Day 1:    The Golden Arches of the “Show Me” State

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A Midnight Run

What better time to start a trip but at 10:00 at night?  The boys started on the venture after work and school late in the evening.  Realizing that it would be a long trip, they stopped to pick up some liquid refreshments.  Wanting to ensure an international flair for the ride, they stopped in Windsor (Canada, eh!) for 3 cases of Labatt's Extra Stock (Alcohol content 6.5%.) 

The ride through the night consisted on a lively banter of politics, women, baseball, and beer drinking.  By the time they passed through Indianapolis, thoughts of stopping for a "rest" break, to relieve the beer backup grew with an increasing sense of urgency.  Two thirds of the party wanted to continue until St. Louis, one third was about to pee his pants. 

Dawning Realization !!

There is something magical about seeing a sunrise as you approach St. Louis from the east, the beauty of the Mississippi River, the metallic glint of the sunlight off of the Gateway Arch.  In fact, there is something magnetic about the Gateway Arch, especially when you have GOT to go, and you know there HAS to be a rest room there.

Stop the Trip!  This is the FBI!! (Freakin' Bone's Indiscretion)

Timing and Location. Timing and Location are everything.  If the Titanic left a day later who knows what would have happened.  Regrettably for our hapless heroes they arrived at the Gateway Arch at 7:00 AM, unfortunately the National Park Service doesn't open the Arch until 8:00 AM.   Our options were few, and time was short (before their shorts would be wet!)  What were the options? They had the Mississippi River (already too polluted) and   the downtown district (too far to walk in their dire state, and plus what was open?)  However, there was an extremely attractive storm drain right next to the main entrance, plus the entrance was built into a hill, offering a modicum of privacy for they're liquid indiscretion.  Now Mike and Hadrian, had their reservations, however Bone was adamant that he wasn't (and couldn't) going to wait any longer.

There are a few small pleasures in life, the feel of the morning dew on a flower, the smell of lilacs in spring, and the sound of three bozo's sighing with relief, along the with tell tale sounds of tinkling.  Life was good until a startling, disembodied voice came over a previously unforeseen public address speaker.  "Please, no public urination!"

Startled, but amused, our heroes zipped up and headed to the Chevette.  As they headed over the hill, they began to hear a high-pitched whine, which they discerned to be a voice.  As they turned to look they saw a skinny, shaking individual, wearing a uniform, and pointing a .357 magnum at them, screaming "STOP, YOU ARE ALL UNDER ARREST!!"

Their new friend, Daryl ran up to the trio and had the boys raise their hands over their heads, and promptly marched them back to the "scene of the heinous crime."   While holding the gun on the boys, Daryl yelled, screamed, ranted, and worse threatened jail time for their drainage (they probably couldn't have even covered bail!).  As they began to see their trip end in a St. Louis pokey, an older National Park officer briskly walked up to our hapless heroes and yelled, "DARYL, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT GUN !!?!!, PUT IT AWAY NOW !!!   Thankfully, their saviour was Daryl's boss.  He asked why the boys did what they did; where they were from, and where they were going.  When the boys told him they were on sojourn to New Orleans, he stated that they had 15 minutes to get out town, the boys were outside of St. Louis City limits in 10.

The morale of the story is, when Missouri says that it is the "Show Me" state, they're just kidding.

"Charlotte, is that You !!!"

Any citizen serves their community in different ways; Bone, Mike, and Hadrian serve it by trying valiantly to remove as much alcohol from the planet as possible.  Michael John's younger brother chose a less noble way,,, serving in the Marines!.  He was stationed at the time outside Memphis, so after the Arch debacle, they slid into the Marine base to pay our respects.  The Marine Guard at the Gate wore a name tag of "Charlotte", she was a little unsure as to let the three suspicious characters on base, until Mike said "Charlotte, is that you, don't you remember me from high school?" In five minutes Mike had Charlotte thoroughly convinced that he went to high school with her, whereas she finally relented at let us on base to visit Patrick.

Ain't nothin' but the best !!!

The rest of the day they drove south reaching Slidell, Louisiana at midnight, checking into a cheap, sleazy motel next to a snake farm (No kidding!).  Please, keep in mind they hadn't slept in 34 hours.  So of course after they checked in they drove another half an hour in to Bourbon Street, to sample the wares.   They quickly discovered that N'Orleans served booze, lots and lots of booze!  They sampled the wares and returned to the hotel around 3:00 AM.

The memorable voyage was complete.  It was time to rest, and prepare to power-party!