Tuesday, December 8, 2009

And I thought Milwaukee packed a punch.

See that bright red spot on my cheek there? Where it looks like I've been hit across the face? Well, THAT'S BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN. BY THE MOTHER EFFING WIND. The wind that is responsible for the current wind chill of TEN BELOW ZERO. That's a NEGATIVE, people. THAT'S A NEGATIVE TEMPERATURE.

I spent eight hours on a six hour journey today, crawling through the arctic tundra that some call 'Kansas.' The country highways I had to take from Kansas City to Dodge City were so iced over that the only hope of movement without skidding was to keep one's vehicle in the tread marks created by the other crawling vehicles. If, say, a gust of wind at 33 mph--oh yes, the same wind that slapped me across the face--were to buffet your car and push it out of the tread marks, your vehicle would scuttle sideways like a crab across the ice until you could realign it, hands white-gripping the wheel. There were no formal lanes today; the highways were snowed over beyond recognition. There were hours in which I was the only vehicle in sight on either bleak horizon. It was lonely, dangerous, and by far the most entertaining drive I've had yet. I think this was the first day I didn't contemplate closing my eyes for a few minutes and letting cruise control take over while I napped.

There were a load of photos I wanted to take--a black windmill against a white field and a white sky, a graveyard of red stones--but because the entire road was covered was ice, I couldn't brake or pull over. I was immeasurably disappointed by this, but I hope you can at least imagine the gorgeous starkness of such a forbidding landscape.

And--just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I got to my Dodge City lodging. I picked it out based on its name (and price) alone. Look how fantastic it is:

This place is exactly what I dreamed the American road motel to be. Please note that every car in the parking lot with the exception of mine is a pickup. Please also note that my room cost me, with tax, a mere $35. And I've got a fridge and a microwave in my ROOM. And free wifi! And cable television! And coarse tuscan-themed bedcovers! I know. It's like a dream come true. I think I made it happen with the power of my mind.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to actually try and * see * Dodge City. Boot Hill sounds absolutely fantastic--the American Old West preserved, from the apothecary to the general store to the old doctor's office and saloon, complete with all the appropriate antiques on display. In the summer they have gun fights in the street and a troup of candy girls doing a cabaret-style dance, but in the winter they just have an arse-kicking wind.

Speaking of the weather I have to look forward to: tomorrow morning is supposed to be a wopping zero degrees, with a wind chill of -18. So, you know, ideal for a pleasant stroll around town. By the time I start heading south, the day's high will be peaking at 10/-3. Just in time for me to get the heck out of Dodge.


  1. Oh that is positively wicked! I am so glad that you made it there okay! Be careful!

  2. HOLY CRAP girl. That is coooooold. please, please be careful!!!! and don't spend too much time outside walking around - that is so not safety first.

  3. omg this is totally Fargo

    i almost peed myself just reading it. AAHHHHHHH there's a serial killer standing behind you.

  4. oh and you are GORGEOUS. they should have windburn beds because i would totally buy a package based on the photo above.

  5. Alissa - the Big SisDecember 9, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    Seriously, LMAO! I love the second pic of you glare-peeking at the camera! And Kansas is the state that whipped up Dorothy and Toto, remember? Maybe the wind thought you'd look cute in a little blue and white dress with sparkly red shoes? You just need a "little dog, too" (she said in her best wicked witch voice).

  6. Go to colescola.blogspot.com and look at his doodle-a-day #014. It made me think of you.

  7. be careful Rora!
    In consolation, it snowed in Orinda Monday night. Brrrrr!

  8. I'm with Diana. Fargo all the way. And your self-portraits are great, as in, you look pretty AND you made me snicker (snigger?).

  9. Um, Jessica, you are not allowed to write any word that has that other word inside of it.

    Love, the management

    ALSO--- I was telling Pedro about when I was in Kansas and it was -36 windchill... seriously, at that point, why bother keeping track of the temperature... I kept saying "everyone there has to wear murder masks or your the liquid in your eyes will freeze instantly" .... THEN i was thinking... god what are those murder masks called? ski masks? can you go to the store and ask where the murder masks are? and if so, and you successfully intentionally kill someone maliciously, would they have been an accessory to the crime? but then again, no one would recognize you with a murder mask on... hence the name.

  10. Thank God I have a murder mask in my trunk. Which, by the way, was searched for illegal Mexicans at an inspection station on the road last night. They blew right past the mask, the empty bottles of wine, and the knife collection. 'No Jorge in here? Okay, you're good!'

  11. Did you have to buy a murder mask or does Grampa Selby keep one handy because one can never stand to be unprepared in the event of a blizzard or mass genocide? and did you actually wear the murder mask? is it black? do they come in an assortment of colors?? on the topic of murder masks, the more answers I get, the more questions I have...

    OMG-- in New Mexico they have inspection stations for stowaways?? where? why? how? ... i always found Buicks to be second only to El Camino's in their conspicuous inconspicuousness