I am finally in Decorah, Iowa!
Travel was easy - my car is a trooper, and the bike didn't fly off either! It did earn me many funny looks, however. Understandable. Who takes a beat up looking bike across the country at the beginning of winter?
Natalie waved me off early Thursday morning. I enjoyed noting the differences between the plant communities on the eastern and western sides of the Sierras, which was good since there was little vegetation to see the rest of the way. Reno looked exciting, but the rest of Nevada was not. There were also very long stretches of highway without gas ... only a close call to empty, but with over quarter of a tank I thought I would be okay! I wish Nevada used those 'next services in X miles' signs. Utah was pretty (the salt flats were awesome!) - but it got dark going in to Salt Lake City, and people were unfriendly so I slept over in Park City, Utah instead. I left early enough to miss a storm, but also didn't get to see how pretty it was. I got a little snow in Wyoming, but not much over the Rockies. Blowing snow, instead - but this meant clear skies to enjoy the view. Nebraska was boring, so I kept driving past dinner and got a deal on a room in Lincoln, NE. Heading into Iowa, a sign welcomed me followed by rain that became snow. Here's a point of interest i learned while getting gas in that sort of weather - my leather boots have no traction. Luckily, no full slips and the snow let up as I got closer to Decorah, leaving only rain.
I'm settled in my temporary housing, missing the familiarity of Davis and California. But I got a little Christmas tree from Walmart for my room and set up all my things to feel as much at home as possible. This place is just so different, and the Midwest is so unfamiliar to me. But so far, it's pretty. And not that cold.
I got an ice scraper first thing, and better windshield wiper fluid. I learned while going over the Rockies that the stuff can freeze, which isn't useful for dirty truck snow on my window.
Tomorrow, I plan on getting more weather appropriate tires, finding a grocery store I like, and beginning the search for housing. Eventually I will have internet, and can share some photos of the drive. No pictures of food though ... you understand why. In the meantime, a picture of my room as homey as can be.