America, July 26, 2005
Pedal to the metal and no sleep till DC!
Wow. I just drove from Las Vegas to Washington DC, a three and a half day, 2,500 mile odyssey across America with only one Applebee's stop.
As much helping my friend Sam move here from San Diego, as seeing another part of America, the flyovers, it was just quite an interesting trip. Unlike when I did a similar but wandering American tour with my parents, we did this trip as a straight, almost nonstop sprint, for I had a job to get back to and Sam has a DC life to start.
We started at the capitol of cheese itself, the Liberace Museum, which inertia, a $12.50 cover charge, and Sam's family's ridicule kept me from experiencing. Yes, kids, that means there will be at least one more trip back to Vegas for Wayan - I need to see the shrine to
Leaving town, Sam was pedal to the metal, pushing her Honda Civic to the limit up the Rocky Mountains and across the Great Plains. I stayed only 10 miles over the speed limit, trying to avoid a ticket or a bribe. And that's the big shocker - that you just laughed when I said "bribe".
Unlike say a drive across Mali, or across Cambodia, the amazing aspect of America is that we can go anywhere without the worry of bribes. Toll roads, yes, speeding tickets, if you're unlucky, but not bribes. Nor much of any other major worries. Two thousand five-hundred miles and not much happened.
This is how you know America is rich. Not by the wealth of it's cities, but by the wealth of the countryside. That and the weight. Only in Western Colorado were we spared the sight of 'big' people. Only there are folks as lean and healthy as Washington DC or the West coast. All the other states had many gravitationally challenged folks that scared me.
We did have fun, outside of our fear. We spent a night with Sam's friends in Vail and the company was much fun. Drinking and talking late into the night, I even drunk-posted some of our chatter. When I tried the run the next morning, I quickly learned that I am sure a sea-level guy, totally unfit for altitude running. I was wheezing after only a short two-mile jog around Vail.
After that, there wasn't much to separate the hours or the days. Eastern Colorado to West Virginia was nothing but flat and straight. Only the occasional twists and turns of downtowns overlaid with highway gave us a visual break from the sameness.
Now back in DC, I can't seem to find much to remember or to write about on this American tour. And that's the best evidence of America's wealth after all, boredom.