It was very difficult to leave Crazy Ed's.
I knew I'd miss those weekly canine
Still, a world of fun awaited me in Texas,
and I knew I had to be on my way.
No dogs were hurt in the making of
So I figured it was time to get going.
Because of the ridiculous amount of gear I
needed to bring (camping gear, my computer, a bunch of Jess's stuff,
etc.) and because I am cheap and didn't want to pay for hotels, I
decided to build an elevated floor in my van.
Walmart parking lots, here I come.
This gave me 17" of space for gear
And 29" of sleeping space above.
Even better, the whole floor was build
modularly so that it comes apart in under 15 min. and the pieces fit
nicely under a Trinity University twin-sized dorm bed.
Since I was going to be staying in some
cold climates on the way, I figured a heater was in order.
Not to mention all the safety paraphernalia
including O2 sensor, tip-over switch, CO detector, smoke
alarm, and fire extinguisher.
I didn't even blow myself up.
After the building, it's time to pack.
I can't believe I got it all in there.
That's a lot of stuff.
Don't worry, the fire extinguisher is
keeping an eye on those LP canisters.
Believe it or not, I lived in that space
above the floor where all those blankets are.
Not a lot of space, but it sure made the
At least it would have been, had gas not
been $52.34 a gallon.
my way through IL on Day 1, I called Amy Sue and see what she was
doing that night.
As it turns out, my first stop was in
Elgin, IL, to visit her.
Awwwwwe. She looks nervous.
Note the luggage rack on the back of my
van. It holds the LP tank for the heater, a grill (in
case I get hungry), and a thickly-wrapped bucket seat for extra
passengers upon arrival in Texas. Carol needed a place to
When I called her she told me that she was
going to see Caedmon's Call and Jars of Clay in concert that
night. Before I knew it, she had tickets for me and I was
watching Jars on stage.
It was awesome.
I can't wait 'til LiFest this year.
I call this piece...
I call this piece...
There was quite a crowd at the
concert--considering the size of the venue. It was in a
I would guess a couple thousand.
On the way back from the concert, I spotted
a lovely little parking lot in a nice community, and decided I'd
settle down and spend the night there.
Don't know if it was legal, but I never saw
Night 1: Dominick's Food and Drug,
The next day I supped at a great
Chinese buffet Jess and I had discovered in Lebanon, MO. All
you can eat Crab Rangoons!
Night 2: Walmart Supercenter in
Not a bad parking lot.
During my numerous travels to and from
Texas, I'd always wanted to stop at this "knife
superstore" in Lebanon, but had never come through at the right
So the morning of Day 3 I spent shopping
around. Thousands of square feet of knives. I was in
heaven. I even got Carissa a knife she wanted.
Toward the end of Day 3, I was drawing
close to San Antonio (within a few hours).
I hadn't showered in 3 days and had been
living out of my car--I couldn't show up at Jess and Carol's like
Thank you Rip Griffin (whoever that is).
About 30 minutes and $8 later, I was clean
Ready to make my grand arrival. I
even smelled nice.
Finally around 2 am or so, I arrived at
Jess and Carol's House of Chicken.
The view was breathtaking. I really
Quite the room they had assembled.
I don't think Jess likes bare walls.
And this was about the cleanest it was the
whole time I was there. (Granted there were 3 to 4 of us
living there, depending on how you count Gwen )
I think I deserve some kind of photography
award for this one.
You could study this picture for weeks and
still not see everything there is to see. And this was before
I moved in.
I think I found Waldo.
Here's Carol and Gwen doing a little
I think that may have been the only time I
let them do that the whole time I was there.
I'm such a bad influence.