasts?

Dr. Virago said...

KS and NB *look* pretty much the same, that is. Yes, I can make my plural subjects and verbs agree, I swear!

Dr. Virago said...

Oy, and it's NE, not NB. Nevermind.

Bardiac said...

Nebraska goes on forever.

If you're going up north, you're welcome to take a break in the Northwoods at my place. (It would be out of your way, but still, there it is!) You could cut north, and then drive across Montana (beautiful!) and see Yellowstone!

80 is pretty fast, at least. And Iowa had (according to my rating system the times I've driven across), excellent rest stops.

Anonymous said...

I feel you. We once moved from one coast to the other and crossed the entire SW on I-10 and it was heinous. Heinous, I tell you! But in defense of Texas, east and central Texas are actually kind of lovely. West Texas and that whole panhandle thing, really horrible.

Wyoming is indeed beautiful, even the boring part, in my opinion Lots of lovely open greenery, blue skies, and cavorting antelope.

Annie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

K, that anonymous comment was me.

Dr. Virago said...

OK, weirdness is happening in my commenting from Feed Demon. First, my original comment, above, seems never to have made it through, thus making the two subsequent comments utter nonsense! And now a comment I made earlier today isn't showing. And in both cases, it *seemed* like these comments came through. Huh.

Anywho, my original comment said it was a toss-up between I-70 and I-80, that both KS and NE seem dull at 75mph. But neither is as flat as you might guess.

And my latest comment suggested you take a look at Historiann's post on "flatness" and driving across the country. It might cheer you up! Here: