Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wrap: The Great Petcast Road Trip

Well, that was fun!

Bye, Emily!

There we are yesterday morning as we parted after five wonderful days of driving, talking, doting on Archie, eating surprisingly healthy and suffering surprisingly little bickering. We delivered Emily safely after 2,100ish miles to Ann Arbor for her prestigious journalism fellowship and, in all that time the only real argument we got into was over using her Garmin GPS system or my iPhone directions app. (For the record, both gizmos had flaws. Garmin likes to send people the wrong way on one-way streets and takes up a lot of space, not to mention the lighter jack; the iPhone relies on sometimes unreliable cell signals and the map is hard to look at when you're, say, on the phone ordering delicious Valentino's pizza per the suggestion of Lincoln native Cara Roberts, aka Norm Clarke's Leggy Blonde.)

There's a load of great photos in this Flickr Set I created, complete with snark and commentary where appropriate. And Emily and I recorded a special 18-minute Petcast episode en route to dropping me at the airport yesterday, so be sure to download and listen to that by either clicking here to make it play or right-clicking here to download it.

Those who followed my Twitter stream knew we stopped in on the icky Herman L. Frank's Dog Park in Salt Lake City...

Archie at SLC dog park, #2

...improbably caught up on the road with Emily's moving van...

Emily's stuff, #2

...raised my total to 33 state capitals visited in Cheyenne, Lincoln and the sensational Des Moines...

Steve @ the Wyoming Capitol
Steve @ The Nebraska Capitol #2
Steve @ The Iowa Capitol #2

...discovered Nebraska State Sen. Dennis Utter and the fact that his dog's name is Putter...

Sen. Utter's Office 45 of 50 states and five Canadian provinces in the license plate game...

45 out of 50!

...had 50-cent ice cream cones at the Little America rest stop in Wyoming, peach shakes at Bauder's Pharmacy in Des Moines (thanks, RoadFood.Com) and Thai -- pumpkin curry! -- in Davenport (thanks, Urbanspoon app)...

Bauder's Pharmacy
Pumpkin Curry at Exotic Thai

...saw my 85-year-old friend Walt's childhood home in Beatrice...

Steve @ Walt's House in Beatrice

...found future gigs for Holly Madison all over Nebraska...

Holly Realty, Kimball, Neb.
Holly Theatre, #1

...puzzled over the skanky mannequin with the gun and the edible G-strings in the closed shop window in Beatrice...

A Little Slice of Hannah's Treasure #2

...and ultimately delivered Emily to her new (temporary, right?) home.

Approaching Chez Emily, #1

Debate still rages over what this thing -- a heater? an air handler? a leftover of a pre-shower era? --
is in Emily's shower.

Emily's odd shower thing

Also, what's wrong with this George Washington portrait in the century-old schoolhouse by Homestead National Monument in Iowa?

Homestead, George Washington

Why are there spikes around the door to the Nebraska Capitol?

Wyoming Capitol, security?

How often do people use flashcubes in Iowa anymore?

Iowa Capitol, warning

Why there was a dictionary on a music stand in the lobby of the Iowa Capitol?

Iowa Capitol, dictionary

There were some interesting innovations, such as the Casper, Wyo., paper's special weather section...

Cheyenne, weather report

...and Cheyenne's Plains Hotel's means of avoiding stained white towels...

Plains Hotel, innovation

... and the advent of audio tours via your cell phone...

Homestead, audio tour

...although that can be improved inasmuch as you can't pause, forward or rewind it and when lots of people are listening on their phone speakers at once, it could be rather irksome, no?

We did learn one thing about Nevada. At the Homestead Monument, they had these sculptures that showed the proportion of the state the feds gave away in the Homestead act. Here's Oregon (I think) and Montana...

Homestead, proportions #2

...there's Florida...

Homestead proportions #4

...and here is Nevada:

Homestead, Screw Nevada

Maybe the Homestead Act could also be known as the Pre-Yucca Screw Nevada Act?

Well, anyhow, we did it. Check out the Flickr page and the podcast. And I leave you with this:




Bridget Magnus said...

The spikes in Nebraska are to keep birds from sitting there or building nests. You'll see similar contraptions on store signage at strip-malls. They're also common around my neighborhood, where we have a big flat spot on the roof for the AC units (very inviting to pigeons).

Unknown said...

Looks like a trip east with Emily is much quieter than my trips with three girls. The spikes in the Nebraska capitol are to keep errant birds from sitting or taking up residence, the unfinished Washington portrait is one of Gilbert Stuart's best known works (maybe it's a Midwest thing as I saw it all the time growing up). My guess as to the vent in the shower is that when they remodeled the bathroom, they added the shower, the vent was in the way and rather than cap it or move it they just tiled around it. Glad you found Bauder's in Des Moines - it's a couple blocks from my sister and my girls always insist on a visit when we are there.

HawkeyeinDC said...

Enjoyed following your trip via Twitter! As someone who grew up in Iowa, glad to hear you liked Des Moines. As an Iowa City native, though, was hoping you'd say you also stopped off in Iowa City to see the "Old Capitol" - IA's capital before moving to DM. And it's just off I-80. Next time.