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12/03/2003: "Road Trip Day 2"

music: Pearl Jam for a good part of the day
mood: Happy

Day 2 (Tuesday, December 02, 2003)

We woke up about 7 o’clock and took shower, ate some breakfast and got on the road again, on the road again.

7:40 am: Departed Salt Lake City. We have so far traveled 853.9 Miles, yeehaw.

8:30 am: Stopped in Park City, UT for gas.

9:00 am: Entered Wyoming, low gas prices ( excellent, muuuuu haa haaaaa haaa).

‘Tis a rugged landscape of snow swept broke hills of Wyoming, a desolate place indeed, no place for a delicate women. (Speak in Scottish brogue)

9:35 am – 117.4 miles: Scott takes over driving at exit 33. He could still use some manual transmission finesse, but he’s pretty good. Speed limit is 75. We be cruisin’.

9:48 am – 133.0 miles: We pass three girls on the road. They wave to us, but we cannot determine hotness because the sun is behind them.

11:50 am – 292.8 miles: We pass Sinclair, Wyoming. Its 95 miles to Laramie, but we are getting incredible gas mileage here in the high flat country and we can make it. There is a large oil refinery here, a tanker train waiting, and fire spewing, burning off leftovers.

1:30 pm – 390.2 miles: Stopped for gas. Added oil. Possibly the most hickish area we have ever encountered, overheard stories of women getting in fights to be the first into Wal-Mart after Thanksgiving.

2:14 pm – Entered the fabulous state of Colorado, we see mountains on the horizon.

2:39 pm – 475.1 miles: Scott starts driving again, at rest stop near exit 265. Denver is just over 50 miles away; we will get there with daylight. The question is how far we can get into Kansas before the end of the day. Here is Colorado, the State Police seem to be out in force, making sure a random selection of the population is forced to pay ridiculous fines for the universally broken speed limit. Way to destroy the rule of law you fascist Gestapo pigs! Scott and I are thinking that a radar detector might be a good purchase in Denver.

2:58 pm – 494.4 miles: Scott admits, “I have never seen real tumbleweed before, except in westerns.” Cell phone has service again, ever since Cheyenne it looks like. Only two bars right now though. We are listening to Murder City Devils songs – Scott has hours of them on his hard drive. They take on enigmatic names like “MU9F5D~1” due to a flaky hard drive back in the day. I, Ryan, left my iPod at home, so I have none of my music along, which I can live with, but a little bit on Linkin Park and Collective Soul would be nice from time to time too. Gas here in Colorado is cheap but a few cents more than in Wyoming.

3:34 pm – 532.8 miles: We somehow successfully navigate Denver’s confusing freeway interchanges and get from I-25 S to I-70 E. It seems they have miles of reduced speed limits and under construction/fines doubled signs, but we only saw actual work going on along one small stretch of road. Our next stop will likely be somewhere in Kansas. We decided against the radar detector for now at least – Denver would have been a pain to navigate at any rate. The sun is getting low in the horizon.

3:38 pm – Maybe the radar detector would have been a good idea. Just outside of Denver, Scott spotted the nose of a motorcycle cop. A quick application of the brakes before he got a bead on us probably saved us a ticket. The speed limit here on this wide open stretch of highway is 55 miles per hour. A ridiculously slow speed. A mile or so later, the speed limit suddenly rises to 75 as the road gets narrower and more rugged. “See you later Denver, we won’t miss you,” declares Scott.

4:57 pm – 635.6 miles – Stopped near Arriba to change drivers back to Ryan.

5:48 pm – 704.0 miles – Crossed into Kansas, I think we ARE in Kansas anymore.

6:03 pm – Stopped in Goodland, KS to refuel, with an absolutely astounding 40.5 mpg. Ryan keeps going, like a machine.

8:01 pm – 849.0 miles: At Ellis, KS, Scott takes over once again to close out the day. We talked to Brennan, our host in Little Rock. Scott talked to his dad and I talked to my brother and left a message for my parents. The ETA for Canton, where we are camping tonight is 10:15 pm. It looks like another half hour to the campsite, then either we will go straight to sleep or cook a little something something to eat. My back is bothering me a bit, and both of us are using lumbar support and our time away from the wheel to stay limber. The speed limit here in Kansas is a pretty steady 70mph, and we be cruising.’

9:49 pm – 975.8 miles: Scott notices a sign that says McPherson Lake, which we will be staying near. We recheck and find a more efficient way to get to the campground, assuming there is a campground there, which we realize we’re really not sure of. I start looking for alternatives in case the original plan doesn’t work out.


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