Part two in a three part guest blog series from the amazing Captain Amurica. Did you miss part one? Check it out here.
Arriving into Denver via dark mountain tunnels and passes, with the occasional bighorn sheep apparently just chillin on the side of the mountain. Insert mandatory Will Ferrell/Robert Goulet reference here. Starting with an early morning in the Mile High City compliments of a college friend, Biker Jim’s exotic sausages made for the perfect fuel for the day. A pheasant – rattlesnake and Alaskan Reindeer duo of sausages happily consumed, a tour of Denver was to be had. With a great food scene and even better beer scene, Denver was frankly, awesome. Rocky mountain oysters (which are apparently not actual oysters haha but with the flavor of great veal) and a hand crafted mint julip to start, followed by pizza and a good conversation with the waitress of Lucky Pie Pizza about the greater merits of the prosciutto and fig combination. Any of my close friends will tell you that prosciutto and fig is not only one of my all time favorite combinations, but also extremely funny to shout out randomly in Italian at any given time. Talk about my kind of place. I was sad to see Denver and its Rocky Mountain Back drop fade into wide open sky and endless prairies of Kansas towards Jefferson City, MO and Morgantown, WV, the final leg of our trip.
Jefferson City, Missouri
Jeff City, MO is a small town about two hours from St. Louis ( affectionately known as Da Lou) that is also the capital city of Missouri. With so many billboards promoting “adult shops for both singles and couples” I could only imagine what awaited us there. Driving at night we apparently missed the opportunity to view a multitude meth houses per capita for which Missouri leads the US and possibly the world, Jefferson City was a quiet, clean, and quaint town that has that Main Street vibe of old time Americana without ever having to try. A few Busch Lights (in honor of Missouri, of course) and we were walking the steps of the Capitol Building, gazing towards the Governor’s Mansion, and touched by the law enforcement officers memorial. The Mighty Missouri River lay in front of it, and had it not been for the enormous swarms of bugs that often surround large bodies of water on hot and humid summer days, I could have spent all night there. Alas free time was not something we had the luxury of truly enjoying, so instead packed up the next morning for Morgantown, with a stop in Da Lou on the way.
St. Louis, Missouri
Having been to St. Louis before and having enjoyed it, this stopover was for two things: the Gateway Arch, and frozen custard. Ted Drewes to be exact. And while i’ve never met the dude, gotta give mad respect to him cause the guy knows how to make a bowl of ice cream. Rich, creamy, flavorful and smooth, this was definitely not your low fat treat. Calories be damned, that shit was money. And a perfect sugar rush to get us on our way. As for the Arch? It’s big. And when I say big, I mean it. The Washington Monument ain’t got shit on the Arch. You have to strain your neck just to take in the full purview, and the fact that there are windows across the top presumably for tour taking would’ve the kind of shit your pants awesome that one can only get from sky diving or bungee jumping.
Leaving St. Louis was also the first time that I’ve ever in my life stopped at a Jack in the Box, but the mere fact that you can get cheeseburgers, curly fries, mozzarella sticks, AND tacos all at the same counter left me befuddled and giddy at the same time.
Morgantown, West Virginia
Heading into Morgantown,WV reminded me of the trips I used to take to see my grandparents in Pittsburgh. Same landscape, same tyoe of people, same blue collar feeling. Other than that I was able to glean one other aspect of life in the Mountaineer state and the accompanying West Virginia University – those kids party. And party hard. And love football. And when those two things mix together you have one of lifes greatest events – college football tailgates on Saturdays. Props to those cats at WVU for doing it big. Gotta get back up there in the fall.
The Star-Spangled Girl asks: