Continuing with my Ohio road trip...
Each day I've been pretty good at making work the first priority so there's daylight left when I'm done. On Thursday and Friday after work, I took evening drives into surrounding Chillicothe farmland, where cows graze over rolling hills. The cow pictures didn't come out, but here's three others I like.
When we were traveling to the juggling festival last month and took an inadvertent detour, we drove through this countryside so I had to go back!
My 500mm zoom captures a "hot road mirage." The hot air on the road surface and the cooler air just above it create a prism effect that redirects light from nearby objects:
At night I'm tired and don't care too much where I park and sleep, as long as it's safe. Travelers line themselves into rows in a corner of the Wal-Mart parking lot in Chillicothe. I'm last so I go to the back of the line.
I didn't think sleeping in a car would be that comfortable at first! I have a Toyota Corolla station wagon and the back seats are folded down so there's a big flat surface. It's just big enough for me to stretch out diagonally. There's also room for a duffle bag and a tent and an as-yet unused sleeping bag and big jug of water. (Snacks, maps, cooler, and electronics are on the front seat.) The bed is made of stacks of foam pads, and on top is a thin sleeping pad like hikers use, and a sheet. That works about as good as I need. Probably the worst thing is you can't sit up, and it has windows! I can hang stuff in the windows if it gets too bright. On the plus side, it never leaks rain.
Here's a view looking back from the driver's seat.
I can do work in the car on the laptop (using cellular internet and cigarette lighter). I try to find interesting parts of town to park in. I'm also on the lookout for free wi-fi and an outlet. One time my laptop saw a network near a donut shop. "We don't have internet cafes in Chillicothe" the lady almost proudly informed me when I strolled into her place with the laptop. Visions of gooey donuts faded. Then came an acute awareness of a collective gaze of rebuff from the customers. On my last day in town I eventually found free wi-fi at a local bar, which was strange because I couldn't imagine any of the customers bringing a laptop.
Friday I said goodbye to Chillicothe and got a tinge of excitement as I hit the road. It seemed like kind of a depressed town, though not without its slight southern charm. I also was in dire need of a shower and was starting to feel homeless. Surprisingly I couldn't locate any truck stops without driving back to the Columbus area! I washed up in a men's room. You can get a sense for places with good restrooms, and sometimes you want to get something to drink or snack on there too.
I drove on to Athens with plans to get a nice hotel room. But I didn't need a whole room and bed, just a shower. So I opted for a $26 camp site. It was a lot better than a Wal-Mart parking lot. The bathroom was grungy as expected but they had hot water and the next morning I got cleaned up! And it was nice to be outdoors.
More farm pictures: