Today was a long but good day with only a couple of hiccups. The first hiccup came when I woke up an hour before I wanted to. It really wasn't that big of a deal; I tried to stay in bed for a bit, but ended up watching television for one last time in the Bockman lounge before I left. But after getting ready, I threw the last of my things in my car and at around 8:30am I left and headed out west. I made my first stop at Sauk Centre, MN; just to stretch my legs and to help wake me up. (Okay, a side bar: I HATE Minnesota drivers. I know I've said this before, but they don't know how to drive on any sort of freeway/interstate. Everyone wants to drive at the same speed and they all refuse to signal. Oh, and when they do want to pass someone it take four hours (okay really only like 5 minutes but it shouldn't even take that long, sorry for dual parenthetical statements) and not one of them seems to know where they are going. Okay, I'm done.) I stopped next in Fargo, to go stretch again, get some gas and hopefully get food. I missed the fast food exit, but I wasn't really hungry anyway so I kept going.
So now I'm in North Dakota and it hits me, this is the farthest that I've ever driven by myself. Now I've driven long distances but there was always somebody else in the car to share some of the responsibility. And then it hits me that I still have to get through this state and drive about 100 miles into Montana, it was a bit overwhelming, but I wasn't going to let it bother me, I like driving and I was having fun listening to my music. So I drive on and try to enjoy the long flat view that is ahead of me (I am glad that I am no longer driving in the great, flat Midwest).
My next stop was Jamestown, ND. This is where I had the slowest service ever at the Burger King where I had lunch. There were only about four other "groups" (couples, families, etc) in the restaurant and yet I still had to wait over 15 minutes to get my food. I was completely baffled, it was the slowest service that I had in a fastfood restaurant that was not at peak times. In fact, I have been in fast food joints that were packed wall to wall that had fast service than that. After a long, uneventful and slow lunch I got back onto the road, chasing the westward sun.
My next stop was at a rest stop between Bismark and Dickinson, ND. This is where I had my second hiccup. I got out of my car so I could stretch my legs and use the restroom and enjoyed the refreshing wind. After my short, but enjoyable stop, I got into my car to get going again and start the car and it did, briefly. Once I had shifted it into gear it stopped. So, I put it into park again and I started it, again, and once again it was brief. So now I'm feeling a bit concerned, so I try one last time but after I start the car I give it a bit of gas and it stays started and I head back on down the road.
I made my next stop mile marker one in North Dakota; Beach, North Dakota to be precise. Now this is where I feel like a real idiot. So I knew I was going to need gas before I made it to my destination for the night, so I saw this billboard for a Flying J that had a Wi-Fi hotspot. I thought, "Great, I can check email, facebook, etc. and then get back on the road." I gas my car, pull into the parking space in front of me and go inside, no Wi-Fi signal. I walk around, no signal. Outside, no signal. So, now I'm frustrated, mostly because I was going to have a clever status on facebook (Doug Johnson can see Montana from his car.) So I leave and start driving down the road, and here is where I feel real stupid, I remember that I turned off the Wi-Fi on my phone before I left because I was having trouble with Luther's wireless. So now I'm frustrated with myself and even more frustrated that I couldn't put a funny little status on facebook (which really shouldn't be that way, but it was).
So now I'm in Montana, the final stretch for the day. I get through into Glen Dive, MT; no problem, only 70+ miles to Miles City. And the next 50 or so miles went rather quickly but the last 20+ miles seemed to take forever. It's fascinating that I could go almost 700 miles without much trouble, but the last 20 was torture. I finally make it into Miles City and check into a Super 8 motel at about 7pm GMT (8pm in St. Paul). And I finally feel like I can relax.
Overall it was a good day, but I am tired after almost 12 hours of travel time and around six hours of sleep. So I am going to stop writing this blog and get some rest.