An Ocean-to-Ocean Odyssey for the Ockers

August 11, 2018 — According to my Hertz receipt, we drove our rental 4,130 miles over the course of about 15 days on our cross-country trip. That’s about a 1,000 miles wider than the width of the country, in case you’re wondering. But that’s how it goes when you’re zigzagging the map looking for oddities.

I posted photos of those oddities regularly on the socials during our trip, most of which you can also see in the main feed on the home page here on OTIS. There are some great ones. A witch museum. A rock star death site. The head of a mummified serial killer vampire. But the sites weren’t the whole character of the trip. Because it was a family trip! Obviously!

Below, I’ve picked a selection of photos that really communicate the personality of the trip. Because more than national parks and medieval torture museums and the childhood home of the guy who made us all mad for white Christmasi, this trip was my pregnant wife, my two daughters, and me spending every second of ten days together before the four of us become five. We’ll remember it for the rest of our lives. Well, except my four-year-old. She probably won’t remember any of it. But her consolation is that she’ll probably outlive us all, something she reminds me about every morning. Also, that we took a lot of photos for her.

As many times as we've visited cemeteries together in ten years,
I think this is the first time we've taken our photo together at a grave.
That's the power of the Haserot Memorial in Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery.

Taken at her request in the vampire exhibit of the Ripley's Museum in the Wisconsin Dells.
She's been watching the Hotel Transylvania movies a lot lately.
This guy did NOT say, "Bleh, bleh, bleh."

Still at Ripley's. Different daughter, different monster.

Half my life in front of Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring.

I'm a sucker for an OTIS grave.

Found this guy in Four Oaks, Michigan. We had a moment.

I promised to show the girls giants.

And I did.

The walk back from the site of the Buddy Holly crash,
explaining the lyrics to American Pie.

The heroic journey of a woman laden with child
across the barren landscape of a country in turmoil

I should have arranged us by the height of the presidents.

I assume they thought "Sundance Kid" was the name of a YouTuber.

This image should be painted in oils.

Behind me is the Madison Buffalo Jump.
I got really into buffalo jumps on this journey. Google 'em.

As a dad, I point stuff out a lot.