The end of summer was approaching, which meant that the first day of classes was encroaching. For my brother, Dan, this meant heading back to Wisconsin where he had attended the year before (2007) as a freshman at Concordia University, in Mequon. But instead of flying the 1, 445 miles from Moscow Idaho to Milwaukee, he decided to drive back because he needed his Chevy pickup to commute from his townhouse to Concordia University, a 10 mile drive. The plan was to cross through Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and then head up towards Wisconsin. The next issue was money. How were we going to pay for expenses on the trip over? My parents said they would cover hotel expenses so that was a relief, but what about gas? This was last summer, mind you when gas was nearing $4.00 per gallon. With a beater truck getting 15mpg (lucky), at $4.00/gal traveling 1500 miles, you get a large sum of money. Naturally, since I was going with him, he thought it only fair that I should pay for half the gas price. I’ll rot in hell before I shell out the $600 for gas money! Mind you, he asked me to join him on his trip so he could attend classes at his college. Not to mention he made almost five times the amount of money I raked in over the summer. Why would I accept this cop out!? And I didn’t, I paid for a lot of the fast food and contributed more than my fair share of driving, I paid my dues. As I look back and reflect upon what I have written in the last few sentences, it almost seems like I don’t want to go on this trip at all, but that is not the case. I was definitely looking forward to this trip, despite fiscal impact. A chance to spend some time with my brother and to escape my parents seemed like a great idea. That is when the fun began, with Judas Priest blaring through the speakers, there was no way this could end wrong.
Montana came first, with all of its wonders. You couldn’t go 50 miles without seeing a billboard advertising the upcoming “Testical Festival” which was of course honoring the rocky mountain oyster. We agreed to pass and move on. Next in Montana, we encountered probably the only good thing about that state, “50,000 Silver Dollars,” a restaurant/gift shop. Except that this gift shop sold plenty of knives, swords, and anything sharp for dirt cheap prices. Yup, we were still in America.
As the pickup crossed into South Dakota we encountered both the great Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. When you think of Mt. Rushmore, a giant mountain piercing the heavens might come to mind. But in reality it’s a tiny hill in the middle of nowhere. This “mountain” even though relatively small was a wonder, due to the shear amount of time they put into the presidents noggins themselves! The badlands came next, which has the “world’s richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 37-28 million years old (United).” The vast array of layered sand and flowers caught my eye as an interesting combination; this was truly a wonderful place.
By the time we drove into Milwaukee, our money was low and we were ready to take a break. All in all, I think it is good to finally gain some independence and take responsibility for your own actions. In addition, spending time with my brother turned out to be a memory I will never let my mind forget.
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