After getting an over night train from Rochester to Waterloo, Indiana, I was going to wait in a very quaint old train station (more of a tiny wooden 2 roomed bungalow really) to wait for my lift onwards. I opened the door to the station hut to find myself in an old-western style empty room with walls ladened with information and pictures about the history of the train station. One display had paper over it saying “disturbing display” which I naturally went straight over to see what it was. I lifted the paper to be greeted by a confusing image. Someone was laying on the tracks but somehow their neck (which looked weirdly long) was passing through the metal tracks. Confused by this image, I thought I should actually read the blurb that came with the display. The man with the perceived long neck had actually been decapitated perfectly by a train. He didn’t have a long neck that was contorting itself through the rail, it was just so neatly separated from his shoulders that that’s what it looked like to me. I read on and found out that after this man was discovered, they didn’t know if there was any foul play involved and so eventually the FBI became involved where it eventually transpired that he had been a Nazi spy on the wanted list. As far as I read, there are still questions about whether it was an assassination or suicide. I thought that was a fun little fact for small town rural America!

Anyway, I didn’t get to read until the end of the newspaper clipping as the man running the station came in saying he was closing the place until an hour before the next train… which was the same time tomorrow! He was very helpful with finding me somewhere I could go and wait as well as being confused by this British woman just appearing at the station.

Once my lift appeared, I started my short and sweet trip with my oldest friend, Claire. We met when we were 6 (not that we got on very well back then which we joke about) but by the time she moved back to America when we were 13, we were best friends. We have an uncanny ability to see each other almost exactly every 2 years. The last time I saw Claire, she was a newly wed to Dave, who I had met on the previous trip, 2 years prior. This trip was exactly 2 years, 2 weeks and 2 days after the last one, now with the added benefit of meeting the newest addition to the family, baby Tempe. 

Obviously our lives are very very different. She is settled with a husband and child where as I am on a “young wild and free” adventure around the world still pretending that adulthood isn’t going to smack me in the face whenever I land back in the UK. However, despite how much we have both changed since we we were roaming around the “out of bounds” woods at the back of our school everyday, or sliding around in the mud at low tide in Devon, we are still thick as thieves when we’re back together. The last three days we haven’t really done much except sit, make cups of tea, order in food, play with Tempe, and chat. A lot of chatting until the early hours of the mornings which I always really enjoy.

When we were setting out for Detroit airport, we had left a suitable amount of time to get there 2hrs before my departure. However, after we’d left and the traffic was really slow, a friend of Claire’s pointed out that it was a game day for Michigan State University. There were thousands of supporters, all wearing their college colours and mascots from head to toe filling the “sidewalks” and over flowing into the road. Many were drinking and not at all road aware and generally being annoying for me, the foreigner trying to get to an airport on time. When I finally got to bag drop, I was told that had I been little more than a minute later, he wouldn’t have been able to accept my bag onto the flight due to the time it takes for bags to be scanned and loaded! :O

Thankfully security was completely empty so I could go straight through after a very rushed goodbye and I got straight into the boarding line and onto the plane. I am now writing this as we come into land at Las Vegas before I continue on the same plane to Oakland, California, very much hoping that my bag is in the hold of this plane but at least I’m staying in the same place for 7 days if it isn’t… 

A friendly plane wing

In other news, I think I’ve finally learnt how to pack my bag! Despite getting rid of some stuff in my first few stops, I found my bag kept getting bigger and bigger but now I think I’ve finally cracked the packing part and my bag is notably smaller. However, I have yet to work out how on earth to do the ‘living out of a bag’ part but it’s still early days!

Update: I have my bag! All is well. However, LV airport wasn’t too fun while being sleep deprived and very travel tired as even the boarding gates were filled with flashing lights and pinging gambling machines All the way around the central column! Madness!