Monday, August 20, 2007

west coast, east coast, midwest? which will it be?

I'm so confuzzled. OK... I'm not confused at all. West Coast is where it's at (sorry, Lifshitz).

It's 7:15PM... I mean 9:15PM and I'm in Albert Lea, Minnesota. I have a lot to share, but not too much time/effort. Here's a list of observations from my trip, in no particular order. Photos to come later.
  • Eastern Washington state is beautiful. Nice rolling hills. People say there's nothing out there. There isn't.
  • Spokane is like a small Portland.
  • There was construction on almost the entire stretch of I-90 in Idaho.
  • Montana has a lot of mountains, hence the name Montana.
  • There were wildfires all over Montana. I was driving through smoke almost the entire way from Missoula to Rapid City. That's a distance of over 700 miles. Made me feel better about not having time to visit Devil's Tower and Mt. Rushmore. The people visiting wouldn't have seen much of anything with the smoke.
  • At first I thought the smoke by Billings was from the refinery that was next to the hotel. Then I realized that it was from the fires. Saw some helicopters flying over to the lake to pick up buckets of water to bring to the fire.
  • Southwestern Minnesota smells like poop. Then again, I have to drive through Gary, Indiana tomorrow. I'd rather it smell like poop from cows than from smog.
  • I thought that after getting to Minnesota I'd be back in civilization. Yes, they dropped to speed limit to 70mph and they started setting up speed traps, but still no traffic. 7pm I had the entire highway to myself - about 10 miles between me and the next car. How did I get 10 miles? I saw cars when I was getting towards the end of a 20 mile straight stretch of road.
  • I saw a funny name for a convenience store (or "C-Store" as they like to write out). Kome-n-Go.... or was it Kum-n-Go? Sadly, I didn't get the photo.
  • This morning when I was having breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express in Billings, Montana, literally half the guys (4/8) in the lobby had cowboy hats on.
  • I am annoyed at the 85 octane gas they sell in South Dakota.
  • I am even more confused by the 85.5 octane gas in Montana.
  • They used to have no speed limit in Montana, saying that your speed had to be "reasonable and prudent." Since then, it's been changed back to 75mph. In western Montana, driving 75mph is not reasonable and prudent. More like 70mph if your car handles well.
  • Eastern Montana is like West Texas. Open road, no people. So much land you don't even bother to notice the occasional refinery.
  • I still think the Badlands are over-rated. I remember thinking that the first time when I was coming from the East. Still over-rated coming from the West.
  • Conservatives must love I-90. The periodic signs about abortion, drugs, etc. Nice touch.
  • I noticed the price for the Tendercrisp combo at Burger King dropped about 50 cents every 300 miles. $6.49-ish in Couer D'Alene, Idaho. $5.99-ish in Billings, Montana. $5.49-ish just west of Rapid City, South Dakota. BK rules I-90 apparently. What do you want me to do? Starve? I'm having Applebee's right now.
  • A "prime" exit has 2+ gas stations and 2+ fast food options (national chains for both). So far on this route, prime exits come every 150 miles or so. Planning ahead has paid off.
  • I saw this caravan of an RV and a car with Washington plates today heading east. They had a canoe. At first I thought it was cool that they were going on a trip and have come as far as I have. Then I realized that they were in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota with a boat. Why the hell would you leave Washington to go anywhere with a canoe? And of all places, why South Dakota? Or even Minnesota???
  • South Dakota has by far the best random man-made attractions. Wall Drug literally had signs for 30 miles. Seemed like one every quarter mile. All different. Then there is the Corn Palace in Mitchell. I didn't go to either one. No time. )-:
  • People with Minnesota plates drive slow. It's like they think they're from the Northwest. I have some news for you. Sure, Minnesota was part of the Northwest Territory, but it is certainly not part of the northwest.
  • People in Montana were pretty good at using lanes. I like that.
  • South Dakota license plates look like Louisiana license plates.
  • Idaho plates look like Ohio plates.
  • It seemed like every car with Iowa plates was a Buick.
  • The last real city I've seen was Spokane, Washington. I guess I-90 only passes through a few "real" cities. Seattle, Spokane, Madison, Chicago, Toledo (it makes the list if Spokane does), Cleveland, Buffalo, and Boston. Note that I've only passed two of them so far.
  • Only three cities on I-90 have anything resembling traffic: Seattle, Chicago, Boston.
Today's winner is Swift, coming in with 11. Runner up is FedEx with 7.
Also in the running were: CRST - 6, Wal-Mart - 5, Sysco - 4, Coca-Cola - 3, Hey! - 2, Rude - 2, UPS - 2

1 comment:

mbagladiator said...

I enjoy these random facts from your roadtrip Ipstar