Sunday, September 23, 2007

Observations from our trip

  1. Crossing Nebraska always takes longer than you expect it to. (Well most things do with a child, to be honest, including any "quick" bathroom stops...but especially NE.)
  2. Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" is still just as funny no matter how many times you listen to it, while "The Motorcycle (Significance of the Pickle) Song" was very funny at first years ago but now is only relatively funny when it's been a long time between listens.*
  3. Every state except Indiana seems to have a surplus of orange barrels and must believe that September is the month to use them for closing one lane of a long stretch of highway without any hint of any work getting done. Of course this meant that when one lane of expressway in Indiana really did require closing for a quarter mile (causing a several mile backup), they had no cones and had to rely on police cruisers with flashing lights.
  4. I expected more nostalgia visiting places I haven't been for awhile--instead, despite how much older many kids I'd taught or known had grown and the new buildings all around, more often I was struck that it didn't seem I'd been gone long at all.
  5. Winner of the best-named river goes to the Nishnabotna River in western Iowa.
  6. It's amazing how quickly a barely-potty-trained child learns he can claim he needs to use the potty just because he's sick of his car seat and wants to get out for a few minutes to play.
  7. The woods around Camp Roger remain an incredibly powerful part of something deep in my psyche.
  8. Forget Area 51--alien technologies can be seen crossing Illinois on flatbed semi trailers (actually I think they were a pair of blades for a huge windmill, but alien tech sounds cooler**). And other strange things can be seen on the semis of Nebraska.
  9. The real speed demons seem to be out in force during the day-time--I often had people whipping by me in the mornings, but rarely in the evenings or late at night, though I kept my cruise at the same speed in relation to the speed limit the entire time.
  10. For all the coffee I drank in the trip, I rarely liked the coffee--none of it was as good as what I make at home. Hotel coffee was burnt, and I never seemed to get the amount of coffee right when using other people's coffee makers.
*We also listened to the 2-disc Precious Friend with him and Pete Seeger, and Arlo has two talking songs there--"Celery Consciousness" which is pretty funny, and "Un-Neutron Bomb" which is very funny despite the fact that it references political situations that took place well before I was old enough to pay attention to them. But I'm not familiar with any of the other Arlo Guthrie albums beside that and "Greatest Hits"--does anyone know anything about his more recent albums?

**Actually, the type of windmills on the wind farms we passed are pretty cool themselves.

3 comments:

Lion said...

Sounds like you had quite a road trip--and you didn't mention whether your son enjoyed himself at your destination or not. I hope so. :)

The only time I ever went that distance (middle of upstate-NY to Minneapolis), I was on an air-conditioned bus full of friends and they had alcohol. I couldn't have any because I was in charge, but it kept them happy and sedate despite the police officer on board. They also stole a shopping cart from a Home Depot in Erie, PA despite the police officer on board. Sigh.

"Winner of the best-named river goes to the Nishnabotna River in western Iowa." -- Better than the Caloosahatchee River here in Florida? We have an Okeechobee Lake and an Okeefenokee swamp too. That's fun to say. Okeefenokee.

TK42ONE said...

Hey now, don't knock Nebraska.

And I totally agree ont he barely-potty-trained child. It's great that they have learned to tell you they need to go, but when they learn they can use it to get out of their seat, it becomes a pain.

Daniel Ausema said...

Yeah, Lion, he did enjoy the trip, as did we =) He even got to go the zoo for the first time, a small zoo (in Grand Rapids) but really it was plenty big for him. And Greenfield Village is always fun. I didn't cross the Caloosahatchee, so that one didn't make it in the running :P

TK, I wasn't trying to knock Nebraska...it's just such a loooong state, especially considering we start way over by Cheyenne, Wyoming instead of the NW corner of Colorado, which adds a couple hours (or almost anyway). Grand Island, NE does have a pretty sweet playground that we stopped at though.