Cedar Rapids to Hazelwood

The first thing I did today was drive through a dead zone. I woke up and got out of Cedar Rapids early enough to stop and visit Wakonda State Park for lunch. I was listening to a Spotify playlist as I drove, but somewhere around the Iowa-Missouri state line, I lost service and was driving in uninvited silence. The silence wasn't irksome or unwelcome, just unexpected. 

We stopped and had lunch on schedule which was nice, but I kept it brief.

Nothing much else of note happened along the drive. The weather was nice; it didn't feel too hot and sweltering. It was in the mid 70s and slightly humid, but there was a nice grey cloud layer keeping things from baking in the sun. It was especially nice when I drove under a green canopy of trees, but those were few and far between.


I had read about the Motel 6 I was headed to, so I wanted to get there right at 3pm, when checkin hours begin, so I could get first choice of the available rooms. And sure enough when I got there, there was only one door near parking. I took River for a walk all around the property, casing the joint before I checked in, so I knew to ask for room 120, which was the one right near the one door. But before I could ask, they handed me a key for room 311. I explained my situation and asked if we could change it. The guy behind the counter, who was by the way, about 6'5" and standing on a raised platform, told me he'd have to get the manager to help him change my room and I said fine. She was able to get me into room 124, which was just a few doors down from the one entrance near parking> So I was delighted and we moved into the room with much of the day still ahead of us. Now that I have no driving to do, I'm not sure what to do with myself.

I took River out for another long walk around the property. There were some grassy hills and my feet slipped out from under me and I slid down the grass on my butt. It was fun. I hope someone saw so they could laugh at me, it was pretty funny, I'm sure. River didn't even notice, he just kept on sniffing right beside me, and we broke into a run together as I recovered to my feet.

We found a shady spot and sat there for what seemed like half an hour. I promised myself to let him have his moment, however long he wanted it for, because he was in the car all day without fussing; he's earned this. Eventually, River got up and started indicating he was ready to go, by sauntering toward the door of the motel. When he reached the end of our 30' leash, he slowly circled back around to get by my side. I knew exactly what he was saying but I motioned toward the car, which was a necessary detour before we went back into the room. He then picked up his pace and trotted over to the car. He hopped right up when I opened 'his' door, which I only opened because I thought the black asphalt might be hot. So I switched leashes, he drank some water and we walked back into the room where he konked out on the floor.

I got another room with a microwave and refrigerator so I'm all set for meals here for the next two days. This Motel 6 is obviously a former La Quinta. It's got the yellow and gold paint job and red Spanish tile roofs. And the furnishings are more lavish than the austere utilitarianism I'm used to at the 6. I wonder what Bob Bodette would say about this?

Whenever I come to St. Louis, I always remember Yosemite Sam in the Ballot Box Bunny episode. At one point Bugs Bunny tells Sam someone's at the door asking for him and "she said to mention St. Louis. (pronounced Loo-ey)" Yosemite Sam hears this and leaps into the air screaming "St. Looey??!! Yahoo! EMMA!!!" and runs out the door. Of course, Bugs had fooled him, it wasn't Emma.

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