The weather has been gorgeous the whole trip so far. It looks like it’ll hold until Edmonton, where suggests “cold and rainy.” That’s two days out, though, so it’s hard to say. It’s still hitting 80 degrees Fahrenheit and has been all through every state/province so far; George has a thing that shows the external temperature, and it got up to 82, in Manitoba, yesterday. I figured I’d be wearing my jacket by now. Not complaining, just sharing my experience. :D

As I move north, I’m noticing some autumn colors in the trees–when there are trees. North Dakota was a little sparse, as was a lot of Manitoba. Half of Wisconsin was sparse, and half was this beautiful, hilly, tree-y area with rock upcroppings(?); that was where I first noticed some color change in the trees. Part of my drive yesterday seemed to be moving into some hills and tree-covered areas, as well, so I’m pretty excited to see what today holds. I’m a smidge further south than I’d originally anticipated (I did ponder driving through Regina–locals seem to pronounce this with a hard “i”–but decided against … and the GPS decided for, so that’s where I’ll be this afternoon–I’m hoping to make Saskatoon today, which will put me right on schedule).

The schedule in my head now looks kind of like this (though I still haven’t sat down and really examined The Milepost the way I’d hoped to):
* 9/1 – Indiana/Michigan border – 329.2 miles
* 9/2 – Madison, WI – 283.9 miles (that’s a measure to my morning coffee, not to my friends’ house)
* 9/3 – Fargo, ND – 553.9 miles (that will be the record for the trip)
* 9/4 – Brandon, MB – 348.9 miles (see? shorter? not worth it to drive so much in one day that I can’t the next)

* 9/5 – Saskatoon, SK – 385 miles
* 9/6 – Edmonton, Alberta – 326 mi
* 9/7 – Dawson Creek, British Columbia – 367 mi – beginning of the Alcan
* 9/8 – Fort Nelson, British Columbia – 283 mi
* 9/9 – Watson Lake, Yukon – 318 mi
* 9/10 – Haines Junction, Yukon (stopping in Whitehorse) – 367 mi
* 9/11 – Tok, AK – 293 mi (and customs)
* 9/12 – Anchorage, AK – 320 miles

I was going to try to go a little further per day to get into Anchorage by Friday, to sign the lease on my apartment. But I just don’t think it can be done. There’s little enough between stops that, unless I want to sleep in the car, I’m kind of going to have to go with these locations and mileages. It sounds like the woman at the rental company might be willing to meet me on Saturday. So, fingers crossed, there. Also, that puts me in town in time for the last farmer’s market of the season!

The other thing that occurred to me, while I was driving, that I meant to mention, was that maybe this is the right way to do this move. I think a flight and, bam, I’m in Anchorage… that might be a little too sudden. This really gives me time to think and transition and absorb the change. Also, I’m on the road all day and too tired when I get to the hotel to really be doing much, with respect to the library world. It’s a good break.

I do wish I had a travel companion. The birds are by turns wonderful/adorable and miserable/screamy, much like a travel companion might be. But they aren’t interested in my snark about Minnesota drivers (seriously, people, you have all this space out here–use it and don’t merge in front of me and then slow down!), and they don’t tell me jokes or sing along with musicals with me. (If the government has a monitoring device in my vehicle–there’s no reason to believe they do, except that it’s funny–I pity the fool who has to listen to it. All of Dr. Horrible is more or less sung in my range, but some of the other things I like singing along with aren’t.) I could make better time with another driver, as well, obviously.

So, if anyone’s reading this blog and pondering doing a similar trip… take someone with you. For real. If you have an unemployed friend with a penchant for travel, offer to buy their ticket back home. It would be money well spent, not just logistically (more driving per day) but also for companionship. I’m not desperately lonely, but I’m missing conversation… as Dale can tell you. I think we spent an hour and a half or more on Skype last night. … I’d just call more people when I take breaks, but I think Verizon would be really terrible to me, as far as roaming charges go. :/

Anyway, didn’t mean to end on a complainy note. Really, the trip’s been going well. I’m tired, but holding up. I like Comfort Inn a lot. Motel 6 is also fine–the one in Fargo seemed like some sort of weird dorm, in some ways–though I wish they had wifi. Super 8 is my least favorite, just because that one branch was built out of cardboard; I’d give them another chance, figuring that can’t always be the case. But, yeah, I’ve been sleeping OK. The birds are holding up all right. (They get really grumpy after about 4pm, on the road. But so do I, so that’s OK.) Like I said, beautiful weather. So, you know, things are good.

Also, I’m far enough north that all the motel parking spots have electrical outlets.