Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So Lonely

July 16th, 2013. I started off the morning with a biology curriculum meeting in Potomac, MD, talking about the project ideas that were voted highest by the various biology students in the county. I volunteered to start working on an idea, and was allowed to leave at 12:30 to start working on it.

Instead, I busted ass back home, and started packing and loading the WRX for the third installment of the Packwood ProSolo trip. This year, it would (hopefully) include the Toledo ProSolo on the way home, as well as a codriver. The rest of the curriculum committee knew I was going to be away for the next two weeks, so it wasn't that big of a deal to leave when I did, though eventually I'd have to get around to putting my ideas on paper and uploading them to a SharePoint site.

By 3:30, I was ready to leave. But Pat had come home, then gone to pick up his new Hoosiers in Finksburg and then over to FBC Performance to have them mounted. I didn't want to leave until he came home. 
Heat index was more like 105

When Pat came home around 4PM, it was a quick kiss goodbye-don't-forget-to-take-care-of-the-hermit-crab-I'll-text-you-when-I-stop-for-the-night, and out the door I went. I made a stop at a local craft beer emporium to grab some brews for friends on the opposite coast, then I was off. I paused as briefly as I could in Breezewood for gas and a Sheetz-stop (hint -- if you stop at the Sheetz in Breezewood, and need to turn left, it's quicker to turn right then do a U-turn up the street; otherwise, you might sit there for up to ten minutes. No kidding), then pushed on as far as I could, which dropped me in.... Toledo.

Wednesday morning was hot and humid (again), but my gas mileage was terrible, so I opted to go sans A/C and windows down. I eeked through the Chicago traffic post-rush hour (it was still iffy), and suffered through the constant construction of I-90 north of the city into Wisconsin (through 2014? Yikes, I think I need to find another route!). Finally free of the traffic and the congestion, it seemed like smooth sailing. I wondered what to do next, and how it would impact my arrival time.

The Hades 360 wooden looping coaster looked like something I really would enjoy, but I didn't want to buy entry into a park unless I could spend extended time there. One year, I'm going to just have to dedicate a day to Mt. Olympus in Wisconsin and Silverwood in Idaho. I kinda wanted to go back to the House on the Rock, but I knew I didn't have time for that either. It was push on, push on, and try to make up some time so I could go see the Badlands on Thursday.

I did stop in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, when I was low on gas, and saw a few police officers. I stopped and asked one of the "town of New Lisbon" officers if he could give a suggestion for lunch. He profferred the idea of the Body Shop, saying it had great atmosphere and the best burgers around.
Wasn't much to look at, but I was willing to give it a try.
I drove to the other site of town (not that there was much to it), found the place in question, and entered. I immediately felt like an outsider, but sat down at the end of the bar nevertheless. The bartender asked if she could get me something, and I asked for a local brew (Farmers' Daughter), and a menu, while telling her how I was referred. She laughed and said that all of the cops show up there, that it was their favorite. The atmosphere seemed more relaxed now, and I ordered a "burner burger."
It was hot, but not too hot. In fact, as the officer had said, it was a damned good burger, and I'm not a big burger person. I finished up, left my tip and swung back into town to pick up two New Glarus brews to bring home with me (Spotted Cow and Moon Man).

The rest of the trip on Wednesday was pretty uneventful, as I was just trying to get as close to the Badlands as I could before sleepy time. There was a brief pause in Minnesota while I watched some silly birds buzz around the rest area.
Unhappy about anyone going near the nest.
But, otherwise, I just drove, no-AC-windows-down, until I was approaching the banks of the Missouri, and I found a hotel outside Chamberlain, South Dakota. While I was on the phone and making the reservations, I was at a rest area, and the waxing moon and starlit sky were beautifully accented by a meteorite. It was so near perfect, I almost didn't want to go on to the hotel.

Next : The Badlands and Smoke on the Horizon

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