I left my digs in Seattle at high noon on Monday and got as far as Missoula on the first day before snow-hypnosis drove me off the highway. I had a suspicion that the first 100 miles of my journey might be the toughest. Or maybe that was hope. They were indeed soggy, and then snowy miles, but much more interesting weather lay ahead I'm afraid. South Dakota... mid November... right. Still, I stopped at the Little Bighorn Battlefield today to pay homage to earlier exemplars of hopeless military adventurism (which side was guiltier of this is left to the perspective of the reader). It is within sight of I-90, and well worth the visit, especially in lonely November.
At one point in Eastern Wyoming, I used my GPS to look for a Starbucks, only to find that the closest one was 282 miles distant. I've decided that I prefer Red Bull to lousy coffee (at least for pharmacologic purposes), so I filled my tank and scored a couple cans. I blasted past Wall Drug (the midpoint of my journey) with hopes of making 1000 miles on the day. But not long after, the weather turned sour again, so here I am in Murdo, SD and grateful to be off the highway and settled in for the night. The driving day started with a pre-dawn close encounter with a deer and ended with a semi that passed me in near blizzard conditions, leaving me in a state of blindness resembling a drive-through car wash, except moving at 40 miles per hour in slush-ruts. Seattle rain is looking very good to me at the moment. So is sleeping in my own bed. I am full of poignant regard for friends and family on both ends of my trip.
Image: 11:55 on Monday, November 13th, loaded and ready to go