And so my journey ends: through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Idaho again, and into the edge of Washington. In Wyoming I met my brother's friends, their giggly daughter, and developed a friendship with a one-eyed cat named Hercules. Hercules enjoyed playing with curtains and my trash collection.
Hello to windy Wyoming.
The Snake River and a few shy Tetons.
Necessary road trip trash: remnants of a blown tired from the side of the road. Really glad it was not my tire.
Montana sky. Big.
Ponderosa pines = I'm getting close to home.
And so I picked up a few pine needles.
And now I am sitting in a squishy orange recliner as I watch the snow fall in north Spokane. Me, my car, and my boxes have arrived in Washington and will spend Christmas here with my family.
As time and inspiration permit, I will continue on in my journey of making something out of the trash I collected from across this amazing country.
Thanks again to all the amazing people who put me up
After flying through Kansas, I entered the world of Colorado that spawned such wonderful people as my mother. My aunt, uncle and a couple of cousins are there and I had fun connecting with them. Despite my cousin's attempts, it appears my GPS died in Kansas. It may also end up in my trash creature.
Bailey, my cousin husky, pulled apart his chew toy and donated the fluff to me.
I claimed the foil from the Christmas poinsettia.
Lunch at The Sink, a central part of my mom's, aunt's and uncle's lives.
I woke up early early to drive from Toledo to Kansas City to Denver in two days. In Kansas City my friend's aunt and uncle gave me a lovely bed to sleep in, the most massive bag of snacks for the road, and a whirlwind tour of Kansas City. At the only non-fast food option in Russell, KS, I had a waitress very concerned that I fill my stomach. I did.
Apparently Hoosier hospitality includes cats. At the above rest stop, four cats welcomed visitors. I did not take one with me, although I was offered one.
Illinois hospitality included lots of recycle options.
Sadly, they offered no recycle options for the plastic bottles filling the vending machines. Thankfully, I have my own recycling option that is all-inclusive.
The sunset in Kansas was pretty spectacular, so I pulled over to the side of the interstate and took a picture.
The grass on the side of the road was interesting, so I picked a few sprigs.
After Kentucky, I drove through the rain up to visit my Australian friends from China in Ohio. I got to observe no less than two school Christmas programs replete with middle school bands, an elementary show choir, and art displays. So much fun not to be in charge of putting on the Christmas program. Fiona and I rode bikes to Kroger and had fun making Australian recipes in the kitchen. I helped inaugurate her new clothes dryer.
Fi brought me back a Cadbury's advent calendar. I get to eat the chocolate, celebrate Advent, and make use of the trash!
Tiny tiny tic tac container, also from Australia. Each container holds about 5 or 6 candies.
Christmas programs and Australian magazine advertisements.
We had fun making hanging candle holders. Some techniques worked better than others.
I saved the extra bits of string.
My second stop on the Grand Tour was Georgetown, KY, visiting my Houghton friends Liz and Jon and their new baby Clara. This was not a great trash stop for me because Jon and Liz are amazing re-users and non-trash-makers. I love the intentionality they choose in living simply. We had some good conversations about food, life, and babies. Thanks Jon and Liz for good times.
I arrived at their house right as Jon and Liz were making and canning many quarts of applesauce. I got to work the applesauce machine, and they donated a beautiful green box from the canning lids.
Because there was a significant lack of trash, I kept a lid from a peppermint-chocolate milkshake. Yum.
Next post from Toledo, OH!
My first stop on the Trash America journey was visiting Knoxville and the relatives of some friends. I got to taste some Tennessee hospitality including watching the beginning of the 'Bama v. Georgia game with 2 wonderful old men while eating goldfish crackers and discussing China. The house I stayed in was chock full of the most amazing bits and pieces of craft, art, decorations, and fascinating paraphernalia. The kitchen had no less than 5 clocks, and I'm still not quite sure which one was the right time. Johnsons: thank you! You are an amazing family.
The bed I slept in was so high it came with a step-stool!
Shower cap complete with lily pad and flower? Brilliant. I wanted to wear it and croak like a frog, but I actually needed to wash my hair, and I wasn't quite sure it was meant for use.
First piece of Knoxville trash: a retractable juice box straw. Entertaining and useful!
Other fun trash: hymn from Central Baptist Church, labels from Christmas tree garland, and guide to public art in Knoxville with hand annotated map.
Other craziness: I was walking through the art market area in downtown Knoxville and I heard my name. Lo and behold, there was my friend, Amy Hand, from Houghton College selling her beautiful ceramics. We chatted.
Amy donated a lovely piece of plastic from her Home Depot light set. She even tagged it for me!
Amy also gave me a beautiful bowl she made to remember Knoxville. Not trash.
Rebecca Joy Mohrlang
I like to make art from trash and discarded items. Follow along if you are interested.