The 1,200-mile, twenty-hour drive back to Minneapolis is all kind of a blur. From the interstate, the country looks pretty much the same no matter where you are. At one point or another, we spent time in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The main differences between each region are in the number of signs informing you about God’s thoughts on abortion, and the names of the crappy roadside restaurants. In the south, it’s Shoney’s; in the north, Country Kitchen.
We had a stockpile of greasy Indian snack food, some huge mutant apples from the French Market, and we stopped regularly at truck stops to pee and buy beverages. I offered Jay a dollar to eat a packet of dill pickle Twang I bought from a gas station in Mississippi. He did. I didn’t pay up. Sucker.
Heather ended up as the driving hero, taking the last shift shortly before midnight in Madison, Wisconsin. One of us was supposed to stay awake to make sure the driver didn’t doze off, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than five minutes at a time. I think Jay was passed out most of the time in the back. But Heather came through and got us home safe. We stumbled into the house after 3am and headed straight to bed. It took me forever to get to sleep. All I could feel was the road.