:: a heart so big it hurts like hell ::
iowa is the kind of place that makes you cry when you leave. it’s not
the kind of crying that you do at funerals or when girlfriends break up
with you, but the kind done at weddings and when your favorite football
team wins the super bowl. everyone that i’ve been blessed to meet there
has such big and lovely hearts. a place like that is unbelievably hard
to leave. i feel at home there. even when i’m sleeping on a couch in a
basement that’s 1,050 miles from my own bed.
the internet is a
crazy place. it was over a year and a half ago that wayde first sent me
an email telling me that he enjoyed my photos and that he too was a
starflyer fan. that lead to me exchanging emails with he and amy in the
latter part of last year. wayde and dana kept me informed of the band’s
plans to play in philadelphia and i had the opportunity to see general
sherman in july of this year, but i passed it up for an afternoon of
cliffjumping. two weeks later i was in iowa. and then again, a month
to get to iowa, it is a good idea to pass thru
pittsburgh. i’ve decided that the two prettiest skylines i’ve ever had
the pleasure of viewing are that of columbus, ohio and pittsburgh,
pennsylvania. i’m not sure which one i prefer, but as i traveled west
on I-376, i came around a bend in the highway that revealed the
pittsburgh skyline just after dusk. i shrieked as a little child would
when handed more candy than he knows what to do with.
no good way thru ohio. interstate 80 is unsightly and interstate 70 is
full of drivers who consider 66 mph in the left lane really, really,
really fast. i don’t like to travel thru ohio and i can only think of a
few good things to come from there: ben roethlisberger, the columbus
skyline, griffin house, and, well, i think that’s about it.
a giant bridge that goes around chicago that’s called the skyway. that
is a great name for a bridge. after the skyway, chicago was full of
unwelcome surprises. my ignition switch went bad at a 7-eleven in
skokie and it was $335 to replace. i got caught in the sidestorm of a
tornado and it took me the better part of an hour to find I-294 south.
most illinois drivers are slow and tend to get in the way, but around
chicago, they drive much like massholes. i err on the aggressive side,
but these maniacs needed to calm down. chicago never looked better than
in my rearview mirror that night.
looked brighter once i landed safely in iowa. i crossed the mississippi
and fell asleep in my car on a hill that overlooked the river. i woke
to overcast blue skies seven hours later and i filled my gas tank with
gas that only cost a dollar ninety-nine, 89 octane. i arrived in ankeny
two hours later to fresh brewed coffee and home made omlets. iowans
sure know how to greet east-coasters.
general sherman is
recording a new album. luke, from the envy corps, who just signed to
mercury records, arrived at wayde’s house later saturday afternoon to
record the drum and piano parts. becca came over and we all went down
to the basement. i took photos. i watched them record for a bit. it
wasn’t the most fun i had on my trip, but i’m glad i was there.
iowa is home to fields of giant windmills. sunday, wayde and i got the
new starflyer album and drove an hour north on I-35 to wade thru fields
of soybeans, corn and windmills larger than houses. while there, we
made a lot of photographs. satisfied, we traveled down to ames to have
coffee with dana and becca. the coffee shop in ames is delightful. when
you order your coffee they prepare it on the spot, filling a filter
with grounds and dripping it directly into a beautiful hand crafted
iowa 80 is the world’s largest truckstop. on my way home,
i spent over an hour there perusing the many souvenir shops, dentist’s
office, barber shop and arcade. i made a handful of photographs and
headed directly to the mississippi river. while there, i waded in north
america’s greatest river while conducting business with asterik studio.
it was there that i noticed the irony of the shirt i was wearing. on
the front it read: “driving east” (who happen to be a band i
photographed about a month ago).
just over a day later, i arrived safely home. the clock read 3.43pm. ironic. i had left at 3.43pm exactly five days earlier.