Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More than halfway

One problem with having two cars and two drivers is that there is no passenger to take pictures (and the cats take lousy pictures). This is bad for blogging. I haven't been brave (stupid?) enough to try taking photos while driving, and all you'd see is a big blue and orange Budget logo, anyway.

We have stopped to take a few photos. On Sunday, we took a few pictures at the Columbia river in Washington:

Unfortunately, the camera settings were off, and so the picture came out a lot darker than it should have. This is the problem with switching between manual and semi-automatic modes; we're still playing with settings, and it looks like we got them wrong here.

We got a late start on Sunday, and so didn't make it as far as we'd hoped before stopping for the night Spokane, only 221 miles in. Yesterday was much better; we drove 486 miles before stopping in Livingston, MT, just north of Yellowstone.

Driving over the mountains was beautiful, but slow. The truck often couldn't do more than 50 when going uphill, and it wasn't really safe to do more than 55 or 60 coming down. Today, we made it into the flatter sections of Montana pretty early on, so things went much faster, and we passed the halfway point at around lunchtime. The 75 mph speed limits also help! We stopped at 565 miles tonight, and caught the tail end of a sunset in the Badlands:

There is also very little photographic evidence of the sunset, again because of bad camera settings and a lot of contrast between the setting sun and the shaded rock formations.

There were a couple of baby goats browsing in the grass with their mothers and generally cavorting around.

As the sun set, they curled up on the rocks to rest:

We could have made it a little further tonight, but we wanted to revisit the Badlands in the morning, when we have time to drive all the way through the park. And, since we'll check the camera settings this time, hopefully there will be more pictures to show.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The fun's begun

We spent yesterday (and the first half of today) turning this:

into this:

One 15-foot truck, neatly packed, and almost full. Thankfully, one of Branden's friends was available to help us load; there's no way we'd have finished without the extra hands...there was a lot to move!

We left this afternoon, and are now heading east on I-90. I had lots of great blog posts composed in my head while driving, but they appear to have left me now that I have a keyboard, so I think I'll leave them for later.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Things I learned while packing

You discover the strangest things while sorting through every single thing you own and putting them in boxes.

1) My clothing is boring. It is all black and brown, and I own 10 different colors of the same t-shirt. I should work on this. Noted.

2) I have a subconscious need for Lipton's Onion Soup mix. Either that, or there are gremlins in my kitchen that hide it and cause me to buy more. I can't think of any other earthly reason that there should be six boxes of the stuff in my kitchen.

3) It is impossible to put all the candleholders in the same box, and I should stop trying. More are guaranteed to appear as soon as I tape the box closed. I have a very hard time accepting this.

4) There is no way that two people need all this stuff. It feels really good to get rid of most of it. I will be forever amazed by the power of free stuff on the curb in Seattle...you can get rid of anything that way, usually in less than 5 minutes. Except, apparently, for a 20 lb. behemoth of a monitor. Sorry, Branden. I know it's a nice monitor.

5) Cats are thrilled by boxes full of packing paper. Jumping in and out of the box while you're trying to use it can keep them amused for hours.

Hello world

Hello out there! As some of you know (and the rest are about to), we're moving to Germany for six months, and I thought I'd take you along virtually.

(It's a lot more comfortable than a suitcase, I promise...)

For those that are just tuning in on this plan due to my poor keeping-in-touch practices, Branden's job offered him a position in Bretten, Germany starting in July. Since I just finished my degree, it seemed like the perfect time to take a 6-month trip to Europe before beginning my postdoc in Wisconsin in December.

Therefore, we are moving to Germany. But first, our stuff needs to make it to Madison, Wisconsin. So, we will be driving to Madison and then hopping on a plane to Germany, cats in tow. Mischief is thrilled.

Artemis wants to know if we can go yet.

What will I be doing in Germany? I don't know, really. Blogging, apparently. Hopefully writing a few papers. Learning German. Practicing my hausfrau skills.

Stop laughing. No, really. If you're laughing at "hausfrau", you'll really laugh at "relaxing."

Ahem. Done now?

The short answer is that I will be doing nothing, in whatever way I can manage it. Should be amusing to watch, anyway.

But first, we need to get there. The "Gunns in Germany" title is a bit misleading, as we're still firmly planted in the US. That will be changing in the next week, and it would be downright cruel to make you miss out on the fun of moving. After all, it's part of the trip, right?

Are you ready? The fun starts Sunday!