After awaking from a most peaceful slumber, well me anyway (Ed always seems to have trouble sleeping), Ed and I got an early start for our last leg. This was the most important leg of the journey because it was the only one with a deadline. Mr. Ed had to be on a plane bound for Minneapolis/St. Paul at 4:30 PM and then make a connection back to the land of cheese steaks and soft pretzels, Yo Philly, PA. Now as much as Mr. Ed and I are really good friends, there was no way in Hades that I was going to let him get stuck in Omaha, NE. We returned back onto Rt. 80 and traveled at Warp Factor 3 for most of the trip. My intestinal track was now back under control so we were able to haul butt rather than yesterdays episode filled of P&G (i.e Peeing and Gas- I did all the urinating. All flatulence belonged to Ed. It was like something crawled up the poor boys buttocks and died. I thought the dashboard was going to melt.). Driving was tough because Ed was zoning out and napping most of the time, and the road was covered with fog. It was like driving in the infamous Fog Bowl between the Eagles and the Cowboys. Rt. 80 in Iowa is almost entirely straight and flat. There were only pockets of civilization and wide sprawling farmland. The one time we had to stop for gas, Ed and I had to drive seven miles out of our way. We saw tons of cattle, pigs and horses. This is also apparently Danish country (the people NOT the pastry). As we pull up to a Texaco we noticed a police car blocking the road. Apparently the town was having a Memorial Day parade and the whole town was shut down until after the parade was over. It was really cool to see that kind of pride and spirit, but it REALLY stunk for those of us who had to go the bathroom (i.e. me) and instead of using a urinal had to climb down a steep embankment in order to relieve themselves in the bushes, as well as getting mud all over my brand new (well… not anymore) sneakers. The rest of the trip into Omaha was uneventful. I checked into my room and Ed helped me unload my stuff. When we finally finished emptying it out, I was really surprised about how much junk I had lugged with me the past 1300 miles. I also cringed in horror as I realized that in 10 weeks I would have to lug it all the way back. With the help of computer aided directions I was able to get Mr. Ed to the airport without major incident and we waited in the terminal for Ed’s flight to arrive.
The airport in Omaha, NE is really small compared to the other major airports I’ve been (i.e. Philadelphia, JFK, Newark, Miami, etc.). The small size was refreshing because you couldn’t get lost, and great thing about it was that the maximum I would have to pay for parking would $6 (I ended up paying $5, but whose complaining!). While waiting for the plane to arrive, Ed and I had a nice conversation with some people from Minneapolis. We talked about how much we hated squirrels and how unfair a 1300 mile journey by car could be, especially for Ed who had only been in Omaha for about two hours and already had to leave. Their accents were neat. It was like listening to Fargo. Ed and I tried our hardest to use up the remaining film left in the disposable cameras, but Ed still had a ton left over when he went on the plane. Ed’s leaving was really anti-climatic. It was a great trip and I was really sad to realize it was over. Driving cross country is not something one should do alone. First of all, its not safe. A person could go crazy doing all that by himself. Second, there are so many really neat things that are in the U.S. of A., and its important to share it with somebody, especially if they laugh at all your jokes. I’ll be driving back with my friend Jim, whose golf clubs and books I brought out, who will be flying into Omaha late Sunday night. On the way back, we’re planning on stopping off at a few places that Ed and I couldn’t on the way out. I really think its going to be more interesting, but I doubt that it will be as much fun. Thanks, Mr. Ed. I owe you one.