But let's rewind. Kansas City was a good time. Just a couple relaxing days to detox from the job search business (and I think I'm finally within an entry or two's reach of being able to write about the work I'll be doing from now on in Seattle!), spend some nice time with my dad not having to toil like crazy on the house, have several birthday dinners with various family and friends, partake in a delicious homemade ice cream cake courtesy of my dad's girlfriend, etc...good things. Alan arrived on Friday, and we got to kick back a bit, too, before hitting the road again Saturday morning with the rest of my life in boxes in a 16' rental truck, my cat Chloe and Alan's car in tow.
Bringing the cat was a bit of a last minute decision, thanks to my friend Kyle who's living in Olympia and has graciously agreed to take care of Chloe for awhile until I live somewhere that I can take her back in. Chloe's already been a road trip superstar with me on the drive from Oberlin to Kansas last December. She fared well again this time, even in the cramped quarters of a truck cab...no howling/crying/mewing, no nausea, no accidents, just a curious interest in the scenery and peaceful enjoyment of Alan's lap and mine.
The cat + storms + time pressure = no camping after all. We had to be a little sneaky getting Chloe into our room at the first motel we stayed at in South Dakota, but she was a brilliant little accomplice, and ready for more bright and early the next morning. The scenery, again, was generally stunning:
We made good time, arriving in Seattle after about two and a half days on the road. Highlights along the way included: breakfast and huckleberry ice cream at the infamous Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota, a night of spectacular lightning storms on the horizon, XM radio fun, the humor of Chloe's whims and antics, Yitka after a little too much caffeine, a great deal of hearty laughter, a couple brilliant views of Mount Rainier, which Alan and I are committed to climbing at some point in the near(ish) future, and my personal favorite: the billboard along I-90 in South Dakota for an auto body/repair shop with a tagline: "24 Hour Toe Service." After trying to find the possible pun in it, we concluded that it must be a typo - but what an awesome one! And an oft blogged-and-tweeted-about one, apparently, I learned after conducting a simple Google search in hopes of finding a photo of the thing to post here. (No luck.) Around-the-clock pedicures, anyone?
P.S. I love Montana mountain towns. If I ever derail from the creative nonfiction train I've been riding these past couple years and start writing novels again, my next will undoubtedly take place in Montana. I am absolutely convinced that it is a magical state.