Thursday, October 04, 2012

Signs of Trouble...

I took a trip through southern Ohio (aka: The Red State to the East) recently, accompanying my BFF on a cross-country jaunt to a Shire horse dispersal so she wouldn't have to drive 11 hours (there and back) by herself.

We drove into the state -- one I know well, after having traversed it numerous times since I'm a Pennsylvania girl who went to university in Michigan. Plus, one of my best friends lives there. Much of what I've seen of Ohio is:

* Interstate 80. ::snore::

* Cleveland. Both "The Clinic" -- where WunderGuy has gone to visit Veddy Important Brain Doc who knows a lot about brain tumors and is able to say things like "oligodendroglioma" and "resected" to your face without flinching -- and a gi-normous arena where the formerly mentioned friend & I fried our ears at the kickass Bon Jovi "Have a Nice Day" tour.

* Columbus, where said friend lives, and annual Equine Affaire venue.

* US 31. Which includes half of the stoplights and stopsigns in the continental U.S., and which is the only way to get from southwest Michigan to Columbus.

* Kalahari in Sandusky. The site of a wonderful 3-day Thanksgiving weekend where the family went to the waterpark while I sequestered myself away in the room to write the end of my NaNoWriMo novel.


* Geauga Lake in Aurora. The now-defunct amusement park I visited when I was a kidlet.

As we drove across the state line, BFF noted, "Huh. Ohio. I've never been here."

I was stunned. "You're kidding!"

"Well, no," she answered. "Why would I?"

Since she has had no reason to visit Cleveland Clinic, and has never attended Equine Affaire with me, I conceded that she had a point. "It's beautiful," I told her. "Lots of rolling hills and lovely farms."

In addition to a wealth of car-sickness-inducing scenery, we discovered, Ohio also has a much to offer in highway reading.  Giant billboards point the way to "Heini's Cheese Chalet" (I am not making this up. Evidently they have bona-fide awesome cheese.). Other, equally imposing, signs advertise massive green John Deere heavy equipment with the go-get-'em slogan "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!" in 15 foot high letters.

Interspersed along the picturesque literary landscape were signs like this:

No mud this year. Guess the drought affected everyone in different ways.

and this:

I have nothing more to add...
If that ain't a sign of the heartland (or of the Apocalypse), I don't know what is...

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