Friday, 8 June 2007

Across America... and Artistic Taxidermy

To All The Fortunate People Who Are Not Travelling Across America With Berry:

Yesterday we drove 600 miles. That's like Brisbane to Sydney, and it felt like it too. We were all chirpy (or hungover, depending on the person) after a good night at the great McMenamin's in Bend, Oregon, and we set off at 6.30am so that we could take advantage of Berry's "sleeping hours" until about 9.30am. We were going to get some very peaceful and productive driving done.

Sadly, as we buckled her in the carseat she opened her eyes for an instant and caught sight of her big blue Wiggles backpack. Her eyes lit up, and that was the end of the sleep, the peace, the productiveness and all our plans. Basically she didn't sleep at all yesterday, and by hour two we had already:
1) revoked her Toddler of the Year Award
2) confiscated her previously-held Baby of the Year Award
3) awarded her the Bad Baby of the Day Award

Lots of yowling, lots of demands to eat (and eat), lots of demands for Wiggles and attention, and lots of endless plains. With some picturesque mountains in the background... but honestly they were powerless against Berry.

Thanks to faulty Twilight-Zonesque GPS directions we very, very nearly ran out of petrol in the middle of nowhere. We were saved when we magically stumbled upon a single petrol pump, a tiny store and an "artistic taxidermy" stand by the side of the road. Picture proof below:

Anyway, I didn't mean to interrupt my endless whinge with some facts.

We're in Tramont, Utah now. Dad (Evans) was sorely disappointed to find that the Denny's (this town's best dining establishment) didn't serve beer, and Tomas was sorely disappointed to find the Denny's didn't serve margaritas. Paula says Utah doesn't have wine at all because (and I quote): "They hate women"*. Tramont, apart from being probably misspelled by me,** is the kind of place that plunges me into a tractor- and heavy-agricultural-machinery- inspired instant depression. I got that creeping Boonah kind of sadness coming over me as we drove down the main street (my family knows I mean....).

[*Paula said it, not me.]
[**I think it's actually something like Tremonton. Aw, shucks.]

We are trying to be even more ambitious today, with 600+ miles as the goal. We're trying to reach Pueblo, Colorado by nightfall. We're setting off early-early again (although I think 6.30 is a poor excuse for "early" and would prefer to leave at 4am... but I'm outnumbered here). Paula, who patiently sat next to Berry throughout a fair proportion of her shenanigans yesterday, has buried the blue Wiggles backpack deep beneath the rest of the luggage and forbidden anyone to mention them. Which is fair enough.


  1. I love this tale of your drive cross-country. I have done it myself but not with a darling toddler. Too funny!

  2. I just found your blog tonight and now I'll have to visit it often! I drove from Alaska to Seattle with a 4 and 2 year old 3 years ago, and I finally think enough time has passed for me to be able to appreciate what you're going through without twitching myself. Good luck on your journey, I'll be checking back often.

  3. Aw...give the little gal another chance to keep that highly coveted "toddler of the year" award!