The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 July 2004

Westward movement

Independence, Missouri — 3689.2 miles

Actually, my movement today was more or less southerly. What moved was a teensy star break near the right edge of the windshield, the result of a bit of flying debris somewhere in Wyoming. Inasmuch as it exactly resembled the last one of these I got, three years ago, I opted to leave it alone and have it fixed when I got home.

Bad mistake. This morning the little so-and-so waited until I was safely out of town and tried to expand on its little asterisk of destruction. There was nowhere to go on the right side, so it started spreading leftward. By the time I'd done 30 miles, it had grown to two inches; by 75, it was fully a third of the way across the glass.

Inasmuch as the break is not yet within my line of sight, I'm not really upset, but I'm going to have to pony up for some new glass. First estimate I got was about 60 percent of my insurance deductible.

That aside, US 75 south of Sioux City is a good low-level thrill ride, at least until you've passed the two reservations. I wandered onto Omaha's north side, which offered an unexpected historical reference: a house on Pinkney just west of the Belt Line Railway turns out to be the birthplace of Malcolm X. And after days of gawking at babes of Scandinavian extraction, it's probably about time I shifted back into a more, um, diverse mindset. Omaha's west side, your basic suburban sprawl writ large, completed the task, although getting there required me to run through midtown, where I noted the presence of a pavilion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center bearing the inspirational name Storz.

And from there into Kansas City, where none of the streets actually go anywhere but it's so damned much fun to drive. Or would be, if you didn't have to share those streets with all those other drivers. And they're probably still out there, long after I've checked into a room for the night.

Posted at 6:34 PM to World Tour '04