I had this candle burning for an hour on the table before I noticed that it looked pretty cool behind my water glass. It's sparkling water, so if you look closely, you can see the streaking bubbles.
It was a fun concert at the Carnegie Library of Homestead Concert Hall. If you don't know their music, there's a video below the photo!
I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me this long to remember that I have an app to write posts from my phone, and that I can totally post photos to this blog and Instagram at the same time.
At the end of 2013 I compiled my favorite photos from that year. My life became much busier after that and I haven't been able to find the time to keep this website updated as much as I'd have liked. In the time since my last compilation, I've traveled to 5 different countries, covered protests, and taken a cross-country road trip to move to a new state.
I now have a slightly more regular schedule that I've more or less adjusted to, which means it's time for a new compilation of my travels and adventures in the last 3 years. Enjoy, and perhaps be reminded of some pleasant nostalgia.
Over a month later, I'm finishing the story of my cross-country road trip, continuing the standard of excellence I've established in regards to post frequency on this website. This post contains the least interesting photos of this series because the terrain ended up being pretty much the same after Badlands National Park ‒ flat and grassy.
After Badlands, we made maybe another hour before the car started overheating again. This meant jumping from rest stop to rest stop and letting the car cool off for a while before continuing. At the rest stop in the above photo, it occurred to us to check the oil. It turns out, there was none, and I didn't have any extra oil in the car (foolish, I know). Along we went, hopping between rest stops until we got to Sioux Falls where we picked up some oil and considered a number of other options o make it the final 1000 miles without having to stop every 20 minutes.
After adding oil, we kept trying to push along but continued overheating. We made it from Sioux Falls, SD to Worthington, MN, but were still overheating and it was past 9, so we stayed the night in Worthington. The next day, we kept pushing along, stopping every 30 or so minutes. At one point, we went through a pretty big lightning storm, and there were no rest stops. At one point, the rain was so heavy that everyone was pulling off to the side of the road, so we took that opportunity to give the car a break and add coolant which was still leaking out pretty rapidly. Fun fact, adding coolant to your overheating car in a massive downpour with lightning striking all around you is great. When I was almost finished, there was a strike no more than a hundred yards away. I jumped about a foot off the ground and knocked the radiator cap down onto the drip pan. Fortunately, it wasn't in the worst place and I was able to reach it. After that, we didn't overheat for the rest of the trip. I'm still not sure why. We managed to make it all the way to South Bend, Indiana that day. We passed through Chicago on the way, and I never realized the skyline was so expansive. I know photos never convey a good sense of scale, but I just couldn't have imagined how truly massive it is. The Illinois tollway is also fairly impressive for a road. It's well paved, well lit, and has plenty of nice looking rest stops along the way. The difference between the road in Illinois and Indiana was incredibly stark. Once across the border, the interstate was shockingly dusty and filled with potholes. Good job, Mike Pence.
After spending the night in South Bend, we continued on. Pictured below is Ohio, which had gigantic rest stops, pavement even lousier than California's, and not much else.
And that's it. I didn't take any pictures beyond this point because I did the final leg of driving, but there wasn't anything interesting to see anyway. A few hours later, we arrived in Pittsburgh and promptly got semi-lost downtown because I took the wrong exit, a consequence of not being able to see out of the back of the car and not being able to change lanes.
I'll be posting some of my photos from Pittsburgh at some point, but if history is any sort of indicator, it'll probably be at least another month.
My last post concluded with us getting dinner in SLC. After dinner and a short walk around downtown, I took over driving for the night. As night fell, we were in the mountains getting close to the border of Wyoming. Somewhere just past Park City, I noticed one of the headlights had gone out, so we got out to replace it, as there just happened to be a spare lamp in the glove box. While doing that, quite a few bugs were attacking us which made trying to replace the light a lot more frustrating than it already was. Eventually, I mostly succeeded and we got back into the car, but it turns out one of the doors had been left open. Apparently, the bugs wanted to hitchhike, so a swarm moved into the car and started buzzing around as soon as we got in.
After murdering dozens of flying bugs inside of the car, I drove on. It was completely dark by the time we crossed into Wyoming and we drove all the way through overnight so I didn't actually see much of anything there. There also weren't a whole lot of lights or towns that we drove through, so I guess we didn't miss too much. A little after midnight, I exited the freeway because we were moving from I-80 to some other smaller highway, and because there was no junction, we had to drive through a very small town (Looking at a map, I think it may have been Rawlins). I was going about 10 over the limit down the completely empty main street because I had just got off the freeway, and wouldn't you know it, just as I was turning onto the other highway, I got pulled over for speeding. Okay, fine.
About 2 hours before getting to Mount Rushmore, I got too tired to drive so my dad took over for the final push. We got there just as the sun was rising, and luckily, the gate to the parking lot was open, but there were no attendants around to take our money, so we got in free. Benefits of being early I guess.
Another benefit of getting there early was no crowds. There were some people of course, but only 2 or 3 other groups, and they were all hanging out around the entrance. We went in looked at the mountain which you probably already know looks smaller in person and then took off after less than 5 minutes. The grounds are actually quite nice and there were even some very heavy-set goats that were eating all of the overgrown grass and weeds. Next stop: Badlands National Park.
Oh wait, that's a lie. The next stop is actually Rapid City, where my car broke down at a stop light. Sorry people behind us. I got out and pushed it to a conveniently located gas station on the other side of the intersection where we discovered it was an overheating issue. How lucky there was a gas station right there. I go in and get coolant, and then proceed to put to coolant into the coolant reservoir instead of the radiator. After a couple hours of internet research and phone calls to different auto shops, we did not succeed in finding any conclusive information about what the problem would be, nor did we find any auto shops that were open because it was a holiday. Fortunately, though, after driving around a bit, the car stopped overheating so we continued along and made it through the Badlands which are spectacular, and pictures can't really do it any justice. Seeing these vast grassy plains that stretch off into the horizon in one direction, and in the other direction drop off into these jagged volcanic formations is remarkable. If you're ever in South Dakota, it's totally worth checking out.
After that, it was smooth sailing all the way to Pittsburgh.
Find out more in the next installment of a classic American road trip.
A few weeks ago I drove across the country with my dad to move from Berkeley, CA to Pittsburgh, PA. As you can imagine with a 2600+ mile drive, some things happened.
Woodland to Reno passes very quickly, but Reno to Salt Lake City takes forever, and feels even longer because there's no major city between the two. In fact, there's hardly anything at all. Lots of sad looking trailers, abandoned shacks, and some prisons. There was also a Sherwin-Williams paint factory. There was one thing that I've actually never seen before on my numerous drives through Nevada, and that was the Thunder Mountain Monument. It was fascinating to see, and somewhat disturbing at the same time because from a distance it appears to be constructed from bones and there were tons of humanoid figures. We passed too quickly for me to take any pictures, so you'll just have to check out the website.
The transition into Utah it actually quite striking because you go from sand and dirt to salt. Miles and miles of salt.
It was smooth sailing all the way up to Salt Lake City, where we stopped for dinner around sunset. Afterwards, things got slightly less smooth as we crossed from Utah into Wyoming (which was my first time in that state). But I think that's a story for another time.