This Easter weekend we drove up to Madison to take in the town for a day and a night. We then went to the House on the Rock, which is definitely in my top five places in the world to go. We had a lot of fun in Madison; it’s a really cool town. It’s sort of what Iowa City is reaching for (and not anywhere near grasping). Madison is clean, easy to get around and has a really nice human scale. It could live in Madison, not that they’d let me. Behold! Photographic evidence:
This is my brother’s face. Real good. Creeper, smashing their face into a window. This, too. This was supposed to look like the last supper. It doesn’t. The kids, sitting in judgment. David, feeling it. Cool archway. All of us! Nhi? Can you find a Tri? This is in a hallway, which wing, I’m not sure. These mosaics were all around the dome. They were really neat renditions of concepts. Domes are rad. Madison’s capital is super cool. Nicer than Austin’s, even. Iowa’s pales in comparison.
Picture this: the middle of summer 2018; it’s hot and cold all over; weather is happening from coast to coast; things are not occurring and happening everywhere; two adult men are making their way across the contiguous US while trying to maintain dignity and a positive working relationship.
Alternatively, you could picture SCB and James making their way through the barren American tundra of existential desolation and conservatism while the Britisher of the two politely doesn’t laugh at the Americaner of the two’s fart jokes.
We started out journery in Iowa, first taking in all the Rick and Morty Cedar Rapids has to offer. Our departure from Iowa was proffered good portents by this truck accompanying us for several miles. For real. We paced this motherfucker from CR, IA to Wherever, WI. Our first campsite was desolate and strange, but the owners were kind and let us stay free. It was off season and they didn’t count tents as real people. This is James’ first s’more. He did not want s’more or “some more” as British people call them.. Second campsite was better. What I will tell you, however, is that this lovely site had its toilets ruined by an alcoholic hobo. The dude refinished the floor in liquid poop. I’d have been angry, but he repapered his pants with the same material and, in doing so, demonstrated his commitement to his art. American politicians, exalted by mere time to the station of gods. Fuck, we’re doomed. This was the waterfall at that same free campsite with the hobo. There are upsides to everything. The converse of that is that there are downsides to everything. The downside to this waterfall wasn’t the hobo dung, but rather that some fratboys snagged the site next to this feature and only stayed in their camp to sleep off their nightly benders. This is, I think, The Buffalo Bill National Park. Things got heated and James and I had to draw lines in the sand to reduce conflict. Same campsite. Skytimes. Same thing, different angle. A restaurant in San Fran. I said we went coast to coast, and by Glob, we did. San Fransiscan buildings are made of copper and wedge-shaped. This is a real life tarantula that James and I found. James wouldn’t get out of the car because he forgot that he’s a rugged mountain man. This is Bombay Beach’s finest home. Bombay Beach graffiti. Tube TVs explode when you hit them with golf clubs. Modern TVs just break unceremoniously. Hail, Satan, but only inside this dry-docked boat. You can invoke the devil, but only if you like Lord of the Rings and take yourself too seriously. More of an abandoned ship. I feel like this thing could be resurrected, but that’s only because I don’t know anything about sailing. Wrecked pirate ship in Bombay Beach. Or something left over from a rave. Probably pirates. Old docks on Bombay Beach. This lake was created by an ecological disaster (man-made, or if you ask my dad, totally natural) wherein some engineers fucked up an irrigation channel and filled a dry-lake with salty mountain water. The water has evaporated every day since. The water doesn’t move and only increases in salinity as time passes. The salt crusts up on everything as the water line runs from the beach like a startled raccoon. I don’t know what goes on out here, but there’s a four poster bed. Probably student films, mostly. There’s the abandoned ship. James walking alone. A door to somewhere. Someone nailed fish to posts. I don’t know why. Rad graffiti. This place is as Fall Out-y as one can get in the non-Fall Out world. A radio tower, maybe? Birds. Our campsite. ON THE MOON. Stars. Night sky. The Milky Way is visible when you’re in the desert. The same campsite as the sun goes down. Great Rock Piles of the Western Sea Board. The Ranger at this park was really nice. Some government workers are very kind and helpful. Some. The Golden Gate from a naval gun site. A pillbox deal. Clouds rolling over a famous bridge. Stickers on a bannister. The bay arm extending out into the ocean. There aren’t enough photos of this bridge already in the world. Here are more. Just doing my part. Faithful and old, this leaky fart-pipe is famous all over the world. This reminded me of an MC Escher (or Escher-like) picture my dad had handing on our wall when I was little. This biz is all in Yellowstone. James wanted a photo of this ground squirrel. Profile squirrel. The clouds hanging over a Yellowstone Valley like some moth blocking a desk lamp and casting a shadow. Prismatic-type springs. Steamy 2000 Flushes. Little crystalline formations. Telephoto crispies. Sulphur or calcium or something. Cool staggered pools. Steamy piles of crusty biz. Pretty stuff. I really liked these springs. That’s the only thing that explains the number of photos I took. Cool Also, cool. Rad. Super hot bizness. The angry earth blighted these trees. Spciy hot natural activity. Also cool. The Devil leaves a lot of his bits all over. Poor guy has so little of his original bits, he’s now just a nipple and a tuft of pubes. James on a plank path. This is Devil’s Tower from afar, maybe? I don’t know. The Devil’s Tower, but closer. America: Flat as Fuck. More flatness. This seemed really American to me. Seth Bullock’s fance. More of the same. I want to be famous for His Wifing. Wild Bill. Aces over Eights. Buried right here. I feel like having a monument is important. I want a monument. America! Fuck, yeah! Something heavy was anchored with these once. Or not. I have no idea. Apocalypse Horsemen. Ol’ Scratch. Horned, cattle-headed women. I dream of this nightly. Knights slaying. This clock-faced mothercuker has some idea. Unca’ Sam’s got plans. Praising the Dark Lord, Cromdor. Horror Horror Horror Horror Horror Horror If this doesn’t get you hard, you’re dead. I don’t understand what this means, but I feel like he’s trying to tell observers something. Metal men. 2001: A Space Organ, see? Carousel of the Gods. James only looks unimpressed. He’s amazed. The carousel. This is all from House on the Rock. This place is expensive, but worth it. It’s so bananas. It takes cool people all day to go through. A wall of horrorses. I don’t think these papers are real. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be, though. Same thing with this. HotR is filled with forgeries. This lady is rad. James hated this shirt but wore it all the time. This is a tiled car. Heavy as fuck, but it’s worth it when to step out of the shower onto the hood of your car and not worry about damaging the paint. Do nut enter. Paging Donald Darko. Donald Darko. Ah! FUCK! Rapists can be hiding anywhere. This Moby Dick filled an entire room. This Kraken was tangling with the Moby Dick for supremacy. Some automatic song-playing contraption. These guys are really good at their instruments, but they play without heart. This lady granted my wish and now I’m a 12 year old boy in the body of a 40 year old. I like lightbulbs. I like bottles, too. Tom Waits fucking a pig. Soul Clown is hungry. The Shrieking Pineapple. All weird lance-shaped architectural lance things should be carpeted. It makes the whole thing a lot easier on the eyes. An Asian garden or something.
We went with a Rick and Morty theme this year. Our costumes were really fucking awesome! Vy’s was the best. Mine was second best. Probably.