Vacation – Days 12 & 13

Prison break
Prison break

It was another early morning. We got back on I-25 after filling the car with gas and icing down the cooler for the last time. We decided to drive awhile before stopping to eat breakfast. So we headed north and stopped at Raton, New Mexico. I hate to admit it, but we stopped at a McDonalds©…clean restrooms and cheap breakfast sandwiches.

While Cindy checked on the cleanliness of the ladies’ facilities, I snagged a booth near the front of the fast food joint. I was located within earshot of a group of local senior citizens who evidently met there on a regular basis. A couple of them gave me the old hairy eyeball as if wondering if I, a senior citizen from outside their clique, was attempting to join the group. I wasn’t.

I noticed right off that one of the group, a man who appeared to be their leader, was holding a fly swatter. I was only sitting there for a moment before I understood why he had the swatter. There was a large number of the flying pests in the establishment. They seemed to love the food, and he seemed to love swatting them.

I started eavesdropping on their conversation when one of the men said, “Who needs therapy when you can have a martini?” Off the top of my head I thought that I would prefer therapy because I dislike the taste of gin. I always went by the credo of “Never drink anything alcoholic that you could easily see through.”

I must have lost track of the discussion, because when I again focused in, one of the women was trying to explain the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s. The group consensus was that Alzheimer’s is just super-dementia. They also agreed that none of them wanted to experience it first hand. I silently agreed with that last sentiment.

Hard on the heels, or perhaps as an addendum to the Alzheimer’s discussion, one of the men stated loudly that euthanasia is beautiful. They went on to discuss the states that have legalized assisted suicide, but they seemed fuzzy about which of our fifty states had formalized the practice. To be honest, I can only name Oregon, but I’m pretty sure that there are a few more. The gentleman who raised the issue then said, “If it gets to that, most of us seniors keep a stash.” His friend with the fly swatter then quipped, “And your’s is probably in your greenhouse.” At that point Cindy came to join me, so we ate and got back on the road.

We crossed the state line into Colorado. We exited the Interstate highway and started taking state roads to the east and to the north, working our way towards I-70 East, closer to the Colorado/Kansas state line. On one of those highways, I forget which one, we came upon a correctional facility on the right side of the road. That is where I took today’s picture. The deer were moving fast enough that I only had time to pull out my camera and shoot through the windshield. There were actually six or seven deer, and they were escaping the area surrounding the prison. Rather than jumping over the barbed wire topped fence, they had found a shallow depression under the fence and were sliding under, one at a time. As they got to the area on the other side of the highway, they would stop and look back at the deer still to come, as if saying, “C’mon, Lefty, you can make it.” Note to Colorado Correctional Officials: You might want to fill in that depression before allowing any inmates near the fence, because if a deer can get under it, I’m pretty sure that human could as well.

Getting on to I-70 took longer than either of us expected, and Cindy was worried that we wouldn’t get enough miles behind us before we stopped for the night, so she suggested that we drive later in the day than we normally do. I took that to mean that she wanted to keep going until we were home. With that in mind, I continued to drink coffee, which I seldom do after noon, because it keeps me awake at night.

Somewhere in Kansas, around the time we would usually look for an inviting (non-Motel 6©) place to stop, I finally said that we would drive through the night. So we did. We crossed through Kansas and Missouri on I-70. (taking I-270 around St. Louis).  In Illinois we caught I-55 north to Springfield where we got on I-72 heading west. I-72 turns  into I-74. Are you confused yet? We stopped only at truck stops for holy four: gasoline, restrooms, coffee and snacks.

We stayed on I-74 into Indiana until we got to Crawfordsville. We got off there, and it was only a short drive home. We pulled into our garage between 6:30 and seven a.m. We had been on the road 23 or 25 hours. The changing time zones confused my fuzzy mind.

Cindy walked in and turned on the TV in the family room, laid down on the sofa, and slept for ten hours. On the other hand, I went upstairs, got on the computer for a bit, then hit the bed for a three-hour nap. Oh, and I swore to not drink any more truck stop coffee for at least a year. That stuff is nasty.

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