Ketchup: where was I… where am I?

I know, It’s been awhile. I think, instead of explaining myself (You’ll see in a later post why I’ve been Idle in the bloggy sense) I’ll just pick up where I left off: here is an abridged description of my short but lovely journey across the country.

Note: when I say lovely, I mean everything leading up to and including Madison Wisconsin. Because, lets not lie to ourselves, there is nothing good about the drive from there east. It is at this point that the trip becomes a slog. A thankless march through a 20 hour monotony . A bland blur of IllinoisIndianaOhioPensylvania. It’s not really all that bad.

Anyway, you saw the beginning of our trip, but here is some of what we saw and did between San Diego and the swiftly cooling East Coast.

We started out in San Diego and drove out into that magnificent desert. The first day we went as far as Provo Utah, where we arrived in the middle of the night and stayed in one of the sketchier hotels I’ve experienced.

a fantastic lightning storm as we pulled into provo

the view from our hotel window when we got up in the early light. The room felt as though terrible things had taken place there. when we left in the morning, the man who had been sleeping under the stairs by our car got up and walked off

When we got up in the morning in Provo, we found that, the reason it seemed so dark and ominous when we had driven in, was that it is in fact in the shadow of the Rockies. The little pink building across the street is practically at the foot of this huge range.We took off bright and early so we could be in Park city for breakfast.

If you have never been to park city, It looks a little something like this…

old timey

the town feels like a movie set. A movie set in which only rich people are allowed, and those people like to pretend they are in the wild west… at a ski resort… with espresso. delicious espresso.

Anyway, on our way out we got to see a gaggle of hot air balloons taking off and tried to capture them…

Next we were on into Wyoming, headed for the Black Hills and badlands of South Dakota. Amazingness ensued…

someone didn't get the memo

so bright

Cheyenne, for lunch

Bar Nunn, this way

Around this time, we strayed from the Maine road in order to hit the Black hills and Badlands of South Dakota. On our way to that, we encountered some of this…

In fact, we encountered a lot of this. for several miles we drove through these towers with conveyors leading down to rail cars and mysterious pits off in the distance. This, it turns out, is the Black Thunder Coal Mine, and is one of the worlds largest coal mines, producing enough coal currently to fill 25 miles of rail cars… per day. that’s right. every day, 25 miles of freight cars leave here, filled with coal. It is astonishing and at one point, there is a sign that states simply,

if you can.

I can only wonder how one avoids contact with a cloud, as they drive down a road in the middle of Wyoming. Luckily we never saw one.

After that, it wasn’t long before we were driving into the amazing Black Hills, Much of which, to our surprise looked like this…

what the?!


eventually the forest turns denser and we exited after driving past the great underwhelmingness of Mt Rushmore. Yes, we were to cheap to pay 22 dollars to actually stand in it’s wretched midst, but after traveling through the majesty of the Black Hills and experiencing such overwhelming country in one day, it seemed as much a political statement as anything… mostly the cheapness though.

We stayed in Cedar Rapids at a great little lodge on the hill overlooking the city.

the Big Sky Lodge

The next day, we split early for a Wall drug breakfast and then the Badlands…

sunrise in South Dakota

the fifth pres

we were a little early

hitchin' posts

just a few of the many attractions at Wall Drug. Here we had one of the worst breakfasts I’ve ever had. Seriously… ever. just aweful.

but, enough about that, this is when things got pretty incredible. The badlands, which begin almost immediately after the town of wall, are one of the most out of this world places I’ve ever been. the prairie just ends, like a cliff, and drops into this sea of dirt spires and ridges. It seems impenetrable. It’s amazing.

where the world ends


dashboard companion: it beats the plastic jesus

those are my rock climbing slippers

she is everywhere

the corn palace... prety lame really. not even all corn.

So, we finished our tour of the Badlands and booked it on over to Madison for some much needed hangouts with Amelia and Anthony, and got to see our friends Sylvie, Heather, and Lea, as a super-bonus…

We did things like this,


and this


and got to see things like this,

Vince's infinite art-walkt in Chelle Isaac's video installation

and this,

and then had to leave. But not before spotting this on our way out of town…

that's what we call a "Wisconsin Pistol". Concealment isn't really an issue

Since we spent an extra day in Madison, lounging and eating, we had to head straight east for a quick night’s stay with my brother in Kingston and then straight on up to Portland, where the next phase of the story will pick up. I’m serious, there was nothing else interesting on this drive, despite the fact that we still had 17 hours to go that day. We drove though the most mundane country imaginable, and arrived safe and sound in good old Kingston dazed and tired, ready to start anew, back on the east coast, where it’s already cooling down and I couldn’t be happier.

here is this

and, finally, this…

the panels at the bottom state... "New England... Is better than... Old England"

oh, also this,

1 Comment

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One response to “Ketchup: where was I… where am I?

  1. For the record, that thing does not beat a plastic Jesus.

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