Friday, May 28, 2010

North Dakota and Montana

Today was a ride through North Dakota and into Montana. North Dakota's rolling prairies were a welcome change from the urban sprawl of Minneapolis. The state is famous for being flat and windy. I also think that people in North Dakota really must love having giant statues of animals, because we kept encountering them as we went along the freeway.

Some giant goose sculpture... I think?

A giant bison statue!

If you zoom in and look close, you can see the giant cow statue on the top of the hill across the road. I kind of wish lasers had been shooting out of it's eyes and maybe it was attacking the nearby town like Godzilla, but alas, it was not to be.

There are dips in the middle of North Dakota's landscape that are left over from the glaciers that used to rest here during the last ice age. A bunch of them turn into teeming, lush marshes for white pelicans, gulls and other birds. In the wind they kind of looked like a turbulent sea, which I thought was pretty cool.

As we drove there was a cross wind from the south that was blowing well over 30 miles an hour against my sleek aerodynamic Honda. But despite it's generally kick ass design, the car still felt like it was flailing in the wind against the current. The people I find really bad from were those driving RVs or giant semi-trucks. Some of them with blue, green, and black tarps being unfurling like a sail in the wind and trying to cause the trucks to blow away in the wind.

One group of people who appeared to be hauling there things out of state as well (familiar story) were towing a car that had two giant stuffed bears set in the front seat. One of the tan, the other white. The drivers side bear had a pink bow around it's neck. Obviously it was there to ensure the truck wouldn't crash, or maybe it was magic. Yes, magic... makes sense.

Near the end of North Dakota the land gradually gets drier and hillier. We stopped off at a place near the North Dakota badlands called Painted Canyon. The name really says it all, well, that and a few photos. I enjoyed getting out of the car and stretching a bit.

I've discovered that the best kind of mention for tag team road tripping is to switch out about every hour with the person you're driving with. It just keeps both of you less grumpy, more alert, and strains your hamstrings and nerves less by the end of the day. I recommend this method to anyone taking a more leisurely type of road trip anywhere.

There was a group of people at the rest area in cowboy geddup who looked as if they'd just finished a good cleansing ride through the valley. I was fascinated by the horses and tried to take some video of one women who was loading her horse back into her trailer. Basically I need a better camera to take better video for this and to actually, you know, zoom in. Apologies if you can't actually see the horse here.

Next we crossed into Montana. The land gradually getting cloudier, cooler, more mountainous and rainy. I generally don't mind the people in Montana I've met, but the endless desolate landscape gets old to me after about five minutes. It's beautiful country, but there's so much of the same my add, new agey artist brain needs more variety in my climate zones, granite and rolling hills. I need some beaches and rocky mountains, deserts and rattle snakes. You know... Oregon.

Regardless we made it to billings and on the way here passed a couple oil refineries. One for ExxonMobil and the other for Conoco. I took some pictures because I thought the architecture was just post post-apocalyptic and neat. Check it out.

Tomorrow I head to Yellowstone National Park! I just hope the weather is compliant and I see a few Bison up close.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Second to last day in Minneapolis

So as the majority of you know, I'm leaving Minneapolis on Thursday morning. Been experiencing a lot of mixed feelings about it, but I know in my deepest heart that it's the right decision to move to greener pastures. I think that Seattle is going to ultimately be where I end up. It would be neat to land a job with one of the awesome game studios up there I admire. Valve, PopCap, Runic Games and others.

The biggest thing I'm going to miss about this state is the people I've formed such amazing friendships with. It hurts to know I'm not going to be physically close too so many of you for a an extended period of time. The thing I'm going to miss the least is definitely the weather.

Tomorrow morning the moving company my mum hired comes in to sweep up stuff into their moving van. I'm going to be sleep deprived tonight racking my brain to quadruple check to see if I have absolutely everything.

On June 28th I head out to Europe. Which will practically be an adventure just getting over there, as my entire plane jumping trip is about 19 hours of time. I plan to take some dramamine or melatonin or some other powerful sleeping pills along with me to knock myself out on the flight over to Iceland. I'm hoping that will beat jet lag into the dirt. They also might serve me well on the Eurorail, since I seem to have a nervous annoying problem about being completely inept at sleeping on moving things, particularly very fast moving things.

More updates about my pre-prep for my trip to come later this week, and other exploits if my trip back to Portland produces any interesting tidbits and stories.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trip back up to MN

The trip back up from Kansas with my mom was pretty mellow. I took this video of those same wid turbines just because I again thought they were so cool. This feels really weird to post here, but whatever. Warning, camera shakes some here, might make people motion sick.

Iowa Wind Turbines

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trip to Kansas

This weekend I made a trip down to Kansas city to see one of my cousin's graduate High School. On the way through Iowa I was captivated by the wind farms now setup in the northern part of the state. Snapped a few photos and am sharing the best one here.

The ones I passed through just seemed to go on and on for miles, which made me happy. I was thinking about hearing that so many people hate seeing wind farms like this in their backyard. Personally I think I'd very much welcome the view simply because they're so fascinating to look at. Also I like the modern look they have going for them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

And so it begins!

Starting a new blog to log my experiences with traveling overseas and within the US. I'm going to be documenting the trip I'm taking this summer over to Europe here, as well as subsequent trips afterwards or daily wanderings. Feel free to bookmark or officially follow me here if you're interested in what I have to say.

If you've stumbled across this and don't know me as a person, I'm one of those weird artist types who might have been drawing you in an airport, creating 3D models on a weird alien looking program at a coffee house or geeking out over independent development in video games.

I think I'm an all right gal! I hope you enjoy this blog and find tips, insights and have a fun time sharing in my adventures.