[405/441] Steam from the manholes

“There’s fire underground.”

Nah… it’s not smoke on the water.  But, yesterday when I was riding my bike, I saw steam coming from a manhole.  It reminded me of a time almost exactly 16 years ago (!!) that I saw the same effect.  I won’t give a Full Journal of this, because many of the details are very fuzzy, but a few of them stand out.  Based off what stands out, the subtitle of this post is “A story of storeys.”

When I was younger, I was the only one of my siblings who did NOT participate in club sports.  Molly and Levi both did swimming, and Casey did gymnastics.  Most of the swim meets that we attended were in either Lincoln or Omaha, so that the travel was not that great.  However, the gymnastics meets occasionally took us to Kansas City or Ames.

This weekend in 1999, my family went to Kansas City for Casey’s gymnastics meet.  We stayed at a relatively nice hotel, although I do not remember which property it was.  Our room was on the ninth floor, but I believe that it had 22 storeys.  On the Friday night that we were there, we had dinner at a place across a skywalk.  We met up with friends that used to live in Fort Dodge, on a farm outside of the town.  We called their place the “Funny Farm,” and that could be a story in itself.

While traversing the skywalk, I noticed that there was smoke coming from a manhole at street level.  It was night and it was rainy, and I didn’t really think much about it.  But, the smoking manhole was one big symbol of that weekend in my memory.  It was a novelty to me!

The next day, going to the meet was a fun maze of skywalks, parking garages, and hallways to a convention center.  I was not particularly engaged with actually watching the gymnastics, instead playing my Game Boy for most of the time.  However, I do remember the place being nice.  Though I didn’t respect that–I had learnt about straws and spit-balls from my siblings recently, and plastered placards with wads.  Embarrassing childhood stories come out at some point, and I hope that this doesn’t get me framed!

After Day One, we returned to the hotel and went swimming.  It seems that most hotels have indoor pools in the basement, main floor, or second floor.  Not this place–it was on the 21st floor!  The windows were also set up to give a 270-degree view of Kansas City.  The swimming was fun, and afterward, I saw the end of a Nebraska men’s basketball victory against #24 Missouri.

I didn’t sleep well that night, because there was a fire alarm in the hotel in the middle of the night.  Because of this, when we got home the next day, Dad insisted on earlier bedtimes for my siblings and me for the entire week.  Maybe a little bit of an overreaction, but…

Rewinding to the Sunday afternoon, we had dinner/linner at a diner, which I think was in Overland Park.  I got a Chocolate Coca-Cola, which was really weird.

So, a weekend of gymnastics, misbehavior, rendezvous, sights, and heights.  Quite a way to remember a trip… in the days before I journaled!


Today is the four hundred and fifth day of Mission 441.  Thirty-six days remain.


2 thoughts on “[405/441] Steam from the manholes

  1. Noah, the Dinwiddie Reaction. I saw smoke coming from the side of the neighbors’ house–in this cold weather–and called the fire department. You may take it from there…

    The teacher’s pet never starts out by wanting to be a pet and, more often than not, hates having become one.


    • Hmm… I think that smoke coming from the side of the neighbor’s house is a reasonable idea for calling 911.

      An interesting point about not wanting to be a teacher’s pet. I think I was neutral in that idea, or perhaps even pro-idea!


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