About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Iowa: The greatest state on earth*

* = Subject to the opinion of its residents.
** = Subject to the opinion of its visitors.

After the repairs, and 23 hours of driving that Jer just spoke of in the last post we were actually on our way to a planned destination: Iowa. After having lily's ailments repaired, and even improved in some ways we hit the road with purpose. I messaged my good friend, (an American whom I met while living in Australia) that I potentially maybe able to come by and visit him. Justifiably, this is about as much certainty as I could give him due to our style of travel and fussy engine issues.

However, we clocked over a dozen straight drive hours and made it to Cedar Falls, Iowa on Monday. While attempts to yell out the RV window at anyone and everyone "HEY, DO YOU KNOW JORDAN MILANO?!?" did not produce promising enough results. Lily was in dire need of fuel so we stopped at a gas station, and I borrowed a phone for a local call by dialing a number that I was about 85% sure was Jordans.

Ring. Ring. Ring.
...no answer.
too bad.
10 seconds later, gas station lady's phone rings.
"Uhh, she thinks its for me?"
Jordan skeptically: "Hello?"
Me: "Hey dude, its me, Jamie. Im with 4 other buds in our RV, were in your town"
Jordo: GET OUT (in an excited Jordan voice that sadly cant be relayed via blog channels, yet is so distinct that anyone who has met him has likely heard it)
Jordo still: "Im on my bike now, I was going to the university to people watch, but instead, ill be there soon."

5 minutes later I saw my friend.
Then we did a few really fun things.

We went to this thrift shop called St. Vincent De Paul, that was super cool and super cheap.
and THEN we went for dinner at this Mexican place called Pablo's that was super duper cool and just as super cheap. We then drove back to his and Ian's (his roommate) house. These dudes live in the most insanely fun house of all time*. I should add that Jordan pays $100 dollars monthly rent, but then again this is the fantastic perk of having your mattress on the living room floor. No one will ever tell these guys how to live, because they do it pretty well. It was a Monday, so naturally we were going to Cypress for free pool. That was also awesome. Jeremy and Adam also caught a local show at a cool but sketchy venue. Perhaps though, the two most awesome events of all didn't happen until the following day. The first was Lily's new Tattoo's. I was almost sure that Jordan, an avid tattoo and spray painting enthusiast would love to leave his mark on our trip somehow. S0, we gave him the canvas (our RV) and virtually unlimited freedom. He went to town.

The final product is, as you will see, great.
This is our friendly monster, The Gobbler and on the opposite side, in classic graffiti style essentially cementing the arbitrary name that was given to our RV over 5 weeks ago, The word "Lily"
Also this morning, even prior to the spay painting and a delicious 5 egg breakfast, we set out for our "act of blessing" here in Iowa. I warned Jordan a few days prior, that if we did show up, we'd love his help finding someone that could use ours. The hardest things for us (since we move from place to place so quickly) is having the time to settle in a find someone that truly could use help. We have come to learn that try as we might, always the best interactions were the ones that fall on our lap. That's what we asked Jordan for, and that's what he did. He got talking to his mom asking if she knew of anybody in a difficult situation and what she offered fit our mission exactly. I will spare most details, but because of a difficult home life situation, Mrs. Milano's friend (who lives with an alias) and her two kids, were now living at a near by hotel. Despite her alias, we still managed to track her down by describing her to one of the workers, and it ended up being the best case scenario. After we explained to Corrie (the lovely staff member) our idea, and with bags and bags of grocerices in our hands, she told us that actually the woman we were looking for had just left and even let us into the now vacant room. This was great because now, we got to unload the grocieries, putting them away into the fridge and cupboards. Almost hidding them in a way that she wouldn't immediately notice all at once, but slowly realized what she has. We left the kids a few school supplies on the table, along with a brief note and our best wishes.
This was a pretty cool stop. We never even met the family, but that almost made it all the better.
Cheers,The Boys

1 comment:

  1. Boys, RV looks awesome, your boy does great work! All the cool kids know that Iowa is the HAWKEYE state, and your act of kindness naturally leads to:

    Help A Woman and Kids, Effect?, You're Edified.

    Happy Trails on the home stretch, John Maguire