Behind the Wheel

On the road! I took off from Minnesota yesterday morning, moderately well packed up and prepared to leave. Driving was easy, which was nice. I stopped by a children’s birthday party (not as creepy as it sounds – I was invited) (well, maybe I sort of invited myself) (but it’s not like I didn’t know the family before, it wasn’t weird) (alright, leave me alone), got stuck in Chicago traffic, bought myself an I-Pass, and eventually made it down to Southern Indiana. Madison, Indiana, to be precise.

Madison, Indiana.

Madison, Indiana.

As nice as the drive was, there is one aspect that could be better. During the van renovations (and yes, I’ll put up a virtual tour of the vehicle soon), I found that gigantic rear A/C unit was completely devoid of Freon, rendering it essentially totaled. Instead of trying to replace, I decided to just drop the whole thing out from underneath the van and the engine. It’s definitely helped my gas mileage, but the drawback is becoming quickly clear: no climate control in this rig, outside of manual ventilation. Now, the windows are big, and situated such that opening them up 100% on the highway is actually quite pleasant, unlike most passenger cars, where you feel like you’re in a jet turbine. However, striking the balance between being able to hear my podcasts and airing out the cab is a difficult one to manage. I wound up driving through most of Indiana without a shirt on, which actually helped me fit in a little better once I was off of the main highways. Lots of shirtless front porch parties in this part of the country.

I need one of those beaded seat covers that you see taxi drivers using. Anyone know where you can buy one? They don’t carry them at Road Rangers. Otherwise I’m going to need to steam clean my driver’s seat at some regular intervals. I’m a sweaty guy.

Sunrise over the farm.

Sunrise over the farm.

So now I’m in Indiana. A good friend of mine from college is posting up at a farm there. It’s a pretty place. I’m not really roughing it yet due to his hospitality, but that’s fine with me for the time being. I’ll head East in a day or two, and eventually I’ll be away from ceiling fans and cool showers. Should be fun.


-Austin

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