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From deer to cows!

Posted by tdifranc on November 2, 2009

Kinnick Stadium

Kinnick Stadium

I left at 7 am on Sunday morning and the gps said 3.5 hours to Amsterdam, NY where I was scheduled to meet my former high school basketball coach (Chris) on our way to Bakersfield.  For anyone who doesn’t know – my former high school coach is the assistant on this team (we are both heading into the unknown on this).

As I pulled out of the drive-way I realized that even though I didn’t think I was a “gadget guy” – I guess I am! I put the truck in drive and noticed that I could only see out a 5in x 5in space in the windshield.  I had a smorgasbord of digital “gadgets plastered to the glass to help me get to Bakersfield.  Here is the list of gadgets:

-Sirius radio (so I can listen to sports, NPR, Prairie Home Companion etc)

-EZ-Pass (so I can fly through all tolls)

-Blackberry (so I can call, email, text, and pay bills online)

-iPod (so I can listen to strength & conditioning podcasts all the way to CA)

-GPS (so I know where the heck I am going)

-HD Camera (so I can document parts of this adventure)

I was on my way – headed for Amsterdam, NY!  I made it there without any problems but can someone please explain to me why Western Mass and NY state are so UGLY!!????  No offense to my relatives who live there but I just feel like I am driving directly into an Alfred Hitchcock movie when I drive through those regions and instead of birds there are dead deer everywhere!  From my doorstep to Pennsylvania I counted 15 dead deer!  Why so many?  I have theories on that but I won’t get into that now.

Finally we made it through NY and into PA and the scenery was improving rapidly!  PA was quick (going 90mph you can make it through PA in about 10 minutes…..just kidding mom!).  Now we were in Ohio and things were becoming flat with lots of corn.  I was just excited to see something other than ugly trees without leaves and dead deer everywhere!

Indiana came next where I always feel at home!  My brother went to school at Ball State U. in Muncie so I’ve been there before and I always feel like I grew up there.  I think it’s related to the basketball lore that you can almost taste when you cross the Ohio border!  We stayed in Eastern, IN at Chris’ parents home (thanks Dick & Phyllis) and trust me we both slept very well!

We were up at 6:15 and after a little breakfast, hoops discussion, and fueling up we were on the road by 7:45.  We made it into Illinois and suddenly the number of dead deer began to dwindle and the number of cows in the pastures grew!  Things were still flat but we moved through Illinois without any problem.  Then we hit Iowa and it went from flat to rolling hills with lots of cows, corn, and windmills.  We stopped in Iowa City and grabbed lunch at this great little local sandwich shop called Which Which.  We were trying to avoid becoming Mcdonaldized at all costs so we were excited to find this place.  When you walk in you grab the bag that your sandwich will eventually go in, you grab a sharpie pen, check off (on the bag) what type of sandwich you want and then hand the bag over to the cashier with your money!  The sandwich was very good but the experience was OUTSTANDING!!!! Chris decided to turn a new nutrition leaf and he went with wheat bread on this tuna sandwich – baby steps!  After our Which Which experience we went over to witness the great Nile Kinnick Stadium – it holds 70,000 people.  If you are from the Northeast you just don’t get college football so this means nothing to you!  The Hawkeyes are undefeated this season and should have a highlighted finish to the season.

We hammered our way through Iowa and cruised into Nebraska.  The sun went down and we found our way to Grand Island.  Grand Island is a gem of a midwest city/town which revolves around the Super 8 and the Ruby Tuesday.  We stayed at the Super 8 and ate at Ruby Tuesday (I found the only greens in Nebraska at the Ruby Tuesday salad bar).

2 days down and 2 to go! We’re headed for the ROCKIES!!!

Go Jam…..don’t forget that the NBDL draft is on Thursday and will be aired on NBA-TV.  The players are being interviewed and inspected as we get ready to see who we will get to mold our team out of.




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