Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mountain: the neglected time zone

Today is that most American of holidays, Independence Day. And to me, nothing is more American than exploring the massive expanse that is this country. So today, I share with you my notes from the road:

--Most outsiders don't know this, but north Louisiana is very different from south Louisiana. South Louisiana envelops New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Cajun country, from which most perceptions of Louisiana originate. North Louisiana, on the other hand, is more sparsely populated and has a lot more trees and Baptist churches. For this reason, north Louisiana is often referred to as South Arkansas. Except that Bill Clinton would never get elected there.

--Texas has a lot of country-music stations. Who knew?

--Note to Dallas: yeah, we know you had that hit show in the 1980s and that you have that football stadium with a glass ceiling. We can understand your fame and the relishing thereof. But that doesn't mean you can't help the rest of us out by offering a road system that doesn't rhyme with "fustercluck," okay? Dallas makes Houston look like Hazzard County.

--Part of my trek involved crossing the border of New Mexico. Despite all the recent hoopla about immigration and border safety, I still found this to be very easy.

--Driving a groaning four-cylinder Ford Escort through the mountains of Colorado can make even the most hardcore fuel-economist consider buying the largest Hummer in the world.

--Ted Kaczynski's view at the Federal Supermax in Florence, Colorado, is really breathtaking. So if you ever decide to commit a crime, make it a big one. It's totally worth it!

--Highways in Utah and Colorado have posted speed limits of 75. At first glance, this would seem to rock. However, each state has its own catch attached to it: in Colorado, for instance, you're lucky to hit 50 on the steep canyon highways. Utah is better in that regard, though the speed-limit-75 signs stand side-by-side with speed-limit-30 signs. This is because certain highways are prone to something called "dust storms," which apparently are frightening. The wind itself occasionally gets strong enough to rock your car, which makes the plethora of hard-rockin' FM-radio stations redundant.

--Utah is a very conservative state. After I crossed the border, all of my DVDs were mysteriously edited.

--Brigham Young University lies aside majestic mountaintops. On one of these mountaintops lies a giant "Y". It's a lot like the Hollywood sign, albeit without the "Holl-wood." And the cultural filth.

--The streets of the Salt Lake suburbs are very safe. This allows for children to line the sidewalks and shoot firecrackers. Ironically, the pops and screams that result make the safe Salt Lake suburbs sound like Compton.

--Cycling is a very popular pastime here in Salt Lake City. However, a lot of local cyclists forego biking gear for shirts and ties. These men refer to themselves as "brother," which is the Caucasian equivalent of "brother."

--Whereas Louisiana nights are accompanied by the constant chirps of crickets and cicadas, Utah nights are quiet. You see, the insect life here is moral and gainfully employed, and thus has better things to do than stay up all night carousing.


Speechie said...

Ian, Ian, Ian...the guys in white shirts and ties may be "brothers" but we refer to them as "elders".

And you can't pay tribute to the "Y" without identifying how much better the "U" is. :)

Michael said...

How long are you in town for, Ian? I'm going to be up SLC way myself in another couple of weeks. Be cool to hook up for coffee or something.

Hillary For President said...





Cajun Tiger said...

Fun travel log!

Ian McGibboney said...

Speechie, my mistake! Still, you have to admit that having 22-year-olds calling themselves "elder" is hard to wrap one's brain around.

Michael, I'm going to be here for at least two weeks, depending on how things turn out. If you're in town at the same time, we can definitely meet up.

Hillary, is every1 in Bosstun a LIBRULS?

Cajun Tiger, thanks. I figured I'd add to the distant-desert-blogging genre in my own way.

Violet said...

Funny post, Ian! I hope you had a lovely trip.

Literally, Mother HEN!! said...

Good on-the-road observations, Ian
Happy trails!!!!

Michael said...

Check your e-mail, Ian. I sent you my itinerary.