evany's extended cake mix
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Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004 | link
[NOTE: I'm still formulating my final trip analysis, but I've retroactively added photographs to all the entries, if you care to click back.]
I called my mother and, while regaling her with our many tales from the road, told her about the fearsome near loss of my camera (due to using it to take the tipsy underwear shots in Chicago and then completely forgetting doing so), and how very terrible it would have been to lose it regarding the 100+ cumulative trip pictures at stake. "One more reason to stick to film," she said. "Yeah, keep those eyes firmly on the past, mom," I said. "Well, there IS more to see there," she said. "That's kind of profound," I said. "Well," she said, "of course."
As this big fat trip winds to a close, and with only one more day of driving left, there sure is a lot more to look back on than there is to ponder forward to. But just as the last thirty miles of each individual day's drive seem like extendo, hell-o forever, the final few days of the trip feel like the longest yet.
We got off to another late start today, didn't even wake up at our fancy hotel until 11:30, which meant no sauna, no hotel gym (first exercise in like a week narrowly averted, phew), no gourmet granola for Jill, none of the fancy-hotel amenities we had earmarked for "tomorrow" when we had arrived too late last night to take advantage of. Instead we took rushed showers, threw on our clothes, and raced out just under the wire of our noon checkout. Dumb.
We did manage to take a tour Jill's old neighborhood, which was beautiful. After ten days of highway driving, where we mostly passed through towns, it was interesting and very nice to linger around an actual neighborhood full of big, beautiful houses with real yards. And illuminating to see where Jill spent her formative years, in such a different place from California.
Afterward we stopped for a moment at Jill's Grandmother's grave -- the pattering of rain stopped for a moment as Jill got back in the car.
Then we stopped randomly at a mall, Jill's instincts telling her there was food within, and there was, sort of. "Earth, Rain, Sun, Salad," which seemed to cater mostly to dieting secretaries, provided me with a strange sort of lava-lamp stirfry, an oily mass of vegetables in a moving blob of sauce with a skim of clear fluid floating on top. Jill, on the other hand, ordered correctly, sticking to an innocent salad which she declared to be "totally fine."
Then we drove to the crazy and revolting Spillway at Linesville, where the Ducks Walk on Fish, a spectacle traditionally visited by Jill and her family when they spent time on the lake. It was a truly repulsive site, the water roiling with puppy-sized carp, their mouths gaping and straining and slurping their way completely out of the water in anticipation of the steady rain of bread pouring endlessly down from the waddling crowds of America's finest (the three amazingly sunburned specimens I spotted gaggling around the penny-flattening machine were especially amazing, like something out of a Dahl story, two fatty women with tattoos and pimples covering their arms and one skeletal boy with sculptural facial hair, ruinous acne across his cheeks, and crab-set eyes). The sidewalk in front of the water is COVERED with twisty ties, the littered remains from hundreds of loaves of bread. Horrifying, amazing.
I took the next leg of the drive, tooling through town after small town, braking jerkily as I religiously adhered to the ever-changing speed limits, thanks to the law-abiding hangover that still lingers from my speeding ticket. I managed to take a wrong turn somewhere, or more specifically not take a right turn, and sidetracked us into New York, which kind of sucked but did get us back on the interstate, which was a welcome relief from all the slowing and surging. As twilight slipped into deep darkness, the weirdest song ever recorded came on the radio, something about a cowboy wanting to retire to Wyoming to raise dental floss?* It was really long and packed with a crazy lady chorus singing and a lengthy guitar solo, and it completely silenced both Jill and me.
Then hours and hours of pitch black. All the dark night driving has led to some punchy, punchy times, and that's ON TOP of the general schizm I seem to be experiencing from fundamental measurements of time, like what day, date, or o'clock it is, a general "out of it"ness I blame for the three checks that I just discovered bounced in my absence, hell.
We didn't roll into our sleep lodge (in remarkably unremarkable Sayer) until after ten. We had stopped at nine for dinner at Denny's (brown, brown, brown) and randomly picked "Horseheads" off the map as our destination for the night. As we walked out to the car, I noticed I couldn't really see anything. "Oh," I peeped, "my glasses!" and circled back into the restaurant. And there they were, right next to our road atlas. We had left without my glasses AND the map. What? We're completely out of it at this stage. And then we somehow MISSED Horseheads, managed to drive past a good, medium-sized dot of a town that was supposed to be right there along the interstate known as "Future 86," a boring, dark, and endless stretch of road that oddly proves my mother's point about there being little to see in the future.
And finally: Introducing our new concept album, "Seven and the Ragged Little Pill" by Duran Duranis Morisette.
Tomorrow, NYC, where I'll be for a scant three days, then I am flapping this caboose HOME.
I might be movin' to Montana soon
(that's why I'M movin' to Montana)
Movin' to Montana soon
Movin' to Montana soon