Chad Perrin: SOB

30 June 2009

Kentucky road trip travel report

Filed under: Miscellaneous — apotheon @ 12:54

Last Wednesday, I gave the SigO a ride to work early in the morning. I then ran some errands to get ice and other supplies, finished packing, and loaded up the car. I headed out to pick her up from work. We left town for a cross-country trip to Kentucky.

Weather had been stormy in northern Colorado lately. It was pretty good as we drove away, sprinkling on us a couple times but never getting very bad. When we got into Kansas, heading east on I-70, the weather got increasingly hot and humid.

We drove straight through to St. Louis, MO, then turned south. By this point, of course, we were in bug country: heat and humidity contributed to an abundance of nasty bugs in the air and crawling around on the ground. It helped remind me one of the reasons I like relatively high-altitude, dry, bugless northern Colorado.

We took the long way around Illinois — key word being “around”. Everywhere we would go on this trip has concealed carry permit reciprocity with Colorado, so I could just stick my Kel-Tec P32 in my pocket and drive through those states with impunity. Illinois, on the other hand, is one of the red-headed stepchildren of the Bill of Rights. Apparently, IL lawmakers forget the number 2 when counting to 10, because the Second Amendment is essentially ignored there. In fact, a case has recently been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court to deal with the issue of whether the Second Amendment is applicable to the states, specifically because Illinois laws in general — and Chicago laws in particular — violate the rights protections of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. I guess we’ll see what the SCOTUS will do about it in the near future.

Kentucky was hot. It was really hot. The sun beat down, and every time we got into the car it was like opening the door to a blast furnace. Luckily, the hotel — the Hilton Garden Inn — was quite nice. We had good, reliable wireless Internet access, a refrigerator, cable so we could catch some of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, and a good shower. I don’t remember having any complaints about the hotel, except maybe the fact that finding it isn’t really obvious. It was while there, though, that I realized that no matter how expensive a hotel may be, it seems no hotel has really great toilet paper. It’s always this single-ply cheap stuff.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon, and that evening we had lunch with an uncle and his wife, who live in KY. It was good to get back in touch with him; I hadn’t seen him since he first married his wife back in ’91.

The reason we went there was to attend TechRepublic’s 10th Anniversary Community Event, essentially a mostly social tech business conference that was more about the community than about the business. It was fun, and I got to meet some people I would probably never have met in person, though I already “knew” many of them from our online interactions at TechRepublic. A lot of people had nice things to say about me, my involvement in the TR community, and my articles for TechRepublic. I got good swag. I ate a lot of good food.

Sunday afternoon, we finally got around to visiting a game store. It wasn’t really anything special, but we satisfied our tradition of going to game stores when we visit cities away from home. Afterward, we left town, and started the 20 hour drive home. Again, we swung south to avoid driving through the middle of IL (what an appropriate term for the state — though it needs another L to be perfect).

After turning westward on I-70 at St. Louis, we found ourselves driving toward an increasingly ominous stormy horizon, with numerous, frequent, dramatic displays of lightning flashes. At one point, there was a lightning strike that looked notably closer than 500 meters off the left side of the highway. After it hit, there was a bright white glow where the strike happened that looked for all the world like a magnesium fire. After a bit, it went out, and I had a purple afterimage on the left side of my vision for a while.

We got hit by torrential rain at one point so bad that everybody was pulling off to the shoulder, turning on hazard lights, and waiting for the rain to lighten up enough to see for driving.

A last stop before getting home was at Sportsman’s Warehouse not far from where we live. We picked up the Ruger 10/22 rifle I’ve been planning to get before the end of the month. That was Sunday afternoon.

We got home and settled in. We decided we don’t want to do any long, multi-day road trips for quite a while now. They’re fine once in a while, but this should about do it for us this summer. We’re done.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License