Lexington, Nebraska

This is where I wanted to stay.

Definetlely dead hookers in there. Shockingly they were full, so I ended up at the other motel in this “town”.

The majestic Holiday Inn Express, Lexington. Really spoiling myself tonight. The ST Interstate Inn(or whatever the hell that sign said) is 39.99 a night. With free HBO. This place is $130 a night!!! What the fuck?! I almost kept driving. I could get a room in the Borgata for that much, but instead I’m here. In the middle of absolutely nothing. They do have a “hot”( and the front desk lady emphasized the “hot” ) breakfast, but lets be real, when you go outside all you smell is manure and the besides the white and red dots on the distant Rt. 80 I don’t see any signs of civilization…anywhere, this is not a desired destination.

Day started good, before leaving Portage I checked out the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Basically its a nice little boardwalk on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. It was a perfect little road trip stop. Nice view, took a few pictures, but only took 20 minutes and I was back on the road.

Western Indiana ran into Eastern Iowa and I was content. Golden fields, silos, Jesus billboards. Some people say they hate stretches like this. Texas panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas. I don’t mind them. Although its hundreds and hundreds of miles of sameness, at least its something different. Its a meditative change of pace. Long, slow, quiet. I realized when I pulled off in Walcott, Iowa that for the first time in my life I pulled over at a truckstop for the second time. In 2006 when Ninja and I drove to Denver we took this same route from New York. Today, I had to pee and was out of gas so I pulled off, took care of buisness and when I looked around I realized it was next to the same hotel we stayed in our first night way back then. That trip was my first solo road trip and it feels cool to re-trace my steps this many years and road trips later.

2 photos of Irie at the same spot

1st- March, 2006, 2nd-September, 2010

After that stop the weather got weird. Wind kicked up even more and dark clouds hovered in the distance. I figured rain was coming and was kind of happy because the dead bugs on my windshield needed to be washed off.

Well the rain came and for 350 miles I was driving in a deluge. It was like those summer storms that dump huge raindrops and flood everything for about 20 minutes, except it lasted 4 hours. Honestly, I didn’t mind, I just listened to Eric’s CDs and rocked out to old-timey country tunes. The break from midwest monotony kept me engaged with the road and alert instead of lulling me into daydreams. After a couple hours I thought it was clearing up and I saw the terrain was changing. The golden waves of corn had changed to rust colored earth and vivid green grasses dotted with black cows.

It wasn’t over. At one point I was probably messing with my music, or texting, or updating my facebook status, or doing something else stupid, when I looked up at the road all I had time to think was “shit, its going to rain again” before God dumped an olympic sized swimming pool on my windshield. They sky opened up and suddenly all I could see out of my windshield was curtains of dark grey. I knew there where two semi’s in front of me, probably 20 feet, but couldn’t see their taillights anymore. Luckily no one was behind me, because I down shifted to about 15 mph and started crawling down the highway hoping to see anything that would orient me. Eventually it let up and I saw the taillights of my guiding semi trucks.

Probably took 20 seconds, but felt like forever. I figured I should pull off. I was thirsty. Might as well have a beer and let the storm pass. So I pulled off in Shelby, Iowa and grabbed some fries and a couple beers at the Corn Crib. Basically its a supped up truckstop, but they have an attached cafeteria style restaurant with potatos and corn products all grown out back. The fries were good but the chips are amazing!

Make a long story short(if its not too late), I kept trucking through Iowa and Nebraska. The landscape and vibe changed. Town names went from Gary, Chicago, Indianapolis to Elk Horn, Council Bluffs, Sioux City The west was starting to fade in. I stopped here because the stretch from here, through the Rockies, lowlands, desserts and Utah moonscapes is something one needs to do during daylight.

miles: 719.0

highlights:

lake michigan, gogol bordello in iowa, eric’s mix, full moon, meteor shower while peeing, counrty side

lowlights:

almost dieing, western Illinois construction, Subway flat bread sandwich(also paid for because my stolen Subway card was accepted! Sunofaa…!), paying to much for a motel. that hot breakfast better be good…

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