So at our last chat, we were cruising down US52 in Kansas having departed the fine environs of Wichita. As I was saying, we drove.

Each town along US52 is preceded grain bins, usually along with the local junk yard, garbage dump, or something of a similar vein. A railroad line accompanies you the entire way. All the “stuff” needs be picked up you know. I find it heartwarming that Kansans like to put their best foot forward and show you the best of the town as you enter. Makes ya wanna stay, ya know.

As I said, not a one of these jewels had anything that might resemble a place with a bed. And so we drove onto an alien landscape, peppered with mostly horses and cows. We were the oddity, driving a Dodge Intrepid, while the preferred mode of transportation appeared to be any type of pickup or 18 wheeler.

Finally, we turned off at a nice sounding little town, hoping against hope. And low, there was a motel. We pulled in eagerly. I got out and entered a main office that had something akin to a booth with a youngish woman standing behind it. She raised her arm and placed it upon the upper beam of the booth, and allowed me to see that here in Kansas women are men and don’t shave the pits. Just to make that point a bit clearer, she reached seductively with her right hand and twirled a few wisps for me, making little twists of hair which were most decorative.

I smiled and asked for a room for the night.

“Sorry”, she mumbled, staring at me, and then grinning a rather shockingly toothless smile for one so young, “we don’t have any vacancies. We did have a guy just leave, but (and she belched) nobody has got to cleanin’ that room yet.”

Somehow I figured that nobody was going to do it either, any time soon.

We moved to the next motel which was next door.

No need to inquire, we were met with a frosty, “NO VACANCY” propped in the window.

We proceeded into town further, figuring the good stuff was no doubt in the “downtown” area.

A sign forlornly short-circuited, saying “M TEL” and we pulled in. The decor seemed a bit wanting as the big window in each room seemed covered, if at all, with a sheet tacked up and sagging here and there in some “southwestern” perhaps style. A rather large man sat propped against one room, tipped far back as he gazed upon us as we gazed upon him.

I was thoroughly amazed at the number of tattoos he had managed to accumulate, but in the end, he was more interested in the delectable liquid that was in his brown paper bag that he clutched in his paw.

The Contrarian whispered, “we aren’t staying here,” and we pulled off.

Nothing else appeared for so many miles that I gave up counting. We finally found lodging in Pratt, Kansas, a good one hundred extra miles than we had planned on driving that day.

We were, to say the least, ecstatic. We reveled in our luxury of prone-ness.

We were directed by the day/night clerk that a “good Chinese restaurant lay up the road about a mile called the Red Dragon. I of course, mean no disrespect to all the fine Chinese restaurants that go by that name across America.  But the Red Dragon in Pratt was special. It lacked nothing in the normal Chinese decor which is always prevalent in such ethnic enclaves. What it lacked was a cook.

The food was limited, half of it consisted of variously breaded morsels of chicken, potato, and such that passed for the American side of the Chinese-American cuisine. Cuisine would not be the right word either. La Choy had everything on these folks. We ate something that purported to be fried rice, and some chunks of onion in a brown sauce with other nondescript vegetables. There was an egg roll and crap ragoon that had never seen a bit of crab in it, but sure had plenty of cream cheese.

It filled the tummy. End of story.

The following morning we started off early and were soon deep in the southwest of Kansas where the kept the ugly part. Cow lots that went on a for a mile and as far as the horizon. Thousands of sad animals with barely room to turn around, being fattened on grain to get the highest weight possible before they poor lives were ended in order that I might feast on filet mignon.

Kansas scores a -2

Oklahoma is so uneventful that I will simply score it zero. No plusses or minuses.

Tomorrow our brief foray into the Texas.

Side note: You should know that America seems intent on preserving huge piles of dirt everywhere. Most every town has a pile either at the entrance or at the other end. I’m still investigating what the purpose of all this is. I suspect something conspiratorial however. A doomsday prepper would be the person to ask. They are up on all conspiracies.