This is the last episode in what, in my file system, is Volume I of TRip. I hope you have found some little thing to enjoy, and I thank you for the opportunity to remember so many things, the events, and especially the people who were and remain so important to me.
When Volume II starts, we will be on our way west across this beautiful country. I hope to leave on schedule, July 6, but there is a contingency plan.
Here is the situation: Polly and Nokomis are packed. Polly must have foul weather gear and travel documents – I will not be able to register her here in her new state as her VIN has not been confirmed to the satisfaction of the Motor Vehicle munchkins. She will be an illegal, but properly insured and tagged for one year. Too bad…their loss. Nokomis has a bag that will be packed with food containers, snacks, collapsible bowls, and a water bottle that I will fill just as we leave.
I can pack in under an hour except for the toiletries that I will use on the morning of departure. I have done this many times before. Still, I will probably pack most of my things on Sunday. Departure is set for dawn, June 25, an auspicious date, the 143rd anniversary of the battle on the Greasy Grass where Custer died for your sins.
Today is Friday, June 21. I will do laundry tomorrow, some of the clothes that I need for the TRip, others that are just in the hamper. On Sunday, I will vacuum house, clean the shower, carry out the trash, and ensure that I have eaten or disposed of any perishable foods.
On Monday, I have arranged a ride to Enterprise to pick up the rental car. Let me say a few words about that: You know the “We’ll pick you up” line that Enterprise uses in their commercials? Forget about it; they will pick you up if you have pre-arranged by visiting the office AND if you want to be picked up within five (5) miles. Bullshit. If I were within five miles, I would walk, and I live only, say, fifteen miles from the office. You would think that for a $1,000.00 rental fee, some jackass who would otherwise be sitting idle could fetch me. Oh well…
I have decided to make the marathon drives that I described last time. Nokomis and I will be in Topeka on Tuesday night, and In Dayton on Wednesday night. Those are two long days at the wheel, and Nokomis flatly refuses to take a shift. By the time you read this, we will be on the road or perhaps visiting with friends and family.
I plan to take those days off…mostly. I will take some pictures of Polly to share with you. I may submit them for publication, or save them for a future episode, but there will be no words. I have business errands to complete and people to see. I regret that you are not invited to share these private moments. Sorry.
For now, I offer you a preview of some of our TRip, some highlights that you might anticipate. Keep in mind that after July 8, changes in the itinerary are entirely at my discretion. No whining.
Our first day will take us to Quincy, Illinois, or perhaps Hannibal, Missouri. Neither is a difficult drive. Possible weather conditions and the relaxed TRip that I want to make dictates that one of these will be our likely first overnight.
Our second day will take us across Missouri to Kansas City or somewhere in that area. We have no room reservations, so don’t panic. The third day, you will be on your own. Maybe you should see Kansas City, or cross into Kansas with me. The bluffs above the Missouri River are scenic, or you could spend the day in Lansing to see where Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were executed. You might continue into Leavenworth to see the carousel, and Melissa Etheridge’s hometown. If you want to see the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway, you can stay in Polly’s shotgun seat, but at Atchison, you should step out while I visit Ann on her birthday. I don’t mind you coming along, really, but you might find it boring to hang out with my sweetie and me. We will continue to Topeka in the evening for the birthday dinner.
On the morning of July 9, we start the real quest. I will show you some Kansas roads that will take your breath away. Yes, that was “Kansas roads.” You just have to know where to look for them, and it helps if you can drive them in a British roadster. Best of all, in a Triumph. We might visit Fort Riley. Or not. I have been told that there is a good brew pub in Hays, so we might spend the night thereabouts.
The plans are spotty from this point. I have learned to appreciate Kansas, but I don’t know that I need to see more of it on this TRip. We may continue to Denver, or Boulder, or Golden, or…not. Maybe a southern swing to Colorado Springs is in order. I know that it is a cliché, but I have been thinking of taking Polly’s picture at the summit of Pike’s Peak.
That may not happen. There is ongoing construction of the new Summit House, and during busy hours, cars are parked below the summit. Passengers are shuttled to the summit from these parking areas. I think that Nokomis will help with this. She cannot ride the shuttles. On the other hand, I am not interested in paying the toll just to take a picture of Polly “as far up” as we are permitted to drive. Either way, bring a warm jacket. There is snow at the summit, and temperature falls to freezing or below every night.
There are beautiful mountain roads all over Colorado. You probably know that. It really doesn’t matter if we see Pike’s Peak or stay to the north and cross Colorado via Rocky Mountain National Park.
That is as far as I can project the route. There is no schedule, remember. See you in Indy.
The rant: How is it that I find myself seated in places adjacent to boorish, unmannered folk some of whom are evidently allergic to bath soap, and often dressed in athletic shirts with hairy armpits displayed, but my clean and obedient dog is prohibited? Time to thin the herd.