Bonjour la maison!
|Map and image: Google maps|
For now I'm sunbathing at a motel pool, eyeing toddlers who get too close to splashing my laptop. James is out shopping for toothpaste, since we accidentally came all this way with just one travel tube for the three of us.
Oh, and a quick warning to the underclassmen: moving is bloody expensive. I've already paid my Boulder landlord three months' rent (first month, last month, and deposit), and this trip cost some hundred dollars for each of gas, food and motel rooms (read on for my futile attempts to reduce this by camping), and the self-storage rental. Sigh.
|My very favorite bug!|
In the morning we brewed coffee on our camp stoves and hunted bugs. Inchworms, we decided, like to crawl on round things. Green inch-long worms walked in circles around my coffee pot, and when I shook my tent three bark-colored inchworms as long as my hand fell from the tent-poles.
James and I spent a week with my parents in Pittsburgh. I ran with our elkhound, Fei; cooked lots of vegetarian curries and soups; tore rogue grapevines off of our garden walls; and almost bought a hand-made wool coat at a local art and music festival.
The we drove up to Ann Arbor to see Ben!
Don't be deceived by the sunniness of U Michigan in this photo. Between Pittsburgh and Michigan we ran headlong into a big thunderstorm. We drove 35mph along the interstate and no one passed us. Poor Ben had to let us in out of the storm at about 3am.
The next day, mom and I stopped at the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan.
Here at Indiana Dunes State Park, the lake looked and sounded like the ocean - waves crashed into sand; vans solf overpriced hotdogs and ice cream; teenagers played volleyball in their bikinis. It was a surprise to walk into the water without feeling the familiar sting of salt on my legs. The only thing which broke the illusion was the western horizon, where Chicago's silhouette is faint but visible above the waves.
In Illinois, we tried to camp at a small county recreation area - a patch of preserved trees amongst endless farmland. Mom and I arrived after dark, so we drove around inside until we found the campsites (almost all empty). Since the website said that reservations weren't required, we figured we could go pay the rangers in the morning. We went back to the entrance to wait for James' motorcycle headlight, but instead, after fifteen minutes, we were hit by flashing red and blue lights. The gates were closing for the night (locking in any campers?), and the ranger was duly surprised to find a silent car, with a full trunk and roofrack, staring out towards the road. Our 'third party member delayed on the road' story didn't go over well, as James wasn't able to pick up his phone, and we ended up driving another half hour to find a motel.
The Midwest - we spent two full days in Iowa, Nebraska and Eastern Colorado - was even bigger than I had imagined it, though less flat. Western Nebraska in particular is covered in beautiful rolling hills. They reminded me of English farmland but on a much greater scale.
|One beautiful part of the flat farmland - panoramic sunsets.|
Two Days in Denver
Finally, Denver. I rented a storage unit big enough for my car with all of my boxes piled on top. Mission accomplished!
We visited a tasty microbrewery, and made the inevitable stop at the Natural History Museum:
|SO MANY PRETTIES!|
|James working a pirate/cartel mountain look.|