Priceless Products and Packaging: Truck Stop Treasures

Nebraska. This flatland is actually quite pretty.

Nebraska. This flatland is anything but plain.

Eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Southern Minnesota, USA:  December 2014

One may think that driving through the flat land of Eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Southern Minnesota could be a mind and butt numbing prospect, I’m not going to lie. There are some stretches that certainly induce a conscious coma. However, someone dreading this drive in a minivan with the family during winter around the holidays simply isn’t looking at the positives.

Positive One: Reading! Kurt, my husband, decided to drive the entire route on Day 1, so I caught up on my reading, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There by Rolf Potts. It was quite pleasant, actually, at least for me. Additionally, I tweaked my knee after falling while skiing two days before our road trip (more to come on that in another post), so I had no choice but to stay off it while in a car.

The snow blizzard ghosts can be quite hypnotic.

The snow blizzard ghosts can be quite hypnotic.

Positive Two: Ground Blizzard Ghosts.  Also, when driving through Nebraska, you can enjoy the swirling of mini ground blizzards. The light snow churns up in whirls and patterns, and as a nerdy English teacher, I can’t help but think of Henry David Thoreau and a passage from Walden:

For the first week, whenever I looked out on the pond it impressed me like a tarn high up on the side of a mountain, its bottom far above the surface of other lakes, and, as the sun arose, I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some nocturnal conventicle.

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The Travel Ahh…Outback Roads and Vehicles

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

The Red Soil captivated me every time I saw photos of Central Australia. The Outback was the place I really wanted to visit in Oz during my first school holidays as an exchange teacher. Uluru, of course, was a must on the list. Just getting there, however, proved to be almost as surreal as seeing Uluru’s spiritual grounds and the monolith itself.

One minute I’d look out the car window transfixed by the soil and its various shades, and then the next I’d see some wacky vehicle that looked like it drove off the set of The Hangover 3. The Stuart Highway didn’t disappoint either since you’d definitely see the hard core, badass Road Warrioresque machines.

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

© Stephanie Glaser 2010

Northern Territory

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Friday Funny Sign: “Shovel Not Included”

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Colorado, USA, Along highway 285. Dirt can be a hot commodity — by the truckload —  but this little snow encrusted pile seems like it might be better for a batch of mud pies. I saw this on the way to Denver International Airport and didn’t have time to take a photo. Surprisingly, it was still there when Kurt, the kids and I returned to Colorado a week later. I’m guessing it’s not going anywhere.

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser