Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Great Adventure

I drove all the way from Keene to Chicago in one long day of driving on Monday, May 11. I chose to do this because I wanted to spend Mother's Day with (obviously) my Mom. In the past few weeks while at home, I was struggling with some tough news of some friends and it had put me in a pretty sad place. My mom was the strongest person to help me deal with it and was constantly giving me hugs and trying to keep me upbeat. It was hard to say goodbye and thus why I prolonged my stay in Keene until the very last possible day.

I also needed one last late night Keene State College Urban Assault, and to invent breakfast with Katie, Erik and Will. Long story, but it involved crashing KSC Graduation Parties, Searching for "Jacki" and ended with a ragingly hungover breakfast at the Stage that included one still intoxicated Shelby, a few delicious Bloody Marys, and then a hike to Goose Pond for some quality Jethro swim time. I pretty much packed most of my favorite Keene things into one lovely day.

The drive to Chicago was 16 hours. Luckily I had beautiful weather as I crossed the Vermont hills early in the morning. I was in a pretty good mood, and welcoming a new change in my life that I have high hopes for. I also couldn't wait to see Manuel and Colt again in Chicago. I love spending time with them, they make me laugh and keep me on my toes.

After a much needed two night stay in Chicago, and a visit with Mary Welch and her boyfriend, I picked up my new roommate Felesha and we headed out of town in the direction of Minneapolis, MN to meet up with Tia, my long time friend since high school whom I will be living with in Montana. Luckily she did her homework on things to do for the rest of the road trip because the next few days were filled with adventure and sight seeing as well as many laughs.
First we went to downtown Minneapolis and walked around the outdoor mall, and had some lunch at the Newsroom.
Then we went to the Frank Gehry designed Weisman Art Museum. It is located on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus and is free to the Public. They are currently holding an exhibit on a Vietnamese Women's Art Collection.

Next on the list was the stunning Cathedral of St. Paul. The interior of this space is breathtaking, the photographs do not do it justice and I truly feel that it is hard to capture the magnitude of it without experiencing it firsthand. I will be adding photos of this place once I get them up on my computer.

I rode the first rollercoaster in many years at the Mall of America.

Early in the morning on Friday, we headed towards and across South Dakota. After a very long day of driving we finally reached the Badlands National Park. Badlands is located just east of Rapid City, SD and surprises you with its' sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires after a long and arduous drive through miles of prairies.

We decided to call it a night in a cabin just outside of Custer, SD. The next day would be filled with Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills in the morning, and then a long 14 more hours of driving to Whitefish, MT. If you ask me, Rushmore is cool, but don't waste your money on the park. Instead take a drive through Norbeck Scenic Byway, it loops through tunnels, over bridges through the Needles, and offers many of fascinating views of Mount Rushmore. I promise there is little to leave you disappointed here.

We made a quick stop to Devil's Tower, although we didn't get all the way to it because it was pretty far out of the way. What a strange yet intriguing place.

We got to Whitefish at 3:00a.m. all three of us thoroughly exhausted. I need a couple of days to recover before posting more on Montana, but good things to follow.
Forever Onward