Where I am no longer depending on when you read this….
St. Louis, I Hardly Knew Ye
My stint in St. Louis was much shorter than I expected. I wound up spending Friday night in a town about six miles outside of St. Louis. I figured staying in the suburb would be easier with my bicycle in tow.
I woke very early on Saturday morning to get sunrise photos at the St. Louis arch. (photos are still unprocessed). I made the mistake of returning to the hotel and eating a lousy waffle, thus ruining my lunchtime appetite. At the same time I came to realize that my laptop backup hard drive was still in Atlanta. So, with that I ventured out to find a Best Buy, and soon thereafter a Wal*Mart to purchase one for this trip. Both Best Buy and Wal*Mart were to the west of St Louis, as is Kansas City, so I never made it back.
I Went To Kansas City, Kansas City And I’m Gone
Kansas City is about four hours away from St Louis. This near proximity allowed me to get into town and relax before heading out for my night’s plans. Because of my Sunday morning plans I chose a hotel in a Kansas City suburb known as Lee’s Summit, which meant I had a near thirty-minute drive to get in to Kansas City.
For Saturday evening’s dinner I chose to go to Gates BBQ (see below). Once I had my fill of barbecue I ventured out to find a bar called Record Bar because Alejandro Escovedo was scheduled to play there. To my surprise and dismay the show was sold out. I was going to give up and leave, but decided to see how my luck was running. I missed out on the first person to have an extra ticket which he sold to someone else for $30. Only a couple of people remained outside of the show and I sheepishly asked a guy if he had an extra ticket — and he did! I asked how much he wanted and he said $20, so I decided that I’d be a good guy and gave him $25. Pay it forward…
The show was great, with the exception that a small percentage of people in Kansas City are just like those in Atlanta — they just can’t keep their mouths shut. One girl, a typical “my type”, broke out into some loud conversation about how she gave one of the guys on stage a massage and he put her and her boyfriend on the list so that they could get in to the show. Ugh. I returned back to my hotel (after Jill the GPS took me on an incredibly sketchy route back to the hotel.) around 1:00am (this will be significant in a second).
One of the big reasons I’ve been toting the Red Rocket with me on this trip was to ride in a ride called the Summer Breeze ride which started and ended in Lee’s Summit. I stumbled upon this organized ride while Googling for “Kansas City group bike ride” a few weeks ago. Registration opened at 6:00am so I woke up at 5:00am (remember what time I got back to the hotel?) so I could fill the Jackmobile with gas from the nearby QT and make the thirty minute drive to the start of the ride. I signed up (no t-shirt? dangen!) for the 45-mile ride. Here is my odometer at the end of my ride. Huh, somebody’s measuring device is not correct.
The ride was mostly flat, over some rough roads in spots, and for the first half was into an annoying head wind (which thankfully was a tail wind for the ride back).
One of the things I hadn’t figured out was how I was going to shower post-ride. Because of the starting time and length of the ride I had to check out of my hotel room before leaving for the ride. The ride started and ended near a small campground so I drove there to see if I could find a shower. Luckily for me the attendant cut me a deal so I could get through their gate so I could shower for $5. Yippee! I love it when Fortuna smiles upon me.
Once showered I decided to lunch in Kansas City before pushing off for Sioux Falls, SD.
A Tale Of Two Sandwiches
Two meals in Kansas City. Two meals consisting of barbecue. Two meals starring what is known as a “Burnt Ends” sandwich.
The verdict? They both kicked ass!
I Think I Made A Miscount
I’m confused. While driving to Sioux Falls I was doing a mental check on my schedule and an extra day has emerged. I don’t recall whether or not this was supposed to be a night spent in Kansas City Mo, or Fort Collins CO, but I may take another day around Mt Rushmore since it’s supposed to rain there today.
Since the weather in that part of the country is sketchy my revised plan is to drive to Rapid City, SD (about 30 minutes from Mt Rushmore) and spend the night there. Tomorrow morning I’ll wake really early so I can be at the park by daybreak.
- Driving America’s interstates is boring.
- Holy shit this country grows a lot of corn!
- I passed a free-standing hearth in Missouri, but I was unable to photograph it because I was tooling along the interstate.
- I’ve packed too much shit for this trip.
- I’ve completed two of my audiobooks — Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw” and Mark Frauenfelder’s “Made By Hand”
- Missouri has QT, but they don’t have Wachovia bank ATMs inside of them.
- America has become annoyingly homogenous. I’ve found myself in some suburbs and based on the stores around them you could be almost anywhere. 🙁
- You can purchase beer on Sunday in Missouri and South Dakota — so I did.
- Yesterday’s ride went through the town of Peculiar, MO. Had the “Entering Peculiar” sign been facing in a way the sun would have lit it, I’d have taken a photo of myself below the sign.
- Thankfully my hotel room had AMC so I was able to watch “Mad Men.” I loved last night’s episode (could Don Draper be a drunk?) though I’m disappointed that they are in 1965 and have yet to acknowledge my birth.
Stats & Goals
Current Mood – absent
Current Music – listening to “The Splendid Table” podcast
Website Of The Day – Tonight I’m drinking a delicious Cherry Cola from Sprecher Brewery. Yeah, they make beer too, but the gas station from which I purchased my “dinner” didn’t sell any of their beer.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – cycling, 50 miles
Morning Weigh-In – couldn’t check
Pages Of 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die Read – 77
Foot Mileage – ~4 miles, Wheel Mileage – 217.0 miles
Pushups – 0, Situps – 0
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 12 (12)
Vegetarian Days – 1, Carnivorous Days – 28
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 4
– Not to get sick for the entire month (I did it once, I can do it again!)
– Not get fired from my job
– Ride my bicycle no fewer than 200 miles
– Get the Sharpened Stone, LLC moving further
– Complete at least one iPhone application (seriously, this needs to happen)
– Completely plan out my August/September Colorado trip
– Reduce my weight to 185 pounds (starting weight was 198 pounds) [update: On July 1 I’ve sadly gained weight; I’m at 203 pounds]
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Sharpened Stone.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Get the Black Sheep stats out of Excel and online
– Ride in no fewer than two 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Complete my Taco Mac Passport requirement of 125 beers
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in
PHP and CSS Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem