As part of my day job, I’m required to attend conferences and events throughout North America. This week, I’m in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a four to five hour drive from my home in Ontario, Canada.
I rented a car for the trip so I didn’t have to worry about wear and tear on my own half-dead jalopy, which has a dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree all year long. Driving a rental is usually a pleasant experience but this time I was given an Elantra – the world’s smallest car – with the baldest tires I’d ever seen. According to The Genius, it wouldn’t have passed a roadside safety check. At least there’s no snow forecast for Michigan this week – a blessing this time of year.
The trip itself was rather uneventful. It started out a sunny, beautiful day but the closer I drove to the border, the foggier it became. By the time I crossed the Blue Water Bridge between Sarnia and Port Huron, I thought I was on my way to Hogwarts or was about to pop out of the forest near Forks, Washington. Waiting in line to clear customs, I expected to hear a foghorn and really dramatic music from a 1940s war film.
Soon I was on the highway to Flint and Lansing and ultimately, Grand Rapids. Driving on Michigan roads is always a treat. The cracks and potholes in the concrete usually match up to the beat of the music on the radio. Combined with the horrible shocks in the rental I was driving, I was dancing and bopping along to the music without any effort on my part.
I also LOVE the way Michigan records its highway mile markers. Rather than have small signs that show the miles, the state transportation authority just dumps a deer carcass along the side of the road. While this is a rather creative way of recycling, it’s a bitch to keep track of how far you’ve actually traveled because you have to keep count of the deer carcasses you pass. And after about 50, it’s easy to get confused and forget what number you were at. And sometimes, people stop and cart off the deer carcass for butchering and you’re really screwed because you’ve actually gone two miles instead of one by the time you see the next dead deer. And that just fucks with your gas mileage.