Help is no longer needed in escaping Indiana

Because I made it to Seattle, woooooo!

Somehow Mark and I survived the drive without going too insane. The first day we drove for 15 hours and stopped in Wall, South Dakota. I swear we just happened to end up there when it got dark – we did not stop because of the tourist trap known as Wall Drug. Though since a bunch of my twitter followers insisted that it was hilariously bad, we checked it out. Sorry guys, but it was not worth the ten minutes :P

The second day we drove for 14 hours and stopped at Mt. Rushmore, which was a much nicer stop. Pretty cool, though we didn’t stay for long. We spent the night is Missoula, Montana and were greatly impressed that you can apparently get alcoholic beverages for takeout at restaurants.

The third day we only had to drive 6 hours, but it was by far the worst. South Dakota and Montana were actually pretty beautiful. Idaho was beautiful as well, since we were basically driving through cloud filled mountains, which we don’t exactly have in Indiana. Hell, I get excited when I see a hill. Or a patch of land without corn.

But man, Eastern Washington was so insanely boring. It actually reminded me a lot of the desert grasslands in Arizona where I do field research, but just a lot uglier. And then the last couple hours are a horrible combination of city traffic and mountains, so I felt like I was going to die. But I made it!

My apartment is super nice. I lucked out because I bought it from craiglist based on a couple of photos and talking to the landlord on the phone. It’s a lot more spacious than I expected, and I have more storage space than I have stuff to fill it with. It feels a bit barren at the moment, but I’m sure that’ll change soon enough. Oh, and the entrance is adorable, since it’s a basement apartment:
I feel like I’m living in the Secret Garden. …Or that I’m some sort of garden troll, whatever.

I am so exhausted. The combination of 35 hours of driving and sleeping on an air mattress until my bed arrives is not very relaxing. Not to mention I’m unpacking and buying various apartment necessities that I either couldn’t bring or never had. I still need to go grocery shopping, since this is what my refrigerator currently looks like:
I can think of no more appropriate way to kick off grad school than an fridge that’s empty except for a six pack of beer. Hurray college.


  1. says

    eastern washington isn’t so bad. i lived there for a year while working at a TV station. it actually has some excellent wineries that you should check out. basically, you can go there and drink for free all weekend.

  2. MayorHardin says

    Full Sail – pretty high class refrigerator! You’ll love the University District ( I assume you’re near or in the U district>)

  3. Dylan says

    As a fellow first-year Ph.D. student–but one whose program started in August–I’d say that your fridge contents indicate excellent priorities. I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but I’m pretty sure my average beer consumption has been significantly higher in grad school than it ever was in undergrad.

  4. says

    I don’t know what weather is like where you’re from, but being in a basement and near the coast, keep your eye out for mold. I’m from a very dry climate, and wasn’t prepared for the damp/mold/ick of the coast when I spent a month there this spring. My SOAP went moldy. sighAnyway, just in case you weren’t aware :) Glad you escaped and your entrance is very cool! If you come up to BC, I’ll try to make it to see you!

  5. says

    Yes… we kinda forget about the strange side of the mountain range. It’s all dry and hot and odd. We offered it to idaho but they didn’t want it. (Nerdy thing: washington does more potatoes than idaho) My lurker wife and I welcome your plans for the future party. Let us know if you like goth clubs ;)Also, about 20-40 mins (not in traffic) out east you’ll find a lot of light hiking and awesome sights. Go to Snoqualmie falls just to get it out of the way. It’s quite awesome. Stay away from experience and space needle, they’re dull. Oh, and the locks are fun. hell, all of ballard is awesome. Get used to the light rain, and understand that strong east coast or southeast ‘rain storms’ don’t exist here. We don’t get umbrellas, we just make sure our hair is prepared.~S-

  6. MayorHardin says

    Seattle’s not on the coast. that’s a sound out there. And most of what Jen will see is fresh water.

  7. says

    eastern washington is a hole. so is a chunk of montana. be thankful south dakota was pretty because north dakota is boring.

  8. LS says

    Oh Atheismo, Easter Washington is the WORST. Last time I drove through it, it was getting near sun-down, and I kept almost dying because I couldn’t see a damned thing since that entire side of the state is nothing but flat and brown. Welcome to the GOOD side of the cascades. My advice? Never leave. Welcome to the area, Jen! I promise I’m doing my best not to stalk you. Really, I am! I only followed you for two hours yesterday.

  9. mouse says

    Welcome to Washington (I’m down in the Protland metro area). I must say, in the year that I’ve lived here I’ve decided the place is more redneck than my home town in southern Illinois. So we could use your influence, as it were.

  10. SpencerDub says

    Eh, I have no big qualms with eastern Washington. I go to school in Walla Walla and I’m from Portland, so I’ve seen a bunch of really pretty sights in the area. Then again, I also know there are some incredibly dreary parts of the drive.Glad to hear you made it! Now that you’re only 4 hours away, my campus nontheist club just might try to snag you for an event or something. We’ll see. :)

  11. MarcusBailius says

    As a Brit, I have to say you can’t drive anything like that long over here without falling off the end…And it occurred to me, Seattle is a splendid place to do the Boobquake experiment. They’re due a big one in Cascadia any century now… :-DCourtenay Watson: I have to say it, but the way I avoid mould growing on my soap, is that I USE it every so often…!

  12. says

    Gah, you want me to go back to eastern Washington?! Noooooooooo!Just kidding, I’d love to speak to your group if you’ll have me :)

  13. Tkpruitt says

    If you were amazed and amused by take-out alcohol in Montana, you’ll be flabergasted in Louisiana: alcohol in go-cups from bars and restaurants and drive-thru beer and daiquiri bars — no need to leave your pick-up.

  14. says

    Hmm, a basement apartment in a city that sees 158 rainy days a year? you might want to invest in a dehumidifier.FWIW – URLAI got me just about spot on – “ is probably written by a male somewhere between 36-50 years old. The writing style is personal and upset most of the time. “fuck you you fucking fucks

  15. Shannon says

    I almost think I looked at that apartment on a house hunt once, but there are so many basement apartments around here it’s hard to tell. Congrats on making it in one piece.

  16. Julie says

    Unless the power goes out, then it becomes a frigid cave. Those were two of the most miserable days of my life, being trapped in a basement apartment with no electricity, no heat, no hot water during a blizzard/ice storm of epic proportions.

  17. Julie says

    Oh god….you took I-90 through SDak (especially West River SDak)…? I am SO sorry! The drive between Oacoma and Wall is by far the most boring drive ever–might as well set your cruise control, lash the wheel into place and take a nap… And the exits signs that say the exit is to nothing…those don’t help either. Its too bad you couldn’t loop through the Badlands–as a geology nut, I find those a bit more interesting than the Hills. Glad to know you got to WA in one piece and good luck with grad school!

  18. Sean says

    Welcome welcome! I look forward to meeting you at game night this Thursday. I may be the one with 3 English boys in tow.

  19. says

    I’ll theoretically be there! Now, are these three English boys as in three English children, or three English adults? I need to know how excited I should get ;)

  20. says

    Quite right. Uni is not all about drinking likker. There’s boundless bonghits, endless eccies, trippie trips… and pizza. Lots and lots of pizza.

  21. Leo says

    Says you in an obviously very dry country. My basement apartment in in the center of Amsterdam has flooded a few times, had a few interesting fungi and often smelled a bit `wet’. And I wish it was warm in winter!

  22. says

    Not a bad brewery, Full Sail. I visited there not too long ago. My brother recommends hitting up the bar underneath the Pike’s Place market, and trying some of their brews, especially their IPA if you’re into hops.

  23. Perri says

    Hey now, I live in Eastern Washington and I believe its pretty bangin’. I am assuming you are talking about the boring wheat fields out on the drive to the Pass…yeah that’s boring…but Spokane is gorgeous and so is a mid-way town called Chelan. Come back to Spokane someday, we would love to have you!

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