Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Launch

This is The Prius.  (We pronounce it with a long i like Jeremy Clarkson and company on Top Gear.)  We love its gas mileage and its sleek aerodynamic profile.  It's fun to drive and that's a good thing because we have to drive it about 2400 miles.

So--no one was up as early as we planned this morning.  Preparations and a late flight that kept us up waiting to collect Walt from the airport cut into sleep time.  Then it was getting Denali to soccer, last-minute errands, figuring out exactly what we are taking  and wondering just how much we can get into a Prius.  (We made a conscious decision not to stack things in the back so much that the back window is blocked.)  It's truly a blessing that Dixon inherited what we call "the Minnick packing gene."
Dixon does a masterful job of fitting a lot into a small space.  
We finally started at 1:25 pm, nearly an hour and a half after my target departure.  Our auspicious beginning was augmented by our somehow catching red at all but 3 or 4 lights between Harrison Boulevard, east on Fort Street and south on Broadway to I-84.  Dixon took the first shift and it all smoothed out.  We reveled in how comfortable the car is for its size and hope we feel that way in 10 more days!
Somewhere around Twin Falls, we get a call from my sister and I learn that my nearly four-year-old great nephew is somewhat of a "ladies man."  He walks up to little girls with this pick-up line:
"Do you know what a figure of speech is?  It's kind of like a euphemism."

We start talking about our route and what we might see.  I suggest that the Wizard of Oz museum in Kansas might be kind of fun.  Dixon says, "Only if you buy me a pair of ruby slippers."  He pauses.  "Or silver slippers as those populists like to claim."
There are other conversations we probably won't repeat verbatim regarding my opinion of the food offered at most mini-marts, what I'd really like to do to the confederate flag, and my remarks to a jet-ski pulling mini-van that just boogered up traffic.

It has rarely been this green on the eve of July 1st in Idaho.  Quite a lot of snow remaining on Mt. Pomerelle.
We rolled into Burley around 3:30 for a late lunch/early dinner.  Not being terribly fussy, we stayed close to the freeway and chose El Caporal.  A really personable waitress helped us.  Dixon had a chicken chimichanga and I had Pollo Asado (char broiled chicken with sauteed onions on top) accompanied by a chile relleno.   Dixon gave his a solid A or A-.... mine got a C+.  The menu looked like it had a good selection, but I just didn't make the right one.  (A lot of local restaurants can be a bit of a gamble when you're on the road, but that's what I consider part of the adventure.)  We did enjoy the plastic Corona-drinking parrot.

Some of the driving we've seen definitely calls for a list of SDTs.  NOT STDs...SDTs: Stupid Driver Tricks.  Truck drivers and the locals seem to know that there's no enforcement of the speed limit.  At least that's our guess.  Not terribly reassuring when we watched the 10PM news on KUTV in which the anchors and reporters told us numerous times in the first three minutes how deadly this independence day weekend is.  A special emphasis was made by a state police official stressing that driving too fast is the main cause of the highway carnage.  Okayyyyyy, then.

The drive from Ogden to Evanston, Wyoming is stunning right now.  The trees, brush and grasses are much greener than usual.   The late afternoon sun and red outcroppings made for some stunning scenery.    Just east of the Utah-Wyoming border we spotted three fireworks store on the west edge of Evanston.  The largest, Phantom Fireworks, offers 2 for 1 on everything in the store.  And they throw in some very exciting extras if you spend $139.  Easy to do.  They were doing a brisk business just before 9 PM.
Since we are headed through Kentucky where playing with such toys is entirely legal, we went shopping.

I love the names they give the various packages.  And the fact that this place is willing to stay open until all hours as cars roll in from out-of-state.  That, and the sales associates who know what each and every firework does.  "Well, this one has a low stage and a high stage explosion."  Do we live in a GREAT country or what??!!!??? 
I have decided that Dixon's wardrobe choice today will just not make for safe passage in certain parts of Missouri and West Virgina.  Probably okay in Boulder tomorrow.

Driving a Prius may even make us suspect in some areas.  

And finally, we heard this on a KUTV newscast:
"A truck burst into flames and caught on fire..."  
Which happened first, bursting into flames or catching fire? 

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