Today I woke up around 8:30 A.M. I got ready and went out to get breakfast. I got the usual. I went back to my room and got ready. When I left the hotel I actually headed out to Krispy Kreme that was real close to the hotel. When I got there I noticed that they had two limited edition donuts, which were birthday cake and double chocolate. I got four of the birthday cake and two of the double chocolate and a bunch of others to complete a dozen. I then headed out to the library as usual. When I got there it was oddly and sadly empty since it was a Saturday. Usually, they would be closed on Saturdays unless someone requests and appointment, such as the case of myself. When I got to the door to the archives room it was locked. I then pressed on that button where you could talk to the people inside. I did so and told them that I was there because of an appointment. It didn’t take too long before a security guard came out and let me in. I then headed inside and the only archivist working today was Randy. By the time I got inside it was probably around 9:30 A.M, possibly the latest time I got here since Monday. I then quickly got to work on the last few boxes I had left. Since I was on a time crunch today I mostly took photos of all the documents I needed. I wanted to do this since the beginning but my camera phone had limited memory so I waited until this last day. Also, I personally liked taking notes instead of just picturing everything. I probably spent a good two hours here today. I thanked Randy and I got the names of all the other archivists so I could thank them later on my thesis. When I headed out, it was just about 11:30 – 11:45 A.M. I still had the left overs from Smokin Guns BBQ in my car. I decided to get the leftovers and eat it at the table and bench near the parking lot. The leftovers were still good, albeit a bit cold. After I ate it I went inside the Truman museum for the first time for a long time. I asked if I could go in for free since I was a researcher and they let me in. For the most part they had the same exhibits that they had from last time. It was a blast to see everything again. It still felt like I was going back in time to the 1950s due to the music and vintage exhibits on display. I looked through everything again and since I felt like I had more time I spent a little longer to appreciate all of the exhibits. Afterwards, I headed back to downtown Independence for one last hurrah at Clinton’s before I had to go. I parked on the side of this building, the same location where I parked the other day to get the water bottle. I then walked to Clinton’s and I finally got Jessica’s name right. It was cool to see her again. Today I got two scoops of birthday cake ice cream, which was my favorite at Clinton’s. I remember two people from the museum came in and I said “hey, you were both at the museum right?” and they said “yup, and now were looking around town as well”. It was cool to see them at Clinton’s. I then bid farewell to Jessica before I left.
It was weird leaving Independence the second time. Even though I was here for only about a week, I felt like I lived here forever. One of these days I will definitely return to Independence, MO. The people here are just amazing. After leaving Independence I headed out to Kansas City to see if I could get the water bottle to Neal at the Museum of Bottled Water. Thankfully, I kept the address of a nearby store and so I was able to park near the Museum of Bottled Water. When I got there, unfortunately it was closed. I concluded that Neal was probably on a break of some sort. I then went to the store right next door. It was this very colorful clothing store. Inside was an equally flamboyant cashier dude. He was the coolest dude ever too. His name is Brock and he knew Neal also. I decided to leave the water bottle with Brock, to this day I wonder if Brock did give the water bottle, though I’m sure he did. Brock told me that he worked for an artist who designed clothes for many pop icons including the infamous Miley Cyrus. He also told me that his boss was painting the skittles logo on his car outside. I thanked Brock before heading out. When I got outside I said hi to Brock’s boss and told her how awesome her store and art was. I kind of feel bad for not getting her name. She looked busy so I didn’t want to hold her up with random banter. Afterwards, I got back to my car and decided to go to PT’s, which was Jessica’s favorite café in Kansas City. I was like, PT’s is close by so I might as well go there before I head out. The drive to PT’s from the Museum of Bottled Water was real short. It was probably about a half mile or so away. If your going to PT’s they have customer parking available off to the side. Thankfully, I was able to park at the customer parking area. There’s plenty of parking in the area so it wasn’t that bad. I then headed inside. It was very nice inside and characteristically hip. It also had a slightly rustic feel too, which was neat. The first worker I met was this guy with a beard and I sort of feel bad for not getting his name. I actually ended up asking him if he “knew a Jessica from Independence”. He said he might have met her but forgot. I ended up getting a drip coffee. It was very good and fairly inexpensive. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what their refill policy was. I sat down on a long table with people on the other end and a girl to my left across the table. There seemed to be a lot of outlets available so this place was definitely good for students. There were a bit of students doing there work today too. I chilled for a while before heading out. On my way out I asked the second worker I met if I could get a refill. My cup was half –full so she filled it up for free. Thanks! For some reason I also asked her if she “knew Jessica from Independence”. Unfortunately I got the same response. I told her that it was Jessica who suggested this place. I found out that the worker’s name is Molly. Molly’s a very excitable girl and nice too. I then thanked her before heading out. This time I headed out all the way back to Colorado.
When I got back into my car I headed straight for the interstate. It wasn’t too difficult, I remember missing an exit but it didn’t affect me too much. I then proceeded out of Kansas City proper. My first stop was at a rest area just a few miles out of Topeka, KS. It was that rest area with a hiking trail I went on in the past. It was pretty empty when I got there. I used the bathroom and then got an MRE to eat. It was pretty good and filling. I even got to eat it in a shaded area with a bench and table. The only unfortunate part is that I remember there being a bunch of flies in the area. It didn’t bother me too much. Afterwards, I went on that trail again. It was nice to go back on that trail, I would never had thought I would be able to check it out again. It was nice, as last time. There were a bunch more random bugs this time though, from moths to butterflies and then some. When I got to the top it was very tranquil. I spent some time resting up there. Afterwards, I headed back down the trail. On the way down I noticed a caterpillar on one of the leaves. It was pretty big and colorful. I’m pretty sure that it meant that the caterpillar was poisonous. I then headed back down to the car and got back on the road. I wouldn’t stop again until I needed gas. I think my next stop would be around Junction City just to get gas. Afterwards, I got back on the road. Nothing too much happened while I was driving back to Colorado Springs. On the road, I was thinking of where would be a good place to get dinner. I remembered that Russell wasn’t that great of a place. I then saw a billboard advertising Hays, KS stating Hays has a Small Town Charm but with Big Time Fun or something like that. That stuck out to me so I didn’t make a stop again until I got to Hays.
When I got to Hays I only saw that it looked like any other town by the interstate. Then I saw a sign that advertised Gella’s Diner. That looked very interesting and it was just a few miles off. I decided to check it out. As I drove out towards Gella’s Diner I got to see a bit of Hays. It definitely has a small town charm with a placed called “The Mall” with only a JC Penny and other small stores. Interestingly, they had a Hastings over here. I always wanted to check a Hastings since its supposed to be pretty good. Instead, I still headed down Hays towards Gella’s. I then noticed an eatery called Al’s Chickenette. I wondered what it was. At the next turn heading towards downtown Hays I saw another chicken place called JD’s Country Style Chicken. I wanted to find downtown Hays so I didn’t stop there either. When I got to downtown Hays I was surprised on how big it actually was. There seemed to be a bunch of different stores and buildings. What really surprised me were the brick stone streets. You could really feel the bricks as you drive over it. I took a scenic drive around the neighborhood to see what’s around. I noticed a chapel and other stores. On my way back I stumbled upon Gella’s Diner almost on accident. I actually forgot I was looking for it so when I saw Gella’s I remembered. I parked in their customer parking area up an ally. When I got inside it was actually surprisingly busy with a bunch of people inside. A lot of the people here were well dressed as well, meaning that they were local people eating here after a church service or other formal gathering. I actually remember seeing the prettiest girl in the waiting area. She had brown hair in a princess braid and she was tall and slim as well. I never did get her name, I thought that she was just waiting for her date or something. Turns out she was just waiting for her parents. I eventually got a seat, I probably only waited around ten or so minutes. My waitress was Samantha and she was very cool. I ended up ordering their Chicken Fried dinner. It was absolutely amazing. It was a chicken fried stake with gravy, mash potatoes, and creamed corn. The chicken was super crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside. The creamed corn was also amazing by being thick and tasty. Afterwards, I thanked Samantha and headed out. When I got out I actually walked a bit around the neighborhood. It looked very nice, I remember seeing the world’s largest working chainsaw around town. After looking around a bit I then got back in the car and headed out. I got back on the interstate headed West on I-25.
I then noticed that it became super windy. It was so windy that the inside of the car sounded like airplanes on take off. I then stopped at Ellis to get gas. I talked to the old man next to me. I said “It sure is windy isn’t it?” He said “It sure is, where you headed?” I said “I’m headed back to Colorado, is the wind gonna get any better?” He said “No, It’s actually going to get worse out there, good luck!” I thanked him before we headed on our way. It worried me a bit that the wind would get worse. When I got back to my car, the wind was bad already. The wind was so strong in fact that you could feel the wheel turn from the wind. Imagine trying to keep your car on a straight path but an invisible person jerking your wheel in one direction violently and spasmodically. It was like this all the way into Colorado. To combat the wind I just drove slower to around 60 MPH to make sure that the wind won’t jerk the wheel. It was like this all the way. My next stop wouldn’t be until I got to a rest area. It was dark at this rest area. I believe it was the last rest area in Kansas leading to Colorado Springs. Inside the actually restroom there actually wasn’t any light. I had to use it in the dark and it was creepy because of how big and empty it was. All you could hear is the wind howling and the monotone radio speaker announcing weather conditions. It felt as if I was in an apocalypse or zombie movie. After this, my next stop wouldn’t be until Limon, CO. I got gas and took the opportunity to ask the cashier lady how to pronounce Limon. Usually you would think that it would be pronounced Lee-Moan or something like that. Actually you pronounce it as Lie-Men. I thanked the lady and headed out. From here on out it was the long, cold, and quiet road back to Colorado Springs. I didn’t get back home until 4:00 AM. When I got home I put all my things back inside and went to sleep.