Posted by: nativeiowan | July 30, 2013

adventures slowing down

So I sit in CK’s Bar n grill in Lathrop, California. I have just ordered some Mexican style “Arizona egg rolls” and a tall IPA.

My body has that inner-ear confusion, like when you are on a boat too long. A mild case of vertigo and a strange buzzing in my ears. I dropped over 7000 feet today with many ups-n-downs so my hearing is impaired. I can’t quite equalize.

Friendly folks around here. Have been asked to be served by 3 different people but still no drink… lets see where this leads. I think they are putting a keg in on the tap I ordered. Ahhh, I see it coming…

That first icy cold drink of adult beverage after a long, long day… ahhh… hardly touches the sides… need to get another pulled and ready when this is done.


Today’s ride was grand. Once I got into Taho traffic became urbanized and it continued into CA and to where I am now.

I marvel at how the terrain, roads, truck stops, stores, hotels, et al change from state to state.

Iowa is a gentle state. Being almost flat (lets be fair, it is a rolling plain place) there is indeed little change in altitude north to south/ east to west. It is a relatively well off place as well. Employment is relatively high. People smile a lot. Especially in summer time. Winters are harsh but the single growing season is indeed bountiful. Tho historically important Iowa does not jump to the forefront of past or present importance. It is perhaps best known as the place where the first primary poll in the US presidential race is held.

Nebraska is a hard place to describe. Consider that Warren Buffet calls Omaha home. Historically Omaha was a central brokerage house/ location for the USA’s commodities exchange. Much like New York and Chicago, Omaha has always had it’s own importance. And I still do not understand why. Though names like Ogallala, Fort Kearney and Lincoln are and shall be forever renowned.

Why renowned? I hear you ask… The path I just traveled is, in modern days, known as “Interstate 80”. In times past it has been known as the “Lincoln Highway”. Mainly because this is the route that Abe Lincoln agreed to for what became the “transcontinental railway”. Indeed a modern feat/ wonder of the modern world. Before that it was the “Oregon – California trail”. The early settlers of this grand landscape walked, bled, starved, died and thrived on this route. Before that it was the path the indians followed over and through the great divide. They had followed the bison and they had been traveling these byways for millennium. The path I have just traversed has been trod by generations for millenniums immemorial.

Wyoming is cowboy country. I have traditionally struggled with Wyoming. As a youth I thought goat ropers came from Wyoming. Hell, western Nebraska had goat ropers when I was a youth. Now they are just interesting people. Wyoming (and western Nebraska) favour large oval belt buckles. Stetson hats. Boots are also part of the attire. Names like Laramie, Cheyenne, Castle Rock and Butte are well known and shall be names generation after generation hear-told.

Utah is a hard, hard land. Dry mountains and high chaparral, and Mormon religion, and salt flats, and… It is a harsh place. I honestly did not stop in Utah (only for a quick refuel) but know in 95 when I’d last visited I could not get a cup of coffee in Salt Lake City… now that IS HARSH.

Nevada is a whore that makes no bones about being a whore. Like a whore Nevada has little to offer so it premeditatedly prostitutes itself. And does so with confidence and, while banking the proceeds from the prostitution, a sly smile on her face. Everywhere I went in Nevada there we slot machines. Gambling is endemic. Think of the mythical names of “Vegas”, “Taho”, “Sparks”…  I think I like Nevada a lot…

California… man, oh man, CA… Love n Hate with me. A state so large it should be a country. But is perpetually bankrupt… financially? Morally? Spiritually? Dunno… I am still doing my research.

And the smells…

Iowa smells like agriculture. Iowa smells like shit. But, as I was sold when a kid… “that’s the smell of money, boy”.

Nebraska smells lonely and confused. Hard to explain. Perhaps Nebraska smells like Iowa in the east and Wyoming in the west and… Or perhaps I have not given Nebraska enough time.

Wyoming smells like dry, high, chaparral… dusty and dry. Nebraska has rivers. Wyoming is dry, dry, dry… mainly because it is quite high. The Continental Divide runs through Wyoming at over 7000 ft but, there are no peaks, there is no snow. Because there is no water. Everything flows either into the western or eastern drainage. No water stays very long in Wyoming.

Utah is Wyoming’s drainage. If Wyoming is dry then Utah is worse than dry… all that ever flows from the western side of Wyoming ends up in the Great Salt Lake. A depository for salines and minerals but little water.

Nevada has the Sierra Nevada mountains that smell of spruce.  Pine trees.  High, clean air, surrounded by trees and water. I rode past Donner Lake. For it’s less than strategic past Nevada has a lot of names we all know.

California… Cal I forn I A… San Fran, Holly Wood, LA, San D., and, of course, Malibu… Hell!, Mendocino… What a place. Insane. Psychotic, the home of all the fads… fudged up and happy to be so… I am going to say I shall change my view.  CA is way cool. I dig CA.

One fly in the bar is hassling me…

Life is a bitch… A very merry bitch with pink nickers and a warm smile…

I like life. I like friendly bars in the middle of urbanization. Where Spanish is as common as English. Where south meets east and the egg roles ain’t egg roles but are very tasty and remind me of a good mexican food.

So many thoughts per this 2000-mile sojourned…. the physical, the mental and the spiritual… I am stronger now than when I started this trip. I have had many hours to think through my personal here and now and am better for the time spent in contemplation. Spiritually I am still a punk.

I smile. An inebriated smile… a happy smile. An accomplished smile.

I do defy preceding generations to do what I did; in the time frame I did it, at my age.  Yee-Haw…

I feel good.

In fact I’ll state that I am inebriated. Drunk. Pissed. Merrily pissed.

Life is grand.




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