Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Destination Ottumwa!

May Trip to Reno, Part 1;
May 9, 2014

Before embarking on the first leg of my spring trip to Reno, I enjoyed a last meal in town: a Greek omelet with hash browns at Mr. Filet. On this occasion I was surprised to find the tzatziki sauce inside the omelet!

Afterward I snagged my last cup of drip decaf at Java Joes at the DART Central Station before catching the no. 17 bus to Second & University, where I walked the last quarter-mile to the Burlington Trailways bus station. This traveler started his trip pre-weary.

I’ve had not been back to the new location for the bus station since returning from my last train trip in January. With some time to kill before the arrival of the bus, I was struck by what a cramped dump of humanity this former gas station was. And practically standing room only! It was good to hear from station employees that expansion plans for the location were in the works.

I arrived at the train/bus station in Ottumwa at the same time as a school bus full of kids came to visit the upstairs museum. Splitting that boisterous scene I walked a few blocks to The Lucky Rooster Coffee House for an espresso, but was aghast to find they had no demitasse cups. How uncivilized!

I had a much better experience at Fuel, a juice bar inside Market on Main, Ottumwa's new indoor market. There I ordered a Salty Dog with cucumber, ginger, lemon, and cayenne pepper. A little more ginger would have been welcome, along with dashes of hot sauce in place of the stale cayenne powder.

An opportunity to hit the Canteen for a loose-meat sandwich was lost on a lunch of cheese slices and slightly-dated Johnsonville sausage I raided from the fridge of friends in town.

Dinner aboard Amtrak that night wasn’t optimal. The pasta was passable but what they did to corn was a crime. Disliked by all at my table.

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