Since I won the highly coveted chance to guest post on the Captain's blog, I thought it would be appropriate to share an Iowa story. Iowa isn't a state I've spent much time in, other than driving through parts of it on various trips. But I once spent the night in Captain Crab's fine state, back in January 2005.
I had just finished defending my dissertation, deposited it in the library, and was on my way to Utah to start my very first Real Job. I picked up a friend at the airport who was driving across the country with me, and we were off. It was mid-morning, so we expected to make good time and sleep somewhere in Nebraska.
Roughly two minutes after we crossed from Wisconsin into Iowa, it began snowing. And snowing. And OMG snowing. Conditions were horrid. We kept going, at roughly 10 miles per hour. Eventually we had to slow to 5 mph. Then we started to pass lots of cars that had slid off into ditches. When we passed five separate cars and two semis in the ditch in just one mile-long stretch, we decided we gave up and it was time to get a hotel. At 2 in the afternoon. I have no idea what town we stayed in; it was just the first one we came to that had a hotel.
It turns out to be really boring to sit in a hotel room in the early afternoon in a blizzard. But it turned out the University of Oklahoma was playing in a bowl game later that day, and since my friend and I were both OU grads, we figured we'd watch it, which gave us something to look forward to, kind of. At 5 we got ready to watch the game, and discovered that for reasons that were highly unclear, the station the game was playing on had no sound. The other three stations did, but not the one we needed. We watched the game silently for a few minutes and then it occurred to us to turn on the radio and find a station covering the game. And so we spent three hours watching football, with a noticeable disconnect at various points between what we were seeing on the screen and what the radio announcer was talking about.
And then eventually the game was over, the snow had gotten so bad that we didn't want to risk going out for food, and we were stranded at a boring little hotel with nothing to do but go to bed at 8 p.m. And the next morning, for what I assume to be the last time in my life (please please please let it be so), I got to go out and dig my car out of a big mound of snow and ice, a task made extra fun by the fact that I had not brought snow-shoveling equipment with me.
I am sure Iowa is a lovely state. I am sure it is warm and green and inviting and snowless for entire days at a time. Since Captain and p.j. live there, I know it must have advantages. But whenever I hear it brought up in conversation, my first, involuntary thought is always "HMPH. Iowa."