Friday, May 8, 2009

cross country trip, part 1!

So we left last Saturday for Arizona from Maryland. Now we're in Colorado Springs! Here are some pics from this past week.

Fifty pounds of books:
don't leave home without 'em!

Those are all travel books, mind you, for planning the route. Yeah, you could say we're a little spontaneous, if by "spontaneous" you mean "freaks who loaded themselves with so much work for weeks before leaving there was no time to plan a trip known about for months."

Where did I think the dog was going to go?

We agonized for months on whether to take the dog but now, seeing the car loaded and sagging, I have to wonder: where did I think we'd stash a 70-pound samoyed mix?

We took a central route cutting through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Kansas.


First stop: the Creation Museum in Kentucky, built by a, um, very passionate man who used to work at Universal Studios making exhibits. So let's just say the exhibits look very, uh, polished. If you don't know better, you might think they're educational. They're not. I could build a museum expounding the tooth fairy if I had enough money. Dinosaurs never lived with people.

I'll be putting up more pictures soon but for now, I am summarizing their entire philosophy with a single song lyric: "If lovin' you is wrong, I don't wanna be right."

They did have a beautiful garden out back though:


Purple alliums (yes -- ornamental onions!).

Indiana field bursting with sunny yellow flowers.

Closeup of those little flowers.

Biking at the University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Next: Kansas

Just kidding. We didn't see any tornadoes. Just trying to see if you were paying attention. heh. I kept dreaming about them though and either I was subconsciously convinced it was not possible to cross Kansas without fighting for my life in a swirling wind of uprooted houses or there's a lot on my mind, but Kansas is actually not as flat as I thought.

I was still surprised to see trailer parks though. In tornado country, really? Are they insane? (Then again there are trailer parks in Florida, hurricane country. I guess this is proof that yes, crazies are everywhere.)

Kansas: not as flat as I thought.

Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve. The short green grass at right has recently been burned, the left side has not.

This place is home to the largest concentration of prairie chickens in the U.S.! We saw four. (All exploded into the air within 3 milliseconds of being flushed in case you wondered why I only captured the landscape.)

Dan hiking across the grassy land.

It was WINDY. I have a whole new appreciation
for the term "wind-swept prairie."
Wind farms make sense here.

Windmills too.

Later, we pulled off the road to follow signs to a gas station and found this:

Thanks, road signs. There when we needed you most.

Can someone tell me what this means?
I almost had an existential breakdown at this corner.

Brought to you by the Greater Kansas
Gas Station Beautification Committee.

The natural parts of the land
need no extra help: beautiful as is.

Beautiful, that is, unless splattered with
billboards. These were funny. Kansas is
not exactly known for its secular mindset.

Oh! OMG! Did you know about the bounty and wonder of barbed wire?

There are over 2,000 different types of barbed wire. And 500 of them are on display at the Agricultural Hall of Fame:
500 different types of barbed wire, how could I have lived my whole life not knowing this??
Irises at the Agricultural Hall of Fame

I have more pictures to post of the Agricultural Hall of Fame, stay tuned.

The amount of loot we had to haul into the
Dan is smiling because the laptop
isn't broken yet.

Now in the Doh! Department:

Spend this much time on the road and something has to go wrong. Two days ago, my computer fell off a luggage cart and crashed to the ground while I gasped in horror. The laptop that I carried around like a delicate glass sculpture and moved so gingerly with both hands at every stop ended up on the ground with a cracked LCD screen all because of one exhaustion-fueled decision: fine, slap it on the cart.

I spent the rest of the night rocking despondently on hold with tech support but luckily I had paid for unforeseen future stupidity with a comprehensive warranty. A tech visited us on site two days after reporting the incident and fixed it within an hour. Yes! Dell win!
The laptop gets fixed: whew!

The above pic was taken last night right after arrival in Colorado Springs. We're visiting friends and having a blast. We move on soon, I'll post more as soon as I can. Thanks for sharing my cross-country journey (so far)!


kevin said...

nice hair! "wind blown", eh?

Buddy said...

Sounds like a fun trip . Some of that barbed wire is as thick as re-bar as I recall . Were they expecting to corral rhino's ?

Kelly O said...

This is so many levels of awesome! I can't wait for part 2.

Linda said...

Holly! This brings back so many memories! Love the signs. There are so many of the Jesus hates porn followed by porn shop sign! Also, have you seen any of those other great signs yet? the ones that go "largest jackrabbit, next 5 miles" - that kind of thing. I need to look in my travel journal for more great signs.

I remember the wind blown hair and the feeling that the knots will never ever come out. I remember driving in the endless sunsets...

It's great! A great experience!

Keep writing and glad you had the foresight to get that warranty on your laptop!

big hugs to you,

Deb said...

Great photos! Can't wait to see the rest!

geekhiker said...

Man, now I wanna hop in the car and take a road trip. I wonder if they'd miss me at work tomorrow?

Anonymous said...


Niffer said...

I love the picture you took of the field of yellow flowers. That's so pretty!

talkingtostones said...

Sounds like such a great trip. Soooo wish we were en route with you. Love the kind of adventures you're having. Definitely have to do a road trip together one of these days! Looking forward to the next installment.

bodelou said...

two things:
you would be a good candidate for dreadlocks

i love being jam packed in a car full of my life. even though it is slightly chaotic, its cozy and reminds you of all the great things life has allowed you two acquire. and appreciate the fact that when you aren't packing up to move cross country, there is a place for everything!

deva said...

HOW EXCITING! I'm glad you're enjoying your cross country road trip/voyage :) Like Kello O said - I can't wait for part 2!

Rachel said...

I love, love, love the billboards. Doesn't it make you wonder which came first?

hautepocket said...

Those tulips are *beautiful*! And is there a tornado consistently howling through Kansas? Because I saw one two out of the three times I have driven through...

And P.S. The south scares me a little. Ok, a lot. :)

pistachio said...

Holly, looks like you have such an exciting life! Your blog is awesome and the photos are as well. I really enjoy reading your adventures.

pistachio said...

Holly it looks like you have an exciting life! Your blog is awesome as are the photos. I get many laughs from your stories. Keep it up!

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