I’m the guy who drives the car. Ryan is the guy who tells me where the storm is and I get us there – it’s good teamwork really. I couldn’t tell him where the sun is going to rise and the thought of him driving AND forecasting should make everyone nervous. So this works.
Day 1 – as you probably read yesterday in Ryan’s blog – was a weather bust. Truthfully, if our flight wasn’t delayed an hour out of Hartford we probably would’ve been able to get far enough South to catch the tail end of what was a pretty good, hail producing cell. But we were delayed an hour, so we drove 400 miles in search of a storm that was more elusive than Lucy’s football and ended up having dinner at a fine establishment in Dodge City, KS called Bad Habit Bar and Grill. You might have seen it on the NYT restaurant critics review, but probably not.
The food was mighty tasty. I had the rib-eye (I’m in Kansas for Christ sake!) and Ryan had a hamburger. (You read that right – a hamburger, as in burger w/out cheese. Gross.) The most impressive thing about the BHBG was the lighting – you could’ve done surgery in that place it was so well lit! A couple of Bud Lights later and a belly full of rib-eye we cashed it in…excited because we knew that the next day was going to be nothing be driving. Which works out well for Ryan, considering I drive.
Day 2 – Let me tell you something. Don’t underestimate La Quinta Inn’s hot breakfast. That thing is delicious and when you’re about to embark on another 400mi journey – that’s what you need. La Quinta is winning the hot breakfast game – no question. We hopped in the car full and excited for the day in front of us. No chasing – just driving – between Dodge City, KS and Scottsbluff, NE. 435 miles of unadultarated flatness. There were some interesting highlights:
– the windfarms throughout the plains of Kansas are crazy cool and were clearly placed by someone high as a kite. There is no rhyme or reason to the placement of those things and I won’t believe any different.
– Silence. You want quiet? Stop at a “rest stop” (read: side of the road off Rt 23 in Kansas) and turn the car off. Nothing but birds, wind and silence. Impossible to tell if it’s terrifying or perfect.
– chimney rock and the rattlesnakes. You really get a whole new appreciation for the Oregon Trail and what those poor people stuck in my Commodore 64 were suffering through.
We checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Scottsbluff, NE last night. Had a helluva good dinner at Whiskey Creek Wood Fired Grill (FYI – their food is better than their twitter handle @wcwfg) and were even able to throw a shout out to Rachel Frank for her 30th birthday yesterday.
This morning we are diving into another hot breakfast and then 200+miles North into Rapid Falls, SD where we will stay for the night and check out Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park. Small chance for high based, dry storms to watch this evening but mostly we are staging for what looks like a decent chase for late Tuesday.
I will be on here when Ryan gets too tired from riding in the front seat watching the scenery while I log miles like Sly Stallone in Over the Top.
See you on the road.