If I had but known...
A few years back, Dad and I went on a hunting trip with John Shirley, Al T., Tamara, Byron Quick, and Derek in eastern Georgia. We missed Oleg Volk and fellow Texan Art Eatman by a couple of days, too.
We arrived a tad late. Well.... really late.
This was a bad trip for autos.
Dad had a 1991 Isuzu Trooper, of the old square boxy type. These were neat SUVs of the original concept: they all came standard with 4X4, they had a very stiff suspension, and were rugged enough to actually take (gasp!) off-road. As usual, we packed too much gear. No biggie-- we had room to spare. We took plenty of guns, ammo, and more guns. We tore off east-bound down I-20.
Just as we were entering Delhi, the transmission went out. We caught some friendly help by the local P.D., and took the truck to the local garage. By midday the next day, we found that we were going to need a transmission replacement. We had the truck towed back west to West Monroe, LA to a big transmission shop, and rode with the tow truck.
For the next 4 days, we wasted time in West Monroe By-Gawd, Louisiana. We rented a car, got a decent motel room, and hit every damned pawn shop, book store, and library in the parish, just about. We discovered that Ouachita parish is one of those wonderfully civilized places where the parish Sheriff's Office runs a public range where the taxpayers can actually use the facilities. A trusty actually cleans up the range, and even posted our targets for us. Very, very nice. But still, we really would rather have been off hunting in E. Georgia with our friends. LawDog started to come rescue us, but his car broke down on I-20 east of Dallas!
Now I find out, by way of Ambulance Driver, that we were in the vicinity of greatness, but did not know.
Ticks me right the hell off.
I think that I trust AD's appreciation of food, because he likes steak done pretty close to right (give my first side 30 secs, please-- otherwise, just right.).
BTW, Ambo Driver-- regarding great barbecue: if you were to go a little west of Austin on Hwy 290 and then a little south on FM 1826, you'll think you're lost in the middle of nowhere, when you come across The Salt Lick, which has pavillian, bench seating, and serves the all-you-can-eat barbecue family style. Big thumbs up for the fact that platters of all kinds of barbecue are set down in front of you within seconds of your seating, and the waitstaff are highly disappointed if you don't keep 'em fetchin' more, more, MORE. Play Jenga with the ribs-- they don't mind.
When we finally got to Georgia, Art and Oleg had gone, Derek and Al T. were just leaving, and Tam only stayed 2 days more (she had to stretch it, at that). We left after five days, only to have our newly-rebuilt tranny die somewhere in Alabama, and I had to catch a bus to get back to work in time. While I ate some darned tasty blistering-hot chili con carne that John made to even have us Texicans wiping our brows, I never did get to eat a really good greasy spoon.