As we crossed that imaginary line between N. Dakota and Minnesota, everything changed. The golden (aka brown) fields that stretched on forever were replaced with intense greenery and water everywhere. Though not the pretty, blue lakes I was expecting and hoping to see in this “land of 10,000 lakes.” Instead, I was confronted with algae and cattail-filled lakes, some covered so densely that we weren’t  sure there was any water there at all. The kind that you could drive right into and not know it was a lake until you were drowning in it.

With the change in scenery, I noticed a quickening of my heart, and a difficulty in catching my breath. It suddenly all became very real.

Green trees and green grass = we were not in the West anymore. We were most assuredly nearing our destination, and I would very soon be in NYC attending Columbia University.

Holy shit.

We camped in Maplewood State Park in Minnesota, and it felt just like Ohio or N. Carolina or any of these East coast states. And it felt kind of silly to be paying to camp in a regular, nondescript campsite  at a state park instead of just finishing our drive. Plus, it was an awful camping experience (read about it in my next post).

Suddenly, we were over it all. We didn’t want to camp anymore or hike anymore or take any more pictures; in fact, as I was looking for pictures for this post, I couldn’t find any other than the 4 pictures we took at our campsite. The (above) picture of our dog, Domino, shows how we all felt about this place.

Realistically, it wasn’t totally Minnesota’s fault for being swampy and green. It just became way too difficult to get every thing done that needed to be done when we were spending all of our time setting up camp, cooking food, hiking, driving, tearing down camp, planning our next stop etc. With only 2 weeks before our scheduled arrival in NYC, we really needed to spend more time applying for jobs and making sure all of the paperwork got done for me to attend school (so many barriers! But that will have to be a different post). I had no idea how difficult all of this would be to accomplish on the road. We kept trying to schedule times to work on shit, but there was just never enough time.

So we decided to expedite the rest of our trip and spend a little extra time at my parents’ house before the official move date. We had originally planned to stay with an old high school friend in Chicago and then another friend in Ohio, but opted to skip both in order to focus on ourselves and the business at hand. We were nearing the end of our road trip. It was time to face reality and buckle down.