First of all, if you’re driving out of Colorado Springs, due east on 94, you should be aware that once you pass Ellicott, there aren’t any until you hit Cheyenne Wells, Co. That’s, like, three hours. We could have stopped at the museum in Kit Carson and begged for a restroom, but that’s not our style.
Incidentally, 94 is flat, straight and very lightly traveled. I suspect if UFOs are going to swoop out of the sky and confront anyone, this is where they would do it.
We spent a night in lovely Oakley, KS. The people were extremely friendly. They have to be, because the air smells of feed lots. Don’t know what a feed lot smells like? Imagine hundreds of cows, standing around and pooping in the same place. Take that cow pie smell, multiply it by a skabillion, and you’ll know what Oakley smells like.
Another thing about Kansas? Loads of religious billboards. Most of them have the very white, blue-eyed hippy Jesus begging you to love him. This was also where we rediscovered humidity. Both my husband and I have lived in the South, but it’s been a number of years so we had forgotten what it’s like to breathe air you can chew.
Now, Missouri is something completely different from Kansas. We’re speculating that one state’s billboards are in response to the others, but we don’t know which came first. Because Missouri is full of gas stations that advertise fireworks and “adult toy stores.” I never before considered buying fireworks and sex toys together, much less in the vicinity of a gas station. Maybe they know something I don’t? We became picky consumers, not bothering to stop for gas unless we could purchase explosives and sex toys. We didn’t buy either, but one must keep one’s options open.
Note to self: Saw an idea for Joe for Christmas. At one of the gas/fireworks/sex toy places, there was a man wearing bib overalls. Yeah, so? First of all, he had a ponytail down his back, even though he was well past the age for a ponytail. Second, the buttons on the side of the overalls were not buttoned. No, this was not some young buff dude showing off. Oh, not even close. Buttoning those pants was a physical impossibility. He had a stomach like a beer barrel, no shirt, and plenty of pale, pale flesh exposed for everyone’s viewing pleasure. I immediately noted what a good idea it would be to buy Joe a pair of those overalls.
Today’s car adventure was something else. There was a huge storm system across the midwest. You may have seen it if you turned on The Weather Channel this morning. We left just as the storm was breaking. I don’t think either of our girls had ever seen it rain either that hard or that long. Just buckets of rain coming down, nonstop, for hours.
Somehow, between the time I got in the car on Friday and today, we drove through a time warp. I don’t just mean crossing a couple of time zones. There must be a breach in the space/time continuum, because when I get out of the car now, I hobble like an old lady for the first few steps, bent over, creaking and groaning. That never used to happen to me on road trips. Not me. I’d hit the road with Frieda, roll down the windows and crank up the tunes. We could live for days on beer and potato chips, and didn’t have to stop every 45 miles to pee or work the kinks out of our backs. We ate at truck stops and diners and didn’t need antacids or cholesterol meds. Nobody called us “ma’am” or tried to help us across the street. Nobody had bunions. Nobody worried about regularity or clean toilet seats. There were no children in the backseat, waiting impatiently for someone, anyone, to start setting a good example.
Speaking of which, they’d like me to turn out the light so they can get some sleep. Another long day on the road tomorrow. And someone will have to be awake enough to navigate.