This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



June 2023


All three of us agreed that the “fun thing” for the last day would just be getting home. So we powered through the drive and got home just after midnight.

Alex Verdict: Collapses on stairs.

Brandy Verdict: Oh my god, there is so much to do!

Sam Verdict: They had a whole month vacation, I only had 10 days. No fair!

A Little Detour

Sunday’s fun thing was deciding to not just go on I-90 for the last couple days, but instead take smaller more scenic routes a bit further south through Bighorn and Yellowstone. We had already decided days ago to aim at getting home Monday instead of Sunday, so we could afford a little extra time. The detour added about three and a half hours to our trip.

Lots of great views as we passed through Bighorn. As we passed through, Brandy stopped for a deer crossing the road, but just as she started up again, the deer’s baby ran in front of us. We did hit it, but thankfully at very low speed. The deer got knocked over, but popped up immediately and ran to its mom. They glared at us angrily as we drove away.

We got to Yellowstone at twilight, so no stopping, just straight through from the west side to the east side, mostly in the dark, although we saw quite a lot of steam coming up from hot springs and smelled the sulfur anyway.

Alex Verdict: Too long and mom hit too many deer

Brandy Verdict: It was pretty. Didn’t like the dead animals. The bison was sad.

Sam Verdict: The drive was great. Next time hit Yellowstone in the daytime.

Half Way: Corn Palace

On Saturday, Brandy whizzed right by the Porter Sculpture Park and wouldn’t turn around to go check it out. But a little bit later we did stop at the point the GPS said we were exactly 1201 miles from Amy back in Pennsylvania, and exactly 1201 miles from my mother in Washington State. That’s one way of defining the half-way point, although not the only one of course, and maybe not the best one. But it is the one we used today. We stopped and took pictures. Remarkably, it wasn’t just a field by the side of the road. But it was only a parking lot. VERY near by though, was the Corn Palace! So was the “fun place of the day”. 1203 miles from Amy, and exactly 1200 miles from my mom.

Alex Verdict: Most of it wasn’t even corn. And it wasn’t a palace.

Brandy Verdict: Corny.

Sam Verdict: Should have been a couple miles further east.

A number of hours later, we of made the required pilgrimage to Wall Drug, but we did not stay long.

Dirt Road Detour

Alex didn’t want to go to Crystal Lake Cave, and he didn’t want to go see the world’s largest popcorn ball, so that left the “fun thing of the day” an earlier detour we took when US-20 was closed for a stretch, then the next turn the GPS told us to take was closed too, and later a third road was closed too. So we spent an hour or so (at least) on back roads in rural northwestern Illinois. A good portion of those roads were dirt roads!

Alex verdict: Whatever I was doing there?

Brandy verdict: It was funny and a little scary.

Sam verdict: I love dirt roads. YEE HAW!!

My New Friends

None of the nearby Atlas Obscura spots this morning were universally enticing, so we went to African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio. These two posed for pictures. The bison gave me a nice lick.

Alex verdict: Too many animals.

Brandy verdict: They have no manners.

Sam verdict: They wanted to get in the car.

Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Atlas Obscura stop for today: the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. We did not hike the two miles to the first of the two tunnels on the abandoned stretch. Neither Brandy or Alex were up for that today.

Alex’s verdict: Not worth it.

Brandy’s verdict: Didn’t like the hill.

Sam’s verdict: Wanted to see the tunnel.

Nice to be appreciated…

Part of a profile of himself Alex is doing as homework.

Miley and her sleeping boy

New Year’s Moon Halo

Taken just south of Everett, WA at 2018-01-01 04:30 UTC.

The 2017 tree is a little different…