Hey, everyone! Quentin here.
RT 13: Seven Days Out
Today marks the end of our first week on the road (in total, we’ll be going around the country in 30 days.) We are currently in Wyoming (beautiful, fantastic, etc.) and having a blast.
The best thing about the trip so far has been seeing so many different places. We have not done a lot of stopping to see specific sites. The goal is really to get an idea, a feel, for the regions of America. I have to say, my life in New England is radically different from the worlds out here. I come from a small town, but some of the places we’re seeing have populations under a thousand. Everything out here is farms, and it seems to be far less oriented towards towns so much as farms and family communities. Granted, there are some larger towns, but… everything just seems very lonely out here. But also very kind. Maybe patient, slow is the word I’m looking for. Time moves in a different way out here. Actually, long days of driving have made me much less aware of small bits of time. I think in hours, hundred-mile stretches, rather than minutes and miles at a time. This is proving helpful as we get further west and the GPS starts saying things like “Continue on this road for 200 miles, then take Exit 25 for…” When you think in hundreds of miles, you don’t go insane from driving. You learn to take it all in and absorb the entire feeling of the drive, letting it slowly flow through you.
So far, we’ve hit 20 states. That’s almost half our target (48) so I’m feeling pretty good. We are more than a day ahead of schedule (we were supposed to be staying in Rapid City, SD today and are already past our target town for tomorrow in Wyoming) so even if things go badly, we have enough time to stall for a day or two. We’ll still make it home in time.
As for now, we’re almost 1700 miles from [my] home (that’s direct distance… as far as distance traveled, we’ve gone almost double that.) It’s been a hell of a week. Plenty of days have been really tough, especially yesterday. Let me run through really quickly…
Sunday (CT – RI – MA – NH – ME) – 5
Our first day was largely uneventful. You can see a description and photos in my earlier post.
Monday (VT – NY) – 7
Day 2 was the first demonstration that this trip was going to consist of some heavy driving. We crossed New York in a day, starting from Concord, NH and ending in Buffalo, NY. Along the way, we had an incredible stop at Niagara Falls. We had a long profile picture session by the falls and then decided to head down to Buffalo, where we stayed the night in a Holiday Inn (was fairly nice, as all of our hotels have been except one… will elaborate on that description later.) We also finished off New England today by hitting Vermont. Anyway, here’s some pictures…
Tuesday (PA – OH – IN – MI) – 11
Tuesday was a bit rough. We cleared Pennsylvania and Ohio, winding up in Indiana for the night. (We also hit Michigan really briefly.)
It was a long day. Kind of boring, too… Ohio isn’t really that interesting. Here are a few pictures, anyway:
Wednesday (IL – WI – IA) – 14
Wisconsin, not originally a major player in the route, became MVP of Wednesday’s drive when we realized how amazing it was. It’s SO BEAUTIFUL. Fortunately, I wasn’t driving, but my pictures aren’t great. I don’t think they do Wisconsin justice. Here they are, anyway:
Thursday (MN – ND) – 16
Meh. Not a bad drive, and good food along the way. I might go back and flesh out these descriptions at some point, sorry, they’re a little short… Anyway, we made it up to Fargo at day’s end, just in time for a car show!
Friday (SD – NE) – 18
Ugh. This day was the worst one we’ve had so far. An incredibly long drive (almost nine hours) from Fargo to Rapid City left us exhausted… and THEN we went to go see Mount Rushmore. Thank god we had an amazing hotel to crash in afterwards. After Friday, we were officially one day ahead of schedule (YESSSSSS!)
Saturday (WY – MT) – 20
20 was a big number to hit and we were really excited. Also, Wyoming was pretty awesome. We got out of South Dakota fine and headed across about half of Wyoming to wind up where we are now. Today was a short day to make up for tomorrow’s incredibly long and intense drive. Tomorrow should be fairly average, so we’ll make it through.
That’s Week 1 of the trip in brief. RT 13 continues tomorrow at 9am!
As always, thanks for reading!