She learned it by watching the television.

Yesterday, I spent some time mapping out our drive across the country. We have decided that this time around, instead of site-seeing we’ll go the most direct route and see whatever we can along the way. We have decided to take route 70 nearly all the way across.

Although Mapquest keeps casually spitting out route 80, I don’t wish to follow that route. (Have you ever driven on Route 80? I grew up in central Pennsyltuckey, route 80 has always scared me. Granted, I’ve only been on it through one state, so who knows. But in Pennsyltuckey, due to its elevation, it snows there in the summertime sometimes. And that’s just weird.)

Route 70 takes us through all of the following major cities: Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas; and Denver, Colorado. In St. Louis, we’ll check out The Arch. To be honest, I’m not sure what we might see in Kansas. Are there things I don’t know about in Kansas? Are there things worth checking out? Midgets, witches and dwarves, oh my? If it’s not in a film, I don’t know about it. Someone smarter needs to let me know.

Denver. Last time I checked, the Rockies were in Denver. That’ll be pretty awesome indeed. Aside from our trip last weekend to San Francisco to find an apartment, Toby hasn’t ever really been out west. He hasn’t ever seen these sort of terranes firsthand. And we’ll probably need to pick up another car just to just hold his many rolls of film. In or around Denver, after turning off John Denver, we’ll get the vespa out of the back, hop on and I’ll wet my pants, paying homage to this film.

At Utah, we must head north. However, Missy had the brilliant idea of swinging south a few miles to visit Arches National Park. I might do that. It really depends on how close Toby and I are to either being murdered by our cats, or we are to killing them all.

I think we’ll have to take some smaller roads to get up to 80 at Utah’s border. I think that road is route 6. We’ll reach 80 at Salt Lake City, Utah. 80 will take us all the way into San Francisco. I hear Utah is very pretty, so I’m sort of looking forward to that part. I have always been sort of terrified of Mormons, especially after reading Under the Banner of Heaven, but I have met a few who aren’t totally weird and insane, so I’m starting to change my mind a bit. I’m going to make t-shrits to hand out in Utah which read:

What would Joe Smith do?

Surely this has already been done, no?

Then it’s off to Nevada. I was in Nevada once. Nevada is super freaky. Nevada is earth’s equivalent to outer space. Interstate 80 runs through Nevada because it was given no choice. Route 15 does it for the gambling and the hookers. Otherwise there is really not much going on in Nevada. And I think that’s why I like it so much. What a weird, interesting place. Nevada is the “forgotten” albino child kept chained up in the basement. A child who has special powers. A child whose intelligence is off the charts. A child who can somehow feel the coming of lightening and who, by placing a hand on the head of a dying deer, can feel its pain. Nevada was directed by a pedophile.

I’ve veered off track. At Nevada, I’m sure I’ll be driving 152 mph in hopes of just GETTING THE FUCK HOME already. But who knows. So 80 takes us all the way into the city holding our new home. I’m nervous as all hell, excited and happy that I’m fortunate enough to be given the chance to drive this drive, and pleased with the fact that the only thing separating me from my eastern home is a whole shitload of dark pavement and yellow lines.


  1. I have a terribly embarrassing weakness for potty humor. I can’t help it, but poop jokes make me giggle and guffaw. Restraining myself from laughing in a public restroom is a real challenge.

    MrsJesus wouldn’t go see Dumb and Dumber with me. The scene where Jeff Bridges suffers from the laxative poisoning in the broken toilet had me roaring with laughter, sitting by myself in a 2/3rds full theater.

    I felt so ashamed.

    I envy your adventure (and destination). In a few years all of our kids will be old enough to tolerate such an adventure (I can’t wait). I’m going to do the Brady Bunch Grand Canyon adventure, but we won’t camp out. Jews don’t like camps.


  2. ha! Yes, camps and camping can be scary. Plus, I saw Deliverance, I know what goes on in the woods.

    Stay away from any jackasses as well. Also, avoid picking up any weirdly carved heads. And if you do, don’t surf. Though, I think that was a different adventure.


  3. When you get to Indianapolis, wave to me when you see the big red signature on to of the building.

    And you’ll like the St Louis Arch (I was from STL before Indy). Go in the middle of a weekday and you can actually go up in the Arch in these crazy little cars that turn sideways as they go up the curved leg of the Arch.

    Goof Luck,



  4. Cars that go sideways? Like in Minority Report? Do they let cats on board?

    We shall wave, Mike. Indeed.


  5. Oh, and if your go I-80 thru Nevada, then consider dropping down to Carson City and eating at my brother’s restaurant, Lefty’s.

    It is a burger/deli joint but hey also have that rabbit food stuff for you veggie types.

    His home-made chips are the BEST!

    Mike-the-Mick (sorry fo typos in above post)


  6. Rabbit food?! Carson City? I must find out more about Carson City. Chips as in Freedom Fries? I bet they’re good given the freshness of the potatoes coming in from Idaho. Ever since seeing The Deep End, I have wanted to see Lake Tahoe with my own two eyes.


  7. We won’t really be able to deviate from the most direct path, unfortunately. Between a super tight budget, short timeframe, and 200 pounds of kitty cat, we’re gonna be shooting straight through, I fear.


  8. Probably something I’ll never do, which I’m jealous of you guys for—-the cross-country road trip. That’s what happens when you’re in the middle.

    Take a picture of this alleged cart in The Arch. Do you get strapped into it like a roller coaster ride?


  9. About Kansas…Just think of a really flat green state….I have done the drive from DC to Louiville, KY and then on to Wichita,KS. I believe we went via Route 70. Those were in our pre-baby days, plus we didn’t have the kitties with us either….


  10. Your description of Nevada was too perfect. That should be the de facto description in all Frommers, Fodors, etc.


  11. this just in…

    HIT Brit musical Jerry Springer The Opera will open on New York


  12. Done. You, Girl27, and myself will go with bells on. Big, gay bells.


  13. I have done the Arch. The cars are VERY small and four people are crammed in for the trip up to the top observation area. It is definitely not for the claustrophobic. Did I mention there are no windows as you go up? It is a neat thing if you can handle it. There is also a combination museum/how they built the Arch area under it.


  14. Too bad you can’t stop by on your way through Columbus. You have a place to stay if you need to crash for a night! I wish you well and it will be a great adventure for both of you.


  15. we can! only we have too many cats to intrude. If we stay there for a night, at a hotel, would you wish to get a cup of coffee? Email me your number, just in case.


  16. Ok so now I think I can give some really good input into this odyssey you about to endure!! first off the drive up STL is so boring there’s nothing to see its flat and uneventful! then when you get to STL its like a big shock all you try and do is follow the route through downtown and try to absorb it all from you’re boring slumber its almost like someone has slapped you and then before you know it the sting goes away and you back to the monotonies drive….until you get to Denver and then its so worth the drive!! the Rockies are so amazing!!! Breathtaking!!! and so worth stopping and enjoying the scenery. I would suggest staying the night in Denver and getting a early start in the morning and you should catch the Bison grazing just outside Denver on the right side of the hwy 70 which you might miss cause you will be heading up I25 to catch the I80 which means you will miss the tip of the grand canyon and some of the best scenery America has truly have to offer !!you could still make it down the I70 and then go up the 15 through Utah and will make you’re why through some weird and wonderful Mormon towns I would do that and I have been through there twice and cant get enough of the sights the Rockies have to offer!! But I know Toby runs a tight ship and the trains run on time but Mihow I would do some serious girl persuasion to get him to do it !!


  17. And the Architect Eero Saarinen if from my Alma Mater and one of the most interesting modern American Architects.

    This story makes me dreamy, what is it about roadtrips?


  18. Mihow…Lawrence, KS is not too bad. You are correct in saying that there is not much in Kansas but Lawrence was actually kind of a fun little college town.

    BTW, congrats on the move! San Fran is such a nice place to live…very jealous!


  19. Here’s what you gotta do.

    Stop in Carson City at my brother’s restaurant. It is just a little hole-in-the wall, but the fresh-cooked chips (big humongus potato chips with great seasonings) are great.

    The theme of his restaurant is left handled people (like his wife). The walls are covered with posters of leftys and all sorts of memorabilia (incl a signed Sandy Koufax jersey).

    The order slips he gives out don’t have numbers, they have names of famous leftys like Koufax, Freud, Clinton, Einstein, etc. The Einstein is the favorite of the whole town. When that person’s order is ready he yells out “Hey Einstein, your order’s ready” and everybody joins in. Great fun.

    But realistically, the detour to Lefty’s would cost you about 2 hours.

    But if you canpossiblt swing it, you should drive around Lake Tahoe. It is beautiful. And they have incredibly strict rules that keep pollution out of the lake so the water is real clear (and cold!!).

    So much country to see, so little time.




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