Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'd driven through Iowa before but had never stopped long enough for anything beyond fueling up the car and I had never ever woken up in Iowa. Not knowing what to expect I was, understandably, very excited ... and a little bit nervous. After all Iowa, and here in Davenport especially, is the confluence of corn, cows and chiropractors. Davenport, for a chiropractor, is the equivalent of Jerusalem, Mecca, the Burning Bush, or Sedona. It is a place we hold in reverence. I didn't know if I needed to hold my breath or remove my shoes and the last thing I wanted to do was pull out on the Interstate without experiencing the culture and atmosphere of Davenport.

Fortunately, we forgot to bring some important stuff that we couldn't find at Trader Joe's and so we needed to go shopping while we had the chance. So here was my plan: We wouldn't ask The Nuvi for help because I didn't want to find anything too quickly. Driving aimlessly through Davenport would allow me to experience the aura of the birthplace of Chiropractic in a spontaneous and unrehearsed haze, perhaps allowing myself to be guided by the Universal Intelligence from which sprang Chiropractic and all other good things ... or perhaps a Chiropractic Muse or a spirit of my Chiropractic fore bearers would inspire my hands on the wheel and my fingers on the turn signal as we drove.

Leaving the hotel, our second departure in as many days, would be smooth. We purposefully packed our personal items and even the entire car in such a way as to ease our check-in and facilitate a quick check-out. We would bring only the bare necessities into the hotel with us: a back-pack, my overnight bag, Shawn's suitcase, an ice chest, another ice chest, the toiletry bag, a shoulder bag, another shoulder bag, the computer, Shawn's craft and crochet bag, and two bags of Trader Joe's groceries. Oh, and a pair of shoes in case I woke up early enough to go for a run.

And I was correct - not about going for the run - but about this second departure going much smoother than the West Lafayette debacle. After checking out and totally repacking the car we were on the road by 11am. That would be Noon, our time, meaning we had an extra hour. We had previously decided not to collect that hour until this morning and so we figured our check-out and repacking only took two hours instead of three. (This may seem like a kind of "creative accounting" to make something seem to be either less costly or more valuable than it really is. But I'm assured our financial institutions use these kinds of calculations all the time with no serious consequences. It seems to be working fine for Wall Street...)

Ahhh ... The Chiropractic gods were with me and were indeed kind to us. We got to see the airport, the mall, and numerous other "you can only see it in Davenport" landmarks. And as I suspected, Chiropractors are as ubiquitous in Davenport as CVS or Walgreens are in West Lafayette. There were chiropractors on every corner. And we followed each inviting sign, like bread crumbs in the forest, to our desired destination.

The shopping took only a few minutes and when we started the car The Nuvi said, "Drive to the highlighted route." And within minutes we had left the Chiropractic Holy Land and were back on I-80 heading west.

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