“They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there–and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.” -Kerouac, of course.
Just like anything and everything, it all comes together. My car took longer than anticipated to get tuned up for the big drive west. Ahhh, west, the western frontier, uncharted territory for me and the cause for a surge of motvation to pack and move everything I own in 2 days. I just wanted to be on the road.
I set out Friday around 3:30 pm with such anticipation. Western Wisconsin is so much different that the southeast corner I’m so familiar with. Particularly, the frequent pro-life propagandistic billboards were rather alarming.
I passed over the Mississippi and vowed to one day kayak down the whole damn thing. Hike the entire Rocky Mountains, kayak the entire Miss’sip. Things to do, things to do.
The Tomato and I traveled through southern Minnesota in the rain and I made the executive decision to start listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the audio book. Good choice. I can zone out while driving and have a tendancy to nod off (DON’T WORRY) but Harry Potter is just far too captivating to put me to sleep. Then, the sun.
Soon after it was dark and I passed into South Dakota. And the first tangential adventure begins. The Tomato, aka my car, started to sound rather angry at me sometime in Minnesota.
I decided that I would drive through to Mitchell, sleep, and take my car in as soon as I could in the morning. And I did. Parked my car on the side of the street, Wisconsin Street, in Mitchell, SD and slept. Thankfully, people don’t password protect there internet connection and I was able to google some local auto repair shops.
Google was totally wrong, none of those places existed. So I went into a coffee shop, talked to some locals, and they pointed me in the right direction. Nothing like good old fashioned talking to folks to get the job done right.
TMA, a local repair shop, informed me after much trial and error that a piece of the bearing set was missing. The same bearing set that was replaced some 4 days prior in Kenosha. So, long story short, all expense paid vacation in Mitchell, SD courtesy of National Pride in Kenosha.
For those unfortunate few of you who don’t know, Mitchell, South Dakota is home to a Corn Palace. Excuse me,
The World’s only Corn Palace.
Needless to say this gem of Mitchell, SD took me all of about 10 minutes to be done with. Then I found out that they wouldn’t be able to get the part for my car until at least Monday. Great. Stuck in Mitchell for 2+ days and I already scoured the one thing they have going on. So, now what?
Jose, Warren, and the good old boys of TMA hooked me up with a tasteful loner car with no radio and various other cosmetic and mechanical quirks. Kind, nonetheless. TMA is good people.
Saturday I decided to explore some. I drove around their little lake Mitchell. Went into Cabela’s and bought nothing. Then I walked around their downtown area.
Then I made several phone calls to various hotels trying to find a reasonably priced room. I told my car breakdown sob story to a woman who was very sympathetic at the Kelly Inn. High speed wifi and belgian waffles. They win.
Sunday I decided to rent a canoe from a local camp ground and spend the day out on the lake. The gentle old man said that no one rents the canoes. And when I groaned at the 4 dollar an hour price tag he said “Oh, is that expensive?” and I said yeah considering I wanted to be out on the lake for like.. 5 hours. So he only charged me 4 bucks. Good people in South Da-Kooota. He pronounced wash “warsh.” “So what are you doing out there in Warshington?”
So I canoed around the lake for the day. It was a beautiful warm day and I got my tan on. So that entertained me for most of Sunday afternoon, and thankfully the 4 hours of the Lost finale took care of the rest.
Some more pictures of Mitchell:
I got dinner, aka, a couple of side items (Vegan in South Dakota = hungry in South Dakota) and met an older gentlemen who was road tripping across the country on his motorcycle for his retirement trip. He was from Massachusetts and had that wonderful nor-eastern accent that I love so much.
Surprisingly I was not upset at all by the setback. I thought to myself “it’s all part of the adventure process.” However, yesterday I was feeling like I’ve exhausted Mitchell of all there possibly is to do here. Then I was informed today by the good people at TMA that I’ll probably be here until tomorrow (Tuesday) because they can’t get the part until then.
GREAT. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW. It was ok the first couple of days, but now I just want to move on. I’ve got a lot I want to accomplish before I get to washington and I am just wasting my time here.
I can’t wait to get back on the road. Now, this sucks.
Ps. Someone just knocked on the door and said “housekeeping.” Tommy Boy, anybody?