Miles traveled: 386 Total Miles: 7,333 Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Least we forget: As the car pulls up, the little girl’s brain shifts into a survival mode. Mother nature has endowed her with four basic strategies to deal with any challenge to he well being: fight, flight, freeze and fornicate. Where as her entire universe may have been her home as she grew up. When she went to prison, she meet a lot of women that shared similar experiences. More often than not what she learned about life and authority figures only validated her experiences at home. She meet a lot of prison mothers that took her under their wing and taught her what she would need to know to survive in a world where the only people that were glad to see her get out were the pimps, drug dealers and abusers that would treat her like furniture. The car pulls to a stop, she puts on a smile and waves her hand. She is ready to meet the world on the world terms.
Leaving Columbia, MO: The basic dynamics of traveling across country are very different in going from east to west and west to east. In a sense, going from east to west gives an extra hour to three different days as you cross the time zones. Also, it lends itself to early departures as the sun is to your back. However, going from west to east can really screw up planning because not only do you gain and hour but leaving early in the morning puts the sun in your face. I had a tinted helmet vizor and sun glasses and they did not make a dent driving into the early morning sun. No matter which way you go, you have to be sensitive to time line changes because it can inconvenience arrival times and especially so when someone is waiting on you.
Bank gas tax: The first time I saw a sign on the gas pump that said: Pay cash and get a 6 cents a gallon discount, I thought it was some weird dude who owned the gas station. But I now have seen a good half dozen of these signs as a I have traveled over 7,000 miles. For a while I tried to imagine all the millions of gallons of gas consumed in this nation on a daily basis and it just boggles the imagination how this could be. For sure, the Arabs are not the only ones getting rich on gas.
GPS: A GPS is not a GPS on a motorcycle. Am on my 3rd GPS in 7,000 miles plus. The first was a TomTom XL or something like that. The cigarette lighter power connector disintegrated within 500 miles. I would say it held up for maybe 10,000 miles between the Shadow and Gray Ghost. In Palo Alto, got a Garmin and it lasted maybe 1,000 miles. Then in Sioux Falls, got another TomTom and this time bought a year warranty. Got to say, this I could mount on the windshield so I did not have to drop my head down to see it mounted on the tank or handle bars. Only needed to drop my eyes. A much safer solution for fast moving metro traffic when coming into strange cities. Don’t know but think that the plastic vacuum plug that comes with it must absord some of the vibrations from the engine. The 5 inch screen makes a much better view.
Roads and bridges: The amount of new roads and bridges I have seen under construction as well as the repairs boo-gels the mind. The only thing I can think of is that the very nature of road construction is that they plan in detail for several years out because of the nature of money and when the stimulus appeared last year that they were the only real shovel ready projects. In this day and age, road construction takes very few workers compared to a few decades past. Also, most of the heavy equipment seems to be Japanese or Swedish.
More and more corn: It is almost totally unbelievable. I have traveled across South Dakota, down to Topika and east to Indiana. The single biggest impression is corn. Soy beans are a distant but distant second. Some body has to be making a killing on this because they are very creative finding ways of using every square inch available. These fields go on for miles and miles. What I have not seen are family farms. I could count on both hands what I think would pass for a family farm. Also, have seen a lot of what could have been family homes and barns falling to ruins. Am reminded of the tractors crushing the homestead in Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck must have been on to something way back in the day when he wrote it. No migrant labor here has it appears to be totally machine operation. Corn grown without contact of human hands.
False Alarm: About noon, looked over my right shoulder and though O_ S___, here we go again. But it turned out to be a false alarm. Dried the top layer of clothes in my bags last night and figured that the rest were OK. Wrong, as I was getting my presentation clothes out, this powerful order of wet stale clothes hit me;. Thank the heavens there is a washer and dryer available.By the way, it is raining cats and dogs outside and am tempted to just out out there and sit in it. Instead, am going to get my clothes out of the dryer and go to bed. Know I wish each and everyone well.