We’re seeing nothing but California licence plates now. In fact, we don’t think that we’ve seen a single Pennsylvania plate since somewhere around Ohio. We would have noticed. It’s like we’re the only one of our kind, just like Lt. Cmdr. Data until that one Star Trek where he finally discovers his evil twin.
The Gilgal Gardens in Salt Lake City features a Sphynx of Joseph Smith and a statue of the Bible’s Daniel with a boulder for a head. Some of the rocks in the garden are engraved with a series of numbers which form no comprehensible pattern — strange artefacts calling out from the past with an inscrutable message, like in that one Star Trek where the alien probe converts the Enterprise into one of their ancient palaces.
Wyoming is the home of Dick Cheney, a world renowned notorious madman, and I can understand why. The scenery here is enough to drive you insane. It’s flat, yellow prarie followed by another flat, yellow prairie. The roads are hot, and straight. There are no rest areas anywhere, only more road. It’s no surprise that we’ve taken to holding extended conversations with the cat’s toy mouse, Mousey, kind of like that one Star Trek where the little girl has an imaginary friend. I think it’s called Imaginary Friend. Mousey wants to know why we can’t take this exit into some town. But the town is gone, Mousey. It’s just a ghost town now. There’s nothing out there but pioneer bones and coyotes. And coyotes eat mice.
We just passed a building in the middle of a corn field that has an octagonal rotunda in the front labelled RV/MH HALL OF FAME. It must be where the finest champion Mobile Homes and Recreational Vehicles are enshrined, kind of like how Capitan Picard has those gilded models of old starships in his office.
I’m trying to take great photos of the things we see on the road. We just passed a giant white barn labelled “Home Of The Fulton County Fair.” It looked brilliant, but by the time I saw it and grabbed the camera, we had passed it already. And I can’t very well just hold the camera permanently at-the-ready just in case I notice something awesome. Look, a flock of blackbirds just took off. If only I could get messages from just a few moments in the future, like in that one Star Trek where time was a time-loop but then Data sent a message back in time to solve the problem. I would just send a message to my past-self, “Get the camera. Something great is about to happen!” and then I’d have the best photos ever.
My laptop is plugged into the car via a power inverter, which is probably just like the one that Geordi uses in that one Star Trek where the Enterprise gets sucked into the energy vortex causing a temporal anomaly.
Oh good lord, that green road sign up ahead clearly reads “Fangboner Road.”
We just entered Pulaski Township. If the billboards around here are to be believed, then this is the location of the Best Steak In The U.S.A., which makes sense because when she was younger on that one Star Trek she really was a hot piece of meat.
Here’s exit 1-A, the first or last exit in Pennsylvania depending on which way you’re going. Now we’re singing John Linnell’s “Pennsylvania.” We can’t find the CD to put the album into the car stereo, so we’re just singing it ourselves. And now we’ll listen to a new mix CD from Shontae. Listening to a new mix CD is like charting a new star system; you don’t know what’s coming up next.
Kevin was the name of our final Eat N’ Park waiter in Pittsburgh, where we had breakfast this morning. Murray and Beacon was the ultimate intersection at which we jaywalked in Pittsburgh just an hour ago. The Sunoco station on the corner of Braddock and Harrington will have been the last place we filled up our tires with air in Pittsburgh, which we’re doing currently. Air pressure matters. But now I’m just getting dangerously sentimental, like that one Star Trek where Sarek of Vulcan’s emotions get out of hand and infect the whole ship, threatening the mission.
I’ve never heard the cats talk so much. When one cat meows the other cat meows louder as they watch their home disappear block by block. I tried explaining to Lawrence The Cat that we’re going to California where The Terminator and Westley Crusher live, and that it’s okay because The Terminator isn’t evil anymore in the second movie and Westley has grown as a person since that unfortunate ethical lapse with Delta Squadron. But Lawrence doesn’t care; he just keeps meowing.
Now we’re on 279 North towards the turnpike. If you turn around you can see Downtown Pittsburgh get smaller and smaller in the back window, mountains to our right, and as we go around the turn, the hill moves leftward to obscure our town forever. The driver is explaining to the cats, “This is a big deal because I’ve lived here all my life. All my life. And I guess you have too, huh? You guys don’t know how much I dreamed of taking you with me everywhere I go. It’s just like I imagined.”