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13 November 2005 @ 08:40 pm
out west, ! is a letter  
mileage: 2250
weather: rainy with scattered snow
pace: easy


We have made it as far as Ogden, Utah! (Exclamation point appears to be part of the official spelling of Utah!, as that is how it is written on all of the license plates.) I can't tell you much about the Utah landscape, because it is snaining and the visibility is resultingly rather crap, but the, uh, fog here is very impressive! We also feel as though we have landed in a cultural mecca, which is rather understandable, as in the past two days we have encountered more tumbleweed than humans.

The grand question of the day seems to be: Where do people in Wyoming actually live? We saw many cows, fields, mountains, and wind towers, but only about eight houses in the entire state. "Maybe we blinked," says Mumsey.

The grand question of yesterday was: Holy shit, are we going to blow off this road!? We discovered later that we left Iowa in time to avoid being hit by actual tornadoes, but the high wind speeds and dust storms still made driving into a bit of an extreme sport for most of Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming. The gleee of the day was TUMBLEWEED, OMG. IT REALLY EXISTS AND IS NOT JUST IN THE MOVIES!! It is the coolest thing ever. Revelations upon revelations on this trip, I tell you! Many bits of said coolest thing ever are still stuck in various crevices of my car.

The Education of Little Red is continuing apace. In Nebraska, there was an adorable Methodist "youth group" (quotation marks because there were no actual youths in this group) serving free hot cider at a rest stop on the I-80! They were incredibly nice, and didn't want to sell us anything or convert us to anything, and it totally boggled my Northeastern mind. People are nice just to be... nice!? We also learned that the landscape of Wyoming can only be viewed when accompanied by country music, because all other forms of music seem absurd. I think I understand now why people refer to the Northeast as the little states.

Also, a semi kind of burst into flames in front of us. This wasn't so much edifying as... well, kind of neat, since no one was hurt and the trucker didn't even seem all that perturbed that there was smoke spewing everywhere.

We also hit a high elevation of 8,630 feet. It's very cold up there.

The landscape of some parts of this country can only be described as freaking weird. Every curve of the highway in Eastern Wyoming revealed a new sort of rock formation, most of which look like randomly-placed balls of plasticine stuck in piles by some ancient baby deity Q. And then it gets all really flat around the continental divide, and then there are all these mountains and, seriously, will the geologists in the audience explain to us what the heck happened to Wyoming a billion years ago? Because my mother keeps asking me questions about glacier lakes and stuff, and I can only make up so many things to tell her in response.

Tomorrow: Idaho!
 
 
feel: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
 
mysticalweather: SG-1: (lowdownbeat) Nice drawingmysticalweather on November 14th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC)
We vacationed in Wyoming a couple years ago...and I absolutely loved it. Hehe! I know exactly what you mean! As we passed miles, and miles, and miles, and miles, and miles of landscape and *nothing* else, I found myself hoping that we wouldn't need 911. Cause seriously, who could get to you in time?!?

Gorgeous scenery though. It's strange how different east-Wyoming (desert) is from west-Wyoming (OMG!Mountains). Much fun to travel through, though. Oh! and it was so weird how on one side of the road the mountains would be really smooth...and then on the other side they were really jagged. Strange.

You didn't by any chance see Chimney Rock in Nebraska, did you? The rock formation on the foothills that looks like a chimney (thus the name, right?). We stopped there and got a bunch of pictures and me and my niece found the coolest little old graveyard nearby.

*wonders where her Oregon Trail rock went*

But that's enough of my ramblings...

*hugs*

~Misty



Little Red: oregon trailmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
HEE! My mom kept asking if AAA worked out there.

The scenery here changes so quickly!!! It's just wild out there. And now it is morning, and I can see past the fog to the mountains in Utah, and HOLY CRAP. I shrieked when I opened the drapes. Holy unexpected mountains, Batman!

Errr... we didn't notice Chimney Rock specifically. We didn't actually leave the highway, because we wanted to get as far as possible, but we saw plenty of things from there. The cute little mesa-like things!!

Eeee, oregontrailyay. I haven't been checking into other people's LJs on this trip -- I hope you're doing all right!

*so much love!*
w0lfstar: bsg six no falling by shadowserenityw0lfstar on November 14th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC)
omg, I must have missed the tumbleweed when I drove across the country! *feels gypped*

*tries to remember what those rock formations are called* damn it, I fail completely and will probably remember some time in the middle of the night

as to wyoming....actually, there are a few events that shaped the state geology (though people could correct me if I have forgotten/misrepresented something). 1) huge, huge, huge glacier used to cover the whole area which made part of it very flat as the glacier basically gouged out the land. 2) when the glacier melted, at some point a large lake burst, spewing out a large amount of water that carved its way through the landscape. 3) I think wyoming is in the area that has periodically been a shallow sea diving the country in half.

How's that?

omg, omg, omg you are getting closer! This is awesome! *loves*
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
*gasp!* You missed the tumbleweed!? It is SO COOL!!! I may be bringing pieces of it to you still stuck under the hood of my car. ;)

It must be a time-of-year thing, I guess...

OMGOMGOMGOMG! So much closer!!! I am all SCARED of the weather forecast for Idaho today, so I'm not sure how far we will get, but eeee!! So much closer!
(Deleted comment)
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha. That's awesome. I should totally write a travel book, because then I could travel more!! Except for the part where I'd have to learn to actually take pictures...
(Deleted comment)
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
Are you volunteering? *grin*
(Deleted comment)
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Except we'll have to start with the US and Canada, because I am afeared of flying over the ocean and going to skeery other countries where I do not speak the language and stuff. So you'll have to break my canceriancrab self in gently.
Fimuldy on November 14th, 2005 07:17 am (UTC)
Hehe ur entries make me squealy!!!

*eyes backpack*

*eyes car*

*eyes car keys*

Hmm...SO tempting.....

*runs to driveway and starts driving to Ayers Rock*
Little Red: go west little red - besydmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
HEEE!! I totally know the feeling! It will be so weird to not drive for a while after this! I thought it would cure me of my road-trip-lust... but I'm not sure it has. ;)
Gena Marie: Amanda--only in Americagenamarie on November 14th, 2005 07:24 am (UTC)
We also hit a high elevation of 8,630 feet. It's very cold up there.

And that would have been just before you hit Laramie, right? That's the route I take to go shopping in Cheyenne. It's 50 miles east and 1000 feet up from me :-) Cool, huh?

I know that the number of houses you actually saw *had* to have been higher, but sadly, you went through all of the major cities in southern Wyoming. What's truly mind-boggling is to drive through central WY and see exits and roads that seem to go straight into the horizon. I always wonder who lives there? How far do they have to drive just to get groceries? What must their winters be like? Do they even get to watch TV, satellite, have internet??

And yes, you happen to have been through here on one of the windiest (is that a word?) days we've had in a few months. Imagine walking to your car in the WalMart parking lot and having to dodge tumbleweeds--that was me yesterday!

As for the geology of Wyo? I am somewhat ashamed to say I have absolutely no idea--google it!

I gotta say, one of the things I love about living here, especially coming from the coast, is how close we are to the sky. As goofy as it sounds, I would go walking when I first moved here and be amazed at how close the clouds looked, almost like you could reach out and touch them, and then it hit me--its because you're 7165 feet above sea level, dummy!

Stay safe and have fun!! And you're taking pictures, right? We're gonna want pics from this!
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC)
*hugs you like crazy*

I am SO SO SORRY I didn't call you!! We actually stopped in Laramie, and I was all excited to phone you, and then I FELL ASLEEP because I was so omgtired from driving through all that wind! I will have to come back and visit you someday, because I felt very silly when I woke up.

Your state is beautiful. And yes, very close to the sky!!! It didn't make me go "OMG MUST LIVE HERE!" the way Iowa did, but I really got a feel for why people who are from there love it so much. It's so unique and close to the sky and wild and... you can almost feel the freedom, yay! It's SO COOL to be driving west and to sort of imagine what the pioneers must've felt like as they saw all these different landscapes.

And yes, we saw more houses than that. And we did see all the major cities, which looked very city-ish, and I didn't mean to rag on your state. *snuggles you* But dude, there were some stretches of land that were MIIIILES between houses!

I am actually not taking that many pics, because we're horribly lame. And we were all "ack, windy! Don't want to get out of car!" yesterday. So we bought a bunch of pretty Wyoming postcards instead. :)

*love!*
Lytalytarules on November 14th, 2005 07:42 am (UTC)
I believe Wyoming was glaciated, at least to some extent... But there were DINOSAURS there. Lots. And in Utah, too. *T rex growl*

And I haven't been there since I was a leetle bitty kid, so I can't offer a lot of info. But it is not densely populated, yes. I think this is a good thing.

And I still think you should see what Arkansas looks like sometime. No one ever seems to know until they get here.
Little Red: go west little red - besydmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC)
I would love to come and see Arkansas!! I have no idea when I'll manage to get there... I need to look at a national map and see how close I'm going to be getting to all these places on OTHER trips that have been planned for this year (if I still manage to take them -- eepnewjob!). Your squeeecon is still a possibility, but I'm afraid it's an outside possibility at this point. But I'll get to Arkansas at some point! I think it's my new grand plan to drive through every state at least once in my life. :)

I saw all these signs for dinosaurs! Yay!
andalsoyes on November 14th, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)
happy travels little red! miss you lots :)
r.j.
Little Red: oregon trailmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
Rina!! I wanted to send you a postcard but I don't have your mailing address in b-more!! Can you email it to me at mylittleredgirl at gmail dot com? I miss you!!

*love*

I also totally need to CALL you sometime soon and explain the whole "er, hey, I'm moving to Oregon! How are you?" Will do that! Really!
-a.frog/gorf.a-froggoddess on November 14th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
tumbleweed rocks my world. i'm so glad you saw it!
Little Red: oregon trailmylittleredgirl on November 14th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
BEST. THING. EVER.
Relevance: Hoprelevance on November 14th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Dude, middle America is bizarre. But I'm glad you're having fun out there - safe travels and a quick arrival!
Michelle K.jemster on November 14th, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
Dude, middle America is bizarre.

And not just for their politics either. ;-)

Michelle K.jemster on November 14th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
Wait until a tumbleweed get stuck on your ##$(%^$#$&% and then you won't think it's so cool.

Um..nevermind..nothing to see here.
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 15th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
... *afraid*
rogue equestrian: BSG:: Bamber smileelvinborn on November 14th, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
these little reports are so much fun! I'm glad you are having an adventure :) You make me want to go on a road trip.
Tumbleweed!
extreme driving!
flaming tractor-trailer trucks!
Oh yeah! :D
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 15th, 2005 02:21 am (UTC)
It is adventuresome and awesome, YAY!! Every state is cooler than the last! (Er, literally sometimes. *freezes*) Yay! Road trips for everyone!
ex_spockette108 on November 15th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
Now I want desperately to go on a road trip! Except, I think I shall have to learn how to drive first, yes. Learning to drive is going to be my Project To Stop Me From Going Mad over the summer, and I get free lessons because my stepdad is a driving instructor, yay!

Also, I am Learning Things from you! I knew absolutely nothing about where anything was in 'merica - I could point out roughly where New England, California and Florida were, and the rest were "um, those ones in the middle!" and now, because I wanted to know where you were, I googled for a wee map of the US and now I know where Wyoming is and this excites me!

Soon you will be in Oregon! Gleeeee!
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 15th, 2005 02:26 am (UTC)
OMG, I also knew nothing about where things were in America! And now I know, and that is nifty. Also, this country is GIANT and VERY PRETTY and the west really is WILD. *mind is blown*

Learn to drive! And then come on a road trip in the wild west! :) Driving is totally my lifelong sanity-saver, omg, although learning to drive can be a bit of a trip.

I AM IN OREGON NOW, OMFG!! Eeeee! *flails* I will write update after dinner if I still have intarweb.
ex_spockette108 on November 15th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC)
OREGON! GLEEEEEE!