Day 8

July 17, 2002

We woke up early to get the car back to the airport on time. We had yet another aggressive night on the bottle. It bucked and reared as we tried to ride thru the remainder of the day. Yet again we spent the duration of a couple of hours playing the weather game to decide where we would go next. We were in surprisingly good order considering our condition. New Orleans was easily discounted as the thundering weather of the south continued. The bigger question: could we make it home? Shawn and Pat negotiated some possible routes and decided to head for some random town in Kansas. Of course that doesn’t narrow it down. Isn’t every town in Kansas random? I feel cheap making fun of the state. I may as well take turns at some poor beggar in the street. It’s not the fault of Kansas that Kansas sucks. Some important farming and ranching takes place there. Kansas City is actually quite nice…for three hours…if you’re on the Missouri side. There was a sign mentioning Bob Dole…funny how empty states celebrate incidental things. Could you imagine California posting signs for well know individuals. We’d lose it from all of the laughter over signs identifying that guys like Andy Dick and Jay Leno live in California. I do recall seeing the best fight that I’ve ever witnessed in South Dakota and South Dakota is only a couple of states north of Kansas. So there you have it–something notable about something in the general vicinity. Oh ya…

I got a speeding ticket in Kansas once- 91 miles an hour in a 65 MPH zone. Good times. The cop made me pay cash for the fine RIGHT THEN AND THERE! The fine was $85. I only had $79 on me. He said that would work. I’m in debt to the freakin’ state. Who knows where the money went. I hope he got it. That would make me feel better…knowing that I contributed to a state trooper’s mortgage payment. Good luck to you officer.

We left Tennessee without a true knowledge of our destination in Kansas. It’s such a large state that anything can happen. Pat and Shawn decided on Dodge City, Home of Wyatt Earp and Boot Hill. It was exactly as we had anticipated–a total waste of everyone’s time. Dodge City had two attributes: an airport and fuel for the plane. We actually went into the city and took a couple of pictures. We then proceeded to their finest establishment, Taco Bell, where we grabbed the usual meal that seems to be good on the way down but quickly leads to regret at about 10,000 feet.

After we got the ‘Duck out of Fodge’ the flight was an absolute mess of turbulence. The storms that we had avoided for a week were finally forced on us. 50 foot drops were quickly matched by 50 foot climbs. The tiny plane becomes quite a bit smaller when it’s thrown around at the will of the wind. I was overjoyed to finally reach Boulder, CO.

Yet another of Shawn’s friends, Delany, met us at the airport there. A cool chick with an old Subaru wagon. My sister used to own that car. Resilient little bastards. Who knows how they survived the likes of a high school girl?