Ah, and we are off, by the time I post this we’ll be sitting in a warm house on the frozen tundra of Iowa. Thanks to Jared’s new trusty computer I can write on the way. The 1200+ mile drive from Houston to NE Iowa is not an exciting one; it becomes one of those road trips where your goal is to get from point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. That efficiency plan would be called I-35. In past trips we have always drive from Houston to Des Moines in one day. But now Erin is potty trained (although a blessing in every-day life), her pea-sized bladder and addiction to liquid means we stop every 100 miles. And then add a nursing baby, so this year we decided to do the trip in two days, which thus far has proven to be a great idea.
We left at 10 am yesterday and headed north through the sprawling metropolis of Houston, past the refineries and miles of concrete. North of Houston is the Sam Houston State Forest, showcasing beautiful towering southern pines ,that makes me jealous that I live by the bay, and one Texas-size statue of Sam Houston that stands next to the interstate. It’s a four hour drive to Dallas, one strait long drive, where the radio stations of Houston fade and there are only three music genres to listen to: gospel, country, and Dallas gospel-country.
For once we made the transition from I-45-I-35 and again headed north. We saw a swarm of birds, they almost looked like locusts, turning the sky black, winding and diving in the sky completely synchronized. And then we hit the Oklahoma border. For the first time in months, I see topography, the interstate winds through the dormant oak savannah, and then scrub junipers. As the sun sets the road cuts through large limestone outcrops and my memory reverts to my childhood playground of the towering limestone bluffs of NE Iowa and the Mississippi. And I am ready to be home, ready to see the rolling miles of fields dotted with towns. I am ready to see seasons, and to breathe clean air, and to wear a pair of carharts and work, really work ….and as I reminiscence about the land and upbringing that is a closed chapter in my life, I pass a bill board that says “We’re more than a feed store…” with a woman in a black party dress wearing a diamond necklace and earrings. And I thought, are they attempting to break into a high-income market of ranchers or are they running a prostitution business on the side? Get your grain..and your woman, talk about one stop shopping. And that’s where my deep thoughts of the trip ended.
We made it into Oklahoma city about 6:30 and stayed with Amy & Derek, one of my close high school friends and her husband. It was so good to see them again, we sat around and caught up on the last year and watch part of “Animal house”. They just purchased a cute house in the burbs of the city, who would have ever thought we would both end up in suburbia. We were laughing because they had a lien put on their house for having a brick mail box, now we both answer to a grass Gestapo.
After a scrumptious breakfast we headed north once again through upper Oklahoma where Erin boredom was relieved by “count the radio towers game” We started with “I spy” but there isn’t much besides towers and miles of brown grasslands. We stopped at a few rest stops in north OK and southern Kansas and there are massive groups of Asians traveling today. They were all from Dallas traveling to Kansas City and were very excited about the teepee bathrooms at one of the rest stops…..and we head north...
At the Iowa/Missouri border we hit the fog that preceded a blizzard front. We made it to Des Moines safely.