Saturday, August 21, 2010

Go West, Day 4 (Lincoln to Laramie)

Day 4: Lincoln, Nebraska to Laramie, Wyoming.
Pace: Steady. Another 8ish hours. It started to feel like grueling right around Cheyenne, when Magdalena had a little breakdown.
Rations: Our chocolate milks are now gone. Does that qualify as meager?

Somehow, this trip seemed to go much faster last year when we were driving in the other direction. I think it's because last year, we packed in one 14-hour day that really took the edge off the 36-hour trip total. This time, we're doing mostly 8-hour days so it's taking f o r e v e r.

We spent the morning in Lincoln hanging out with our friends the Lewises. That wasn't the plan at first but they are good at talking us into things (last year, they talked us into staying the night, which also wasn't the plan).

Then we drove across Nebraska and part of Wyoming. Like I said, Magdalena started to lose it around Cheyenne so we called it quits as soon as we came across an acceptable hotel in Laramie.

Now, for the Joys of the Road Trip:

- Turning on cruise control and seeing how long you can go without having to tap the brakes to turn it off because of other cars throwing off your groove.

- Watching the ETA on Nigel the GPS slowly tick down because you're exceeding the speed limit by 4 MPH. Mwahahahahaha.

- Singing along to the soundtracks of various musicals together in an exaggerated manner that would not otherwise be acceptable. So far, we've done Evita, Les Mis, and Phantom. And Top Gun isn't technically a musical, but we did that one, too. Can "This kinda game; people get hurt; I'm thinkin' that the people is me" possibly be a real lyric to a real song?

- Translating the lyrics of foreign songs into English as you sing. Even more challenging is translating English songs into a foreign language. Seriously, this one is so much fun.

- Noticing how the landscape changes. I was sad to see the last vestiges of the Midwest fade away as we drove across Nebraska. Wyoming mostly just disturbs me. It doesn't get good again until Utah. What's with that?

- Playing red light/green light with the girls at rest areas.

- Talking about things with your family that you never would have talked about if you weren't stuck in a car with them for hours and hours.

Mostly I just love getting a sense of this country, even if it's mostly through highways and freeways, gas stations and rest stops. It's nice to be able to put an image to a place name, you know?

Tomorrow, we push on toward our final destination (Lehi, Utah). We can do it!


B-Rad said...

Did a similar cross-country road trip back in 2004 after my graduation. I agree 100% on your thoughts about Wyoming. The eastern part of that state is like a godforsaken land that doesn't fit in with the rest of the U.S. (the western part, i.e. Yellowstone/Jackson Hole is quite beautiful). Cheyenne is one of the most depressing cities in this country.

The only other places that I've been in my life that are more depressing is San Clemente Island and Djibouti.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

At age 7 my Dad drove us across the country to visit family. I was old enough for every place to be magical & interesting & even today the images of various states & landscapes & even the dumpy motor courts are still vivid.

Too bad for people who don't get this experience because you come away with such an understanding of the size of the US and the various cultures we have w/in our country. I still think about those Indians (Navajo?) living next to Route 66 in their wikiups w/ TV antennas sticking out of them.

Aimee said...

Oh man, I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way about Wyoming. When we drive to Portland from Denver I insist we go the I-70 (through the mountains) to I-15 through Utah and totally bypass Wyoming, thus adding approximately an hour and a half to our drive. Its a much better drive! I have a serious hatred of Wyoming, except for the Yellowstone, Jackson area.

Amanda said...

Oh man! We totally listened to Phantom of the Opera and Top Gun every car trip when I was a kid! I was just thinking of purchasing them for the sake of nostalgia and giving my kids the same experience.


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