I left St. Louis around sunrise. I was hoping once again to have a lot of miles under my belt before I talked to Lisa that morning.
I also really wanted a breakfast biscuit from Hardee's. BoJangle's would have been even better, but I was pretty sure I was out of their geographic range. I didn't have Yelp or any other apps. Or even a smartphone. And I passed a few exits, hoping what I wanted would be just a little further on up the road.
I was also a little distracted, again, as the sun came up in my rearview mirror, over the Ozarks. Another rare time I wish I had my camera.
But I was a traveler, and not a tourist, and I was much more anxious to get to Lisa than to see Tom Sawyer's fence.
As the sun went higher and the miles went by, I gave up hope of Hardee's, drove through a McDonalds and found a gas station. Refueled and caffeinated, I got back on the road.
Eventually, I crossed out of Missouri, skirting the corner of Kansas and went into Oklahoma.
I consulted the AAA triptych and decided I'd go past Tulsa and keep going to Oklahoma City before I stopped for lunch. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was really dragging by the time I realized that maybe it wasn't the best idea.
I decided I needed to get off the road for a bit when I did get to Oklahoma City, and exited at a busy looking area where I thought I could sit down to a real meal, where someone would bring me lots of iced tea.
I found a Lonestar Steakhouse, and could see a Best Buy on the street behind it. So I stopped for a mid-afternoon steak, and then planned to add a couple new CDs to my player.
The first part of the plan went fine. Great food and service. I even fired up my laptop and checked my email. It took a little longer than I really wanted it to, but I needed to break.
Road construction kept me from being able to get to the Best Buy, so I started my CDs over again and got back on the highway.
It was about another hundred miles before I was done for the day, and I got to Amarillo just as the sun was going down. Exhausted (and possibly a little cranky), I weaved through traffic, driving directly into the white hot rays of the setting sun.
My plan was to make it to Phoenix the next day. If I left early enough, I could get there around dinner time. And then there would be just one more trip to go.
I looked at my triptych again. It only looked like another four or five hours to San Diego. After all I'd already done, that didn't seem to be out of the question. I didn't want to say anything to Lisa about it, just in case I was too tired by the time I got to Phoenix. Sorry if I just put that song in your head.
So I asked for a wake-up call at a ridiculous time of the morning. And for the only night I've ever spent in Texas, I didn't see any sites or get any barbecue. Instead, I fell asleep just as "Two And A Half Men" was coming on.
I didn't have any ZZ Top in my road collection of CDs, but for some reason, I couldn't help but think of that little ol' band from Texas as I started to write this. So here's what shuffled out of my ZZ Top Playlist...
"Just Got Paid"
"Concrete And Steel"
"My Head's In Mississippi"
"Gimme All Your Lovin'"
"I Gotsa Get Paid"
"Vincent Price Blues"
Had I know when I went to sleep that I was seriously considering driving a thousand miles on that next day, I might have done things differently the next day.