15 October 2006

The Road is my Favorite Place: Day 8

(Days: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven)

24/viii/04: Limon, CO to Abilene, KS
365 miles/588 km

An alarm I hadn't set started blaring. Like a frantic parent searching for her child's injuries after a big scare, I ran my hands over the clock to find the off switch. 5:00 AM. Damn truckers. I crashed back out occasionally hearing trains rumble by.

My frustration was mitigated when I checked out and discovered the continental breakfast was still out. For most of the trip, I'd slept through the early window during which breakfast is usually offered at motels. There were homemade poppy seed muffins, the usual coffee/tea setup, and variety of packaged Hostess products. My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I could swear they had Twinkies (which in principle pleases me greatly). Behind the counter were framed images of the Polish flag with the name Polska below it and one of the Pope. Misha, the friendly, soft dog of the family rubbed up against my bare legs as I loaded my car.

About an hour later, I was "Leaving Colorful Colorado." The 75 mph speed limit of the last three states dropped to 70 mph in Kansas. Corn and sunflower fields whizzed by. There was more farmland, cattle, less water; it was green but mostly dry without many trees: High Plains since I'd left Limon, the altitude over 5000 ft. and flat. The highway that had been so sparsely populated for most of my drive thus far was suddenly full of state troopers and Adult Superstores.

I stopped for lunch at the Deep Rock Cafe in Colby and switched to Central Time (1:35 PM). For $8.24 (plus tip), I had a very tasty grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a bag of chips, pickle slices, iced tea (unsweet), and a slice of banana cream pie.

Since I planned to stop in Kansas City the next day and didn't want to pay city rates for a room, I made it a comparatively short day and stopped when I got to Abilene. $32.40 was enough for a nice room at the well-equipped Best Western President's Inn. Up the road a ways, I had dinner at a Dairy Queen. As I was driving back to the motel, my cell rang. Typically, I left it off when I was driving, but for whatever reason it was on, so I answered it. The caller identified herself and caught me off-guard, so I asked her to hang on a minute since I was driving. I pulled into the motel and parked, considering how twisted timing can be. It was a woman calling from The Ellen Degeneres Show to tell me they were now booking tickets for September and October. I'd failed to get tickets the previous year and had filled out some email months before that I'd given up on. Now that I was halfway across the country, they were calling. I explained my situation and took a number in case I'd be back in California, but I never called it.

(NEXT>>>)

One year ago at TTaT: Audblog #13, Audblog #14, I thought it would be harder...
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