Seven miles, yup. Seven miles. We made it seven miles out of Litchfield in the direction of Willmar before deciding that maybe we needed to do a course correction. Going further west towards the Dakotas was beginning to look like a bad idea so we shot ideas back and forth as we moved slowly towards Willmar in the relentless rain.

We weren’t having fun. Central Minnesota we were discovering wasn’t a very interesting place. The only things that either of us liked were the beautiful farms and old barns and silos. But that was it. We didn’t like the total lack of amenities (as in the total absence of everything else). We discovered that only towns of a certain population had anything more than a bar. Litchfield, pop. 10,000, had only 3 motels and 2 grocery stores. Further west we were told that things thinned out even more; towns were even further apart and basic services like (anything) became even skinnier.

So we bought a tent, 2 sleeping bags, and 2 tarps yesterday morning in anticipation of all that but after running 2 hours in the rain we began to question why we were doing what we were doing. We didn’t see any people except those that were driving their cars or trucks up and down the highways. The scenery was non-changing, non-expanding, and we were told that it was just the same (but more of  it) in the Dakotas.

We discussed Kafka (yup). And our journey was beginning to resemble something that made as much sense as ‘The Trial’. And to keep moving further west could only mean exploring something increasingly darker. We hadn’t seen as much as a single farmer’s market. No bike shops. No bookstores. No running stores. No nothing. It appeared that every single thing on the landscape that had any vestige of individuality, personality, or constructed with any human consideration had been replaced by Walmart. And if that was the case then it was a place not to travel through but to flee from (unless one of course had a strong compulsion to write novels in the tradition of Kafka).