Posts in: 2010s

Daylight

What time is it, really? Our laptops, checking in with the atomic clock, updated their times automagically. So when I looked at the bedside clock, it should have been an hour later than the computers. But they were the same. Had the bedside clock synchronized itself, too? Apparently. What a world. By the end of the day, we will have set our clocks back twice: once for daylight saving time, and once for passing from Mountain to Pacific.

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Starlight

As we leave the urban sprawls behind us in the east, the sky is once again a fact rather than an implication. I have been delighted and relieved to see Venus as the morning star most mornings this week. And at night, there are more than about sixteen stars visible. Actual constellations, rather than broad asterisms. I have been able to keep track of the Moon’s phase without the use of a widget on my computer.

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Names on the Land

My bring-along book for this trip has been the majestic Names on the Land, by George R. Stewart. I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of this man, but there have been several aspects of our world that he was directly or indirectly responsible for. In 1941, he wrote a novel more or less from the point of view of a massive storm quite similar to the historic storm of a few weeks ago, sweeping in from the Pacific and raging across North America.

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Rock Springs

Twelve hours on the road, ten hours driving. The headwinds dropped, the land levelled out, and we maintained much higher speeds for longer stretches. Today was much more like our old roadtrips, and giving ourselves an early evening yesterday was a big part of today’s success. More massive windmill farms. More pickups driven by cowboy hats. More mountains. Then no mountains. The Rockies tack north and west up the continent, so after our first brush with them, they disappeared again for most the afternoon and evening.

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Mileage

As we drove north to pick up I-80 outside Cheyenne today, we finally returned to a familiar roadbed after many days on I-70 (which we had only driven on once before, and then only much farther east). But we couldn’t quite remember how familiar I-80 was. So we began counting it up, and eventually ran up a tally of most of our long roadtrips. This is what we could remember:

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Kansas

We are in Salina, Kansas, hoping to make it somewhere near Denver. After a few days on the road, we have better on-the-ground numbers of our daily progress, what we do, what we can do. And, with great sadness, we have decided the California leg of our journey will have to go. After Salt Lake City, we’ll bank north onto I-84 and head straight for Warrenton. (But we comfort ourselves in knowing that the Bay Area is a long weekend away now, rather than a costly transcontinental flight.

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Independence

Hello from a Starbucks in Independence, Missouri. We are making both better and worse time today than yesterday. Better because the roads are smoother, straighter, flatter. We also topped up Hestur’s tires because they’d been looking low. It’s much more reponsive now, and we can maintain higher speeds. Worse because there is a high wind cutting across the highway, and with less to break it, we’re weaving around a bit.

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Day 1 (part 2)

Well, we made it. Cambridge, Ohio. Our first really full day of driving. Too much of it after dark, however, so we’re planning an early departure tomorrow so we can pack it in not long after dark tomorrow evening. We want to make it as far into Illinois as we can; St Louis would be ideal. Pictures? Amusing anecdotes? Are you kidding? Maybe tomorrow.

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Day 1 (part 1)

We only made it as far as eastern Pennsylvania Saturday night, and we decided to stay two nights and really rest up. We really needed it. The truck needed a little repacking, and we needed lots of naps. The Martin Guitar factory is just up the road in Nazareth, so we’re going to go up there to snoop around for a while before hitting the road around lunchtime. There are guided tours every day, too.

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Sur la Route

We made it: we got on the road with a van packed literally to the roof. Did we say we’d hit the road by 10? Well, we did. 10 PM. It is three in the morning. We are in Bethlehem, PA, at a Comfort Inn (there was no room at the manger). That bad joke is about all I have energy for. We plan on sleeping in, so look for more lively accounts of recent events (and more bad jokes, no doubt) tomorrow.

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