TeamRaymond Across America - Day Four

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:49 am on Friday, April 18, 2008
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom, Travel, Friends, Jeep

Denver, Colorado
Written from Mark’s office in his home in Parker
Miles today: 376
Total miles: 2252
Number of states: 12
Number of McDonald’s stops: 2
Today’s route: Hot Springs, SD -> Chugwater, WY -> Cheyenne, WY -> Denver

Greetings from Denver, Colorado!

Debra and I stopped at a McDonald’s in Iowa the other day for a restroom break and a snack. I looked around at the employees and the customers and realized we were in Racial Homogeny Central.

“These white people all look the same,” I whispered to Debra.

She, being ultra-PC, smiled knowingly and didn’t reply.

I didn’t realize how multi-cultural and multi-ethnic northern Virginia was until we got to the Midwest. I mean, I knew most of the people in the Midwest were white, but it didn’t hit me how abundantly white the area was until we were standing in line at that McDonald’s waiting to order. I mean, not only were all the people white, they were the same kind of white. There were no Italian- or Greek-looking white people in the restaurant. Everyone - except Debra - looked like they were yanked up out of Sweden by the hair and plopped down into the middle of Iowa to serve fries.

When we drove through Ellettsville - the über-American small town in Indiana - Debra looked around the place and said, “I bet there’s not a Jew around here for miles…”

So, anyway, not to belabor the point, but if you ever need to know where all the white people are at, look in the Midwest. The place is jam-packed with them. :)


Jonesing for a yummy, home-made cherry pie? Stop at the Sinclair gas station in Orin, Wyoming. Not only can you get a cherry pie that will knock your socks off, but you can eat it while looking out over a sweeping panorama of rugged Old West scenery that stretches for more miles than you can count. And on top of all that, the Sinclair gas station signs still have that really cool big green dinosaur on them.


Jonesing for some really yummy chili and a malt or shake made the old-fashioned way? Stop at the Soda Fountain in Chugwater, Wyoming. The town is just north of Cheyenne by about 45 miles and still has a soda fountain so authentic (it’s been there since 1914) that, were she still alive, you might expect Lana Turner to breeze in through the doorway. And they serve local-made Chugwater Chili which was deeeeeeee-licious.

Chugwater is mostly deserted now - the population shown on the sign as you roll into town is 244 - and apparently it was a bustling place until the Interstate went through in the 1960s. At that point, traffic on the old highway that was the main drag through town dried up and the town shriveled. Now the townies drive to Cheyenne (45 miles) or Wheatland (25 miles) for their groceries. But they still have their Soda Fountain - yum!


Last night at dinner, Sam, Mark and Keri’s daughter, looked at me with big wide eyes and said, “I have a boyfriend. His name is Sam, too.” Sam is 5 years old.

“And what are his plans for the future?” I asked Sam.

“We get in trouble. We play in class,” she said. Then, “Jessie has a boyfriend too.” Jessie is three. “Jessie’s boyfriend is named Mason and he squirts mustard on his butt. And he squirts ketchup on Jessie’s butt.”

I really don’t know how to wrap this up. So I’ll just stop.



Comment by Tiff

04.18.08 @ 11:13 pm

Chugwater chili….did you turn off of Burrito King Blvd to get there? :) Safe travels guys, great posts these last few days, I’ve been lurking:)

Comment by Elgordonck

05.20.08 @ 7:13 am

Give the kids danish sausages and a Carlsberg ,they already have ketchup and mustard on a bun …

… it’s Pølser-time!

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