I woke up at 4:45 in the mostly empty Schlafly parking lot. It had been full when I retired. I’m not sure why I awoke so early, but after listening to the radio for a while, I decided to go ahead and get going around 7:00. I all the curtains, emptied the urine jar, brushed my teeth and washed my face in Walden’s sink, and decamped. It was just like old times.
I headed west. After an hour or so I was getting peckish. I cannot remember the last time I ate at a McDonald’s, but my mom has convinced me that their tea is pretty good, so I have been filling my mug with tea at their drive through. I would not have thought so, but it’s a slippery slope. I convinced myself that it would be OK to have an Egg McMuffin as a nostalgic treat. I associate Egg McMuffins with taking the SAT and other things that required me to be up early in my youth. It was early. I was hungry. From a pragmatic perspective, I knew that there would be WIFI, allowing me to post the story that I wrote at Schlafly.
I was absurdly complicated to explain that I wanted to drink my tea from my cup. After looking for it for two hours the day that I intended to leave Knoxville, I was not going to let an opportunity to use it go by.
I got on the network and clickety clacked. I got an idea that since I was going to Utah, I should follow the trail that those Mormons followed when they were ejected from Nauvoo, Illinois, and moved to Salt Lake City. According to Wikipedia, I could connect to the trail in Omaha, and according to Google, it would not add many miles to my trip to Logan. I dialed in the route on my tablet using McDonald’s bandwidth and was on my way.
Actually, I had one stop to make. I went in Walmart and bought a new memory card for my camera. It cost twice as much as it would from Amazon, but I did the math and decided that it was worth $20 to be able to take pictures of this leg of the trip. I loaded the new card in the camera and it worked. This was much, much better than getting a new camera.
I noticed that my route went through Kansas City. I was pretty sure that the Romans in Kansas City ate barbecue. I asked the Google where to go and decided on a place that was not far out of the way. The reviews made it sound like it was the Real Deal. When I pulled up out front, I could see that it was.
I checked the menu and saw that I could get a plate with as many kinds of meat as I wanted for something like $12. I was sold. After I ordered my plate with sausage, burnt tips, ribs, and sliced, the server asked whether I wanted one or two pounds. Usually a serving was half a pound. I almost went for the two pounds, which, as I understand it, is eight times as much protein as one should eat in a sitting. This is not necessarily true for ribs, if you do not consume the bones. It turned out that there was no sausage available. Yes, I had to get fries too. And yes, I had to get a Boulevard Pale Ale. I had a lovely time at Boulevard Brewery last year, so I took it as a sign from God. I don’t actually believe in an Omnipotent omniscient being, but I do try not to fight the universe.
My goal was to make a visitor center for the Mormon Trail by day’s end, but by the time I got near there, I was sure it would be closed. At about 6:30 I pulled in to a casino, where I was sure that I could park for the night. The idea of spending several hours awake with nothing to do but go to a casino was distasteful, so I asked the Google about breweries. I found a place called Lucky Bucket that sounded promising.
I arrived there. It seemed like a safe enough place to stay for the night. The beer was good. I turned out that there was a bike ride that was having the after-party out back. They had a very strong porter. It was aptly named.
The party was pretty fun. I met a few people and got a few pictures.
Food for the event was provided by The Pizza Gourmet. She saw my camera and I promised to mention her to my loving readers. She gave me a free sandwich! And it was good. This sandwich represents all of the income I have made from this blog this year. If you are ever in Omaha and want some good food, you should check her out, not only because the food is good, but because she has three hands.
The event also included costumes. I heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll just show you some pictures.
If you were there, you might be interested in seeing the rest of my pictures from the event.
I somehow ended up riding a skateboard around the parking lot before retiring to Walden. It was another good day on the road.
Hey. If you’ve read this far and think this is a good story, please consider “liking” it or clicking that “share” link in the Facebook. I’ve been on hiatus for quite a while and am trying to get my traffic back up. Thanks.