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This is a reanimation of the Vicaribus blog as lived by Miro Kazakoff and Ehren Foss in 2004 and 2005. The photos may be spotty.


July 20, 2005 near Cruftlabs | Printable



Posted by ehren

It's now the 20th. 10 days left. Forgive the scatteredness of this entry, as my mind is starting to fall apart...800 miles has had a quisinart's effect on my body, and mentally I'm moving into the future at a rate greater than time. Once or twice in the winter, while I was bitching and moaning about winter in Arizona, probably, I mentioned that I was starting to become numb to all the new experiences, the bizarre situations, the gritty but transcendantly satisfying road life I wouldn't have traded for all the grass in Saskatchewan (MANY THOUSANDS OF BUSHELS). It would have been hard in my pre-Bus life to imagine that it would ever get old, but in some ways it has. I feel lucky to be able to return to society on my own terms and timeline.

The road from Moose Jaw towards the border was almost perfectly straight (3 turns, each one an adjustment to allow for 90 degree corners at a crossing road), and through nearly the flattest land I've seen. Parts of Iowa and Illinois come close, but it's hard to tell when the corn obstructs your view. Kansas, likewise could challenge Saskatchewan; In both places I could detect no curvature. On Hwy 38, where it is so flat and straight, you can see an upcoming town -- maybe three dozen houses and a BIG grain elevator -- from 10 miles off. Before you've even exited town #1, you can already see the grain elevator in the next town, 10 miles away. 80 or 90 miles passed in this fashion.

Parental units feeling the need to worry (you know who you are) should skip the next paragraph.

We didn't want a Wal Mart, or RV park, and with so much open space I thought the time was ripe for a pure 'pull off the road and hide behind something' night. We ended up camping beside a flaming natural gas tower. Unwise? The side roads were too narrow to accomodate us on the shoulder, and I'm sure the bus was visible from 5 miles away in every direction, so really the only reasonable thing to do, when we saw a giant orange flame on the horizon, was to drive towards it and use it as camoflage. So we were originally just going to go look at it... but isn't it comforting to sleep by a campfire? Similar, but different. It wasn't nearly as lethal to the local mosquitoes as we hoped, so after taking a few pictures and wondering if we'd finally gone mad, I went to sleep, lulled by the enchanting giant orange fireball and the accompanying "fwwooooossshhhh!" sound.

Earlier in the day we spent a couple hours with internet in Moose Jaw, and before that we passed through the great Salt Fields of Southern Sask. They were white, and looked like snow drifts. Most of the rest of the day... lots of driving, the occasional gigantic combine on an oversize flatbed, rough roads, plenty of Parliament and the occasional Muppets tune (Miro's choice). Yah.

What else... the border crossing was about what we expected. They searched the bus for a half hour, interrogated, searched, and sent us on our way. Border Agent Clark declined to sign the bus. In the waiting room a trucker, stuck there for almost 18 hours by then, wouldn't stop loudly badmouthing the forklift-driving skills of border agents who had spent all morning sticking a 4 foot metal rod into every plastic-wrapped bushel of wood shavings (the Portal, ND border crossing doesn't have an X-Ray machine, so they do it by hand).

The sunsets of the plains are beautiful... I've done my best to photograph them in rear view mirrors, and perhaps a month ago would have pulled over the bus to have a more stable platform, but the urge to keep rolling to the finish line is growing strong.

I've worn the same pair of jeans for about a month now. We ran over one of the power-steering fluid encrusted garden hoses yesterday. Also, I drove over 125 miles with the right blinker on. A North Dakota road worker yelled "Fuckin' A, Man" today, as we slogged through a 13-mile zone of loose dirt and large, fast moving earth movers. Today we were passed by the bottom (or top) of a gigantic grain silo, the Widest Load yet. And in the Saskatchewan coal fields (near the town called Coalfields), I saw the largest cranes I've ever seen, the bases had an acre of footprint.

Photo Album

Ehren's Posts:
(Aug 1): This Is The End
(Jul 28): Tulip the Bulldog
(Jul 25): On Fumes
(Jul 23): 500 Miles
(Jul 20): Oofda.
(Jul 19): Are we there yet?
(Jul 18): Leaving the North Country Fair
(Jul 16): The Greatest Province on Earth
(Jul 14): My name is Gus, I'm a Longhorn Steer, and I weigh 1600 lbs.
(Jul 12): The Million Dollar Rodeo

Miro's Posts:
(Jul 27): Minnesota
(Jul 23): Angry Blacksmith
(Jul 17): Aurora Borealis
(Jul 13): Cowboy Up
(Jul 3): A selection of Butte's finest
(Jun 26): A Continent divided
(Jun 18): Snow in June
(Jun 12): Smelly Cat is an Excellent Campfire Song
(Jun 11): Interior Canada
(Jun 9): Yuk Yuk

See all log entries.

Miro's Recipes: (See All)
(May 25): Zhurek (Sour Polish Soup)
(May 23): Atomic Noodles
(May 22): Campfire French Onion Soup

Bus Conversion: (See All)
(Oct 9): Electrical System
(Sep 19): Design
(Sep 10): Roof Raise

Bus Conversion Project