Returning from a ride deep into the midwest with my friend Ricardo Serpa back in July of 2014 I stopped along an Iowa highway and took in the verdant, open country and deep blue skies with white, puffy clouds. Images really can’t capture the complete feeling of awesomeness and immenseness of the expanse but here’s a panorama that tries:

It wasn’t long after I took this shot that I came upon an Indian casino. Feeling peckish, I stopped in for a bite, but made it only as far as the craps table, where I found three sad souls leaning over the rail watching the dice roll and a pit crew that looked like they were ready to take a nap. I stepped up to the rail to observe. I never lay money down until I get a feel for the vide, and the vide here felt ice cold – I needed long johns.

“Seven out!” cried the stick man. The old woman came off the rail and walked around to the old man standing next to me…”Come’on, let’s get outta’ here. This table’s dead.” The old man picked up his three remaining chips and away they walked. That left me and a kindly old african american gentleman.

The stick man pushed the dice his way. He carefully examined each one and finally selected two. He picked them up, rattled them gently in his hands, blew on them for good luck, and rolled. “Six!, the number’s six,” hollered the stick man. I watched as the old man placed his bets on six and eight. He rolled again…”Seven!, seven out.” The stick man pulled in all the chips and the old man sauntered away. It was me and the table.

“OK, let’s heat this place up!” I said. I put down $500.00 cash and received my chips. Twenty on the Pass bar, and ten on the field. I could care less how the dice is set up so I pick any two and roll immediately. No ceremony. “Ten!” My field bet pays, and I remove the money, then take a deep breath and put down another field bet, then roll…”Twelve!, Field wins!”. I start betting on the sixes and eights, and throw a five on hard eight. I take a deep breath and skip the field…the dice slam against the back wall and settle down. “Eight! Eight the hard way!” Now the money’s coming in.

I played like this for thirty minutes and leave $375 or so to the plus. Have you even seen that Ikea commercial where the lady gets such a great deal she yells for her husband to start the car!

Hey, I don’t know about you, but $375 bucks is a lot of cash to me, and it was so easy, I felt like I’d robbed the place. I hopped on the bike and moved on down the highway, riding beneath those gorgeous Iowa skies.