We started in Omaha, Nebraska. That’s a great first line to a novel nobody really wants to read, right? Don’t hate on Omaha, y’all! There’s a lot going on there, and I’ll tell you more about that later, because I’ll be back there before you know it. Here’s just a teaser for the Omaha homage I am going to write up: Omaha is the 40th largest city in the U.S.; a dog bit me there; I met the mayor, who was drunk and looking for a baby to kiss; I met the head of the mayor’s security detail, who was stone-cold sober and looking to kiss the mayor; and people get dressed up as superheros or furry creatures and roam the downtown area for no discernible reason. What’s not to love?
By 6 a.m., McAdams was up and at ’em, busily flying all around the house, last minute packing, loading up the car, blah, blah, blah. I’m not really the type to get up before my coffee’s been delivered, but I sat on the couch and kept her company, cuz I’m cool like dat. She loaded the suitcases and the cooler and a million other things we would soon deem unnecessary, and we were off! Lest you think I didn’t pull my weight, let me remind you, I have very delicate wrists that appear to be made of tiny hollow bird bones, so the union won’t let me do any heavy lifting. I’m not up to code.
The first day we were on the road for 10 hours. Here are some of things we saw:
*11 animals “sleeping” by the side of the road, including 3 possums, 2 raccoons, 2 deer, 1 half porcupine, half badger, a baby chupacabra, and two ULFM (Unidentified Large Furry Masses).
* A sign that informed us that Le Mars, Iowa, is “The Ice Cream Capital of the World.”
* 168 bikers, some with more than one “fatback” on the “hog”. (NOTE: I’m not exactly up on my biker lingo, so please don’t stab me if I don’t use the proper terminology.) I notice that almost all of these motorcycling enthusiasts are middle aged, and almost none of them wear a helmet, which is legal in some states, including South Dakota. There is a huge motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota every year, with bikers coming in from all over and loads of entertainment; this year Bob Dylan and Stone Temple Pilot are playing and Pee Wee Herman is showing up and Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus is the emcee. Have I told you yet that we are headed for South Dakota? We are!!! Congratualtions to Smurp for guessing right away.
* A trucker who looked just like Charles Manson, pre-forehead swastika, who tooted his horn and smiled a grisly, psycho killer smile at us.
*85 signs for Wall Drugs, that began at the beginning of the state and followed us all the way until, well, Wall Drugs. We didn’t stop, because we can’t be manipulated by hype and propaganda (and also because we decided we’d do it on the way back to Nebraska. Something to look forward to!)
* The following signs –
I’m Senor Weiner! You know you want me! (Advertising hot dogs…I think)
Candy Corn and New Potatoes, next exit (Yum! Another roadside farmer diversifies!)
Prepare to Meet Thy Maker (This one was in the middle of nowhere, stuck in a cornfield. It freaked me out for miles.)
2,500 loose slots- you’re bound to get lucky! (For a casino; gambling’s big in SD.)
Reptile Gardens – One of the Top Ten Places to Stay in America! (I don’t even need to comment on this one.)
*One awesome, way-cool sculpture garden off the highway near Montrose. I’ll post the pictures as soon as I have the technology.
*The following towns-
Yankton (named after the famous Native American tribe that go around doing practical jokes and yankton my chain)
De Smet (home of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous little house)
The dog that bit me in Omaha is named Belle, so my Wild West name is going to be Belle Scar.