Cross Country Move
By Chester (Sam’s Dog)
After talking (and talking, and talking…..) about moving to Washington state. Sam finally decided to follow through. At the end of May, we crammed all of his possessions in his car and bid adieu to our friends in Vermont. That sadistic jerk even thought that he could fit me in his tiny front seat.
Yup, This was going to be really fun…. way to accommodate your old dog Sam.
For the first part of our journey, we drove around New England. We hung out with Ben in Hanover, visited Allen on Squam Lake, and spent a night at Sam’ Grandmas house before setting out in earnest.
While we were in NH we came across the first of many great signs we’d encounter on this trip.
Sam stopped at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning NY, he thought it was cool but I had to wait in the car on a hot day, so I thought the place was boring and miserable.
Niagara Falls, the next place we stopped, was cool.
An awesome natural phenomenon right in the middle of an industrial wasteland.
… and my favorite part: the freezing cold mist. “Just take the stupid picture Sam”
At Niagara Falls we lucked out. Despite the fact that it was Memorial Day weekend, the place was practically abandoned, we were able to drive right out to Goat Island State Park and park for free. Our luck continued when we found Evangola State Park on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. I think we got in after the park closed, because the gate was unmanned and we got a free camping spot right on the lake. We were both tired, so Sam set the tent up in a hurry and we both passed out.
Sometime in the middle of the night, we realized that setting the tent up in a hurry wasn’t a great idea. We were able to sleep through the first two hours of the thunderstorm, but by hour three, the depression the tent (really a tarp) was in began to fill with water. By the time Sam finally dragged himself out of his sleeping bag, my bed was totally soaked and his sleeping bag was a soggy mess. It was 4Am, but we decided to hit the road rather than continue to not sleep. Sam was able to fit all his wet stuff in a garbage bag, but my sopping wet bed wouldn’t fit in, so we had to leave it behind. Thanks jerk now I don’t have a bed.
For the next two days we rocketed across what, for a good portion of early American history, was commonly referred to as the “Great American Desert”. “Great Plains”, “heartland”, and “bread-basket” don’t really capture how miserable this place is and in my opinion we’d be better served by a term that properly conveys the emptiness that is the middle of the country. Since this topographically-challenged part of the country offers not one single interesting thing to look at, it’s inhabitants attempt to make up for it with silly signs. A note to mid-westerners: your signs are no substitute for the Rocky Mountains.
Checking into Devils Lake State Park was easily the highlight of the mid-west.
“Have you ever stayed at a Wisconsin state park before?”
“I’ve never even been to Wisconsin before today.”
“You’ve never been to Wisconsin before????”
… yes, a 20 second conversation was the highlight of the mid west.
Read about the author: Sam