Go west, young [wo]man!

For all of you following along in Boston, Indiana, Ohio, and other lovely places, I’ve decided to document my travels and adventures in the heartland this summer. To start, a bit about my journey west.

The important last-minute project that had to be done the night before I left? Re-potting my jade plant into a much prettier and more spacious home!

re-potted Jade plant

Success = no major plant damage, and only a small amount of potting soil spilled on the floor

So far it’s survived the drive and the first few days in Ames, but I think I’ll need to find it a sunnier home than my basement room.

adios, mamba house 😦

Once I finished the jade project and got a good night’s sleep, I said goodbye to my cleaned-out room, said thanks to my hair for being nice and wavy on a day I’d spend alone in the car, and loaded up the Saab with all my stuff and my bike:

saab + bike

My bike rack has bottle openers on the ends of the arms. Good to see yakima has their priorities in order.

good hair day

I think alanis would call this an ironic situation.

As my nutrition science prof said a few times last fall, “It’s a different world west of the Berkshires.” I found evidence of this at the TA gas station/travel center somewhere on I-80 in Pennsylvania. First, there was a mobile church behind the gas station:
Memorial Mobile ChapelThen, inside the travel center I asked if they had recycling for plastic bottles. The cashier told me no, and then informed me that I was the only person who’d ever asked. (This trend has followed me to Ames: there’s only private curbside trash pickup in this town, and they don’t do recycling. If I want to save the planet/recycle this summer, I’ll have to save up all my recycling materials, and then pay $5/carload to drop it off at the town processing center. I love the midwest, but I miss Boston.)

A few more shots from day 1 of driving:

Kane is able!

I appreciate trucking companies with a sense of humor. In case it's too blurry to read, the bottom slogan says, "Kane is able!"

PA farm fields

farm fields in Pennsylvania

Yuengling!

This truck is carrying delicious cargo.

arby's dinner

I finally chose Arby's from the plethora of fast food options in Brookville, PA. In high school I would have just added extra cheese. This time I added lettuce, tomato, and onion. Nutrition School ftw?

I’ll have more soon about the rest of my driving, my day at home, and getting settled into Ames. For now, I need to read about Value Chain Partnerships & the Regional Food System Working Group, the Practical Farmers of Iowa, and some Northeast Iowa regional/local food systems groups until I fall asleep. First day at Leopold tomorrow!

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