Friday, March 15, 2013

One More Day on the Road

     The time had come for those dreadful ‘good-byes’, yet again, amazingly we were getting better at these too; although it was a little harder this time as we didn’t know when we would be passing thru North Alabama again.  After many hugs and quite a few tears, the cousins had a sorrowful moment of realization, not knowing when they’d see each other again, but always knowing the cell phones would be in range, we hoped.  A few last minute checks and we were on our way, continuing on our journey to see what is over the next hill and around the  bend, never knowing exactly what is in store for us when we get there;  sometimes never really knowing where ‘there’ is until we’re there.
     This journey was to take us up to the Black Hills area of South Dakota to explore the splendor of the hills (ya’ll know they was mountains to me, coming from bama ) and show the lil one a little Sioux heritage while there.   Everything went good for the first leg of this trip, we made it uneventfully (when traveling this is almost always the way you’d rather land somewhere, uneventfully) to Perryville, MO.  Surprisingly something happened on this trip, something that hasn't happened often. I had looked up the campground, planned our route, we left almost on time and we made it to the RV park before they closed for  the night; the moons don’t always align like this while traveling, but I was grateful they did this time.  It felt good to finally have an easy trip under our belt and give us a taste for the way it can be, you know, with no flat tires every few hundred miles, no running out of gas, no troubles; we felt as if we were finally doing this right after a year of trial runs.

     We stayed at Perryville Campground while in Missouri, the whole park was very shaded, and it would be heaven on those hot summer days of August, although hell for anyone with slides, our first spot wouldn’t allow us to slide out on both sides of the fifth wheel.  It had a small playground that was in need of attention but other than that it was a great one-night lay-over spot.  It didn’t take long to get ready to go in the morning as we hadn’t fully unpacked and spread out, on the road again before noon, headed to somewhere in Nebraska, that was to be determined later in the day.
     We went along at a good pace winding north along I55 towards St. Louis, taking the outer loop so as to avoid possible heavy traffic that usually accompanies bigger cities.  We made it through what in my mind was going to be a treacherous few miles as we wound through rush hour traffic, but all went well, once again for us.  After the interchange to start heading west on I70 it got really boring and monotonous.  
    We made it through, or around, Kansas City, MO, and onto I29, kissing the Nebraska state line.  Our eyes were steadily going to the weather apps on the sometimes not so trusty cell phones, not knowing how far we had until we hit the storm ahead, we pushed forward; I was always told to never go straight ahead, go forward---- you may hit something.
     It wasn’t long before we started seeing a spectacular light show in the darkening skies ahead of us.  At this point we were beginning to ponder how far we could actually go if the storm didn’t settle, the gas tank made that decision for us.  Yep, the F350 was getting close to that ¼ tank mark, the mark that told us to get fuel or it would die soon, very soon.  As our luck goes, if you followed me this far, there were no gas stations with diesel open at that hour.  The lil one and I took the Ranger off the Interstate on the hunt for fuel, it didn’t take long to find one, they graciously leave their pumps cut on at night just for travelers like us.  We had just enough monies left on the card to get at least one tank of fuel, that would have to be enough.
     As we’re pumping the diesel, we are once again checking the weather radar, and deciding to find somewhere close to spend the night.  If the radar was correct, we would be just south of the worst of the storms; looking to the skies and watching the lightning show Mother Nature was giving us we knew it was bad ahead of us.  We circled the local truck stop and quickly decided this was not the place to sleep, I’ve found the noise of the trucks running all through the night makes for very shallow sleep for mommy and in turn a grumpy tomorrow.

this is a similar view we had when we decided to stop for the night, didn't get to take my own shot, had to borrow one

     Firework stands are great in the Midwest; they are HUGE, with big enough parking lots to comfortably fit our rig and a couple of 18 wheelers in.  This was our spot for the night to ride the storm out, if it came farther south than predicted.  The hubby made sure to face the truck and fifth wheel nose first into the storms, just in case the winds picked up.  It turned out not to be that bad of a night, we got a good soaker, but when is that not ever welcome? When we awoke we had but only a few things on our minds, coffee, food and heading on towards South Dakota, but that will have to wait...

Until next time……

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel's sake.  The great affair is to move.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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