Friday, April 18, 2008

As busy as things are expectedly becoming, I still need to find the time to blog a bit and stay excited for this huge move. I have examined my piles of stuff, packed stuff, and jettisoned stuff. I can now happily conclude that it will all fit. That was always a concern, but I believe it is licked. There may even be extra room. Probably not, but I know it will all definitely fit.

The route is being sketched out as logically as can be at this point. I’m trying very hard to be flexible, though I’m certain my plan will change drastically once we get 100 miles into the trip. After loading the trailer on Saturday the 3rd in Indiana, we’ll set off in the early morning of the 4th out of Rensselaer, IN, bombing north through Madison and LaCrosse, WI (Home of the world’s largest six pack). The goal is to get to Rapid City, SD that night, which is about 15 hours. It’s doable, especially considering that we’ll be on 4 lane roads with speed limits of 70 mph. That is really the only firmly planned day. We need to get up bright and early in South Dakota on Monday and see Mount Rushmore before tearing off into Wyoming and Montana.

Monday night it would be nice to get to Calgary, but that might be pushing it. Lethbridge is more reasonable. As I’ve become a bit of a Corner Gas fan lately it would have been nice to drive through Rouleau, Saskatchewan, but time and gas $ dictate staying in the US through Montana. I suspect Alberta looks enough like Dog River to give us a chuckle though. All the days after that will be ad hoc. The Milepost will guide us towards gas and hotels and helps us make the choices as to how much further we can push it before we end up sleeping in the truck in what will certainly be chilly Canadian nights.

Tater has pulled a boat all over the midwest and driven many, many miles at all hours of the night throughout his days and travels, so I’m certain we’ll collectively be able to push some long days and nights if we feel like it. In our Boy Scout days we drove all night to the boundary waters several times, and in our adult lives we’ve driven long days and nights to get our canoes and tents to the trails and fish of the north woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota. We’ve trained for this trip since our youth so to speak. If we need to push through most of a night, so be it. I really doubt that though. I’ve negotiated a start day of May 16th at my new gig so driving reasonable distances with beds to sleep in each night is going to happen. The old plan of killing ourselves just to get to Anchorage by Thursday is now happily extinct.

Getting to Anchorage on Friday will give us the chance to not arrive too zombie-like. We’ll unpack my life into some public storage, dump off the trailer, and hopefully head to Humpy’s for some Alaskan Amber and Halibut and Chips. I suspect Becky will be amazed and fearful at how ravenous 2 Chicago Polacks can be.

Aside from Mount Rushmore there aren’t too many specific sites for us to hit. There are hot springs right along the Alaskan highway in the Yukon, so that will be a mandatory stop. Cameras will be out at all times for the wildlife I’m told frequently wanders across the Alcan. I’m also quite certain that the local population along the highway will get us chuckling and mocking as we travel along buying liters of fuel with toonies. Like all good friendships, we’ll probably descend into our own little world where everything else is funny and ripe for ridicule. I know the reality is that the 2 southsiders are out of place in Canada, but we will sing a song of being the only sane, cool ones in a world of maple leafs. Unfair and childish for sure.

Only 2 weeks!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Everything is winding down, the boxes are getting packed, and things are finding their way to ebay, Half Price Books, or St Vincent's on Williamson. May 3rd is the go date. A job has been secured, a trailer rented, and excitement is really setting in.

I finally got my chest touched up by Ben at Deluxe Tattoo last week. I needed it since the summer of 2005, but always put it off because Chicago was so close. Well, that will end very soon so it's time to get on these sorts of things. I asked for an additional star along with the touch up on the sparrow. No charge, even on the new ink, and he threw me a shirt as well. Great experience.

Only 3.5 weeks till I'll finally answer the call to great white north.