After last night’s Rob Zombie concert we woke up early with our ears ringing. We had to be at the Enterprise Rental Car place at 8 over in Littleton and pick up our truck to start our journey. We were a little hesitant picking up our rental at a little strip-mall location versus the big rental yard at the airport because we knew we would be putting a lot of miles on the car and we just might have to explain ourselves instead of just dropping off the keys and jumping on the shuttle.
After about 30 minutes of waiting we were in a brand new Ford F-150 with all the bells and whistles and on the road. We reserved a truck initially in the planning stages of the trip because our plan was to fly down with Rags, a service dog we are training and drive to Texas to deliver him. That would be it for our trip. My, how plans change! At this point in our trip we will be driving all the way to Portland Maine then back to Chicago to have Michele fly home to Alaska for a week of work and to pick up Rags. Then I will be driving down to Texas to meet up with her and we will deliver the dog and then drive all the way back to Denver in one huge triangle shaped 6300 mile journey!
As we found our way on the straight, flat, 75 miles per hour area of the Colorado plains we started listening to a new podcast called Undisclosed. Michele was quickly hooked and we would spend many hours over the next few weeks listening to a podcast library on my iPhone.
Our first stop was Burlington, Colorado, just about 30 miles west of the Kansas state line. This big truck was getting pretty good gas mileage. I knew going in we would be spending about 1000 bucks on gas and at least that much on hotels.
We made our way across the 500 mile span of nothingness of Kansas remarking about the huge wind farms. Our only real excitement was our drive through Topeka. I have always wondered what would bring people to places like this. I mean, we are many decades removed from the covered wagon pilgrimages that would bring so many of us west. Often times many of these settlers would stop and live where the wagon broke down, so to speak. Why would anyone want to live here today?
As we crossed over the boarder in to Missouri we knew it was time to grab dinner and dinner had to be BBQ. We decided on Joe’s. Everyone else did too. Here it was almost 7;30 on a weeknight at the line was around the building. Joe’s is said to be the best BBQ on the planet and the guy in front of us attested to that. He said that he comes here at least once a week and he even convinced his friend who was visiting from New York to eat here as well. Joe’s is inside a gas station. I know! But by the time we made it to the counter our mouth was watering. I don’t know it was the wait or he fact this place smelled so damn good but we ordered way too much!
We munched away and even had a doggie bag. We were back on the road by 9 pm and still had to cross the state to St. Louis and our first hotel.
As we got closer to St. Louis the New Zealander’s voice that Michele has on her iPhone took us on an hour and a half of backroads through neighborhoods and horse farms. Through windy roads and near misses with several deer. As 1 am came and went and what felt we were driving around in circles I started to get a little upset. We had been on the road for more than 15 hours and all we wanted was a place to sleep. By the time we arrived and checked in all we could do is turn down the blankets and fall asleep. This same process would happen over and over during the rest of the trip. We would pay a hundred bucks for a hotel and not so much as turn on the lights before we went to sleep.
Tomorrow we will be visiting our first theme park, Six Flags St. Louis and our first roller coasters of the tour!
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