The bitter cold actually froze the tops of the big rivers out here, and as we headed further east, through Kansas City and then St. Louis, we saw these huge rivers with ice still thick on them, and the lakes were completely frozen over, with thick white ice everywhere. It was amazingly cold.
The van did a heroic job of just chugging along steadily through it all.
I did less well, as I seem to have caught the deep lung cold that Jet's been recovering from for the whole first week of his vacation. Poor kid. I, sadly, have caught the same thing, and John brought the Zicam zinc tablets for me and I've been taking them religiously every three hours. On top of that I took a Dayquil and everything dried up. So I was chugging liquids all day, trying to stay away from sweetened things, and mostly drinking hot water from coffee maker taps.
I couldn't really taste all that much either, so instead of stopping for lunch, we just had stuff out of our cooler. We'd brought along an old, aged cheddar, dry salami, and a bag full of Scottish Oat Cakes that I'd made a while back. They're mildly sweet oat and wheat flour "cookies" that are actually really good with savory things, and have a good amount of oats and oat fiber in them.
It was worth it to have the extra time to take a little more roundabout route through St. Louis to get a good shot of the arch there. *laughs* We've been in the arch, in a very 60's style pearl necklace of tiny capsules that move up inside the arch to the view ports at the top.
That's where we left I-70, headed along I-40 and then headed south toward Atlanta, Georgia. On the way we ran into rush hour traffic in Chattanooga and instead of driving in the crush, we pulled off here at Sugar's Ribs.
It happened to be a BBQ place that showed up on our GPS, and we pulled over not knowing what to expect, but it was absolutely excellent BBQ. We each got a sandwich, John got pulled pork and I got a lovely chicken breast, that were both smoked to tender perfection and topped with slaw and put in a soft white bun. John got crispy okra and pinto beans as sides while I had their "crispy potatoes" and their lovely banana pudding for dessert.
Their crispy potatoes reminded me of British roast potatoes, they'd been cubed, boiled 'til tender and craggy enough so that when they were deep fried they were shatteringly crisp. They even had the skins still on them, and the skins were amazingly crunchy along with the open faces. They'd dusted the hot potatoes with parmesan, and they were so good.
The okra were equally crisp. The sandwiches were both really good and they had a variety of sauces, some of which I'd had before, the ooie gooey Tennessee sauce, the Mustard sauce, the vinegar based Carolinas sauce, and even a Hot Lips Habanero based sauce were like things I've tried before. They had a Clear sauce that was also hot but which I didn't like so much, and a Red sauce that I'd never seen the like of before. It was tangy, a little pepper hot, sweet, and thin and was absolutely amazing on my smoked chicken. I ended up buying a bottle of it to bring home.
The banana pudding was the cherry on top, lovely, creamy, with plenty of big sweet chunks of banana and crunchy Vanilla Wafers throughout. It was so good.
And it turned out to be really well worth stopping for, not only for the food's sake, but the fact that as soon as we were done and back on the road, all the stop and go traffic had cleared out completely.
The traffic was flowing again and John got us out of the city proper before turning it over to me on the Georgia border information stop where we took this picture. From there I took the van into Atlanta and through it to the far side so that we could start in the morning counter to the commute. We pulled in at 10 pm, loosened the bass's strings as Mr. Legg asked, pulled all the more delicate instruments indoors with us, and finally got good showers.
I also took more pills, drank a lot more liquids, and hopefully I'll sleep well tonight. Nyquil usually does a good job on me, and keeps it so that I can breathe and not snore too much. *laughs*
I think we'll make it before 3pm tomorrow, which is when the kids are supposed to get to the hotel and will need to bring their instruments into their hotel rooms. It's kind of crazy thinking that yesterday we started in Denver at 5° F and are now sitting in a balmy 40° in Atlanta, which has all the local shivering and in down. It seems amazingly warm to us now. *laughs*