Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 8 – What to Do in Missouri With a Day Off - or – From Clean Linens to a Kansas State Fishing Lake.

The alarm went off at 6. Why would we get up at 6 on a day off? So we can eat free hotel breakfast of course. This was a good one. Many hotel breakfasts are cereal and fruit. Some have some lumpy gravy and rubbery biscuits. Even the best usually just have a crusty waffle iron jammed in a corner. This one had it all. There were eggs, sausage, French toast, fruit, yogurt, waffles, and the rest. We ate like crazy and sat on the computer a bit.

We dragged our feet packing up, just to soak up all the comfort we could get. Outside, a dreary wet wind beat feebly on the four stories of glass on the front of the hotel. While staring at the shifting grey sky, we pondered whether or not to investigate St. Louis a little. On checking the weather, the choice was clear. 65 and sunny in Kansas, 37 and raining in St. Louis. We had to go.

We stopped by to see Mandi at the school and pick up our check. She wished us well as we ran for the car, ducking against the chilly wind. We hit the highway as soon as we could get there. Blythe drove as I wrote, then I fulfilled her usual role and nodded off in the front seat.

Soon after a lunch of leftover fried chicken, Kansas city peaked up over the highway. The sun had come out, and the van warmed cheerily. In minutes we blew through Kansas City, and rode the softly rolling hills of Kansas.

We stopped early to set up a comfortable campsite at Leavenworth State Fishing Lake. Soon we were roasting kabobs of steak, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and squash over the fire. We toasted up some bread we got from The Black Feather, and washed it all down with a IPA we picked up on the way. This was a good night.

If you’re ever in Kansas and need a place to sleep, the whole state is dotted with these fishing lakes, and all of them feature free camping. The sites are always well kept, often with picnic tables and fire circles. Sometimes they even have water and bathrooms. There’s no beating the night sky in these places. The Galt Line endorses Kansas State Fishing Lakes.

We finally curled up in our giant sleeping bag, shivered a little, and listened to the owls and coyotes until we slept. From time to time, a truck full of drunk teenagers drove through, playing weird country music in the night.

Tomorrow… Wichita, The Donut Whole, Another night Camping and “How long until Colorado!?”

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