My buddy bought an RV to live in while his house was being built. When the house was built, and he was all moved in, the RV was free to use for recreational purposes. Four friends and I got together for a weekend mancation, intent on travelling through some of the more rural parts of Washington State, Idaho, and Oregon.
We planned to head east from Seattle. The collective group would make decisions along the way about destinations and routes. At some point, we also decided we had to stop at every bar we saw for a drink, no exceptions.
With the RV loaded up, we started driving east on the I-90. The popular vote in the RV was to head toward Kennewick, Washington.
It wasn’t long before somebody had to use the bathroom. Score, they could use the bathroom in the RV and save us from having to stop. Bad idea, I guess. The first flush of the toilet unleashed a chemical weapon that smelled like we had somehow tapped into hell. It was awful. So awful, we had to stop on the side of the highway to get some fresh air.
As we gasped for air outside, laughing about the situation, someone said that such a bad smell could only have come from satan’s butthole. This would be the new nickname for the bathroom on the RV.
Once the air had cleared a bit, we loaded back up and started driving. The new mission was to find a rest stop where we could give satan an enema. Thank God there are rest stops all across Washington. We found one not too long after and started the purge process.
About 10 minutes of flushing and we were back on the road. Needless to say, using the bathroom on the RV became a gamble after that.
RV Travel Tip: I learned on this trip that RV travel is always significantly slower than travelling in a car. This meant the three-hour drive to Kennewick would be more like four or five hours.
The first bar we saw in Kennewick was a place called The Keg (not the restaurant chain).
Stepping through the door, we instantly recognized that this was a locals’ bar, and our presence was alarming. The music, metaphorically, stopped. Nearly everybody in that bar turned to look at us. It didn’t stop us, and we headed to bar to order a drink. There was pool and darts in the back. Pub games are the best, so we headed back to play while we drank.
After a couple of rounds, we started getting a strong sense from the natives that we were not welcome. Since it was too early for a bar brawl, we decided to finish our beers and head out. We said, “good day” to our new friends and headed out.
Someone found a night club nearby, so we headed in that direction.
Pulling up, the night club seemed nice enough. We headed inside and a few of us made a beeline to the bar. There were some small tables nearby, which we gathered around to drink and talk.
Time the dance.
It was time to mingle with the locals, and by mingle, I mean dance. A brave few of us headed to the packed dance floor. We started dancing amongst the crowd, and I quickly lost track of the other guys. No big deal, I’d find them after a couple of songs.
There was a bachelorette party on the dance floor, too. I somehow ended up dancing with the bachelorette, which did not last long. Our dance was cut short when I got a tap on the shoulder. I turned around to see a bouncer. It was obvious he was a bouncer because he had long hair and a black “security” shirt. He asked (told) me to follow him to the front door.
I’m thinking the worst as we walk toward the door. My friends were nowhere to be found, and all I see is another bouncer out front looking back at me. Suddenly, one of my friends is at my side. I give him the look of “I’m not sure what is happening, but I’m glad you’re here”.
As we get closer to the front door, I start visualizing how I’ll neutralize each bouncer when we get outside. I’m thinking knees, nose, and throat. Just enough to get away and avoid any steep criminal charges if I am somehow caught.
There would be no such drama. When we got outside, he explains that there were “complaints” about me on the dance floor.
He asks how much I’ve had to drink.
I tell him, “I don’t know, maybe two or three beers.”
He asks what I was doing there. I explain that I just started dancing, and I have no idea what I could have done.
After a somewhat awkward stare down, he tells me I can head back in. His parting advice was to avoid the dance floor for a while. Oh, well, I’m really more of a performance dancer, anyway. There wasn’t enough room for my moves in a crowd like that.
Either I upset the locals because I was dancing with their womenfolk, or the bachelorette party had just punked me. Well played, I suppose. Whatever the case, it was time to move on. I head back in with my wingman and track down the rest of my friends. All but one of my friends, that is.
Not, again. Did the bouncers get him, too? I told my friends what had happened to me, and maybe he got shanghaied by the bouncers. We started calling his cell phone and headed outside. He answered his phone, and said he went back to the RV.
Sure enough, he was in the RV. He was super drunk and fired up about something. There were mumblings about doing something questionable at the club, but we talked him into getting some dinner with us, instead. There was a bar that served food right next to the night club, so we headed in for a hot plate of disappointment.
The bar was much cleaner inside than I expected. They had a full menu and a decent beer selection. There was steak on the menu, and a couple of the guys had committed to getting a ribeye steak at every restaurant we visited (if it was on the menu). At a bar, though?
I ordered a French dip sandwich and tots. My sandwich arrived on top of three pounds of tater tots. There were easily enough tots to share with 10 people. Seriously, so many tater tots. I’ll admit, I left mildly satisfied. Kudos to the chef; I was not as disappointed as I thought I would be.
It was time to rally. We left the bar and headed back to the highway. Our next destination was Moscow, Idaho, which was three or four hours away. Since it was getting pretty late, we pushed through without stopping along the way. The next few hours would be a hard drive to Moscow while the rest of us drank and played card games in the back.
When we finally got to Moscow, we parked in a Walmart parking lot and slept for the night.
To be continued…