They're tiring, somewhat expensive, and probably not healthy, but I still enjoy road trips. The experience of renting a car and then playing a bunch of CDs while you barrel down Interstates at 70 mph gives you the illusion of seeing America without actually seeing America. I know, for all my reputation for being a transit advocate, I shouldn't enjoy driving so much, but I do.
There are limits, however. Two summers ago, when we drove to Pierre, South Dakota, the third day of driving was where it hit us that we were trapped inside our vehicle. The fact that the air conditioning was below par didn't help. Ann Arbor, on the other hand, is a walk in the park: a four hour trip (short by prairie standards). You finish your drive after your third CD, and before you get really tired of the experience.
We left Kitchener around 6 pm and made it into Ann Arbor at 11. The weather was against us, giving us blinding downpours that forced us off the road and into a McDonalds for dinner around London. Things cleared up after the border, however, which we passed in record time (like less than a minute. There were even open gates with no lineups).
Tomorrow, Wendy, Erin and I try to duplicate day two of the drive to Pierre, South Dakota, where we went from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Austin, Minnesota before we conked out and went searching for a motel. A few things should allow us to get into Rochester earlier in the evening: (1) we intend to leave early, like around 8 a.m. and eat breakfast on the road. (2) we intend to avoid Chicago. And I mean *avoid* it. We'll skirt the southside via I-80 and then head up the middle of the state of Illinois via I-39. This will add about fifty miles to our distance, but I expect this will shave an hour off our time as well as add years to our lives. (3) Rochester is a few miles east of Austin. Taken together, we hope to meet other family members in time for a late dinner before my father-in-law checks in for surgery.
I made a special road trip mix CD to help us get through the miles (to go with the storebought albums of Tori Amos, Dave Matthews band, Van Morrison, etc). Here's the playlist; feel free to sing along!
- Mystic Dreams - Loreena McKennitt
- Honey - Moby
- Hallelujia - Rufus Wainwright
- Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
- Lighter Shade of Pale - Procol Harem
- Rufus Xavier Sarsaparella - Schoolhouse Rock
- Rocket's Tail - Kate Bush
- Good Friday - Cowboy Junkies
- Into the Great Wide Open - Tom Petty
- China Roses - Enya
- JurT - Jorane
- Film III - Jorane
- Here Comes the Flood - Peter Gabriel
- Learning to Fly - Tom Petty
- One by One - Enya
- Jinx - Jorane
- Coda - Jorane
My sincerest appreciation to those of you who have left us best wishes. It's good to have your comfort and good thoughts.
And a quick note to Greg: we'll be passing through Indiana briefly on our way to Rochester. We probably won't be able to stop, but I'll think good thoughts about you. Talk to you soon!