Vacation 2017 – Part 12

Our plan for the day’s drive was to drive through Kansas, and to stop in Kansas City, Missouri for the night. We wanted to have dinner with Cindy’s cousin, Alice. Stopping for gas and a meal, we expected to be on the road for five or six hours.

Not a mountain in sight

We rolled into Kansas City right around the time Alice got off of work. We found a motel close to Alice’s home and checked in. Cindy called Alice and made arrangements to meet her at a restaurant that was just down the street from where were staying. After a good meal and conversation, we went back to the motel to rest up for our last day on the road.

View from our motel window

This picture is actually one of the better views we had while on our trip, not counting the condo in Oregon. I’m thinking about starting a collection of pictures titled “From the Back Windows of Motels.”

We didn’t get up too early, because we only had about a four-hour drive to get Cindy to the motel where she was meeting and  staying with Trina for the conference. I would be driving home after dropping Cindy off.

We stayed on the Interstate until we had to get off for the motel. We found it, and contacted Trina. She was still about half an hour away, so we got lunch. Trina pulled into the motel parking lot a few minutes after we returned.

We said our goodbyes and I left for home. I had about four hours on the road ahead of me. I pulled into our driveway thirty minutes after the sun set. The vacation was over.

*** 

A few things I forgot to write about during our trip:

First: Every time we stopped to get gas in Oregon and Idaho, there were attendants there to pump the gas…even if you wanted to pump your own.

Second: Once, when we were in a desolate area, we started to get low on fuel. Then we saw an old gas pump setting in front of a wooden building that appeared to be last painted ten years earlier. There were a couple of motorcycles parked by the building, and two unsavory looking fellows standing in front of the place. We were desperate for fuel, so we pulled in.

I got out of the car and one of the fellows walked over to me.      He looked like a skin-head who had just escaped from a             maximum security prison He courteously asked me if I wanted the tank filled, and I said yes. In an effort to make small talk, I said that I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen a pump that old. He replied that the woman who owned the station had hired him to keep it in working order.

He was one of the most pleasant people I had met on the trip.

Third: I believe that I wrote about problems getting a WiFi connection in the condo. We eventually resolved that problem, but before we did, I spent an hour or so one morning in the restaurant at the condo office, drinking coffee and working on the laptop.

I won’t bother going on about how overpriced everything was on the menu, and how hoity toity the staff seemed. Why bother?

Anyway, I was sitting in a booth drinking over-priced, sour coffee and tapping away on the keyboard. When I heard a waitress ask a new customer how he was. His response was along the lines of “Terrible, the whole country is going to hell in a hand-basket.”

The waitress made the mistake of not ignoring him, but rather saying, “Oh?”

He went on to start rambling on how “they” were polluting the air and water in order take over the country…and on and on.

Meanwhile the waitress had been tying to get the fellow to order something so that she could get away from the table. She tried to convince him that it was very busy in the place, even though the place was three-fourths empty. She started to say, “I don’t have time…”

He broke in and said, “You’re right, we’re all running out of time.”

She said that she would get him a cup of coffee while he made up his mind about what to eat. She left his table and never returned.

I had been keeping my head lowered because I didn’t want to make eye contact with him. But at that point I glanced up to look at him. He was bald; probably in his fifties; and was wearing latex gloves. Of course he was.

He pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. I do not know who he called, but he started the conversation by stating that his topic was of the gravest consequences. Then he started in again on how the mysterious “they” were causing killer pollution. Then he went on to say that he had been the chief investigator and had found all of this out. He had all the documents to prove it, and he would share them. He said that he had sent copies of the documents to the Portland, Oregon newspaper, The Oregonian, but they hadn’t printed anything. It was obvious that the paper was in on the conspiracy.

They must have hung up on the other end because he put down the telephone. I was afraid that he would start wandering around the room and start talking to people, so I paid my bill and left.

This seems like a good place to end our vacation saga.

6 thoughts on “Vacation 2017 – Part 12

  1. Thanks Norm. I enjoyed your trip. I thought the only place they had attendants at gas pumps was on the east coast. Enlightening.

  2. While the story of the strange man in that restaurant is quite interesting, it amazes me that not all your gas pumps are manned. Ours are. And we get five-star treatment when we pull up for fuel.

    1. I am old enough to remember when full service gas stations were the rule, not the exception. But around 30 years ago that reversed in the U.S. Cindy and I were both surprised to have people pump the gas for us.

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