So we drove through the Pacific northwest, passing though Yakima (with a sign that said “Yakima- the Palm Springs of Washington”, whatever that means). We also went by a sign for Tacoma Screw Products.
On the trip overall we’ve been through quite a few towns of varying sizes. This has included Afton, Wyoming, home of the world's largest arch made entirely from elk antlers. For the benefit of animal lovers it was noted that all antlers were naturally shed by elks as they grew, and no elks were harmed in the making of the arch.
In one small northern Utah town, when we were at a red light, I happened to glance at the car next to us. A muscular guy winked and waved his tongue at me.
This afternoon we needed to pee, and top off the car, so pulled into a small town. To my surprise the gas station doubled as a feed store. I went in to pay for our purchase and the friendly clerk (wearing hunting gear, a gun, and a T-shirt that said "Shh!!! I'm hiding from the voices!") asked me if I needed any livestock feed (in our family "Livestock feed" constitutes a trip to McD's). The place also has a small restaurant, so I guess they cover pretty much all land creatures.
Oddball combination businesses have been a common finding on this trip. In one area we passed Rocky Mountain Fireworks & Fur store, which sold both.
We finally stopped in the late afternoon, in a place where Mrs. Grumpy has more family. She asked me to keep the kids at the motel, So I marched them out to the pool and plunked myself down with my faithful 2005 iBook and a Diet Coke.
Shortly after starting work, I poured Diet Coke down the front of my shirt.
We were meeting her family for dinner, and I don’t have many clean clothes left (tonight is laundry night). So I decided to get the stains out of my shirt by rubbing that part in the pool (guy thinking, I know). Unfortunately, after doing that it occurred to me that the chlorine in the pool might only stain that part of the shirt. So to balance it out, I soaked the whole shirt in the pool, and hung it over a chair to dry.
At dinner my in-laws asked me why I was wearing a wet shirt. I mumbled “it’s a guy thing” and left it at that (the shirt came out fine).
The restaurant they chose was a local roadside place, where I suggested my kids get something safe. So Craig ordered fried shrimp. Fortunately, I suspect they were from Costco (which is where I’d suggested going for dinner in the first place, thank you very much).
Fried anything, regardless of how bad it is for you, has always reminded me of Bill Crosby’s old routine about how Americans can eat anything if they can put it between 2 slices of bread. Similarly, we will also eat anything as long as it has been breaded and deep-fried. This is not a joke. Red Lobster and Long John Silver’s have built empires by realizing this.