Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Monday, June 10, 2013

Trial Run--Kentucky Trip

So the reason I couldn't update the blog last because I had an awesome opportunity which I jumped on. It turns out that a friend of mine from grade school married a friend of my buddy Rick's from grade school. (I'm too relaxed right now to worry about the grammar of that last sentence). Anyway, this marriage of mutual friends has produced the Mighty Mathison family. As near as I can tell, they work from dawn to well passed dusk every day. They needed someone to bring a wheel chair van out from Kentucky so I got an all expense paid break from my normal adventure. I'm super relaxed and happy. Flying in cramped airplanes over night and then driving about 600 miles a day may not sound like fun to some folks but its a blast for me. I don't know if I'd want to do it every week...but I'd do it 4 to 6 times a year if I could. It was also a great test run for my coming US book tour. Here's my trusty stead for the journey. It drove great, but had no cruise control. Awesome, fun, adventure Highlights: Flew out of PDX at 10:30 Tuesday PM. 2nd bumpiest trip in a plane ever (and I've flown in some tiny planes). I sat right behind first class where I didn't have a seat in front of me to stick my carry-on under. But I had a little more leg room and I had packed extremely light. I landed in Charlotte NC 5 hours later at 6AM local. The Charlotte Airport is extremely spread out and I had to walk a good half mile between gates. That second plane was the first time I've gotten on a plane from a roll up ramp instead of a gangway (not including the single prop planes I've flown in or jumped from). I hopped a flight to Louisville KY. That flight was cool. Lots of banking. The Flight Attendant was chill. The disturbing things were the water dripping from the air conditioning, which didn't seem right, and the instructions on the back of the seat in front of me were typed on normal paper and scotch-taped in place. Oh, and there was gum under my arm-rest. We had some crazy crosswind landing too. The nose of the plane had to be 20 degrees left of runway center. Rich, the guy with the van, picked me up and then we drove back to his truck to go over paperwork. Then I drove through Indiana (okay), Illinois (ill annoy), and Missouri (surprisingly not miserable at all) on day #1. I stayed in a Days Inn, in Blue Springs, just outside KC. The night auditor was cool and would have let me swim in my short (didn't pack a suit), but I didn't pack any extra shorts and I didn't want to have that chlorine dried feel for the rest of the trip. That was the only time I stopped before a pool closed. Also worth noting, the shower in that hotel was odd as seen in the picture here. That round half column is shower. It's weirder in person than it looks in the pic. Free breakfast at the hotel makes a fast start to the next day. After crossing the entire width of Missouri on day one I drove half its height up to Nebraska City and then across. I had lunch at Taco John's and ended up having to buy a new battery for the door key dongle. It took the better share of an hour to get the old battery out. I had to get the jewelry counter gal at Walmart to help me, with a pair of tweezers. I suspect that she was really hung over, because she didn't get any of my jokes. I gotta say, I thought I'd like Nebraska and it wasn't that exciting. Then I got into Wyoming and decided I had been a little rough on Nebraska. Wyoming did have one really cool hill that I got a picture of, and tree growing out of a boulder that I didn't. Wyoming also had a fantastic restaurant called "Bucks" (in Rawlins) with mind blowing pizza. I suspect that all of the beautiful women in the state work at bucks and all of the flavor in the entire state is suffused into their food. Giant Menu too, see pictures: I finally stopped for the night in Cheyenne. I kept looking for another Days Inn, but couldn't find one and I needed to get gas so I stopped at a Ferryman's that shared a parking lot with a truck stop. I almost turned around when I saw the under construction signs on the door. Then I almost turned around when I smelled the cigarette smoke in the lobby and saw the water damage on the wains coating. I confess, shamefully, that a tiny part of me figured it would be cheap and I probably was too tired to notice if the room wasn't great. It wasn't cheap. BUT the room was very clean and I only calculated the odds of bed bugs for about 5 minutes before I passed out. Day 3 breakfast was awesome. Sap Brother's Truck Stop makes an amazing chicken fried steak and they'll let you have homemade banana bread instead of toast. The waitress told me this joke: How do you make egg fu young? You take a young egg and you fu it. Sap Brothers went a long ways to redeem Wyoming until I drove the rest of the way up hill to Utah. Utah wasn't bad. I don't know why, but I imagined roads lined with men on bikes in white shirts and black slacks. Something was blooming, so the entire state smelled of sage. I only cut across a corner of it so I didn't even gas up the van in that state. I did stop just shy of the Idaho border and had an awesome beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, served by a great waitress. It was nearly full of people and I was the only person who didn't know everyone else. Still, I felt at home--probably because my server was so personable. I really wanted to make twin falls for the night, but they didn't have a Days Inn and I wasn't feeling as adventurous after the Ferryman's (I'm just glad I wasn't sleeping with coins over my eyes that night). So I skipped Twin Falls and thought I'd grab the next exit that promised a chain hotel. Then I swore I'd stop if it promised lodging of any kind. That's when I pulled off at a town that I don't think had a name. It was waaaaay off the freeway but I needed gas (I promised Marty I wouldn't go below 1/4 tank). I did find a station and fill up, but I never saw the lodging. I was glad to be back on the highway. So 220 miles later I found a motel 6 in Boise and was glad of it. The night auditor was friendly and the bed was comfortable. The shower was an odd design that I really liked until I used it. Still, it was a nice night and I received a 20% discount at the copper kitchen next door for breakfast. Then I drove through a chunk of Oregon and met with Marty and Tami in Sunnyside, WA. Mom had driven over from Vancouver to visit her sister, and we met up at the McD's in Toppinish so I could catch a ride home. I hit my first traffic jam of the entire trip at the 205 bridge in Portland OR. Over all I spent a whopping $3 more than I estimated, I arrived within half an hour of my scheduled time, and I had a great time. I also got to see a friend I haven't seen since grade school. I saw amazing things, like the first help wanted sign I've seen in 6 years (in Missouri, but they were all over until I got all the way home). Some states had better gas prices, other's had better food prices, and some had both (Missouri). All of them cost less then here, and they had jobs. Also I didn't have any trouble breathing till I got back as far as Idaho--so whatever I'm alergic to is a NW thing. I also had some great time to process the thoughts in my head, which I've decided I need to do at least 4 times a year from now on. Until next time, Andy Bunch PS Anyone know what kind of bird this is?

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