North Dakota

oh canada!

I have so many photos in my camera and stories from the miles I have cranked out the past couple days I am in sensory overload!

I woke up yesterday in the parking lot of a grocery store in Minot, ND. Talk about need coffee on 2 hrs. of sleep freezing my butt off. I used the browser on my cell phone to see if there was a Starbucks laughing at myself because I actually thought there might be one there. When a Starbucks location popped up I almost fell out of my car seat. (I know Tom, tragic I had your beans in my car but I had to go elsewhere because I hadn’t ground enough for the road on my last stop to use the french press. DOH! The lightweight road coffee of a fast food joint was just not going to cut it either, so Starbucks it was.)

I called the location for directions from my parking lot spot as I am GPS-less. The Barista answered immediately, giving me directions but correcting my pronunciation of the town, telling me “It’s MY-KNOT ma’am. Keep going straight past Kmart. We are right there at the bottom of the hill.

Ahhh, coffee. I met a nice man there as I worked and gave him my business card when he asked what I was doing. If you are reading this now- Hi! Sorry I never got your name…) I worked a bit and on my way. Got to Portal, ND and had to snap a photo of the post office:

Portal, ND post office

I was SO excited to hit the border thinking that bells and whistles would go off and I’d be in Disneyland or something. I had fantasies of the border patrol interrogating me and searching my car. Well? Nothing. Sigh. It was so easy breezy and uneventful I was almost bummed. The saving grace was that the border patrolman was a good looking guy. Whew. (I wonder why the heck he’s hiding in Portal, ND?) Here are the signs and such going through the inspection station. (I took them through my bug-stained windshield as I figured they might shoot me if they saw me taking photos here. I think that might be illegal or something…

At the border

Border patrol station

So nope. No big WELCOME TO CANADA! sign. (Admittedly my heart broke a little. If there isn’t like the biggest sign I have ever seen when I get to the Alaska border I swear I’ll draw one in my own blood just so I can jump and scream in front of it and take photos.) I had to settle for this:

Welcome to Saskatchewan!

I have started talking out loud more and more to myself lately, so when I saw this sign I said aloud sarcastically. “Sheesh, thanks Canada. Do you know how far I’ve driven?”

I jumped back in my car and the first thing I saw out of the inspections station was this, which made me happy again:

Should I but it?

I considered for a few seconds leaving my car as a trade and taking that beast instead of the Honda, but on I went. Almost 800 miles and some of the flatest and most repetitive country I have ever driven in my life. About 800 more miles yesterday. It felt as if I went to the border of Kansas and decided I was going to drive across and back 5 times. I mean holy Central Canada flatness! Insert Jack Palance’s scene here from the movie City Slickers (My favorite movie ever by the way.) singing; “Tumblin’ tumbleweeds” (I’m laughing out loud in a Tim Horton’s watching the trailer for the 5th time…) .At one point in the day I found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere at a gas station run by a couple of teens because Wachovia put a freeze on my bank account. Even though I informed them of my travels, the nice smiley teens swiped my card and DECLINED! Photos of that to come.

More car sleeping and still no shower, but must run for now. Laptop is out of juice and no outlets here in no mans land. Lets just say I have covered a lot of ground in maple leaf country and I’m finally seeing green again instead of brown. The final frontier is getting closer and closer!.

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8 X 100, plus a bunch of bugs

I’ve been tracking mileage for a few reasons. One because it is fun. Somehow unplanned, from my start point, until many hours later at my stopping point yesterday, I went to the mile, exactly 800 miles. Couldn’t have planned that one better if I tried!

Some more fun things from the road yesterday:

I found another pet exercise area at a rest stop, but I’m wondering where the human is and where the pet is. Or more, is there a human on this sign at all?

Pet exercise area?

I didn’t think I managed to get this one because it looked too dark on my camera last night, but happy day- it uploaded like this. Even through my bug-drenched windshield:

Welcome to ND!

Ok, Ok, so it’s a little small but it says; Welcome to North Dakota!

Back to bugs. When I stopped for gas I looked at the front of my car in horror. I had seen a few butterflies splattering on my windshield as I drove, but I think I killed every bug in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota yesterday. And this is just what my license plate looks like:

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Juan, Juanita and Pablito were very, very tired as we hit 136,000k:

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Anyone out there work for Honda? Hello? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I should so be on a Honda commercial. After several x-country trips, all in different Hondas, driving thousands of miles and never breaking down, and the fact that all of them have had well over 100k on them and then run like brand new? What better spokesperson do you need guys? 🙂

In case anyone was wondering, yes, it’s even freezing in ND in the summer. I woke up to 57 degrees this morning and have never been happier to see a big fat sweatshirt in my back seat:

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The people have been lovely here, but lets just say at 57 in August-I won’t be moving here anytime soon.

After watching miles, landscape and states fly by yesterday in what was a long day on the road, I couldn’t help but to think again that there is nothing better than a summer day driving across the country exploring. Everyone should do this once in their lifetime. I hope to do this every summer moving forward. Imagine all the cool and interesting stuff you could show and teach your kids! I want my next trip across in a convertible. Someone flew by me in one as the sun was setting last night and it looked like way to much fun. There you go Honda! You could design a Blue Lollipop Road series convertible and I could test it for you. It’d have built in chocolate dispensers, a comfy bed in the back somehow and an espresso machine for when I wake up in the morning. There’s an idea to take to the bank!.

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