I’m in Michigan!

Michigan, North Dakota, that is. I’d be both impressed and worried about myself if I’d actually managed to drive all the way to the state since my last post. In actual fact, I didn’t even make it to Minnesota, which was my vague goal when I started out.

I’d only been driving for an hour or so when my windshield started… I want to call it fractal-ing, but that’s probably meaningless to anyone who hasn’t had the experience. Medically, it’s described as an aura, which isn’t the right word at all in my opinion. But off on the left side of my vision, the windshield started sparkling and crumbling.

My first thought was, “How pretty.”

My second thought was, “Oh, shit.”

My third set of thoughts went something like, “Caffeine, check. Pain killers, check. Dark, quiet place to sleep off a migraine, um, not so much.”

The next few hours were not particularly fun. I’ll skip the boring details, but eventually I found myself at the city park in Michigan. It’s not exactly a campground, but there are four electric outlets in a row, where campers can plug in and stay the night. The cost is a “Free Will Offering,” which in my case was $10. It was early enough when I got here that I didn’t plug in right away, didn’t even decide to stay. I just lay down and closed my eyes and gave myself some quiet time. After about an hour of quiet, quiet time — as in, the park is completely empty, there are no other people here, it’s just me and Z and the birds and the trains — I got up, plugged in and settled in for the night.

Before I went to sleep, I packed everything up. I told myself that in the morning, I’d get on the road really early, drive to a grocery store in Grand Forks to buy the vegetables I didn’t manage to get yesterday, and then drive most of the way across Minnesota. When I actually did wake up, though, I didn’t know what my hurry had been about. Instead of scurrying out of here, I’m enjoying some leisurely coffee and a fully-charged computer. My head still hurts, but it’s the lingering, post-migraine pain, not the intense stabbing pain, so I can deal with that.

Last night’s sunset, during Z’s good-night stroll.

But North Dakota continues to impress. Last night’s sunset was beautiful, and today is a gorgeous, clear, sunny spring day with a cool breeze. I know it’s the time of year — I might even have liked South Dakota if I’d gone there in June instead of late July. (South Dakota wins for my least favorite state — the reason the Badlands are called Bad is because they are, and my reactions to South Dakota can best be summarized as 1) How soon can I get out of here? and 2) Thank God I was not a pioneer housewife, I would have fled back to Pennsylvania after the first week on the plains.)

But still, North Dakota in June is a remarkably lovely place. I’m going to be just a little sorry to say good-bye.