John and MePosted on September 9th, 2007 after 3380 miles by Dean Croshere.
Before I hit the road yesterday, I was treated to breakfast in a small diner in southern Montana. There was a live bluegrass band playing and most of the patrons were large guys in plaid shirts. It was a small town and it seemed everybody knew everybody, especially my host (the local optometrist).
I decided against picking up the band's CD.
The largest benefit of this was that I started on the road with a full stomach. The disadvantage is when the emptiness hit me.
My sweet spot for driving is about 8 or 9 hours. After that I start to get impatient and simply want to get to my destination.
The drive yesterday took me 14 hours. The views in the morning made it unquestionably worth it, but by the end of the day I found myself in a very strange mood.
I noticed this when I received an email cordially questioning where I was and where I was going. I didn't respond (I was driving, after all), but I found myself resenting the question.
I was doing what I was doing and I was putting things online, how dare anyone ask me questions?
Unsure of where these thoughts came from (Thus far, I've enjoyed all the communication I've received on the road), I began to question my mood. I found that I had withdrawn into Steinbecks book. Steinbeck got me. He new what I was doing. I listened as John Steinbeck told of many of the same troubles I was having as he traversed the country towards me. The Yellowstone conversation was particularly close to home.
"You went HOW close to Yellowstone without actually visiting?" John asked.
"17 miles John," I responded.
Well, not really. I haven't gone that mad.
He did ask the question on the tape before deciding to actually enter the park. He was shortly chased out when Charlie (his dog) decided to try to attack every bear he saw.
I did go within a 17 miles drive of the park, although I didn't go in. I still had another 11 hours of driving ahead of me. I'm pretty sure that Boxer could have taken any wayward bears had it been necessary though.
I stopped for a few minutes and wolfed down a burger, I'd just realized that I hadn't had anything but a can of chili since breakfast 12 hours prior. As I digested, I calmed down and the rest of the trip passed uneventfully.
I'm now in Greeley Colorado and I'll spend another day here, then I move on again. I'm not sure where I'm going tomorrow, I guess I should work that out.