We packed up our stuff, tossed the rabbit in the car, and headed for the border.
It was a great relief crossing the Colorado river out of occupied America and into the unknown. While I don't know what exactly is going to happen in Kentucky, I know well enough what will happen if I stay in California.
Ava did alright on the trip. She barely moved the first day, but started to eat, drink, and hop across the back seat to use the litter box on the second day. By the fourth day, she was laying on the comforter between the driver and passenger seats. She has proven to be a unique bunny who doesn't adhere to the usual rabbit behavioral rules.
The Subaru was excellent on the long trip, running all 2500 miles smoothly with the AC on through the heat and ups and down of the road. The ride and seats were easy on us, and according to the MPG tracker in the car, we bested the EPA's highway estimates.
A special thanks must go to David brand Jalapeño Hot Salsa flavor Sunflower Seeds. Those things beat the hell out of caffeine on the long rides.
We took the southern route across the US, what I called the less-scenic route, in order to avoid complications with our cargo and our trip. I was quite wrong about the route being less scenic. I had expected little more than dirt and desert scrub until we hit Arkansas, but there were green pastures, dense forest, green plains to the horizon, and very few spots as ugly southern California. Certainly, Northern California is exquisitely beautiful, but southern California is a desert. Leveled, and paved over, with trees planted on top of it fed by borrowed water. Only New Mexico presented harsh lands, the rest were lush and green and inviting.
Northern Texas was second only to Kentucky, (thankfully) our destination, which only seems to get more breathtaking with each passing day. It really is beautiful here.
After some recovery time, we went to get our licenses, which required a total of 15 minutes from parking in front of the clerks office (downtown with no meters!), walking in, filling out paperwork, getting our pictures taken, and walking out with our licenses. It would take more than 15 minutes to find a parking spot at a California DMV.
I'm still wrapping my head around the small-town-ed-ness of this place. We're living with my Mother-in-law in a somewhat rural area, only 15 minutes from town, but there still isn't an easy way to "pop in" real quick. Assemble your chores for the day, go into town, and come back. Everything is further apart, and requires more of a commitment. Rarely do the roads exceed 55 mph, and I'm finding myself slowly acclimating to simply slowing down a bit. I haven't much to rush about at the moment, but it's still strange for me.
Being Free America, I expected the roads to be paved with Gadsden flags, and a gun shop on every corner, but I had more gun shops in a 10 mile radius in SoCal than I have in a 30 mile radius here. I understand there are fewer people here, but I didn't expect it to be this sparse. I suppose hunting only requires a few good rifles and shotguns, and doesn't need much ammo, but I expected sport shooting to keep the gun shop count high. It may be that I'm not looking in the right spots. Perhaps I should close google maps and crack a yellow pages (they still exist!). My little brother would love to shoot Puma's new PPSH clone in .22, and that doesn't exactly fit in with the type of guns you'd find at the goo' ol' boys' hunting shop.
I had expected some degree of culture shock coming here, in the form of different stores, different food, different accents, and different attitudes, but I've had trouble identifying any negatives in these differences. The stores are similar or the same, the food available matches what we had in SoCal, the southern accents are light and disappointingly sparse, and the attitudes are the kind of polite I tried to represent in SoCal. I do feel the need to adjust my soft polite tone to a louder polite tone, because people seem to have trouble hearing it or seem confused when they do. I've already caught myself matching some pronunciations, but only in response to the same.