Miles traveled today: 603.4
Total miles traveled: 3727.2
State of Misery…err, Missouri
Today was tough. For two reasons: I had to say goodbye to Ohio, and I logged more miles – and driving time – than any other day so far. In fact, I passed through four different states over the course of about 9.5 hours. Sadly, the one I stopped in is Missouri. Not that I have anything against the Show Me State. It’s just that I’ve traveled across most of the northern portion and so far, what it’s shown me isn’t all that impressive. Plus, it’s hot. Oppressively so. And the sky is hazy. Let’s just say I miss the mountains, and am looking forward to seeing them again either late tomorrow or Sunday.
I pulled out of Dayton a little bit after 7:00 this morning. The sky was clear, and it was weird to have the morning sun shining on the back of my car instead of the front. Proof that I’m headed west now, in the direction of home. Soon, the clouds thickened and grew ominous, and by the time I reached Indianapolis I was pretty sure I was in for a rough patch of weather. Sure enough, I encountered thunderstorms through western Indiana and eastern Illinois. Nothing severe like the ones I experienced in Rapid City, but they put on quite a lightning show which made for a fun drive. As long as it doesn’t hail on my car, I’m happy. The rain was a blessing.
After about an hour, as I neared Champaign, the clouds began to break up, and the rest of the drive was sunny, humid and uneventful. I drove through Springfield, IL and saw signs for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. That would be cool to check out, but I’ve got a lot of ground to cover these next few days and not as much time for sightseeing as I did on the drive east. Good thing there aren’t any SPAM museums or airplane crash sites along the way. At least, not that I’m aware of, although a friend tells me there’s some cool Jesse James stuff in St. Joseph (my intended destination today, but I pulled up about 30 miles short, figuring I’d had enough of the car and the heat and hoping that a motel room in a smaller town would be less expensive; the Super 8 here in Cameron cost me $51, a figure I’m happy with) that I may have to check out tomorrow. One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about this trip is the freedom to stop and explore as I saw fit, and I might as well squeeze every last drop of fun out of these last few days. I may be headed home, but my road trip isn’t over yet.
Speaking of Home…
During today’s long drive, I was fantasizing about being home. All I could think about was my soft leather recliner and my plush bed and how nice it would be to relax in the evening with a cool drink and a favorite television show. That seems so novel now! I’ve been on the go nonstop for 10 days and counting. The trip has been wonderful, but I’m starting to get a little homesick, I guess. Plus, I miss my cat.
Oh, and my kids, too. Right.
I look forward to a few days of lazing around when I get back.
Good News: July Milk is Looking Strong!
I’ve been listening to CDs pretty much the entire trip. Every time I eject one, the default radio station – 94.7 (Portland’s KNRK – alternative rock) comes on. Most of the time there’s nothing but static coming through my speakers while I dig out a new CD, but the other day a local Iowa station was coming in loud and clear. They were playing classic rock, so I left it there for a few minutes. When the song ended, the female DJ came on and started talking about the stock market. I don’t mean the Dow Jones…she was going on and on about the LIVESTOCK market. Talking about how much cattle and pigs were fetching, and how June milk was down a nickel but July milk was projected to be up 8%. I listened for awhile, enchanted. There is nothing like a livestock report to remind you that unless you’re from the midwest, it’s a different world out there.
By the way, I ran out of clean clothes a few days ago. I’d been intending to do laundry in Dayton, but of course the Days Inn did not have a laundry facility. Every other motel I’ve stayed in has had one…figures. I’m okay on shorts (I brought three pairs) and shirts (having picked up several at Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, etc.) but my socks and boxer shorts ran out. I figured I could go commando and wear sandals until I find a motel that has a laundry room, but I ended up stopping at a Kohl’s in Fairborn yesterday for some new boxers. The Super 8 in Cameron doesn’t have a laundry room either, so that is looking like it was a smart move.
Not a lot of pictures today…let’s see, I’ve got one of my motel room here. There was nothing else worth taking today, save for the lightning, but I was too busy driving. I’ll include a few pictures from Ohio that didn’t make it into the blog originally.