I’m swinging back through parts of the country I’m familiar with, so it’s a bit harder to find things to visit along the way. I’m also battling the fatigue that comes from switching locations every day, so I’m trying to go with more low-impact exploring. The Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio, takes an hour and a half winding along several back-country state roads to get to, but it’s an eminently drivable tangent off the interstate (not particularly tricky to find the junctions, just have to navigate a lot of narrow roads and slow stretches through tiny town main drags), and it’s very walkable. You can go around the whole thing in about fifteen minutes, including the short climb up the viewing tower. It’s shorter than I thought it would be, maybe waist height on an adult for most of it, and that makes it all the more surprising that the thing has actually lasted so long, in such instantly recognizable shape.
I managed to straighten out the South Dakota cancellation with Airbnb, and even got a $25 credit from the very helpful customer service (but you do have to call them and wait out the “next representative will be available in over thirty minutes” message), so I can afford to break the remaining drive into shorter chunks than before and squeeze in an extra night’s stay. Airbnb in Pittsburgh yielded up a house clearly decorated by a Star Trek: Original Series fan–although they were savvy enough to mix it with blocks of primary colors so the overall effect is a bit like living in an Andy Warhol painting. Had dinner at the Airbnb host’s rec, Nicky’s Thai, which was tasty but not outstanding. However, it had a green tea version of thai iced tea that I hope spreads elsewhere. The green tea is less harsh–sometimes the black tea restaurants in the U.S. favor for thai iced tea is so bitter the sweeteners only heighten the nasty aftertaste–and has an understated floral note that pairs nicely with the creaminess of the evaporated milk.Animals: Juvenile fox running across the road. I know it was a juvenile because the ears and tail were enormously out of proportion with the rest of it.