From Michigan to Utah armed with Cheetos, Diet Coke, and a sedative called DVD Player
Friends in Michigan who will be really missed. (Reed got stuck with an Oreo in his mouth)
Good bye to lush green forests of maples, sparkling fire flies, Lake Michigan, pasties - (n. [pas-tees] - A pie or turnover, especially one filled with seasoned meat or fish), wonderful friends, the Slowest Driver in Lansing, Ludington, really bad roads, the YMCA, Michigan State University, parks, and much, much more. I got a bit weepy as we drove out of our townhouse parking lot and I thought of how much Michigan had felt like home for these past three years of law school. Now we are done and on our way to Utah, a grueling bar exam, and then hopefully, and soon, a job. These last few days and weeks have been filled with all kinds of emotions concerning our future and basically can be summed up as existing in a state of limbo.
Well, we managed to leave the parking lot and get on the road not at our 9am goal but at about 4:30pm. Mike and Melissa (Chris' brother and his wife) volunteered to fly out to Lansing and drive back with us to Utah. They are certainly angels to have done this and I'm sure they saved Chris and I a few trips to the psychiatrist because of their benevolence. We took turns riding in the Penske truck and the van. Our first stop was Warren Dunes Beach on Lake Michigan, just two hours from home, so that we could show Mike and Melissa the lake. We stayed the night there and recovered from the long day of packing and cleaning. We love "hotello" pools.
I can't really remember much about our drive though this state other than keeping my eyeballs wide open for the signs that said either "Welcome to Indiana" or "Welcome to Illinois" for Douglas.
We were properly welcomed with a sign and a toll road. The best part of this state was crossing the Mississippi River. Of course there was that incident when we had to pull over nowhere near a rest stop and discover another use for a corn field. I wouldn't eat corn from Illinois if I were you this summer.
We finished crossing the Mississippi River and tried to gain an appreciation for corn field after corn field, one of which was fostered earlier in Illinois. One thing of note for future travelers of Iowa is that it's the home of the World's Largest Truck Stop, just outside of Davenport. We stayed the night in Council Bluffs at a not so "Best" Western, starting slowly the next morning with a border crossing into Nebraska.
Flies. I believe I could be charged with mass murder should I some day be captured by a fly army and brought before a tribunal. Isaac doesn't have a fear of flies unless they are locked up in a car with him. Because of the many stops we've made we were reluctant to stop and properly expel the flies from our car. Besides, every time we'd stop a whole new herd would find their way into the air-conditioned vehicle bound for Utah. So, being the agile passenger I was I squeezed myself through the birth canal of our car coming out breach and landing in the back seat encrusted in Cheeto crumbs and M&Ms. I found the stiffest piece of paper I could (the instruction pamphlet for proper car seat installation) and began hitting and whacking anything with wings that went buzz. I performed this ritual twice until Reed started helping. Nebraska will be preserved in my memory as a state with flies, more corn fields than Iowa, and a wonderful hotel in Sidney called the AmericInn.
Since before this trip my only opinion of Wyoming was from some wonderful trips to Yellowstone Park up in the north west corner of the state. My opinion of the states' beauty has changed, boring! We actually did have one exciting experience at a rest stop when we discovered a family of prairie dogs. Cute! With the help of some sunflower seeds we attracted a few of these adorable animals. We fed and even pet them. I was surprised they'd come so close.
After leaving Wyoming the questions of "when will we be there?" and "how many more miles?" escalated from every hour to every 5 minutes. Starting in Wyoming and continuing into Utah we were in a state of awe as we remembered and enjoyed the awe and grandeur of these magnificent mountains. We made it and are partially settled into my parents' unused house in So. Ogden as we await our future.
Today is Pioneer day and what took us 3 days in a car took the pioneers 3 months or more to travel. We are glad and grateful to be here and are also grateful for those who came with faith and fortitude to this beautiful state before us.
Who couldn't use a bath after a journey like that?! They even have a few days of bubble growth to attest to it.
Just a funny memory from the trip...
I just remembered something said by Douglas to Mike and Melissa on our drive. Douglas noticed some skid marks on the road made by truck tires. Douglas told Mike and Melissa that they should have wiped their tires. Douglas' audience didnt' know about our battle with underwear and skid marks and therefore added a whole new stinky perspective to the marks left on the side of the road.