Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm going to attempt to break these entries into daily postings for each day the trip, but I have a feeling that might be too much to chew. We shall see.

May 2nd was a Friday in Madison whereupon a wonderful night of metal occurred courtesy of Jason, Lora, Eric, and a plethora of Madison's bike community. Jason provided the venue and turntables, Lora the delicious food, and Eric the black, doom, and thrash vinyl. After a viewing of Heavy Metal Parking Lot and Fubar, the records were spun and a good time was had by all. Chatting about Lost, metal, bikes, roller derby, bikes, and "3" was a blast and it made it very hard to leave Madison. I think I made it home around 1:30 am, promptly mopped my apartment, threw some stuff out, and then made it to bed around 3 am (thankfully the truck had been packed before the metal began). I feared sleeping in way past the 7:30 am wake up time, but I was so nervous and eager to hit the road that it was oddly not a problem. I pulled out of Madison around 8:30 and made it to the southside of Chicago around noon, droning and driving to Eric's terrific doom laced compilation cdr's. The afternoon descended into a blur of a 63rd street Torta with steak for the road, picking up 5' x 8' trailer in Crown Point, IN, loading my life into it within a short, single hour, and finally showering before a delicious lasagna dinner from chef Mom. It was delicious without a doubt, even more so given that we knew it would be our last decent meal for a week, minimum.

The plan was to make it to Rapid City, SD by Sunday night, though this was based primarily on Tater's 75+ mph estimates that he usually maintains in his trailerless Yukon. 2000lbs attached to my Ranger will probably not get over 75mph easily, at least not without filleting my miles per gallon averages. We decided to keep it at 65mph for the trip which yielded 15mpg on flat roads and 12-13mpg on mountainous terrain. I did discover a great tidbit in the fact that the IRS will allow you to deduct your move (minus food) for a new job. Yep, the gas, trailer, hotels, and first month of storage space is all tax deductible as long as I am moving for a new job, which I am. Great news to have. We ended up leaving Indiana around 7:30 am on Sunday, stopped for lunch in Minnesota just past La Crosse, WI, and grabbed a hotel in Mitchell, SD. Driving that trailer is so easy. I'll admit it was a bit of a question mark for me and gave me a little bit of concern, but aside from backing it into tight spots and getting it up to 65mph, you never know you're pulling it.

At the end of the first night we found ourselves a few hours behind schedule, but with a reasonable room that included a hot continental breakfast we considered ourselves right on track. Not having to stop for breakfast was perfect. We were already packing our own lunches and snacks so getting a freebie breakfast (with bananas smuggled into the truck) made the day that much faster and economical. We knew we would be grabbing a sit down dinner after we found a hotel so we let that dinner be a goal and guiding light for our day.

Tired and with a belly full of Ruby Tuesday I blogged a single line about Mitchell, SD before crashing out and heading for a 6am wake up. Glancing at the map is very daunting. Great Falls, Edmonton, Fort Nelson, Whitehorse, Tok, and Anchorage are still so far away.

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