Saturday, September 29, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

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No Starbucks in Livingston, but Google pointed me to the Coffee Crossing which was even better - a quirky little coffee shop that made me an excellent latte to hit the road with.

RV's towing cars are fairly common, but you don't see too many large RV's towing a large SUV towing a trailer with two large ATV's. Having no personal experience with this sort of combo, I can only guess at the usage. I imagine it as a bit like a multi-stage rocket. First you blast down the interstate burning huge amounts of fuel to make your lift-off. You jettison the RV stage at an RV park (for most of them, "parking lot" would seem more appropriate). Then you head out on the secondary roads with the SUV. Reaching the end of the roads you launch the final stage ATV's. But the purpose of this complex mission is not to stand on the moon. Not even to see seldom traveled wilderness. No, the purpose is to reach some semi-wild corner of America where there is something left to kill. Ah, the noble hunter.

But enough sarcasm and bitterness. I figured the last days driving would go quicker as I left the interesting scenery and reached the long miles of prairie. But I still found a few things to take pictures of. Considering my techie geekness (check out my computer blog), it's a little disconcerting finding myself getting enraptured by early morning patterns of light and dark on the hillsides.

Or more fall colors:

This wind power installation was a ray of sunshine through the dark clouds of all our environmental problems.

And while I was taking pictures of the wind generators some pronghorn antelope ran by. They are beautiful animals, one of my favorites.

With all the hours of driving this trip I was very grateful for my iPod (hooked up to the car audio). My favorite new music for the trip was Jesse Cook's Frontiers. I had loaded up a variety of podcasts, mostly technology, but I ended up mostly listening to the Social Innovation Conversations.

I managed to find another decent coffee shop in Harlowten, but only a mediocre lunch in Lewiston. I thought for sure I'd find some kind of coffee shop in Swift Current, but Tim Hortons seemed to be best they could offer :-(

Despite all the driving, I'm glad we took our car instead of flying and renting. I would have to say the Prius is my favorite of the cars I've driven. Partly because, regardless of the significance of the fuel savings, it's a way of "voting" that you care about such things. Some people think it's ugly, but I don't mind it. The size and shape are definitely functional. Or people complain it doesn't have enough power, but it's ok for me. (But then, I don't drive like I'm practicing for the race track.) The car performed well with no problems. Probably a good thing, I'd hate to have to try to get it fixed in some small town in the middle of nowhere. It wouldn't have been a problem in Boulder - I've never seen so many Prius's in one place! The only minor drawback was on long uphill sections on the mountain roads. Once the battery runs out the relatively small gas engine has a bit of a struggle on its own.

* The title of this post has a history. When I was small my mother would often say "Home again, home again, jiggity jog." The last few years when I would drive her somewhere and we got back to her seniors residence it became a routine for one of us to say "home again, home again", to which the other would reply "jiggity jog". I never really thought about where this saying came from until I used it for this post and did a Google search out of curiosity and found it came from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme.

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