The plan was to crash for three hour's sleep, wake up at 2 a.m., and get an early jump on the day's driving as we were well behind schedule after getting seriously sidetracked at the Hummer test track with our Ahh-nold antics. That was the plan. And it seemed like a good plan, too.
Despite overly clear directions (repeated no less than three times), the front counter guy botched our wake-up call and all hopes of an on-time departure. Kiwi awoke in a foggy stupor trying to figure out why there was so much light outside at two in the morning. After some careful calculations (a.k.a. trying to decipher his watch readings without his contact lenses in) it was determined that 2 a.m. had quietly passed more than three hours earlier.
Kiwi awoke the motionless, cadaver-like Stick-Boy with a violent shake, then proceeded to rant about how the day's plans had already been foiled by the not-so-diligent hotel front desk folks. Of course, the still-innocent Stick-Boy found it hard to understand what was so bad about actually getting a decent amount of sleep for the first time in three days? Directly after stupid statement #321, the half-asleep Stick-Boy was hastily herded out of the room allowing him no time for a shower, shave, or shoe installation.
Snafu number two of the day occurred just outside of the hotel; for the first time during our entire trip, we had trouble locating our behemoth H2 in the parking lot. The problem was that our ride was surrounded by a surfeit of other Hummers (H1s and H2s) all in town for the Homecoming festivities. Strange as it may seem, we walked up to no less than three H2's before finding our beloved gas-guzzler.
Stomachs growling and muscles still sore from doing Arnold-induced push-ups the day prior, our first order of business was to grab breakfast at the one of the South's famous Waffle Houses. Oddly, the "services next exit" signs on the side of the interstate kept referring to a similar-sounding restaurant by the name of Waffle & Steak. Kiwi insisted that these couldn't possibly be the restaurant we were longing for, and proceeded to drive past four of them before Stick-Boy's way past "E" stomach forced him to reach critical meltdown as evidenced by the spicy gushing of unprintable expletives. The next exit was used, and as it turned out, we learned that Waffle & Steak is someway in cahoots with the Waffle House. Most importantly, they both share the same famous menu item--pecan waffles. Yummy.
Freshly fueled (both vehicle and drivers), we continued our southbound journey through Indiana. As we approached the Indianapolis city limits, we recalled that the town was, in some measure, known for a famous racetrack. We followed the signs to a place called Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then wedged our big H2 through the tunnel-like visitor's entrance gate. After tugging on the front door handle, we were aghast to learn that the IMS museum/gift shop wasn't yet open. A quick bit of mathematics told us that we had 25 minutes to burn before opening, which served as a perfect opportunity for Stick-Boy to freshen up. Like a bird preening in a pond, Brian used the fountain adorning the museum entrance to scrub up and to slick back his 0.4-inch long hair. As the museum doors were unlocked, Kiwi plowed through the entrance and nearly inflicted a broken-hip-crashdown with the past-retirement-age desk lady who was working the front door keys. After a quick tour of the museum, Kiwi opened up a Costco-sized can of charm in an attempt to gain clearance to the actual racetrack to (hopefully) snap pics of the H2 at speed. Astonishingly, the track manager agreed to our ludicrous request. Our Canon GL1 digital video camera recorded our spirited drive around the 2-1/2-mile track and we were even granted a few moments to conduct a photo session right on the original start/finish line bricks. Sweet! We left the Speedway giggling as if we'd just spent an hour inhaling the anesthesia-like aromatic fumes emanating from a jug of race gas, and gave a dorky "parade wave" to the guard at the entrance gate before we boogied out of town in search of the next great roadside odyssey.
Continuing south towards Kentucky, we soon crossed the mighty Ohio River and entered the land of baseball bats and fried chicken. As Kiwi piloted the H2 through the maze of one-way streets that plague downtown Louisville (while on a search of the world's largest baseball bat), in a increasingly familiar manner Stick-Boy began babbling about how similar the shape of a baseball bat is to that of a chicken leg. Sure enough, right outside of the Louisville Slugger Museum stood a 120-foot-tall (68,000-lb.) replica of the "R43" baseball bat used by Babe Ruth. Unfortunately, the bat was undergoing a fresh re-rosining, and the crane assisting with the work hampered our prime photo opportunities.