Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cross-Country Road Trip, Part the First

I have just watched my Michigan State Spartans dismantle the University of Connecticut Huskies!

I had to navigate through a Nebraska blizzard to make it to my hotel in time to see the second half of the game. I passed jack-knifed semis and cars in ditches, but nothing could stop me. It was worth every white-knuckled second.

Now we are relaxing in the Holiday Inn in Ogallala, Nebraska. As you can see, Jacob, Jasper, and Lola have made themselves right at home. The local CBS affiliate station is reporting a blizzard warning with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour and up to five inches of snow for southwestern Nebraska. I am glad to be safe and warm inside.

Let me rewind a bit back to Wednesday, April 1--moving day. I got up at the crack of dawn to gas up the car and get some last-minute cash. The movers showed up bright and early, before I had even finished my coffee. I shut the cats in the bathroom and we packed all day. Jacob and Jasper spent most of their time playing musical carriers, and Lola curled up in the sink and yowled at regular intervals.

I had hoped to leave by 4 or 5 PM, but the movers didn't finish until after 5. My hopes of making it to the hotel I had booked in Syracuse in time for Lost were dashed. By the time I had finished cleaning, had some dinner, and loaded the cats in the car, it was after 9. And raining.

At that point I was so done with Massachusetts. But it wasn't done with me. A lovely state trooper pulled me over about two hours into my drive, for going 80 in a 65 zone... just like everyone else. Why he picked me, I'll never know. Luckily for me, he took pity on me--possibly because I looked horrible--and let me go with a warning. Needless to say, I crossed the border into New York with my favorite finger raised to my least-favorite state.

I didn't make it to Syracuse until 3 AM--I had to stop once to close my eyes so I didn't fall asleep at the wheel. I don't really remember getting everything into the hotel room. By that point I had been awake for nearly 24 hours and was mostly delirious. Then Lola spent the next three hours cuddled up next to my head--hissing and growling every time Jacob or Jasper came into her line of sight. I didn't get to sleep until 6. She did not get over being miss hissypants until today. I guess traveling makes her grumpy. I can't say I blame her.

My journey so far has gone like this:

Dracut, MA --> East Syracuse, NY --> Maumee, OH --> West Des Moines, IA --> Ogallala, NE

That's 1,770 miles out of 3,100.

Or for those of you who are more visually inclined:

More than halfway there!

I saw countless "this way to Michigan" signs on my way through Ohio. It made my stomach twist and it took every ounce of self-control I have to keep the car pointed west.

The states of Iowa and Nebraska are mile after mile of the same damn thing: cornfields. It is mind-numbing. Luckily, the speed limit on I-80 is 75 miles per hour across large strips of both of those states and there aren't any cops, so you can treat it like your own personal drag strip. After my run-in with the 5-0, I've been careful, but that doesn't mean you have to.

We'll see how this blizzard thing goes tonight and tomorrow. I'm pretty anxious to get out of Ogallala and back into civilization.


Samsmama said...

Yay! I've missed you! Thanks for checking in!

Wow, it sounds awful. I don't even care for short car trips. And thank you for the visual aid, that helpmed me tremendously.

You'd think in April that blizzards woulldn't be an issure, but Mother Nature is being a real bitch this year.

Good luck with the rest of your journey!

And I loved your one fingered salute...way to stick it to the man!

Allie O. said...

Yeeeah Michigan State! Are you going to be able to catch the final game?

Safe travels for the rest of your trip!

Bayjb said...

Glad to hear everything is going well! The map totally helps show me where you're at. Glad to hear everyone is surviving.

Heidi Renée said...

Samsmama: It wasn't that bad. I'm a northern girl, so I do just fine in snow. I think it's part of the Michigan DNA.

Allie: I haven't figured out yet where I'm staying tomorrow night, but I'm going to make darn sure that I can get there in time to see the game!

Bayjb: I tend to need pictures when dealing with geography. Good to know I'm not the only one!

Maris said...

Wow! You certainly haven't been bored. Hope you're having a great time!!