Trampin’ tales

Hey friends, this is Kevin. I’m somehow in Chicago, having arrived last night. This has been one of the craziest weeks of my life. I will give a more detailed trip report later since I took pretty good notes (but failed on the photographic front).

I’ve revised the purpose & rules of this trip so many times, and am continuing to do so. I realized early on that it is impossible to mostly walk and sometimes hitch to Seattle… so I stuck with mostly hitching and sometimes walking, sticking to the country roads. I followed this plan from West Alexandria, OH (Tuesday) to Lebanon, IN (Saturday). It was a total of 112 miles, 41 of which I walked (13 on my best day). The rest was hitched on 8 different rides. 

Somewhere between Eagletown and Jolietville on Saturday, I decided that – for a lot of reasons – I should try interstate highway hitching and see if I could get to Chicago by Saturday night. In Lebanon, I spent 75-80 minutes on the on-ramp of I-65 N with a sign that said “CHICAGO (Elgin)” until a Mexican couple (with their baby) picked me up and took me straight into the city (152 miles). I walked a little more before getting 20 miles on the Chicago metro, and another 31 miles via Nate’s car before we arrived at his house in Elgin, IL. I am ridiculously happy to be here – though with 3 blisters, 2 terrible sunburns, windburn, swollen knees and aching shoulders I am in less than optimal physical condition.  I don’t know what my plans are now… but there’s a good chance I will stick to interstate hitching from now on. I think I made incredible progress getting to Lebanon, but it was absolutely brutal and still behind schedule if I were to keep that up to Seattle. I won’t explain all the rationale right now, but there are definite pros & cons to doing highway vs. backcountry hitching. It was an incredible week though, and I look forward to writing up some stories. Thanks for your prayers and the encouraging & funny (though occasionally weird) voicemails.

Brief update

Hey donks, sorry for the lack of posts. Work’s been really busy lately. I moved up in limits but got bitchslapped by variance – so had to move back down again. Probably just as well because I have to pay rent soon and can’t afford extra risks. Good news is that in a month I should have enough Frequent Player Points to get this:

Es nice, no? Very very sexy.

Book O’ Teh Week update:

  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.
  • American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  • What is the What by Dave Eggers (highly rec’d)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara EhrenreichI loved High Fidelity, by the way, but I think the movie absolutely blows. I’ve tried watching it three times and still think it’s awful. American Pastoral was the first book I’ve really struggled with this year. One of my most memorable reads for sure, but not one of my favorites. It’s supposedly the fifth best American novel of the last 25 years, but I just don’t see it. If you’ve read it and have an opinion I’d love to hear it. I found it a bit of a slog to be honest.

    Oh yah: the Johnsons are coming this weekend from Chicago so I’m very much looking forward to that. Maybe the Columbus juckets will visit too.

  • TY Dell

    WOOT LAPTOP. So I’m blogging from my couch while watching Scrubs. Dream come true, minus the radiation that’s killing thousands of sperm.

    I’m headed to Nate’s wedding this weekend, rumour has it I’m actually a groomsman. Which is great because in a decade I can be the guy in all the pictures who everyone points at and asks “yeah whatever happened to that dude?” Plus I’ll get to wear a tux: penguin mafia here I come.

    I’ve set aside Bob Dylan and Sufjan long enough to catch up on the newest releases. My favorite for the moment has to be The Decemberists but The Hold Steady and Calexico follow right behind. Beck’s latest is pretty good too, check ’em all out.