Okay, if I took pics in Illinois I honestly don’t know which ones they are in my folder. I know, I know, I probably should have tried to better organize things while I was on the road, but it was hard to get much computer time and any time I did have was spent going through the hundreds of freaking email I’d get in my inbox every day. So lets just say Illinois was a lot like Kentucky, flatish, lots of flooding, lots of farmland. I mean, who knew there was so much farmland in Illinois! Not I. And it was a long boring ass ride. Definitely not my favourite state, no urge to revisit unless it’s to see Oprah in Chicago.
The road actually curved so we passed right down behind the arch, but I couldn’t get a good shot off on account of traffic. St. Louis was kind of surprising to me, the little downtown part that we went through by the arch seemed lovely and then bam we were definitely on the wrong side of town! Every second brick house was burned out, the others had wooden boards or bars over their windows, yet all the drives were full of cars and there were “For Rent” signs out. It was terrible! And it seemed to go on forever. I couldn’t get over all the burned out warehouses too. I don’t understand why they don’t tear it all down and do something to revitalize the community. Jay had said before that St. Louis was an arm pit of a city, but he’s not really a city guy, he prefers the country, so I thought maybe he was just exaggerating, but it was truly disgusting. You do not get a very nice of view of the city at all from the Interstate. I’m sure there are lovely neighborhoods and things but I sure didn’t see any as we passed through.
Once again, Missouri is kinda flat and full of farmland. Pretty boring. We had checked the weather forecast for our trip and believed we’d have clear sailing pretty much all the way, but of course the weather changed and we didn’t know it so we ran into snow. We had stopped at some little hole in the wall type of truck stop place to spend the night at a lovely Super 8 motel. The room was pretty freaking nasty. I’m told there are nice Super 8’s but this was not one of them!
Okay, so from that picture maybe it doesn’t look all that disgusting, but trust me … I practically laid on top of Jay all night in the bed because I was afraid of what might be in there with us!
The place was just run down and needed a serious cleaning by someone who cared, but you can do anything for one night right. When we checked in there wasn’t a flake of snow anywhere to be found. We settled into our room, then hightailed it to the restaurant next door to get some dinner because it was already going on 10pm. While we were sitting & eating Jay looked out the window and saw a few flakes starting to fall. By the time we left the restaurant to go back to our room the wind had picked up and it was starting to accumulate on the ground.
We woke up the next morning to this.
And it was still coming down. We drove for hours in the snow.
We really thought we were going to have to stop again, get another room and just wait for the storm to pass, but luckily we finally drove out of it.
And then just like that, there was no more snow.
Missouri is so not a state I would want to live in.
We stopped at a little town to get fuel. I forget what it was called. Anyway, after going to 3 stations we finally found one right in the little town that had diesel fuel, but it was a tight spot for a long bed truck hauling a camper. We get in behind a guy whose sitting at the diesel pump to wait for him to pull out so we can get in and fuel up. And we wait. And we wait. Jay was starting to freak out, because there was someone sitting in the drivers seat of the truck, but he wasn’t pumping and he wasn’t paying and we couldn’t really tell if he was doing anything. Jay thought maybe it was some old guy who was sleeping or who had some kind of spell. I said maybe there was a passenger in the store that he was waiting on. And we waited some more. My hun is not a patient person. I was worried he was gonna get out and go up and say something to the guy & we’d end up in some kind of Children of the Corn type of episode. But instead he just made me get out and help him to navigate out of that line and turn around to get into another pump. While Jay’s fueling up I look over and the guy whose still sitting there at the other pump is a young disheveled looking sort who seemed to be texting or doing something on his phone. Jay gassed up and went in to pay. The woman inside apologized and said she didn’t know what that damn fool was doing at the pumps but he hadn’t taken any fuel and he hadn’t come inside to buy anything, he’d just been sitting there for about 20 minutes now. Meanwhile I’m sitting in the truck sneaking glances at the kid wondering what the hell is up with him & I notice two old geezers sitting in some big assed 70’s type cadillac or something who are also watching the guy and then watching me watch the guy, scratching their chins and pondering what the sam hill. Around about the time Jay got back in the truck the kid suddenly sat up and looked around, grabbed some trash off his floor and got out and put it in the garbage bin, then drove away right before we did. He was dirty and wearing camoflauge gear, so I don’t know if he was hunting or tweaking on dope or both, but it was the weirdest thing!
We noticed a sign that said there was a detour for vehicles over 8 and a half feet wide for a bridge that we were going to have to cross way down the road. There was only the one sign and we didn’t really see it right because it was so far away from that route, so we just kept going thinking we’d come across more signs eventually. Well, we never did. There was no detour anywhere to be found. Jay had no idea how wide we were with the camper, but figured it’d be pretty close.
We sat at that red light for a long time and then traffic started coming over from the other side. When Jay saw transport trucks coming over then he figured we could get through too. But it was pretty darn narrow and tight!
But we got across all right, no scratches or anything, & didn’t lose our big assed mirrors either! 🙂
(…to be continued…Nebraska next)