Sunday, October 2, 2022


Devils Tower and the Jolly Green Giant

By Chuck Woodbury

Originally published in August, 2010

One of the reasons I wanted to drive my daughter Emily to college in New York was to show her firsthand the size of our country. She’s been to the East coast dozens of times through the years, but always, since she was a baby, by flying. Her idea of visiting the East is boarding a flight from Seattle at midnight and then, after two in-flight movies and a snack, arriving in Boston — total trip: five hours.

So now, here we are six days into our road trip. Our home state of Washington turned into Idaho, then Montana, then Wyoming. . . South Dakota, Minnesota, etc. Now, as I write this, we are parked in a residential neighborhood in Springfield, Ohio, where Emily will visit with a high school friend who starts college here in a few days. I’ll take the time to finish this newsletter.

Even after six days, there’s more distance to cover. America is a whole lot bigger when you drive it by car or RV than when you fly over it at 500 miles per hour. Emily knows that now.

We’ve raced across the country — much too fast for me, speeding along on Interstates, where the idea is getting somewhere as quickly as possible and not necessarily seeing much along the way. We have paused a few times — Devil’s Tower National Monument, the Little Bighorn Battlefield, South Dakota’s Badlands, plus tourist spots including Wall Drug, the Corn Palace, and, of course, the 60-foot Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, Minnesota.

Photos: TOP: Devil’s Tower taken in the early morning from my campsite at the national monument. BOTTOM: Emily photographs the Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, Minnesota.


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