Monday, April 29, 2013

Road Trip!™: Phoenix to Toronto April 2013

"The Big Texan Steak Ranch", Amarill...
"The Big Texan Steak Ranch", Amarillo, TX (Photo credit: Xavier de Jauréguiberry)
Tuesday 5:30am. Left Phoenix for Winslow AZ and La Posada's Turquoise Room. Had their unsurpassed Green Chile Eggs and terrific coffee. Motored on to Albuquerque and stopped at Einstein's Bagels. Arrived just before 3pm so I got the bagel for 25% off -- my planning skills are simply awesome or, alternatively, I was just plain lucky. Pushed on to Tucumcari, my planned first night stop. Feeling good so pushed on to Amarillo TX and the Big Texan Steak Ranch. Saw a guy trying to eat his way to a free 64 ounce steak. I settled for a 12 ounce ribeye. Flopped at the Super 8 down the road.

Wednesday 7:30am. Left Amarillo. Reached Oklahoma City and said good-bye to I-40 for I-44. Stopped at the two McDonalds that are part of the I-44 turnpike, one north of Oklahoma City and the other south of Joplin, MO. Headed on to Lambert's Cafe - Home of the Throwed Rolls, in Ozark, MO, south of Springfield. Had an awesome pulled-pork sandwich topped with coleslaw. For pass-by fixin's I had fried potatoes and for my "vegetable", I had the applesauce. Pushed on to Rolla, MO and stayed at the Super 8.

Thursday 7:30 am. Left Rolla; hope to get to Detroit tonite. Headed up to and through St. Louis and over to East St. Louis and into Illinois. Up to Effingham, IL and then over to Terre Haute, Indiana. Ate a buffet lunch at Chicago's Pizza somewhere around Indianapolis. A friend had recommended Esther Price chocolates in Ohio so I tracked down their outlet store off I-70. Garmin was off but I got there eventually. Bought a pound of mixed dark chocolates and another box of chocolate covered potato chips. Back on the road east to Dayton and then north to Toledo. Stopped south of Toledo for a power nap and then south of Detroit for a Dunkin' Donuts coffee and a sack of White Castle sliders and some mac and cheese deep-fried poppers. Ain't the USA grand?! Pushed on through Detroit and made the big decision. Feeling pretty good so decided to push on to the border. Got to the border 9pm-ish and through Canada Customs by about 9:30 -- I had some duty to pay (but always find Canada Customs agents more than fair). Pushed on to Toronto. As usual, I experienced the worst, most unsafe driving on the 401 -- while most of the drivers simply flowed with traffic, some were uncivil, careless, and reckless.

Arrived home in Toronto at 1am. The dogs, Reggie and Brady, were thrilled.

Denouement (or, as Quinn Martin would say, Epilog). Happy to make the trip in three days but wouldn't recommend it. Memo to self: next time, stop at the Red Roof Inn north of Detroit and enjoy a good Bob Evan's biscuits and gravy breakfast the next morning. The Esther Price chocolates were really good, but the Esther Price chocolate covered potato chips are simply outstanding.
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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"