In between all the cardboard boxes that need unpacking, particle board furniture that needs assembling, and Call of Duty 4 beta-ers that need sniping, I figured I should take a break and share some pictures from my recent journey eastward. My special lady requested I maintain her secret identity, so all you're getting is a bunch of me and a bunch of stories. Our first leg was a sprint to Colorado:
This is Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes, Colorado. It was wicked tall. The elevation didn't seem like that much of a problem... after a small period of adjustment. My uncle let me in on the secret to the small informational signs placed every 50 feet along our trail - they're there so you can pretend to be reading about plants and birds and wind and whatnot, while using that as an opporunity to gasp for breath. Estes Park was also home to the hotel from The Shining. Not that big a fan of the movie, but the hotel is surprisingly not-remote. There's a Starbucks right across the street from it. We spent several days in Colorado, before heading up through Wyoming to Montana and then...
Outside the Buffalo City Grille in Jamestown, North Dakota. This might have been our favorite stop on the whole trip. After learning the Holiday Inn along the highway was booked, we drove into downtown Jamestown and discovered a nice lil' area. We stayed in the Lewis and Clark Outpost Suite at the Gladstone Inn & Suites. I'm serious. The aforementioned Grille was awesome, best restaurant of the trip. While eating a giant rib eye steak, our dinner entertainment was provided by Jamestown's lonely youth cruising by in their fast and furious dodge neons and camaros, while at the next table the chamber of commerce tried to convince Honda reps from Japan that they should bring a dealership to town. And they should! In the above picture I am ecstatic as the train that runs between our hotel and the restaurant flattens several pennies we had left on the tracks. Pretty exciting, right? Yet Jamestown had more to offer us the next morning...
The National Buffalo Museum! Home of the world's largest buffalo! Statue! And White Cloud, the world's only genetically confirmed albino buffalo! Apparently she gave birth to another albino buffalo a week or two ago and everything. We couldn't find her, so this all may be a lie. Don't get me wrong, Jamestown was way awesome, but we maybe spent three waking hours there. Four tops. Enough to buy a magnet and move on to South Dakota, southern Minnesota, and...
Is this heaven? No, it's just a cornfield. A cornfield full of awesome baseball playing ghosts! What you are gazing upon is the very spot from which Shoeless Joe Jackson emerged in the immortal film, Field of Dreams. Well, maybe not the exact spot. It's in the outfield, close enough. The baseball field created for the filming of the movie back in 1989 is still intact in Dyersville, Iowa. We stopped there, played some catch, quoted the movie... good times had by all. Here's a strange fact for ya: The infield, right field, and house are all owned by a mom and pop-type operation. Center and left field were owned by another farmer, who sold out to some investment group. Two different roads to the field, two different parking lots, and two different souvenir stands. Of course, the investment group's souvenir stand is indoors and air conditioned and full of nice stuff. Ma and pa, their place is a little more dusty, but it's got the charm and they have to pay more for upkeep! We bought some t-shirts from them, yet saw many people actually drive out of one parking lot and turn back down the other driveway to buy stuff from the bad guys. The driveways run parallel to each other and are maybe 10 feet apart. I'm serious. You know what they say: If you build it, people are dumb. Regardless, the field was an awful nice spot to play catch. Next stop:
The House on the Rock. Let's just say this place looked into our souls, and we blinked. Utterly fascinating/horrifying. If you are anywhere near Spring Green, Wisconsin, with many hours to kill and possess an iron will for crap, go there. Anybody else, just look at the web site. Or read American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
Burned out on middle america's doofy crap, we made one last stop in Chicago before high-tailing to the sunny shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We stopped in scenic Batavia, New York, looking for a cheap hotel/motel for a night, only to find the entire town was booked solid by the bands featured in the Warped Tour. Yes, it's still going on. No, I didn't know that either. And after looking at their site, I'm pretty sure I don't know any of the bands. Wait, that's a lie. I think K-os was in an SSX soundtrack, and MC Chris once closed for Midnight Brown. I saw that. So yeah, we made it to Massachusetts and the front of our car looked like this:
Those all bugs. Gross, right? The whole front of the car looked like that. And in case you were wondering how my road beard turned out:
Not bad for 2-3 weeks. I forgot what it was like to not shave. It's nice. And oh yeah, neon's making a comeback. You heard it here first. That t-shirt is from the Dakota Drive-In, located in bee-ootiful Hankinson, North Dakota. I recommend the California burger.
So that's the trip! 4,200 miles of California to Nevada to Utah to Wyoming to Colorado to Wyoming to North Dakota to South Dakota to Minnesota to Iowa to Wisconsin to Illinois to Indiana to Ohio to Pennsylvania to New York to Massachusetts. I recommend that every should drive across the country at least once in their lives, it makes the whole place seem a lot smaller. Live and die by those blue signs on the highway at each exit, the ones proclaiming food and lodging options. Make the time to follow silly billboards. How else would one find the Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin? Besides clicking on that link, I guess.
Not too much to share with y'all otherwise! Special lady is enjoying law school, and I'm periously close to falling behind all that is video games. Just finished The Darkness, it was solid. Tried playing BioShock, but after ten minutes my guy had already injected himself with needles 5 times, something I'm not too cool with. I'll get back to it one day when I'm feeling up to it. For the moment I'm too busy looking for a job and playing the Call of Duty 4 beta with Ben Coello. Maybe a little too much of the latter, and not enough of the former. Probably. And hey, how bad is that Halo 3 ad? I hear there's more than one, but I finally saw my first one last night during the Patriots game. Just a bunch of slow motion camera over what looked like a fan-made diorama-rama. I had to go online to figure out what the heck was going on. Neat idea, I guess, but just an awful ad.
Back to the boxes for me. I'd like to thank everybody once again for all the well-wishes you sent my way back in July. Hope you liked the pictures, and I'll see you around!
Bonus picture! Me with the giant animatronic Wally the Green Monster at Jordan's Furniture in Reading, Mass. Everybody from New England knows what I'm talking about. Everybody else, you don't know what you're missing...