See everyone in a few days!
p.s. there are over 11,000 songs on this computer, I might see if I cant unplug it and take it with me...good work
It has recently been brought to my attention that some have been waiting patiently for a recounting of the events from my journey to the great state of South Dakota. I say recently only because I have just as recently returned. So, without further delay, I shall tell you the tale of our peregrination.
It started out like any road trip, really. I didnt have anything packed on the day we were supposed to be leaving, which had to be remedied after I got off work. We set out that night at around 10. We were to take turns driving along the way so as no one of us would have to do more or less. Richard started us off and we headed north toward Indianapolis. It was around there that the rain started. It was light at first, nothing more than a sprinkle, then it started to get heavier. Before we knew it we were caught in the middle of a torrential downpour. Of course there was also construction, and the traffic that is almost always associated with it, to deal with. While driving through one particularly precarious area of highway with concrete walls on both sides, being constantly blinded by sheets of rain, a semi coming the other way hit a puddle just on the other side of the wall from us. We could see it coming. An enormous amount of water shot over the wall and hit us directly. It would do me little good to tell you that we were instantly blinded (even more so than normal) and petrified. There were several seconds, seated in the passenger seat, when I just accepted the fact that I wouldnt be making it out of this situation alive. Due to divine providence, however, we did survive and continued west.
It was at this point that people had started to fall asleep. Richard and I were in the front, listening to various songs, I trying to keep him awake and vice versa. The stretch of freeway we were riding down was a dark one (it was well into the night at this point), so our headlights were our only guide. From the median, I saw a flash. It was a white flash, with black spots, unless mine eyes deceived me. A rabbit! It all happened in a split second. I saw the rabbit, mid leap, disappear into the front of our car. Yes, there was a thump. It wasnt a loud one, mind you, but it was distinct and unmistakable. It took us (Richard and myself) several seconds to take the situation in. We both sat, straight-faced, staring off into the black that was the freeway ahead of us. After those seconds had passed I had to ask the question. "...what was that?" It was like someone flipped a switch and we both started laughing uncontrollably. Im still not sure what exactly made the situation as hilarious as it was, but I havent laughed that hard in a long time.
The Iowa 80
Our driving schedule being the way it was, it was my turn to drive between the hours of 1:45 and 5:15. We stopped at a gas station and made the switch. We were somewhere in Illinois at this point and, in my time in the captain's chair, we would finish the remaining distance of it and start on Iowa. Peoria was the first (and only) "major" city I hit. The parenthetical and quotation in the previous sentence should give you some idea as to the size of it. I was in and out in a matter of minutes (no, Tabitha). It was a pretty place lit up at night, which is about all it had going for it. The highway system running through it was surely nothing to write home about. It was like an indecisive snake. It didnt know where it wanted to go and eventually just spit me out somewhere. The rest of Illinois was dark and flat. I really dont have any other adjectives to describe it. Boring springs to mind, but if I used the word boring in this post to describe every state that truly was boring on this trip, it would populate the majority of the text. Entering Iowa was uneventful, I didnt even see the sign. Most of the time spent in Iowa I could see a bright white light on the horizon. There were many like it that we would see from time to time, but this one was almost constant. Finally, after what felt like hours, I saw what it was. It was the 'Iowa 80'. Apparently, the Iowa 80 is the worlds largest truck stop. At least thats what the sign said. I was honestly astounded at the sheer number of trucks. It seemed like an endless sea of trailers, all lined in neat rows like the corn I had been passing this whole time.
5:15 came quicker than I expected. We pulled off at another station (the first of the Kum & Gos I believe) and switched off. It was Robs turn. Anyone else hear those warning sirens in the distance? In spite of my reservations, I went to sleep. I awoke a few hours later, sunrise to my left. If anyone has been keeping track, when youre headed to South Dakota you usually want to be headed either west or north. Neither of which would allow a sunrise to be on my left. I didnt realize this, of course, because I was still in a somewhat comatose state. There were rumblings, map readings, and a whole lot of pointing. It wasnt until we pulled off at an exit that I found that we were going the wrong way. We hadnt been heading that way for too long so, in the end, it turned out to be something we just laughed about the rest of the way. Of course when I say 'we' I mean everyone but Rob.
Having just gotten some fantastic advice ("You could always just do part 1 and part 2") I shall leave you here. A bit of a cliff-hanger, as it were.