Filed under: road trippin'
The long desolate highway remained a constant challenge waiting to be conquered. My eyelids grow heavier as the highway winds with each turn to be succeeded by another. The sounds of drums, yelling and heavy electric guitar rifts designed to keep the mind alert serve as a peaceful lullaby. Serenading my mind towards relaxation, slumber and a roadside catastrophe. Suddenly the thumping of the manmade road grooves jolt my conscious to the frontlines and it is as if I’ve slept for hours. “A few more minutes” I tell myself, passing a sign that claims the next rest stop is 12 miles away. Then I can break.
The United States is a fascinating country. We crossed six of the fifty on our quest to Missouri. When I say we, I refer to Brandon Marino and myself. Although ‘tired Kyle’s’ alter ego could be considered a separate personality. Out of the six, Montana takes first prize of being the most beautiful of all. A mountainous and green with timber laced stretch of road greeted the weary travelers. The night sky was alive with intergalactic explosive activity, poof. One can truly appreciate the dark of night, away from society and civilization’s light pollution. Along with the seemingly everlasting stars, the familiar face of moonlight provided a longing and sense of home. I could hardly take my eyes off the temptress that is her glow. Like many cultures and ancient civilizations I begin to ponder it’s existence as well as my own. A sip from my lukewarm energy drink brings me back to reality and mind on the mission. The morning brings an unimaginable and exaggerated glow of a golden red sunrise. Canyons and ridges engulf the horizon which when paired with the rising sun, give way to some beautiful scenery. I take more pictures of cloud formations than I can count. While driving that’s quite the skill. I begin thinking of cowboys, shootouts and saloons with the swinging wooden doors. I finish my energy drink.
The baron stretches of highway begin to lengthen between gas stations and rest stops. Only in America can such ridiculous names for gas stations like ‘Kum n’ Go’ be tolerated. Also, only in America can you walk into a gas station at 7:20 am and see an array of ninja stars and bowing knives for sale in a display case next to ‘fresh’ fried chicken and corndogs, beside a rack of ‘proud Vietnam veteran’ hats. At least the gas is relatively inexpensive. When asking a lady about Jim’s Grill, when considering breakfast options later that day, she claimed it was “good, but it’s spendy.” Spendy refers to something having a higher than usual monetary value. Expensive, One spends a lot, ect. Or so I concluded. My omelet cost less than ten American dollars. At least the gas isn’t spendy.
Wyoming sucks. That state brought nothing but grief. Getting pulled over by highway patrol for being ten miles over the speed limit and being 28 hours below the sleep limit left little room for arguing or explanation. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. I hear you talking about a court date and issuing me a bond and having a BC drivers license making me susceptible for capital punishment, but its mostly in one ear out the other. I remember giving him $95 and then he picked up some highway debris consisting of wires and breakers. “You guys wouldn’t happen to be electricians, huh?” I mustered a fake laugh that had even me convinced. I lost my speeding ticket virginity in Wyoming. It also took us a solid 20 minutes to figure out how to close my trunk. I’ve closed my trunk many times and the trunks on other vehicles many times, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Despite our sleep-deprived state of mind, we ended up coming up with various hypotheses as to why we couldn’t shut the trunk. Bags in way? No. What if we hold the release button? No. Is there something obstructing it? No. The release switch should be on? No. Just fucking slam it? Yes. Get me out of this state now!
South Dakota was a sight for sore eyes. The state is home to the famed Mt. Rushmore, a presidential memorial commemorating the nations heroes. Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. I half expected to see another carved mountain behind it representing the secret government pulling the strings of the four famed faces. But overall it was quite impressive. I enjoyed the old black and white photos of the creating process, back in the 20’s men hanging from scaffolding chiseling away for their pride, god and country. Man can do amazing things in the name of patriotism and honour. Honor. Being a fake American now I have to get used to forgetting about ‘u’. I guess that’s why it’s a nation of independence.
Stopping in Sioux Falls for the first time since the epic quest began, a night’s sleep was required for maintaining sanity and mental efficiency. Motel 6 promised to jot $5 off the standard $50 fee that the other motels demanded. Being wrestlers on the road, pinching every penny is a must. Tip well when service is quick, polite and efficient, but save your money. That is lesson one of being a successful professional wrestler. The room was decent, felt great to shower, regardless of flooding the bathroom, and experimenting with skype was awesome. The next morning was introduced with the faint, familiar Mexican accent “Room service.” I responded with a rather obnoxious “No!” Then I realized where I was and that it was the final leg to St. Louis. Another ten hours would be easy. Bison Bacon burgers and a salad bar for breakfast, and before long the gateway to the west was visible. The famous arch of St. Louis, a new home, life and beginning. I miss Vancouver.
Driving halfway across the continent is somewhat of a challenge as much as it is an adventure. What adventure isn’t challenging isn’t really worth doing. For some getting out of bed in the morning is a challenge. Going to a crappy job that you hate, asking your boss how they’re doing. Wondering where your next meal is going to come from. I’d imagine anyone in these situations wouldn’t consider such a predicament to be adventurous. The world is a challenging place and it can beat you down. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to do something like this. To get out and follow one’s dreams is easier said than done. I’ve always pictured myself helping others and using what I’ve accomplished to bring hope back into people’s lives. However you can’t help anyone until you’ve helped yourself. Keep your chin tucked in and you wont get knocked out, keep it up and you’ll feel the wrath of the world. I choose to keep mine somewhere in between. Watch out world. K
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