I’m at the Internet Center at a hotel named the Best Inn in Salina, Kansas It’s very early here. And the sun is barely out. We’re dead-center now. I keep telling myself that. I keep picturing our heads bobbing up and down on our many maps.

A storm came through last night but with it were no tornados. I sort of wish there had been. We tried to run through a massive green waving field but there were too many mosquitos and so we opted for bed and the Sopranos instead. It’s so not like home here. As I turn my head, I start to realize what inspired many of America’s founding theme songs. Our very own is playing right now.

Let’s see. We drove through the midwest as if running from the law. We stayed in Indiana the first night. Just outside Indianapolis. Indiana smelled nice that’s all I can say really about Indiana except the gas stations and minimarts have a fondness and requirment for selling only warm beer. After our stay in a motel in Greecastle, Indiana, we drove through Missouri.

There are three words I feel sum up Missouri. They are “Adult Bookstore” and “Jesus”. I realize we’re only seeing a mere vein of each state as we drive but my goodness Missouri needs a roadside facelift. How sad she seems advertising all of this crap. We drove straight through Missouri and barley touched Illinios. That brings us to Kansas as of yesterday afternoon.

Let me give my only background regarding Kansas. Out side of a movie called “The Wizard of Oz” Kansas has been described to me as one would describe an uglier, meaner, more disgusting older sister to a decent looking girl. We were told Kansas was awful. We were told Kansas was a state put there just to torment us with its girth and determination in getting in any decent driver’s way. Recently, when I would mention to people about our upcoming drive across America’s heartland, many of them would roll their eyes and huff at the memory of Sweet, over-looked Kansas.

Kansas is beatiful. And to all those who have suggested otherwise, I ask, were you awake while driving through Missouri?

Kansas looks like Ireland. She’s so green she looks make-believe. The hills roll on towards who-knows, like these massive waves. I remind myself hourly that I’m not driving through someone’s trainset. That I am still tall.

But we’re only half way through Kansas. So she could take a turn. I’ll be sure to correct myself if she does. I’m really looking forward to Colorado. We should be there by mid-afternoon. Our goal is to stay in Aspen or Grand Junction. We’ll see.

For now, I’ll sign out and begin another 10-hour driving shift. I’m learning things out here—about myself, about my husband and about my three crazy cats. I’m learning about tolerance.

And if it weren’t for a song on the latest Modest Mouse CD, I might name my daughter Salina.


  1. When you say Kansas I see sunflower fields. And while a beautiful & amazing sight to behold, they kind of lost their charm for me after the first 3 hours of driving through.
    But the drive just gets better once you completely break out of the East where it’s city on top of city after city. You’ve made it. You’re out in the wide open now.


  2. come on now, seriously, how could you not go to branson?!


  3. I really liked Grand Junction, CO. It’s like you’re on a western movie set, and that you should start diggin’ for gold or call somebody “Pa” or something.


  4. what how you talk about missouri! that’s my roots! and it really is beautiful you just have to get off of 70. and come on the arch! as tall as it is wide!

    anyway, i put some pictures up from the wedding party too.


  5. Last I talked with Michele, she was hopping out of the car to take pictures of a storm. That’s my girl!

    Chandler, I really like the pictures you took of the party. Is there a way I can borrow the negatives?


  6. How hard does Modest Mouse own?


  7. that mm album is great. well, 60-70%

    the songs that aren’t good are really not good. very not good. the cats won’t poop.


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