Starting mileage: 1579.0
It seems that long days of travel are good for my sleep and the alarm jolted me awake. We went for a short walk around the motel and as the dogs ate their breakfast, I turned to Yelp to find mine. There were two highly recommended places and after getting a little lost, I finally found myself in front of Hometown Bakery (902 State Highway N, Warrenton, MO). In fact it would have been difficult to drive past it as I could smell the sweet aroma of baking from inside my car. When I walked inside I was brought to a sudden and immediate halt as I faced not one but three display cases of baked goods. Two it seemed held nothing but donuts. My ordering of breakfast became a shameful display of pointing at various donuts and then, almost as an after thought, I ordered the egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast sandwich. I had been so consumed with the donuts that I didn’t ask about the sandwich. I doctored my coffee and giggled about the sinful box of donuts sitting on the counter as I waited for the wrapped sandwich. I was a short distance and several deep sips of coffee away before I unwrapped the sandwich and found that it was on a croissant! I destroyed that and two donuts in no time.
Now I wasn’t too far down the road when I started to see signs for KC Baby Back Ribs. Apparently, according to the signs, they were voted the best ribs. So even though I was still feeling quite full from breakfast, when I saw the exit for ribs, I had to take it. I was a little perturbed by the lack of smoke coming from the building, which I had learned from my trip to North Carolina, was one of the calling cards of an old school BBQ pit. I did not let that stop me from ordering the six rib platter with BBQ beans and green beans. Hey I needed some vegetables of some kind. The ribs were meaty and flavourful and came with sauce on the side. The beans were outstanding and even the green beans had meat in them! The dogs enjoyed the samples that they had so you know it’s a good spot.
As we continued west we passed by the stadium for the Kansas City Royals. But we had not crossed the border into Kansas yet. I thought we had missed signs for the border but it seems as though Kansas City stretches into Missouri, a fact that had me quite confused.
It was hot in Kansas. We stopped at a rest stop to stretch our legs and walk off some of the breakfast and ribs. There was a tall hill at the back of the stop and we climbed to the top to see the view, finding a large statue called “Guard of the Plains” at the top. I did not expect to find anything when we emerged from the trees and I let the dogs sniff around before making our way back to the car and the road.
Now initially I did not pay much attention to the signs for Wamego but then I started to notice the “Wizard of Oz” pictures on the signs. I wasn’t planning to stop but somehow the car made the decision for me and I ended up in downtown Wamego. I would have kicked myself if someone had asked if I had stopped and I had told them that I did not. I drove up the Oz Museum and found it…under renovation. And then I saw the Oz Winery. With it still being quite hot out and nowhere to tie the dogs up, I rolled the windows down and ran inside.
“I have 30 seconds to buy wine what do you have?” The women behind the counter seemed to be stunned at this crazy-looking person who just launched herself into the middle of their storefront ranting about wine. I left in mere minutes with a bottle of Muscat called “Fraidy Cat”. It would have nice to sample all the Oz-themed wines but I left with the bottle untasted.
A short time later I saw signs for coffee and gourmet foods at Grandma Hoerners Foods and with the dogs safely stowed I tasted samples of everything and left with a jar of marmalade and a coffee which went really well with another two donuts.
It was getting late and I was happy when I saw a sign for Cedar Bluff State Park. By this time, the staff had left so I had to do the self-registration. Now when I skimmed over the signs, I missed the part that said “designated sites” so when I went to pick my site, I only saw some with marking posts. I was surprised by all of what I thought were picnic sites but after I had set my tent up in the area where the only other campers were (all in trailers) and went back up to submit my money, I realized that all those spots were other possible campsites. Part of the confusion was because there was only one campground with a sign. Oh well. It was a nice campground with very spacious sites and a reservoir right in front of my site.
It wasn’t until I had poured food out for the dogs that I realized that I hadn’t eaten since the donuts several hours before. Oddly, I was not hungry. At all.
It was still very hot out and the tent soon heated right up with the three dogs. I soon had the screens open and the vents on the fly unzipped but it made almost no difference. I ended up kicking out of my sleeping bag and was trying to figure out a way to create some space from the boxer that kept snuggling up to me without hurting her delicate feelings. I failed and ended up with her head resting on my shoulder as I tried to get to sleep.