July 05, 2008

Day Seven: Arrived at Our Destination

Well we made it!

After seven days of driving, over 2100 miles and through 7 states of the 'ol US of A, we pulled into Antioch, Illinois with all the fanfare of... at truck rolling down main street with all the other cars... but hey we made it and thats what counts. Just pulled up in front of Gramma and Grampa Ploss' house here in town, rolled the car off the trailer, and called it a day. Gramma made us baked chicken with potato salad and watermelon for dessert. Mm-mm.

Earlier we passed through Springfield, and miles upon miles of corn fields. Not much else except lakes and rivers to see. Very quiet and flat here. (pictures follow)

Here's the last leg of our journey:

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All in all it went smoother than I could have hoped for. No problems with the truck, trailer, or weather, just lots of bumpy roads and the in-progress fixing of said roads. Now all that remains is to unload the truck and hopefully visit with the rest of the Plosses here in town, as well as the Great G's over in Gurnee. My flight home leaves Thursday afternoon. Until I blog again, this has been Life In the FAST Lane.









July 04, 2008

Days Five and Six: Southern Hospitality and July Fourth Mixed

Happy Independence Day to all! I'm posting from Litchfield, IL, where we stooped after day six of our journey. I didn't get a chance to post from Pete and Eileen's house in Shell Knob, MO because they don't live there full time and therefore haven't started paying for internet service. I think the disconnection from the WWW made the place even more relaxing.

Yesterday was a busy day, as we drove the 188 miles from southern Tulsa to their lakeside (and golf-course adjacent) home south of Springfield, MO. Stopping to do some banking and gas filling made the trip longer than normal, as did the windy and hilly country road we took down there. Truckers drive like madmen down there on two-lane roads with no shoulder. Yikes! We got to the house in the late afternoon, relaxed on the porch overlooking the lake, and enjoyed the warm and momentarily rainy weather. They took us to a favorite local restaurant for catfish, chips and beer, with pie for desert, mm-mm. All home cooked, even the potato chips, fried fresh. We relaxed all evening with the deer and lightning bugs, then fell asleep to lightning and thunder. Best sleep all trip.

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Today we slept in, then made our way over to Branson to see the new outdoor mall at Branson Landings on the White River. Shops and attractions right on the river front, across the street from a GIANT new Hyatt convention center (which i neglected to photograph). Lovely weather made it a nice comfy walk around, while we chatted and looked at the condos for rent/sale in the same Hyatt complex. After saying our goodbyes from there, since P&E had plans for the fourth, we set out north to our destination tonight in Litchfield, but not before sampling some BBQ at the Rib Crib, which is a chain of roadhouses in Missouri. Fabulous St. Louis-style ribs and babybacks. Needless to say I bought a couple bottles of sauce to bring home with me. Our evening ended with a view of the flooded Missisipi River, the famous St. Louis skyline, Cubs vs Cardinals on the radio, and scattered fireworks here in Litchfield as we drove down the last stretch of I-55.

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Heres the last two days in pictures:














July 02, 2008

Day Four: We Don't Wanna Drive Anymore

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Since we're grinding out the miles (well, I'm doing most of the driving) and not stopping much, this trip is arduous and rough on the back/legs/arms/eyes/brain. Just like yesterday, we decided not to push too long into the night. So we stopped in Tulsa for dinner and decided that it was close enough to Shell Knob, Missouri (188 miles) to wait until tomorrow to head there to visit Mom's brother Pete and his wife Eileen. In our travels today we saw lots of trees, but amongst them were strange sights a-plenty. Stopped at a Route 66 museum here in OK as well.


July 01, 2008

Day Three Is Short Lived...

Well after three days of driving, we finally hit a wall and decided we needed a rest. Plus we changed over into central time once we crossed into the Texas panhandle, so we lost another hour of time there. So we stopped for the night in Amarillo, TX at a Motel 6 next to the highway.

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From last nights stop in Albuquerque to Amarillo is about 290 miles, and we split that almost down the middle while the other slept, as uncomfortable as that is. The drive was mostly desert in New Mexico, and once we passed into Texas, it was flat fields with occasional buildings. Pretty boring stuff, which probably contributed to the lack of willingness to go on. It would have been rough to make it to Oklahoma City.

So tomorrow we'll be heading to Branson, Missouri (south of Springfield), where my Uncle Pete and Aunt Eileen have a house. We'll spend the fourth with them and then head up to Illinois.

For now, here's some shots from the boring drive today:





June 30, 2008

Day Two on the Long and Lonely Road...

Today started later than planned, but we reached our intended destination - Albequerque, New Mexico. All in all about 470 miles driven, roughly 10 hours on the road. Nuff said. Tomorrow its on to Amarillo, TX and possibly Tulsa, OK.

Heres todays scenery.