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A compilation of stories, telescopes, internship resources, and other things radio astronomy.

Graduate School: Applying, Living, Thesising

The Professional Student is a blog about everything grad school from the application process to my experiences living as a grad student, being a parent in grad school, and researching the role of chemistry in the evolution of our universe.

Road Trip to Grad School: Day 3

Olivia Wilkins

Total distance on day 3: 570.2 miles
Total distance so far: 1511.0 miles

Howdy from Oklahoma City! Alex, Günther, and I were planning to stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the night, but what's another hour-and-a-half? We now strategically have about 100 fewer miles for the three remaining days of our road trip than originally (and tentatively) planned.

We woke up refreshed after sleeping deeply following our long day in the car yesterday. Motivated by visiting my friend Zev in St. Louis, we happily ate waffles (hotel continental breakfast waffles are by farthe best) and yogurt before beginning the trek out of Illinois.

After about an hour of driving, the arch at St. Louis came into view above the treeline; we were approaching the gateway to the West (and the gateway to a great meal prepared by Zev).

We crossed the Mississippi just after 10:00 a.m., leaving the eastern U.S. behind. About 20 minutes later, we arrived at Zev's (about 30 minutes earlier than expected; we made great time today.).

Zev made us brunch while Güni happily stretched out on his living room floor. Zev's cooking was a welcome change to eating on the road. He made us blueberry scones and frittata with broccoli, onions, tomatoes, and spinach. He also pitched in some strawberries and English muffines. It was great.

After a couple hours, Zev sent us on our way with a bag of chocolate chip cookies, apple cake, peach cobbler, and some left-over frittata; he was a lifesaver on our way to Tulsa, which is about 400 miles away from St. Louis.

After leaving St. Louis, we wound through the hills and gradually descended into the plains. We wound through the lands that once belonged to Route 66, long since replaced by superhighways like I-44. When we crossed into Oklahoma, the bumpy landscape quickly became flatter and flatter, yielding vast stretches of plains dotted with small mounds of dirt. The foliage was also changing: the trees were a darker, earthier green, and green grass gave way to amber waves. I even saw three armadillos along the road. We certainly weren't in the mid-Atlantic anymore.

We finally arrived in Tulsa around 8:00 p.m. where we enjoyed some white pizza with green peppers at Pizza Hut. The pizza was delicious, but the facilities were less than satisfactory: what kind of restaurant doesn't have a baby changing table in the bathroom? Changing Günther on the back seat is feasible, but not without him rolling into the seat's wedge.

After inhaling our pizza, we took to the road, leaving by our original destination for the day behind. Recharged and having started the day off well (thanks, Zev), we were determined to go one city further on I-44. So good night from Oklahoma City. Tomorrow, we plan to say good night from Albuquerque.