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    June 26, 2015

    The End Of My Trip And Other Odds And Ends

    Sorry for the big delay in this post.

    Me and Jay.
    Me with Attack Dog Jay.

    I have been back for several weeks and came back with a lingering cold that I am just now shaking.

    I actually went to a doctor and got some antibiotics that did absolutely nothing; after some time and lots of liquids, I’m starting to feel a lot better.

    I am hoping to get back in the water soon, but will probably just do a check out dive at Redondo Beach to verify I haven’t forgotten how to SCUBA dive.

    One thing I did miss was the beach closures due to unexplained tar balls washing up on the beach.

    So, on to the conclusion of my classified trip…

    May 24-28, 2015*

    We drove the John Wayne Road Tour which consisted of old landmarks – A Train Depot, his Dad’s old pharmacy and various other landmarks related to John Wayne and the surrounding community.

    Secret Agent K
    Secret Agent K models a dunce cap.

    John Wayne's Dad';s Pharmacy.
    John Wayne’s Father’s Pharmacy In Earlham, Iowa.

    The next day, we went back to the museum and the John Wayne Birthplace Museum.

    Me at the John Wayne Birth Place Museum.

    You are only allowed to take pictures inside the museum, as long as it is against the fake Monument Valley backdrop.

    Yeah, I tried taking more pictures, but got busted pretty damn quickly.

    And speaking from experience, the real Monument Valley is a lot better than the mural in the museum.

    Johgn Wayne's Birth Place

    Me outside John Wayne's Birth Place
    Me outside the John Wayne Birthplace.

    The room where John Wayne was born.
    The room where John Wayne was born.

    Inside The House
    Inside The House.

    John Wayne and His Baby Brother
    John Wayne and his baby brother Robert.

    It was then on to the “Covered Bridges of Madison County.”

    These are just covered bridges made famous by the movie The Bridges of Madison County.

    However, I was told, these are a must see when in Madison County.

    Another bridge.

    Honestly though, if you happen to see one bridge, all the others are built the same way.

    The Tower Outside of Winterset
    The Tower Outside of Winterset.

    A covered bridge
    This covered bridge expands over a ditch.

    Muddy Suburban
    Our Gangster-mobile shows signs of the terrain.

    Now on to a train ride…

    Boone Railroad

    We went to the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad for a quick 12 mile ride.

    Old trains

    The thing that was cool… it was a nice ride and beautiful scenery.

    The thing that sucked… there was no beer on the train.

    Trains at Boone
    Trains at Boone.

    View From Train
    View From Train.

    The next day, we flew back to Las Vegas where Secret Agent K departed.

    The final leg was a two night stay in Laughlin.

    The Aquarius Hotel and Casino
    The Aquarius Hotel and Casino.

    No chairs in hotel

    The hotel has no chairs in the room; when I asked why, I was told, “If you want to sit, there are chairs in the casino.”

    TV Menu
    The TV menu – listed in order of priority.

    View of Colorado River
    View of the Colorado River from the hotel room.

    I played Roulette, craps and penny slots…

    My winnings
    My winnings at the end of the night.

    We drove back to the ghetto after the second night in Laughlin.

    Again, sorry for the delay in the conclusion of this story and the skimpy details for the reasons of this trip.

    I would not have missed this trip for anything, and the longer the details remain classified, the better – that simply means things haven’t gotten worse.

    I will be back in the water soon.

    *Post delayed due to security and other reasons.

    May 25, 2015

    Winterset Rodeo And The Opening Of The John Wayne Museum

    May 22-23, 2015*

    I feel the need to come up with a different title other than “Classified Mission To Iowa – Part 3.”

    Even though my amateurish prose to attempt to document this trip may not seem like I should be tired, but I am exhausted.

    However, I am glad I have taken on this classified assignment.

    So, to get back to where my last post left off…

    After dropping $102 on small souvenirs at the John Wayne Museum gift shop, I hung out waiting for my entourage to finish getting monetarily raped.

    This lady and the cashier were looking at a “John Wayne – American” medallion.

    The clerk said, “This is the last one, they don’t make them anymore and we can no longer get them.”

    The lady thought for a bit, “Let me go talk to my husband.”

    She walked away.

    I asked the clerk, “How much for the medallion?”

    “Forty-five dollars,” she said.

    “I’ll take it!”

    John Wayne - American

    Ha! Ha! Ha! I either scored big, or fell for one of the oldest marketing gimmicks in the world.

    We ended up having lunch at the North Side Cafe, in Winterset.

    I had a ham and cheese sandwich, fried pickles and four Blue moon beers – they did not server Budweiser.

    It was still early, so we decided to drive back to the Motel room in Des Moines for some rest before heading out to the rodeo in the evening.

    Well, I am not used to driving such a powerful car – a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban.

    That thing has some power to it!

    I’m on the 169, minding my own business, when out of nowhere an Iowa State Trooper car appears behind me with his lights on.

    OK, I guess he’s going somewhere?

    So, I pulled over to let him pass; he stopped right behind me.

    Fuck!

    The trooper gets out, notices the New York plates and tinted back windows and puts his hand on his gun as he approached our vehicle.

    He approached my side, then walked around to the passenger side, where Secret Agent K was sitting.

    The Trooper looked in.

    “I pulled you over for speeding, I need to see your license,” the Trooper said.

    I handed him one of my valid California driver’s licenses.

    “Is this a rental car?” he asked.

    “Yes.”

    “Do you have the rental papers?”

    “Yes, at our Motel.”

    “Where’s your Motel?”

    “Des Moine.”

    “Well, how do I know this car isn’t stolen?”

    I said, “Well, you can run the plate, and it shouldn’t come back as stolen.”

    The Trooper then told me to come back and sit in the front seat of his patrol car.

    The front of his patrol car?

    I have never been told to sit in the front of any patrol car in my entire life.

    Well, I got out and walked over and sat in the front seat of his car; I left the door open, hoping he wouldn’t smell the beer on my breath.

    Mind you, I wasn’t drunk, and it is not illegal to smell like beer, but I have no idea whether Iowa railroads people into DUIs like California does.

    “Close the door,” he said.

    I closed the door.

    Iowa TrooperFile Photo.

    “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” The Trooper asked.

    “About Eighty.”

    “Do you know what the speed limit is?”

    I was trying to breathe as little as possible as I responded, “Seventy.”

    “Nope, it’s fifty-five on this highway.”

    Well, I apologized and remained silent after that – the more I said, I figured, the more fucked I would be.

    I escaped the situation with a $169 ticket for driving 12 miles over the speed limit.

    We went the Annual Winterset Rodeo that night:

    The rodeo bleachers
    The County Fair Ground bleachers can seat at least 200 people!

    The announcer told some jokes that would have been so politically incorrect in California, that they would have made headlines and law suits.

    “A Texan is just a Mexican making his way to Oklahoma.”

    Cow riding
    Cow riding.

    Cow falling.
    Cow falling.

    Wild cow milking
    Wild cow milking.

    Bronco Riding:

    Bronco Riding

    Bronco Riding

    Bronco Riding

    Bronco Riding

    Bronco Riding

    The next day (May 23, 2015) was the ribbon cutting for the John Wayne Museum.

    It was the biggest event in Iowa that day.

    We started the morning off with a charity pancake breakfast for the Winterset Fire Department:

    Winterset Fire Dept.

    Winterset Fire Dept.
    The Pancake Breakfast.

    I asked the sausage lady if the sausage was vegetarian.

    “No,” she said.

    “Great, I’ll have doubles,” I said.

    The opening of the John Wayne museum attracted fans for as far away as West Germany and France.

    There was this really hot 23 year old chick from Paris, France who I was trying to hit on – she pretended to not speak English.

    MC at John Wayne Museum ribbon cutting.

    The Winterset Veterans Band
    The Winterset Veterans Band.

    Iowa Governor Branstad
    Iowa Governor Branstad showed up alone, carrying his own lawn chair.

    Real Cowboys
    Real Cowboys.

    Me with Chris Mitchum
    Me with Chris Mitchum.

    The ribbon cutting.
    The ribbon cutting.

    After the ribbon cutting, we decided to have lunch at the most dangerous looking bar we could find…

    Pheasant Run Bar and Grill
    Pheasant Run Bar and Grill.

    Pulled Pork, Potato salad and Budweiser
    Pulled Pork, Potato salad and Budweiser.

    Bar fight!
    Bar fight!

    Fireman tends bar.
    A Fireman moonlights tending bar.

    After lunch, we did the “John Wayne trail.”

    More to come, soon!

    *Post delayed due to security and other reasons.

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