I’m currently at a rest stop just south of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. All sorts of rapids out east, eh? The rest stops are nice in Iowa. They have individualistic designs, wifi, and seem cleaner too. I wonder why they are so much nicer than those in more populous states?
So beautiful! And the weather was perfect. A week ago, the prediction was thunderstorms. But there was none of that. It was all sunshine and heat and clothes sticking to skin after sitting down for a while, but there was plenty of refreshments. Where the ceremony was held was in a clearing, but people clustered in the shade till the groomsmen showed up, due to the seating being in the sun. Last possible moment we all sat down. It was a short ceremony. The officiant was a shaman named Two Dogs and he smudged them and sang a prayer and put a blanket over them as a symbol of them becoming one. The vows were short and sweet, and I managed to not cry till the end, but I did cry. I cry at weddings.
I hugged Megan and shook Eric’s hand after the ceremony and went to full my personalized keepsake glass with a drink. I sat with Suzan and Brandon and some others and hydrated and got a bit of a tan line from sitting in the sun. The wedding party was carted up in a hay ride towed by a tractor, and it was time to find our seats. Table 7 sounds like a good priority table, but we were pretty far near the back. I was between Ryan and uhh… shoot I forget her name. But it was jovial none the less. I got through the food lane too late for mac n cheese, but I did get chicken, pork, corn, potato, pasta, and biscuits. The cole slaw was plentiful and neglected. No one wanted the slaw it would seem. I also grabbed a slice of cheesecake and a cupcake and was oh so full. And I had a few more cocktails. The night wore on. Bands played. Dances were had. The bouquet was tossed and while I didn’t catch it, I was the one who grabbed it from the ground. The first bouquet I’ve ever got my hands on! How wonderful. As if I’m marriage material. A bonfire was started too, and the wedding party and those invited changed into more casual clothes. Unfortunately for me I got tired before I got to the fun stage of drunkenness, so at 10 I retired to my tent and dozed. The party continued past 3, and I was one of the first up in the morning. I changed. Charged my phone. I heard the tinkling of brunch happening, so I went downstairs (all my stuff was in the attic space).
I had bagels and shmear and coconut water. As I would be driving soon I did not partake in the bloody marys. The wedding was 200 people strong, as both Megan and Eric seem to have big families, so there were plenty of revelers in the neighborhood who showed up. Nice when a shindig like this continues. Much better to spend the time that you want than to spend the time according to a time frame. I chatted with an assortment of the familiar faces, moved my car to my tent and packed it up. I was slow to leave, but I made sure to say goodbye to Megan and Eric and Deb. I think I left around 3.
South and West:
I headed down to Plymouth, Indiana because that would take me down past all the westward toll roads. 31 south and then I turned west on 24, and that took me into Illinois, though there wasn’t much of a change in landscape. Flat corn fields as far as the eye can see, with gray farm buildings in the distance like paper cut outs. I yearn for mountains now. A change in elevation. An up and a down. Some sort of marker that shows I’ve gone past something.
I lost an hour of time as well, which is a bummer when you are driving and want to rest and time changes in such a way that you have more daylight than you want, and you find yourself driving into the sunset and it goes slower than it ought. Miserable experience. The sun did go behind a cloud for a short while, but it was all too short because I drove around the cloud and out came the sun once again. I stopped at a rest stop for the last 15 minutes of its setting, and swung on the swing sets. I hopped one more rest stop and slept there. There were no swings at this rest stop, though other playground items such as a log rolling simulator. I had a good sleep, and woke thinking I slept in but since I had lost an hour, I had not. I checked my notebook of things to do and found that I had missed House on the Rock in Wisconsin!! But it is in the south west part of Wisconsin, near the Iowa border, and also near a National Monument. So it won’t be much of a back track, and then I can go right into Minnesota. I’m planning that for tomorrow. Today is Iowa. I’ve already been to Riverside and grabbed a picture of the “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk” sign. So now it is just north and east.
And then west! 39 states down, 9 to go.