But, when you’ve been driving the same crowded, road-ragey 16-mile commute into
I tend to agree with her.
Just 20 miles or so south of
Too damn funny, and too good to pass up.
I drove into
I found the local gift shop, across the street from the small post office and the grain mill. There was virtually no one on the street, and the gift shop was closed for a few days. A sign in the window actually said “Gone fishing.” I assumed that the proprietors were getting ready for the upcoming Trek Fest and the brief, annual infestation by Trekkers from far afield. A flyer in the window advertised events for the event:
Spockapalooza! featuring a local band
A cow pie bingo game
A BBQ dinner
A costume contest (Federation and Klingon categories)
Hot air balloon rides
There were more activities planned, but I was taken by “Spockapalooza.” How could you not love something called "Spockapalooza"? There was a certain sweetness to the cheese.
My brother Ed had been a big Star Trek fan, as was our mother. They both knew their Trek shit, big time. I would be swinging through
This area had been Native American ground. Chief Wa Pel Lo of the Sac and Fox tribe had settled his people around the area that would eventually become the city of
Wa Pel Lo’s legacy in life had been to hold on to as much of
The names remain – Wapello, Keokuk,
Home to early Mormons traveling west to
And home to a lot of Swedes.
So many Swedes, in fact, that the road to Wapello takes you past the town of
Swedesburg has a miniscule post office, the museum, a handful of real goats (to go along with the straw one), and, of course, a Lutheran church. It somehow felt appropriate to be stopping in just a day shy of Midsommer.
I finally decided to get back on the road when I realized that people in yellow and blue shirts were staring at me in my utter non-Swedishness. Time to get my Irish mongrel butt out to the lake!
I stopped for gas in
The Maharishi decided to open a university in the peaceful prairie lands of
I barely saw
This is the local quickie mart:
Yes. The Kum & Go. Yeesh. People who grew up with it don’t blink an eye. The Sasquatch, who was surrounded by Kum-tastic kommerce as a Nebraskan kid, doesn’t get my squeamishness over the name. He doesn’t regard it as the bad sex joke I do. You’ll note that they have a 44-ounce “kup” that’s sixty-nine cents (“69, dudes!”) Yeah. A 44-ounce “Kum Kup” for sixty-nine cents. Again. Yeesh. They also sell this nightmarish giant drink barrel, that I assume was designed for the long-haul truckers who fill up their semis with Kum & Go diesel and their bellies with cheap fountain Cokes. I uncharitably dubbed these ginormous vessels the “Kum Buckets.” (You should have seen my colleagues SAM and JJ when I mentioned this yesterday. Beee-yooot-i-ful. I should have brought one of those damn things back with me.)
My car refilled, my tasteless photos snapped, I made the last leg of the trip to the cabin. I met up with my sisters at the local launderette in the town of
Quiet, that is, if you don’t have a crabby teenager with you…