Too late for breakfast but still a shower and I would be good to go.
The water was cold.
Down at the reception desk a cheerful man asked if everything was OK.
“Water was cold”
I expected the full on American service to kick in with grovelling and huge amounts off the bill.
“Well, it happens when everyone washes at once”
Hmm. This is like being in a British hotel. I don’t like this man at all!
“I must get over to England some time” he said, as he fiddled with the computer to sort out the bill.
“Want to watch Liverpool play and stalk Billie Piper”
“I know her ex husband”
“Chris Evans? I listen to him on BBC iPlayer, he’s great”
“I am on a bit before him”
Looking at bill.
“Alex Lester…I listen to you too”
At that point the whole issue of heated water frankly paled into insignificance. I was warmed through with the recognition!
Set off to the car rental to get my “Mustang or similar”
It was “similar”
“We had a whole bunch of them but they are really popular and they just vanished out of state and we never saw them again.”
“So what you got?”
“Sebring…we got two. Both convertible one with a folding metal roof and one fabric”
“What is the difference?”
“None. Both fully loaded…hang on…one has navigation. That is extra. I will give you the one without.”
Went to the garage. Two cars identical. Both fabric roofs. Pressed the button on the key fob and one cars lights came on and the door unlocked. Got in started up and headed east on the I-90.
Gone a few miles when I noticed something sticking out of the dash…..sat nav!
Headed for Spokane.
Fabulous mountain views gave way to rolling plains. Mile after mile of fields sown with Alfalfa, Sweet corn and feed corn. Tractors worked their way up and down huge areas causing clouds of dust that blew across the highway. Vast tracts of arable land interspersed with rye grass.
The open road was weaving its magic. This is what I love. Once out of the major cities traffic is at a minimum even on the Interstate and everywhere you look there is a fantastic vista.
Hit Spokane about 5pm and it seemed rather crowded. Rather too crowded.
In the nearly 12,000 miles I have driven in the US I have never been turned away from an inn.
Today was going to be different. Spokane was rammed.
“There is a foot race in town” I was informed, as I was turned way from the third motel. The traffic was nose to tail. This was Britain not America. I needed the open road!
Headed out of town and in a few miles found myself in Spokane Valley. Presumably a dormitory suburb of Spokane. Like so many places in the U.S., it was a strip featuring a mall and lodgings and a gas station.
Mall, lodgings and a gas station. What more does a boy need?
The sun was shining and I needed some more sunglasses as my last pair had fallen apart in the UK. (See Twitter, @alexthedarklord).
Whilst in the supermarket I asked the check out lady if there was a bar nearby.
“There’s Good Tymes just across the street.”
Could it live up to its name?
“They got drinks and food and dancing”
As she uttered the words “Dancing” I think I detected a slight look of derision. I thanked her and crossed the street.
“Good Tymes” had worked hard to ensure that is was what it provided. This place had everything a small town needed.
There were fruit machines.
There was a bar.
There was food (more on that later.)
There was a gigantic screen showing NASCAR or some similar American type motor racing.
There was a bandstand with amplifiers and drums kit all ready should “Hank Williams come to town”.
There was seating at the bar.
There were tables
There were secluded areas for lovers
There was a cage and pole for strippers!!!
This was Saturday night and everyone in town was coming to have a time.
The only black person in the place was serving behind the bar. She knew everyone who came in and knew their order. I think she had been at high school with most of the people in there.
The menu boasted a “RGT burger”; I think the GT may have stood for “Good Tymes”. Still why not.
“Good choice” she beamed.
It was two thirds of a pound of ground beef and came with fries and “Raaanchh” dressing. I always specify “Raaanch” as I like to see their little faces contort when they pronounce it.
By the time I finished the noise level was rising.
It was good ‘ol boy territory. It was the Dukes of Hazzard for the Pacific North West.
I was full. I wasn’t dancing and the young crowd needed my seat.
The only space left was the stripper cage….!
I made my excuses and left.