Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Denver and Missouri

I drove about seven hours yesterday, from Ohio to Greensboro, North Carolina, passing through West Virginia and Virginia at different points. It struck me that I really am doing a hella lot of driving and will continue to do so for a few more weeks. And I'm still not even done recounting my drive east even though I'm closer to starting my true drive west. In any case. After Utah and driving through the Rockies I arrived in Denver, where I stayed with P. and his wife C. Like AK, they had put me up on my way out, so it was kind of neat to do the same basic visiting in reverse. I haven't become an entirely new person, but my time at the farm did, I think, do some good work on my overall outlook on life and sense of direction, and maybe that was noticed by my hosts. Or maybe not. In any case, it was a lovely visit. We had a nice dinner one night, and enjoyed a sunny outdoor lunch on another. I tried an alpaca slider. Not necessarily going to be my go-to protein, but interesting enough.

A field I came across in Kansas.
I once again stopped in Hays, Kansas at a local brewery. I had a soup/half sandwich combo. The soup was so-so but the BLT was not skimping on the bacon.
The rolling hills of Kansas. It's simply not as flat as everyone says it is.
I also repeated my journey by breaking in Kansas City, and having dinner at Antoine's. I planned on having a steak but was tempted by their special of the night: osso bucco. Honestly it was good, but I think a steak would actually have been more satisfying. I sat in a high chair along a small bar that faced the kitchen, as there were no tables available. I had a great vantage point to see a new dude screw up a lot of salads, which I think was as frustrating to him as it was to the servers and higher-ups of the kitchen. More interestingly, I saw the guy who seemed like the second in command cut a lot of steaks from a larger chunk, which was pretty neat.
The next morning I found that my car's back left tire was no longer inflated. I put on the spare and spent a bit of time waiting for it to be patched. It doesn't look that flat in this photo, but it was.
My end destination was Tennessee, which I could have reached in one long day of driving, but I decided that I wanted to see just a bit more of the country before arriving at more familiar locales. To that end, I stopped in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Honestly this was a pretty arbitrary decision, and I mistakenly assumed there would be some kind of old school, not-too-fancy, hotel right in the heart of this old town along the Mississippi...I was wrong. Still beautiful though. Missouri is pretty, who knew? Full of racists? Yep. But pretty.
The river.
I stopped here for a buffet barbeque dinner, which I enjoyed. I then drove back out close to the interstate and stayed at a rather average hotel.
The next day I chose to take quite a meandering route. I wanted to see as much of the Mississippi as I could, but I don't think there really is any road that nicely runs parallel to the river and allows you to actually see it. I did take the Great River Road route, which kept me close to it, but I had to work a little to actually see the river. I think I spent a minute in Illinois before entering Kentucky and then finally Tennessee. Really small roads, lots of country and not so much of the ubiquitous same-ness that the towns right along major highways usually exhibit.
It was very cool to drive in the morning, as there was a nice amount of mist on the river. It eventually burned off, but not before I snapped this pic.
Me and the Mississippi.

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