Hello from Canada!
It was a hard trip, it was a long trip, but we finallly made it in last night. I’m lying on the floor of my apartment (no furniture yet) while my traveling buddy Bobbie is still crashing. I’ve got to give her kudos for doing this with me, though. We were definitely in some situations over the course of this trip (especially yesterday), where if it would have been anybody else with me, it just wouldn’t have worked. I still need to unpack boxes, but I’m procrastinating. After all, I’ll have all of next week.
I know some of you are probably wondering about the road trip adventure. Fear not, readers. I thought of you. Every day, at the end of the day, I’d write down a word or phrase I considered a “highlight” of the trip. This list was for you. Yes, you’re welcome.
Here is the list, complete with explanation when needed:
* Schneider! Our first day out, we kept seeing these orange Schneider 18-wheelers. Bobbie and I finally decided that Schneider must be the 2006 equivalent of “The Man” in that book 1984. Schneider rules the world; he has people everywhere; he is watching us all.
* Amish folks. We saw 2 groups of Amish people in Missouri. One group riding a tractor, another driving a carriage on the side of the road. Later, we heard reports on the radio that an Amish carriage was plowed into on the road we were just on. We’re thinking it must have been the people we saw. Hopefully they’re okay, even though I can imagine the odds can’t be good…
* “Turned around.” We got turned around twice. We prefer that term to lost, haha.
* Ditched. On one of the aforementioned “turned around” occasions, I was trying to turn the car around on a narrow street, and accidentally put Bobbie’s side of the car in the ditch. We got out with a little gas power. It was very Dukes of Hazard haha.
* Lettered junctions? As in, “Junction AA.” Never seen that before.
* Canadian Hey Cow. My Co-Linites can fully appreciate this, but I’ll explain. At Co-Lin, our BSU director taught us a game called Hey Cow (it’s one of those southern things). Basically if you pass a pasture in the car, roll down the window, scream “Hey Cow!” and see how many look at you. If it’s across an interstate or something, you get bonus points. The person who gets the most looks wins. Well, Bobbie claims that mooing at the cows works just as well if not better. (Except her moo sounds like an actual moo…so it comes out more “meeerrr”) So we were wondering what happens with Canadian cows. Do you say, “Meeerrr! Eh?” (And in Mexico, and you say, “Mooochaco”?)
* Close encounters of the mean kind... Yeah I accidentally made some fellow road travelers unhappy with me a few times.
* Relationships discussion. Bobbie and I had a good talk about relationships, marriage, and popular views on both today.
* Freakin’ construction everywhere! It was everywhere. It was slow and annoying.
* South Dakota speed limit is 75! It was wonderful. Actually the speed limit stayed 75 thorough South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. I think it’s cause there’s nothing on the interstate other than fields, so not much danger of ploughing into anything out there.
* South Dakota is corny. South Dakota must supply the world’s corn. It was one big cornfield. Bobbie made some good jokes: “What kind of corn you want, Michelle? We got your skewered corn, scalloped corn, blackened corn, sweet corn, sour corn, corn nuggets, corn flakes, corn chips, corn nuggets, mixed berry corn, strawberry corn…” and “Look! Baled corn!” as we passed some baled hay. This corn label is not just us, either. South Dakota is home to…The Corn Palace. There were signs up everywhere for it, and all the other places described their location in relation to the corn palace (“3 miles south of the Corn Palace”). The Corn Palace signs were all jokes, like “We’re all ears,” and “Prepare to be a-maized!” We think the only reason Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota is because otherwise, all they’d have is corn, and the Corn Palace.
* Drive thru issues at the DQ. I honestly believe as the trip progressed, I became more delirious and lost more brain cells, haha. The following incident is one major piece of evidence of this. It had been a long day. We were tired, and hungry, so we went to the DQ Drive-thru. I had to cut it really sharp to get in the drive thru lane, but I got in there. They asked what we wanted, and I told them to give us a minute. Bobbie and I discussed what we wanted and decided on our dinners. After deciding, I proceeded to start to drive up to the window, away from the speaker. Bobbie said, “It’s a drive thru, darling.” D’oh! So I reversed to go back up to the speaker, where they told me to just pull on up. When we got to the window, the girl was scowling at us. Bobbie cracked a joke: “Sorry, she’s been smoking crack today.” I immediately defended myself and said, “No I haven’t it’s just been a long day.” The girl did not even smile. Bobbie muttered, “I don’t think she cares…” We gave our orders, and it took a long time for them to come. We had no clue what they could be doing to our food. The girl who gave us our food was a lot nicer, though. The “Michelle smoking crack” joke was ongoing with me and Bobbie the rest of the trip.
* Sturgis bikers. There was a bikers convention in Sturgis, SD, so there were practically more motorcycles than cars on the road.
* SD = wacky, WY = boring. I swear, South Dakota is home of all goofy tourist attractions. And there’s not much to see in Wyoming. At least not the part we went through.
* Skeletons. We saw a statue of a human skeleton walking a T-rex skeleton on a leash.
* Scrapes at Hardees. I scraped the front of my car pulling into a parking spot. I don’t think it was harmed. Still, if cars had feelings, mine would probably hate me by now after all I put it through on this trip…
* Bear repellant! My dad is paranoid, especially about bears. I agree, stuff can happen and you should be careful. However, I think preparedness can stop a little short of going out in a suit of armor. That night I was talking with my parents about the next day’s plan: take the day off to go through Glacier National Park in Montana. My dad immediately said, “Make sure you get bear repellant that’s approved by the *insert company name*!” He kept going on and on about bear repellant. I finally said, “Okay. Well, the plan for tomorrow is–” Dad: “We don’t want anything to happen to you.” Me: “Okay. The plan for tomorrow is’–” Dad: “Because we love you.” Me: “Okay. The plan for tomorrow is ….” Yeah that was a weird conversation.
* $3.23/gallon. I paid that for gas at one place.
* Bobbie’s monologue about what really happens at gas company meetings. It followed the $3.23 a gallon. It was entertaining, and who knows? Maybe true.
* Scary Montana driving. Like 80 degree angles, 10 S curves in a row. It was crazy. I was honestly afraid to look at any scenery for fear that the second I took my eyes from the road, we’d run off it.
* My car has a mind of its own. At some points I put the car on cruise when we hit steep hills. My car went crazy. It literally jumped from 2 rpms to like 4 1/2. The engine was making high-pitched gunning noises like I’d never heard before. It was crazy.
* Glacier. Nice scenery, but more scary driving for me.
* $3.34/gallon. That was the most we ended up paying the whole trip for unleaded. (It was at Glacier.)
* My “crackheaded cow” call. We got to talking about Hey Cow again, and Bobbie had me give the just plain “Meerr”ing (mooing) a try. So, as we passed a pasture I rolled down the window and screamed “Meeerrr!” I know I’m softspoken, so I was going for sound travel more than quality. And it came out more scream than moo. Still, one cow looked at me. Bobbie claimed I sounded like a cow on crack. I referred back to the Dairy Queen incident and said, “Well, we have a common bond, I guess…”
* “Elk” sighting. We saw a fake elk standing alongside the road in Montana.
* Ghetto Glocca Morra. Originally we were gonna stay at Glocca Morra right before the border, but after actually seeing it, we decided not to.
* Pigeons? When we got to the hotel in Montana where we were staying, there were birds in the driveway just walking around. I said they were pigeons. Bobbie said, “Those are seagulls, babe.” Which they were. (More evidence, brain deterioration!) Still, we wondered what they were doing in Montana of all places…
* Bobbie’s medic shirt. Bobbie got a shirt that basically said do all the things common sense says don’t do at national parks (drive fast on the curves, for example). Then at the bottom it says “Thank you for your support.” Bobbie says it’s true, that a lot of calls they get are just from people doing stupid things.
* Emergency brake uh-oh. At this point I discovered I’d been driving with my emergency break on since Missouri. Oops.
* Border blunders. We got up and drove to the Canadian border, only to be turned away because I didn’t have documentation stating that my education would be paid for. We went back to the hotel and started making calls. Some were more helpful than others. However, one of the ladies at the school was vitally helpful. She volunteered to fax a letter saying that upon registration, school would be paid for. (Even though the loan has been approved, it can’t go through til it’s certified that I’m going here, and it can’t be certified til I enroll in classes, and I can’t enroll in classes til I attend orientation, so I have to be in Canada first.) The lady at the front desk at the hotel was also vitally helpful. Only problem was the hotel fax wouldn’t pick up the fax the seminary was sending. Bobbie called her mom and asked her to fax something. Bobbie’s mom’s fax came through. So, Bobbie had the school send the fax to her mom and her mom forwarded the fax to us. (Like I said, especially yesterday, Bobbie being my traveling partner proved to be a God thing.) When we hit the border the second time, the same man was there, so we got through his station a lot quicker. Actually, the whole process probably took an hour, hour and a half. I was amazed (not to mention thankful).
* Overzealous. My car was stuffed full this whole trip. So I assumed we’d need a crew to help unload, and some of my friends volunteered to help. When we got to the school, I gave them a call, and they said they’d be on their way soon. After a little while of waiting, I decided to just take in clothes. Bobbie helped me. Well, that evolved into just take in everything, haha. By the time the first group got there, there were only 2 boxes left. By the time the second group got there, there was nothing left. I felt really bad. So, partially out of appreciation and partially out of guilt, I’m putting these two “group leaders” in my MySpace “Top 8.” I’d been wanting to change it up a little anyway. Kudos, guys. Thanks for coming anyway.