Hello from day two of my summer trip/mobile office/50 state quest, what have you. The first day was, well, a lot of driving. I left at 4:30 a.m., crossed through Pennsylvania while being a cliche and belting along (poorly) along with Hamilton, then stopped for a hike at Cuyahoga Valley National Park (the Ledges Trail is an oval and I still made a wrong turn).
Then, much sweatier and smelling of bug spray, I kept going west until I hit to South Bend, Indiana. I'm camping the next three nights, so for my first night I splurged on a Holiday Inn Express. Big spender, I know. Walking around the campus of Notre Dame on a pretty, warm evening wasn't a bad way to end the first day, though I had a hell of a time finding a restaurant open on the Sunday night of Memorial Day Weekend. Fortunately, a diner that served something called "Philly Beef" was open. I did not get that.
I slept soundly last night, pilfered the free breakfast for breakfast for now + peanut butter packs to take with me, and am hanging out here until check out. I can't get into the campground until 5pm (it's a holiday weekend exception they make that let people stay longer), so I'll enjoy AC, wifi and power while I can, then go on a long hike and set up camp.
If you want to follow me in real time (or as close to it because I won't sometimes say where I am until I leave because people are weird), the best places to do that are twitter.com/byjenamiller and instagram.com/jenamillerrunner. I'm also trying to use the hashtag #jenin50. I don't know if I'll keep on doing that, but I thought of it in the shower, which is where so many good sprout, so I figured I'd give it a go.
I'm sad Pawnee isn't a real place. Is that weird? Probably. On The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, Peter Sagal said Parks & Rec was one thing that helped him when he was depressed, so I watched it too. He's right that it helped. So did Hamilton, which is why I shut off the audiobook two minutes into the drive and switched to the soundtrack to take me out of states I know very well into something unknown.
Before I left, I took my CDs out of storage and uploaded them onto my new laptop. I'm so glad I did. I'm writing this while listening to Barenaked Ladies Rock Spectacle, which a friend and I listened to endlessly in college. It's giving me a warm fuzzy feeling of familiarity while somewhere unfamiliar on an adventure I can't possibly understand yet. It'll be something.
Newsletter readers, the above is the same thing that appeared on my blog about this trip, so now I'm going to go into the regular newsletter. I don't know if this'll continue, but we'll figure it out.
What I'm Reading
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. I'm not too far into it, but it's pretty engaging that for something so far is a description of suburban mom life. After I finished the Hamilton soundtrack, I started listening to Running the Table: The Legend of Kid Delicious by L. Jon Wertheim, which is so good and a perfect road trip book because it is about a road trip. At some points, they were traveling through the same places I was. If you have a library card (and you should!) see if your library gives you access to an app like Overdrive, which is how I listen to audiobooks. Great value (it's free!)
What I'm Watching
Mom and I watched a few episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt before I left. Very good so far, though I agree with a friend who said less Fred Armisen. I don't know how much TV I'm going to watch while on the road. We'll see!