Jeff and John 2014: The East Coast Adventure

Day 4: May 18, 2014

Destination: Liberty, MO (North of Kansas City)
State Count: 5
End of Day Odometer: 339,471km
John started the day off right with eating a couple of the leftover ribs from Oklahoma Joe’s, and then we headed over to McDonald’s to use some of their delightfully free wifi for which to upload pictures and send emails. After getting a couple of drinks and sitting there for way too long (McDonald’s upload speeds are suspect I must say), we headed out to the parking lot and consumed a few more ribs. On the way out while disposing of our trash we noticed a familiar foe: that stainless steel top on the garbage. No hands were cut while taking this photo.
But enough about the boring stuff, after leaving McDonald’s we headed down to Arthur Bryant’s BBQ and the line was outside the door so we decided to head over to Autozone and see if they could get us a blower switch in a timely manner. We were horribly out of our element and the staff were none too helpful. After asking for a blower switch we were promptly told without looking at the computer that such a part could only be obtained at the dealership or junkyard. Some under-my-breath comments about aftermarket companies offering the part did little to change his mind to get him to actually look in the computer. After leaving the store and checking their website we found that they do offer the part and that it is 49 dollars. We didn’t head back but thought we might call or try another Autozone later and hope for better customer service. The line at Arthur Bryant’s was now looking a bit more reasonable so we stopped and headed inside. We ordered some pulled pork, beef brisket and ribs and split it all. We also confirmed what was already known: Arthur Bryant’s has some amazing sauce, and I really liked their baked beans. John prefers a less sweet baked bean.

After lunch we decided to head over to Mission Bowl to go bowling, which Joel and I did a number of times back in 2011, but we weren’t able to go to last time John and I were down in 2012 as there was league play going on at the time. Unfortunately we were a few minutes early so we headed over to another Autozone to see if they’d be more helpful getting us a blower switch for the van. Unfortunately the closest switch was going to be from Minnesota and take too much time to arrive so we headed back and bowled a few games. John won the first two games and I won the last, losing overall. I was deeply upset, or something.

After leaving the bowling alley I decided that there was really no need for us to necessarily get the exact switch we needed, we had low fan speed, we just needed the option of having a higher fan speed, so the plan was hatched to install a simple on/off switch to enable max fan speed. We headed back over to Autozone and picked up a switch and some various knick knacks to try and make it go. After stopping at a Wendy’s to look up the wiring diagram for the switch, we pulled the van apart and got to it.

Eventually I gave up on trying to simply tap into the wires in there and cut the connector off the broken switch and decided to build my own switch setup that could simply replace what was in there, leaving us with either low speed or high speed options. After wiring it up to do so, we realized we had bought a momentary switch accidentally and headed back over to Autozone to get the correct switch. On the way over I decided that it would actually be a good idea to get a 3 position switch so that we could optionally have one additional speed.

After getting the new switch I finished wiring it up and we now had 3 options: low, medium-high and high speed. Also known as Canada, Midwest and Florida fan speeds. We can now safely make our way down to Orlando without as much concern, and if for some reason this switch gives us issues, we can now easily swap it out for something else. The plan is to order a replacement Toyota switch from Curt at Elmhurst Toyota as we get closer to Chicago next week to get this thing back in proper working condition.
Now that we were back in cooled business, it was time to get in a bit more of that delicious Kansas City barbeque. As we headed back over to Arthur Bryant’s for a second go round, I decided I wanted John to witness the oddity that is Gate’s BBQ. Unfortunately the place was dead, so they were very aware of us as we walked in, asking their trademark phrase “Hi, may I help you?” and then asking us “What’s the matter?” in a very accusatory tone as we promptly left and drove away extremely quickly. The awkwardness level of the whole situation was through the roof. Looking back, we really should have explained that we just wanted to see the place. I believe they felt quite offended, but I hope not.
As we sped away, we drove down the way back to Arthur Bryant’s for some more of that proven deliciousness. Delicious were declared [sic]. John went back to his tried and true pulled pork and I had the long ribs one last time before we leave. I also picked up 7 bottles of their barbeque sauce, it’s some good stuff, some really, really, reallygood stuff.
Now that most of the day’s plans had been taken care of we decided to head back to a McDonald’s to figure out where we to go on Day 5, we aren’t sure if we’re going to head through Memphis or Kentucky. Through some excellent timing, John managed to catch me in an extremely odd position sitting there, looking like I was in some sort of meat coma (I was). Memphis didn’t really speak to me last time I was there as far as food went, and I’d like to see what Kentucky has to offer (and increase my states visited count). We still haven’t decided, but we did find a showtime to go see Godzilla and we headed to a nicer area of Kansas City and walked around a bit and got some tickets for the show.
After the movie, which wasn’t bad and far better than 1998’s flop starting Matthew Broderick, we headed back to Pilot in Liberty and turned in for the night. We’ll be getting an oil change at Toyota tomorrow and then grabbing some last minute ribs from Oklahoma Joe’s before heading out of town.
Day 6 Destination: Chattanooga, TN or Memphis, TN

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