Traveling with Jack and Theresa

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After Thoughts 2005

Probing America: High Tech on Back Roads

Day Thirteen Lincoln, Nebraska, to Cheyenne, Wyoming

July 7, 1992
To: Meg

Just a note this p.m. to keep the e-mail trail going. Five hundred miles across Iowa yesterday and nearly 500 today across Nebraska is enough to be thankful not to be a long-haul truck driver. What would that be? The Smithsonian did a story about one driver several months ago, and there is a new book out about the topic in general. We watched the long-haul guy who has a beautiful cream colored tractor hitched to a United moving trailer wash the cab windows and do a general house cleaning of his rig. He is parked just outside our Best Western Hitching Post motel parking lot. By the by, you can kiss the Best Western good housekeeping seal of approval goodby. Most are old and grungy.

Plains Hotel, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne old town is aptly named and mostly commercial, though we did have a good ale there in an old/new tavern. Visited the capital building, which is semi-memorable, drove through neighborhoods which are really first rate, and dragged the troop on a forced march through the city park which was lovely and then understood why some people would like living in Cheyenne.

Must be the age. Seven hundred mile days were a reasonable task years ago. Something over 350 strains today. The choices are obvious: fly, stay at home and drive the Pacific Northwest.

From: Cheryl and Richard in San Francisco
To: Meg
Date: July 12, 1992

While you were chronicling the lesser rituals of Middle America, we celebrated the Fourth in Portland. We rented a Probe at the airport, registered at the Heathman under the name of 'Theresa and Jack' and asked the desk clerk to send up corn on the cob. Just kidding.

Thought some readers might like to know what this trip costs. One troop member is a picky bookkeeper so all records are available. Thus far, room, gas, and two meals out a day is costing about $105 per diem. We compare that with England where you can get a dump of a room for $100 a night not even considering air, car, and meals. We had the good fortune of talking at supper with a couple from Cambridge, England. The man was a travel agent and we asked if there was any good way of beating the rates in England and he said "No." It makes this trip look even better.

One other Cheyenne report from a local who had lived in New York for 13 years. In response to, "What is good about Cheyenne?" he mentioned the low crime rate and good education. He said the high school graduation rate in N.Y. is 30%. Whether that is true or not, it is certainly the reason that he moved his 3 and 5 year olds to Cheyenne.

And so it goes: here we are next to the great divide in a crummy motel room, yet with lots of space and clean linen, watching Sean Connery doing Red October. So, where else in the world?

original material © 2005