Next stop: Highway 12 in South Dakota Next dispatch
We're off
by Peter Kohlsaat

Minneapolis, MN- And we’re on the road! Me and Zelda. Zelda looking for cows and me looking for Andrew Cunanan. Nah…I’m looking for America. The odd America. The America that as an eclectic collection of misfits, iconoclasts, rugged individualists define us Americans as a separate people.

While most of the country concentrates on driving faster, our main concern will be not driving slow enough. My beat-up ’85 Chevy van. Disconnected the speedometer last spring at 177,000 miles somewhere in the Baja. It gets seven miles per gas-dollar. Sucks up eight gas-dollars every hour. But it’s home to me. At least for the next three weeks. The next 3000 miles. Across Minnesota, South and North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. I invite everyone to hitch a ride. Can’t come along? Got a job? A mortgage? Two weeks vacation? (One of them to be spent with the in-laws?) Kids? Obligations? Figures. Well, then, you’ll just have to let Zelda and me have your adventures for you. Nothing wrong with that. That, too, is America. America lives vicariously. Through their sports teams and their sport heroes. Romance novels. Cheap crime novels. They subscribe to magazines on travel, the outdoors, people, glamour. What has National Geographic always been but an escape.

I will try to entertain you. I will attempt to share with you the joys of a summer evening, camped on a mountain stream. Catching trout for breakfast. Mingling with the inhabitants of local taverns. Sending back excerpts from the local weekly paper. Photos of things best unexplained. I also invite you to revel in my sufferings. My eventual van break-downs. Insects. Rain. Unforeseen disasters. Unsavory characters. Dicey situations. Anyone who knows me, knows trouble is never far away. If this page remains unchanged for more than a couple days, send a search party.

So….bookmark us. Check in on us every day. With your morning coffee. At break-time. When you are safely at home, snug and sheltered. And Zelda and I are out there somewhere burning fossil fuel, leaving rubber on the highways, surviving on the back roads of America.

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