Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kansas City to Castle rock, CO

Where did we leave off yesterday? I think I was writing from the road about the day.

Crossing into Missouri felt splendid. It was the first time I've left Iowa for over a year. Cody's feet were farther ahead in the truck than mine so he beat me to the sign that said "Leaving Iowa". His face may have been first to leave Iowa but my face was farther ahead, out the window going into Missouri. Not that it's a race but it's noteworthy. It's not hard to be amused by simple shenanigans in the midwest.

Of course the first thing we notice about Missouri is the huge fireworks store. If we had thought ahead we would have pulled over to grab some illegal (in most states) fireworks for when we're out in the middle of no where, USA. Oh well. There will be other hazardous materials to play with elsewhere. Later on the road I saw an organic bulk food store that also sells firearms. Neat!

Rolling into Kansas City was a pretty nice sight. The sun was setting behind those big dumb buildings. We're just not used to scenery like this. Well, I'm not. I'm impressed by large objects that are visible for miles (foreshadowing?). Keith's friend bailed on the climbing for the night so we replanned the GPS to take us to his new house. After getting the tour of his house we headed to Price Chopper for some grub. Price Chopper is a grocery store similar to Hy-Vee but instead of being employed by high school students they emply recovering meth addicts. Would you believe that? I hope so because that's what my perception of the situation was. Three separate cashiers asked for my discount code. That's not something I have so I was charges full price. Big deal. Cody's in the other lane going through the same ordeal and his cashier turns around to ask if he can use my code.

"Nah, lady, "I don't have a code." She ends up asking Keith for his and Cody saves $1.20 on his supplies. Nice!

My deteriorating drivers lincense was almost denied and my receading hairline was not proof enough of my age for a tasty tobacco treat.

What's the point in writing about these slightly odd social situations? It seemed slightly funny and odd at the time plus we've got 367 miles to go before we hit Denver. What else have I got to do?

Back at Keith's house we start up our devices in need of downloaded updates and recharged devices. We start up the grill and get some brats cooking. Sometime in there we ate some extremely hot sauce and Cody got some in his eye. If he wasn't blinded by the capsacin he would have hit me for laughing at his pain.

"I'll hit both of you!"
"Not you Keith, I mean both Johnnys." Cody was having some pepper induced double vision. I've blinded myself too many times to not laugh at a guy for doing the same.

Since we missed out on gettng fireworks we asked where we could pick some up. Keith had the answer. He had everything we needed. See that red and yellow tube? That's a flare. It shoots hundreds of feet into the air and is visible up to thirty miles away.



Like I said previously, Keith is an experienced adventurer and apparently had been on an African safari since I had seen. He showed us pictures of a cheetah that jumped 15 feet up into a tree as they approached it in the Jeep. The cheetah stared at them through the open roof while growling. Keith growled back. No regard, I say, no regard for his own safety. I love it.

Post dinner hiking along a railroad track was much needed after a day of sitting on ass, counting miles. The bridges and streams were maybe 30 feet beneath us. A church had this dealy of there. I didn't get a picture of the wall of rock that I fell onto because the poorly placed lead pipe. Some kind of cactus jumped out and attacked Keith with a thousand tiny spikes.

Back into the safety of his home, we planned our next few days while checking out sweet pictures of Joshua Tree and Zion National park. We'd like to see both but we'll have to see what happens. The Grand Canyon looks absolutely amazing and we're goignt to see it while it's mostly vacant. Good. We don't want to be around a bunch of fools anyway.

Remember back on Tuesday when we came to the agreement to skip Colorado and hit the southern warmth as soon as possible? That was reverted because of the prospects of places to stay in Oklahoma. The weather may have been nice but it would add an extra day in an area that has nothing worth seeing that we know off. We don't know people there and it would have added miles we don't need to endure. I'm glad we're going to Denver because we both know people in that area and in the end it's going to make for a better story no matter what happens. There is also the possbility of getting to use a cabin for a few days. That's about 30 miles south of Denver and would make a pretty good place to keep the truck while we take the bikes out for a ride. Finally, we feel like we're getting into the part of trip we set out to do. Ride, explore and see the mountains.

The tentative plan is to enjoy Colorado for a few days and then head south to the heat and explore. We're still looking for a place to stay in New Mexico but I'm hoping one of my cousins will be willing to hang out and give us some guidance for our adventure. It's always good to ask the locals. After leaving NM, we'll spend a few days exploring Arizona. There are too many things to do there to only spend the minimum amount of time passing through on an interstate. There are several options for places to stay but I'm leaning towards meeting my friend's girlfriend's parents. Her step-dad rides motorcycles so maybe we'll have a nice crew of people to roll around with....if they have dual sports :^)

We just stopped for gas in Hays, KS. There was a Wal-Mart so we stopped for that dual 12-volt adapter so now we're cruising with GPS and good tunes. The radio stations around here are horrible. If it's not pop-country or religious talk radio then it's the same Katy Perry song over and over. I picked up some sliced roast beef and Jarlsburg cheese to go with my wheat French bread and apples. Yummmmm. Cody got some sun-dried tomato turkey breast and cheddar to go with his mayonaisse.

Our contact for the day called back and confirmed we can stay at their house for the night. There are several couches to choose from but also three spare bedrooms. Dinner and libations provided as well. I gotta say that so far we've been extremely lucky to have hospitable friends to act as hosts for our sweet ride. Let's hope we can keep that going.

After cresting a hill we had our first glimpse at those mountains. Simply incredible. It has been far too long since I've seen something that far away in the distance. Large objects that area far away are fascinating, remember?

Arrived in Castle Rock about an hour ago and we were received by our wonderful hosts and a hot meal ready to go. Too much pulled pork is never enough. How many salted chocolate covered caramels did I eat? Three too many. I can tell this is going to be an awesome weekend. We're starting to hear back from a lot of people about getting together to hang out and have some mini-adventures around here.

I'm about done with nerding it up with this computer. It's time upload photos in no particular order.

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