And I didn't even drive on a single interstate!
Were you even aware that South Dakota was a neighbor state to Iowa?
Yeah, me neither, until I moved here.
I had to go to Sioux City yesterday (which is not on the map but which is pretty much right where Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota meet) and since I hadn't been to SD since 1998 when I drove cross-country with my friend Karin, I decided I would pop across the border. That night in Badlands was the first night we had camped on our trip and that was when the discovery was made of my complete inability to put up a tent. I'm pretty sure all Karin was thinking was "I can't believe we have another month of this." On a sidenote, our last night in a tent on that trip was on a beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When the signs say "You need long tent stakes" they aren't messing around. That evening ended with us sleeping in the car and being so grumpy the next day that we pretty much drove from NC back to Boston in one straight shot.
Okay total tangent.
Anyway, I went to Sioux City to see Kori's podiatrist, who she said very good things about. I actually drove three hours to go see a foot doctor. Back when I lived in the northeast, I might make a three hour drive for a weekend trip. Here in the midwest? Totally a day trip.
He spent about an hour with me and then made me stick my feet in this brown mushy stuff to make a mold for orthotics. He is pretty confident that orthotics will get this PF to heal as apparently I have narrow heels and high arches and I over-pronate so my foot rolls in and stresses the fascia with each step I take. Apparently all the inserts I have bought in the past don't have arches high enough to support mine.
He also told me that I shouldn't wear sandals. This is advice I am not sure I can follow. It's summer! I spend a lot of time on a boat or on the side of a lake for work! So I may have to ignore him on that one, even though I am sure my foot would get better faster if I didn't.
Of course, maybe he was just doing a public service in telling me not to wear sandals. Have you seen my feet? The second I start wearing sandals in the summer, they start getting gross and callousy. Pedicurists always tell me I need to come in like every other week (if only I could afford that!)
Anyway, after the appointment I thought "I'm going to go grab a bite to eat in South Dakota." So after winding through some shady parts of Sioux City (airport code SUX, I kid you not), I crossed the bridge into South Dakota.
You know what is in South Dakota? Apparently only casinos. Seriously. I crossed the bridge and I couldn't even find a gas station. I walked into a liquor store, bought a pop and some buffalo jerky (surely there are buffalo in SD, right?) and drove back over the bridge into Iowa. (You can see the children of the corn have fully indoctrinated me as I just said I bought "pop")
Since the interstate is the long way around to get from Sioux City to Ames, on both the way and the way back, I played my favorite "Take a random ass country route" game. The glory of the midwest is that everything is on a grid. If you played this game in New England, your ass would be so lost. But as long as you have faith (and remember what direction you are heading), in the midwest you almost always end up where you want to go. And you can go 75 on the country roads, so it isn't even that much slower.
Except of course when your paved road ends abruptly and you find yourself on a gravel road in BFE, you just hope eventually it will hit a paved road of some sort (and it always does!). Of course, sometimes this backfires and adds an hour on to your trip, like the time I was driving from Fort Collins CO back to Urbana and I ended up at the highest point in Nebraska, which is seriously ridiculously in the middle of nowhere (look at the little triangle near where CO, WY, and NE intersect):
It looks like this:
Seriously, I think it takes some serious talent to end up on a road like this and actually eventually find your way back to the interstate.
Which I had to go to Wyoming to do - note that the path from Nebraska to Illinois does not include Wyoming.
And instead of some cute libertarian cowboy giving me directions to I-80, all I got were some skeptical looks when my bestickered liberal hippie mobile popped out of a gravel road into some small pseudo-suburban neighborhood (suburban would imply an urban area).
Wow, that was a long story to say "Hey! I'm getting orthotics!"
05/22/17 PHD comic: 'Limits'
7 hours ago