It's hard to tell the story of how after a month or two of dating AWL I decided it was completely normal to drag him (semi-willingly) across this great nation. It's particularly hard when you've been sitting behind your desk, or your students desks or in the front of a projector screen projecting images of mathematically clean and explainable numbers instead of experiencing the chaos of the real world. Its hard to remember the feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere with no plans.
Its even harder to explain how after experiencing the wow of a lake that felt like an ocean, but not quite a real ocean, there was a shadow hanging around us. More like two shadows. Its hard to explain how in the Middle of Nowhere, USA we felt like we were the most popular kids on the block. We knew everyone!
We left Chicago, IL with full tummies and our sights set on Mount Rushmore! That was the only thing on my check list to go see on this trip, and we were off to see it and anything in between we so desired! Yes! FREEDOM! And also we had to pee! And so our shadows emerged....and bumped into Leon at a truck stop bathroom. The cutest couple that side of the Mississippi!
A very tall very happy looking shadow named Daniel with his other wonderfully cheerful half, Carly then meandered around stretching their legs and as it happens so were we. Without knowing we'd see them again, we helped them collect some memories and snapped a picture of them in front of a welcome sign on their journey back to Colorado.
And just like that we were all gone again. On our separate journey....us playing the "throw the combos across the car" game and searching for the corn palace like any mature adult would do. Just before dark we stopped for dinner
(where we found Big Jake's doppleganger!)
and some Badlands. Man we need to get back there to get the full effect. The sun was just setting as we got there:
The dark and lateness drew us quiet and then we approached the goal:
And we made our camp at possibly our favorite campsite on the trip! If I could only wake up everyday in a place like this: