Where’s the Chinese Buffet?

The biggest reason we went through North Dakota was to be in a better position to visit with Steph’s sister in Minnesota. After a very pleasant and uneventful drive through North Dakota and few miles into Minnesota, we pull off to meet Steph’s sister. We met at a Walmart parking lot and walked next door to a Chinese Buffet.

Steph’s sister was accompanied by a couple of her daughters, one of their boyfriends and an older son. They were all in good spirits and very glad to see Stephanie. We sat and talked for over an hour. After a while we made our way back to the vehicles and took off.

It was a good visit. I don’t often hang with Steph’s family. They are from a deeply religious order and our being unmarried doesn’t sit well with most in that crowd. So I keep my distance but maintain friendly relations when at all possible.

We went all the way through Minnesota that night and ended up just inside Wisconsin at a decent hotel. So far the kitties had been accepted at all the hotels we tried. It wasn’t that they all took pets, it’s more that there are plenty of hotels that do that it wasn’t too difficult to find a place. In our infinite wisdom, we planned this move during 4th of July week and yet still had very little trouble finding a room.

The fuel costs were astronomical. I figured out the tank in the Uhaul to be about 50 gallons. That would need refilling every three to four hundred miles depending on how many hills we happened upon. Then there was the dually being driven by Steph. I wondered if it would have been cheaper to drive the Uhaul, with all our stuff, into the Pacific than drive it to Maine. This thought continues to haunt my dreams.

We woke up to some legit mugginess in BFE Wisconsin. It’s nice outside otherwise. Minnesota and Wisconsin were both super green and beautiful. Living in the Portland, OR area for over three decades, I had forgotten that perhaps the Pacific Northwest wasn’t the sole domain of beautiful countryside. In fact, each state we went through all the way to Maine was as green and alive as any other. I saw plenty of places I could live if the laws and politics of the area were conducive to me being able to live free.

Our regular routine on the road was to clean up and hit it, but eat later around lunch time. Around this time I spied a billboard warning of a Hardees up ahead. We got off the freeway and I excitedly entered the Hardees that was built into the Love’s truck stop. I remember the menu in the 1970s being similar to Arby’s, with sliced roast beef sandwiches and all. I wasn’t disappointed, but most of the menu was the same as Carl’s. Hands down, the best fast food onion rings we had ever tried.

We fueled up and looked forward to going through Chicago later that day.

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