Monday, October 28, 2013

What I Did This Weekend

My line of work does not involve a lot of business travel, mind you, but for the next few days I am attending a conference in a major American city known for its majorness, and also its cityness, and for having many tall buildings.  In fact I'm in one of them right now.

It seemed a shame not to come out a few days early and see the city's world class art museum.  But, for better or worse, I got distracted by the outlying areas and put in a solid three days of arbitrary travel instead.  As is my custom, here's a little travel diary for you.

Friday, 5:30 a.m.  I arrive at the airport refreshed from more than three hours of airplane sleep, and rent a compact car that, the agent gravely informs me, they "don't really recommend for highway travel."  Uh huh.  As it is quite dark and I am disoriented, I pretty much follow the first road I find, which takes me away to the northwest and sets the general direction of the trip.  It is not until I find a coffee shop in little Winnebago, Illinois, that I am able to connect to the internet.  This yields me the day's hashpoints, and, scenting blood, I am off to surprisingly cute Dubuque, Iowa, and a farm road seven miles to its southeast.

The area where Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa all come together is really rather charming.  An "island" in the major glaciations of our epoch, it is a rolling tapestry of woods, fields, and villages.  Very picturesque.  I continued my day's drive up to Spring Green, Wisconsin, where you can stay at the only motel in the world built according to Frank Lloyd Wright's semi-harebrained "Usonian" principles.  I'd stayed there before, and it's pretty cool.

Friday score: 8 new counties (5 Illinois, 2 Iowa; 1 Wisconsin); 1 geohash; 1 new state run in (Wisconsin).

Saturday.  Having scoured the maps on Friday, I've discovered that most hashpoints in this part of the world land in farmed fields.  But there was one in a ditch over in Iowa, so I drove north for a ways, then west for a ways, then clipped off the point of southeastern Minnesota, and eventually got to the hashpoint.  It turns out that it was only ten miles or so from Spillville, the Czech colony where Dvorak hung out during the summers when he lived in the United States.  I was hoping they'd have a statue or something, which they don't, but there was this mural:

So that was cool.

At this point, I figured I should probably start heading back in the general direction of the conference, but thought I'd stop in Guttenberg, Iowa, just to make sure that a Sunday hashpoint that looked too good to be true was, in fact, too good to be true.  It turned out that it was exactly good enough to be true, so I found some digs, settled in, and gorged myself on college football.

Saturday score: 8 new counties (3 Wisconsin, 3 Minnesota, 2 Iowa); 1 geohash; 1 new state run in (Iowa); 1 classical music pilgramage; Oregon 42, UCLA 14.

Sunday.  After a midnight adventure and a good night's rest, I basically just headed back to the large city to give the nice people their car back and report for duty at the tall building.  But naturally I found a route that I'd not taken before, and incidentally managed to sneak in a second hashpoint for the day on another lonely agricultural road.

Sunday score: 7 new counties (1 Iowa, 6 Illinois); 2 geohashes.

What did you do this weekend?


Anonymous said...

Ain't life good!

Michael5000 said...

It certainly has its moments. I was particularly fond of "hashpoint that looked too good to be true."

mrs.5000 said...

Maybe I shouldn't have told my parents you ended up in some ditch in Iowa...Though actually, they took it quite in stride.

Michael5000 said...

Monday Score: Major Art Museum attended.

Tuesday Score: 1 new state run in (Illinois); major public art installation visited.

Wednesday Score: 1 conference presentation co-delivered. We killed. Thank you.