We left Huntington around 2:20am. We drove to Morehead, KY where Chris and I got a hotel room, and Monkey kept a vigilant watch over the car (and bag of snacks) all night. We got to Morehead around 4:30am. In the late morning, the travel resumed and the journey out of the mountains began.

Monkey sat happily in a bowl filled with travel snacks. He ate a granola bar and fell asleep in the pile of food. When he woke up, the road signs flashing past all read West and North. Big, dark, Nothing-style stormclouds waited ahead.

The mountains ended sooner than we expected, and gave way to lush, verdant farmland. At first observation, Indiana seems like beautiful, easy country to live in. You find yourself thinking that if you came from here, surely you would have none of the character and hardship that you pride yourself on. Upon reflection, though, humans make their own mischief and really don’t need the earth to help.

We are in a hotel room in Mount Vernon, Illinois. The Champion’s League final game is on, Manchester vs. Barcelona. We’re rooting for Barcelona.

So far we’ve driven through 4 hard storms. We stopped somewhere in Indiana and dumpstered about 60-80 pounds of stuff. Our gas mileage had dropped to what would be crap for a full U-Haul, and I was seriously concerned about what would happen out West when the gas stations become very far apart. So we threw out some Pyrex bakeware, some shoes, a couple bags, a couple sweaters, and various other kitchen implements. The car is running almost like normal now.

Things I’ve noted: when ordering at a Subway in Indiana, I became paranoid about my accent, even though the kid behind the counter had a thicker one. Dueling dialects and nobody wins. The game is rigged.

When the country becomes really flat and it rains, you can see the clouds in three dimensions amazingly well.

The book Jeff gave me looks like an ancient artifact when lying on a hotel bedside table. Which in all fairness it probably is.

It’s been a good day.