2 min read

Day 2: Poisoned in Burley

My traveling companion, the Iron Sheik

Idaho Falls, ID (Population: 62,417) Bonneville County (2020 Election Results: Trump +43)

Miles Driven: 329.58 (825.46 total)/Top Speed: 88.6 mph/Cups of Coffee: 2 (4 total); Lowest Gas Price: $4.89/Percentage of Strangers who Recognized the Iron Sheik action figure: 0% (0/2)/Number of States Visited: 3

Lodging: Econo Lodge/Rating: 1 out of 5 turnbuckles; absolutely dismal, to use a wrestling term, the "drizzling shits."

What is it they say about best-laid plans?

This time around, I was even better prepared for the rigors of the road in a mediocre car on a summer-long road trip, having learned the lessons of The Wax Pack. I had playlists, a meditation pillow, and way better equipment to get better multimedia content. I vowed to not eat in my car (beyond the requisite coffee) and to only stay at local mom-and-pop motels (the erstwhile "motor inns").

On Day Two, the wheels fell off.

Thankfully not literally off the Ford Fusion, but by 7:30 PM I was on my knees hugging porcelain on the floor of an Econo Lodge.

The trouble began earlier in the day with a lunch stop at a Mexican restaurant in Burley, Idaho. Eschewing the ease of McDonald's and Wendy's located right off the freeway, I pointed the Fusion towards the heart of downtown, always wanting to experience as much local flavor as possible. I passed an enormous decaying grain elevator, perhaps the most visible landmark in town, and parked on Main Street, lined by a row of brick buildings.

Mexican food is likely not a stalwart of Burley cuisine, but feeling famished from a light breakfast, I dove into an asada burrito (no beans) and a pile of chips with spicy salsa. It was all surprisingly tasty. As a reminder that I have left the woke Bay Area far behind, on my way to the restroom the only words I heard while passing a pair of middle-aged women was "dots, not feathers."

I haven't seen a Tesla or mask since leaving Oakland.

Today's route

Several hours later, I burst through my room door at the Econo Lodge to expel the burrito, immediately feeling better as I lay on the floor drooling and spitting. There are few feelings worse than puking and few better than the moments immediately following. Deep gratitude are the words that come to mind. I made it through the entire seven weeks of The Wax Pack without ever getting sick (well, not counting the pounding hangover I had while meeting Rance Mulliniks), and here on Day 2 of The Six Pack I found myself neurotically taking a COVID test in the moments immediately following being sprawled on the Econo Lodge floor. Which, if you're keeping score at home, already violated my pledge to not stay in chain motels (to be fair, the Econo used to be a dive called the Pinecrest Inn; faulty intel led me there). And, to top if off, I ate in my car in the afternoon.

Today sucked.