A week ago, I set out on an adventure, a road trip to the College World Series. I left Jacksonville on Tuesday, driving a few hours each day and stopping in a new city each night. I was able to stay with friends in Atlanta and Nashville and found a not so terrible hotel in Kansas City. I left KC on Saturday morning and headed to Des Moines. Des Moines is a few hours out of the way, but I wanted to see an Iowa Barnstormers game in person and who knows when the next time I'll be back in the area. For those unfamiliar, Iowa Barnstormers are an arena football team that currently play in the Indoor Football League. You may have heard of a quarterback that used to play for them, Mr. Kurt Warner. I had a great time at the game. Everyone was so nice and the Barnstormers won!
With the first Tennessee game starting at 1pm on the next day, I decided to go ahead and drive to Omaha that night. I was confident that the hotels in Omaha would be booked and have no vacancy. I did not realize how far outside of Omaha that would be true as well. I stopped at a Loves truck stop about 30 minutes outside the city, made numerous calls to hotels around the area, and was promptly told by each property that there were no rooms available. No room? No worries! This is a road trip after all. So, I reclined my drivers seat, cracked open the windows for air, and went to sleep.
As the sun rose over the Iowa corn fields, It filled my Tahoe with light. I awoke surprisingly refreshed and ready for a new experience: My first Truck Stop Shower. I grabbed my toiletries and headed into the gas station. I timidly walked past old truckers getting their morning coffee and headed straight to the back desk, which they call the Diesel Desk. (What a badass name for a desk) I paid $13 to the lady at the counter (it's free if you buy 50 gallons of gas, but my Tahoe only holds about 22) and was given a receipt with my number and a special key code for the door.
I browsed the store for a few moments, looking at items I'll never need and some Dude Wipes shower wipes that I definitely will need. After a couple of minutes, I heard a ding and an announcement over the store PA system that my shower was ready. It was time. You're given 10 minutes to get to the shower. If you don't enter the code before then, you lose your shower. I was not going to lose mine. I scurried to my shower, entered the code, and I was in. It's a large room, maybe 20x10 with a shower, a toilet, and a sink. They also provide a washcloth, a floor towel, and body towel. Once you're in, you have all the time in the world to take and enjoy your shower. After a week on the road, my beard had grown out. I needed to look presentable as I represented Volunteers in Omaha, so I started with a truck stop shave. The water was the perfect temperature between warm and burning, where you can relax in a soothing steam. The floor and walls were all tile, but thankfully, not slippery. The shower head was high enough to where I didn't have to duck my head to get under it. There was a brilliantly placed hand railing (read foot railing) and the room was well ventilated so you could enjoy the hot shower without feeling like you're in a steam room. I thoroughly enjoyed my truck stop shower. It was clean and convenient and actually much nicer than the shower in my Kansas City hotel. Not only would I do it again, I'm planning on it, and oddly enough, looking forward to it.