Friday, September 16, 2016

One night in Scott City, Kansas

As we rode east toward home, we decided to find a motel at Scott City, Kansas.  I started looking on the iPad for motels with reviews so we'd get a decent place, and settled on a certain one.  When we arrived in town, I looked on the GPS for the motel that sounded like a bargain for the price, Oak Tree Inn, but it wasn't there.  Maybe too new?  At that point, the only thing we knew to do was drive up and down the streets, but hey... it wasn't that big a town, right?  While both of us looking left and right for this motel, my husband glanced at his rear-view mirror and said, "A cop is pulling me over."

Cliff, already road-weary and not in the best of moods, pulled over with a sigh.  A young, smiling officer walked up; he bent down to address Cliff:  "Did you know you were speeding back there?" he asked.  

"Speeding?  How fast was I going?"

"Well, a few blocks back the speed limit changes to twenty miles per hour for a little way.  You were going thirty-five."  He was still smiling, and I was thinking, we're old people and he will let us off with a warning.

Cliff exploded.  "Twenty miles an hour on a four-lane street?  What we have here is a speed trap."

"What did you say?" the officer, still smiling, responded.  Then, not waiting for Cliff to say anything, he said, "Did you say a speed trap?"

"Yes I did," Cliff said.   "We were looking for a motel, but now I don't think I want to spend a night in this town."

I sunk deep into my seat and kept my mouth shut.

The officer went back, got in his car, and sat there doing who knows what.  I think we both assumed he was writing a ticket.

After at least five minutes he came back and told Cliff, "Well, I'm going to let you off with a warning.  Just watch the speed through town.  You'll find a Best Western motel straight up ahead."

I told him we were looking for the Oak Tree Inn, but he had never heard of it.  

What?  A cop in this town wasn't familiar with it?  At this point, I knew I must have made a mistake.  
The cop let us go, and I kid you not, Cliff never got above twenty miles per hour for the rest of our time in Scott City... even in the thirty-five-miles-per-hour zones, which includes most of the town.  I told him to pull over while I checked my motel information.  That's when I realized the one we were looking for was in Fort Scott, Kansas, not Scott City, Kansas.  We then selected a motel without the help of the Internet, using the method we'd used before the WWW came into existence:  Find a motel that looks cheap, check the price, and ask to see the room before you take it.  We settled in for the night.

My regular readers may remember that when we're traveling and staying in motels, we have a little electric skillet and a decent coffeepot with us.  I had told Cliff that morning that we were having chili hot dogs for supper when we got to a motel.  He isn't a big fan of hot dogs, but he does like chili dogs, so he was really looking forward to the meal.

I dug out the can of chili, but the hot dogs were nowhere to be found.  Obviously, I had left them in the little refrigerator in our last hotel room.  

Cliff pouted.  I assured him that canned Hormel chili was delicious, and we had crackers to go with it.  He didn't answer.  

However, after I heated up the chili in the electric skillet, it only took a couple of bites for him to cheer up somewhat.  I don't even recall what I ate, but I do know Cliff got the whole can of chili and said it really was good, except it would have been better with beans.  Hey, had I known we weren't going to have hot dogs, I would have bought the kind with beans! 

I think I may have had a peanut butter sandwich.   

So there you have it, a rather unpleasant experience in a small town, probably caused by our futile searching for a non-existent motel.  Everybody keeps telling me, "Looks like you were having fun."  Well, I was, to the utmost of my ability, but knowing Cliff had back pain and wasn't particularly enjoying himself kept me down-to-earth (he didn't grumble, but I knew).  

I will leave you with this, garnered from a Google search:


  1. My granny lived in fort Scott Kansas in 1933--yes, in the middle of the Great Depression.
    She said it was a God forsaken place. The wind howled night and day. Sand blew into
    their share cropping house. She cleaned and then the next day everything was sandy.
    She said if she ever got back to Newton county, she would never leave Arkansas again.
    She got home and stayed. I have often wondered about fort Scott!!

  2. Never use the Internet to look for motels - and always eat at McDonalds. That's what I did when I drove from Texas to Tennessee. I didn't have any problems, until I went over the cliff in Arkansas (remember that fiasco???)

    I'm surprised that the smiling cop let your Cliff off the hook.

    The VERY WORST city for speed traps is San Angelo, Texas. I lived there for awhile and it is the most corrupt city in TX.

  3. Glad you only got a warning. Lots of small towns do have speed traps.


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