Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

By the numbers

2,100 - approximate number of miles I drove in the last 4 days
140 - cost for gas to get to CO (US$)
26 - approximate total hours of driving
24 - dead deer on the side of the highway
22 - age of my car (years)
21 - number of visible daddy-long-leg spiders on the wall of the pit toilet with a broken lock at the tent site at Jubilee College State Park, Illinois
11 - states I have driven through in the last 4 days (Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado)
10 - approximate number of other open tent sites in the field in which the family with three screaming children decided to camp right next to me at Jubilee College State Park, prompting me to pick my tent up with everything in it and move to the other side of the field
8 - cost to spend at night at Jubilee College State Park (dollars)
7 - number of dead gnats that fell out when I ran my hand through my hair after diving into my tent at Jubilee College State Park
5 - approximate number of bug bites received per second when standing still at Jubilee College State Park, which is why I have no pictures of this most prominent character in my blog entry
1 - number of bowling alleys open in Lincoln, Nebraska on Memorial Day

And two of the more affecting moments of my trip... the first time for each of these, for me...

1 - bird struck by my car... I didn't even see it. I heard a very loud thunk and then saw the smear with a feather stuck to it on my windshield.


1 - car on fire by the side of the road, east of Des Moines. Seeing it had an eerily similar visceral impact to knowing I'd just killed a bird. I only had a few seconds to take the scene in because I was in traffic moving 70 miles an hour. Although everyone, rubbernecker or not, was required to slow down slightly because the grey smoke was billowing so thickly over the road that there was a momentary total lack of visibility. It must have happened very soon before I came to it. I could see flames underneath the car. A family running out around to the front of the car, which was on the right shoulder but facing traffic. There was a man running across the median toward the car with a fire extinguisher in one hand. And then it was gone, that was all I saw. I was desperately curious and shaken at the same time.

But really it was a very uneventful trip. My car ran great, I made it on time everywhere, I didn't get too tired, my back didn't hurt too much. Most of the 7+ hours I drove each day faded by in a sort of boring ipod-assisted haze. Now I am sitting in my new room in Golden, CO. I will have more to tell about the trip, and some pictures, later. I am exhausted at the moment & start work tomorrow morning at 8 AM.


Katie said...

From the website of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency:

"Jubilee College State Historic Site preserves a remnant of the school founded in 1839 by Philander Chase (1775-1852), the first Episcopal Bishop of Illinois. At one time, Jubilee College occupied a dozen or more structures on a 3,500-acre tract. The school included a theological seminary, a college, a classical preparatory school for boys, and a 'seminary' for girls, as well as small farming operations."

Sounds like things haven't changed that much since.

Jane Coleman said...

Glad you had a good trip out.

Were all of the daddy long legs alive?



Bruno and Sheri said...

Congratulations on your graduation! Have a great summer in Colorado