Wednesday, February 17, 2010
West? South? Which Way is Up?
Slept incredibly well last night--must be all the stress exhausted me more than I realized. I really am a bundle of nerves on these roads in this weather. My sister and I rarely use Interstates and even when we do, we get off periodically to allow her to relax away from all the truck traffic. As you can see there are tons of them --they far outnumber the cars. Although I didn't take a picture, just west of Pittsburgh there most have been an accident or something on the Eastbound lane. The traffic was backed up for about three miles and there were two lanes--every so often a lone car or SUV would appear among the behemoths.......so scary. Even though most of those guys are incredibly good drivers and unbelieveably considerate we have so far had at least four incidents that kept us on our toes. Yesterday's was a car who almost caused a pileup but today an empty flatbed cut us off in the passing lane--Bill says the guy misjudged how fast we were gaining on him--so what --on a slippery road it doesn't matter. Then we were already halfway past the rear wheels on a truck who suddenly decided he wanted to pass--again--used brakes and dropped back and let him go--that time we were passing him and visible to him. The night we were going back to the motel from Bob Evans in Breezewood a tractor trailer was coming across our road and headed right into us--we would have been T-boned--he never stopped but Bill gunned it and we got by him--I don't think he could have used his brakes, he would have probably jack-knifed. Awful--he just came through his stop sign. Of course, Bill is not a big help either. At an intersection I all of a sudden realized he was looking both ways and trying to judge when it was clear to make his left turn--I said you have a red light, you know--guess what? There were THREE red lights--one at pedestrian height right in front of us and two suspended above us--he saw NONE of them! Just like two years ago when he made a left into an oncoming lane in Chloride instead of going on the other side of the divided highway and last year when he went through a stop sign without seeing the oncoming car in Tulsa. I just don't know how that happens--but it sure doesn't make me feel terribly secure. Of course, there is no way I would drive on these roads with trucks but that isn't where he gets flustered--it is in towns and cities--I can handle them--though I just don't like driving any more at all. So I take a deep breath, try to see for him and get sick to my stomach. But enough about stress. What was today like? As I said the weather report was not promising at all for our planned route to Oklahoma so we considered going south out of Indianapolis to Louisville, Nashville and on to Little Rock before turning Westward again. The plus was that we would be south of snow and at most would hit rain ( albeit freezing ) if any precipitation at all. The negatives were that we would take a longer time to get to Oklahoma and would be farther south than we wanted to be since we hope to explore the Cherokee Nation. We decided to see what the weather was like once we reached Indianapolis--where the sun came out and the skies turned blue with hardly a cloud. So we opted for the old I 70 to St Louis. As soon as we left Indianapolis the sun disappeared and it all got gray and gloomy but no snow! And so it went --and warmer besides--28-30 degrees--a regular heat wave! As we entered Illinois we were greeted by the same humongous cross that I took a picture of last year--the lady from Missouri in the next car was leaning forward in her seat taking the same shot! LOL This is truly the Heartland---farms as far as the eye can see. I wonder if they are all members of the same family--like the Rainvilles in Northern Vt or the Howes in Chelsea? Arrived in E.St Louis and kept on I270 the circle around the city until we reached I 44. Last year we followed old rte 66 from this point but hoping to make up time we opted to continue this mad dash through the midwest. I really hate that--we miss half the country to get to warmth--another reason why I don't like traveling in the winter. I WANT to see the Air Force museum and the Wright Brothers sites. I WANT to check out Vidalia--the earliest capital of Illinois. Just among many things we just blow by. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are so ignored because I'm always going somewhere else--someday I want to make them the destination! And so we crossed the Mighty Mississippi--which definitely was more the Big Muddy with huge Mud Flats today( does the Platte mean anything??)--into Missouri. We had hoped to make Springfield but realized we'd done over 400 miles and 8 hours of travel and were tired. Rolla looked like a good stopping point--106 miles from St Louis and 11o miles to Springfield. And so, here we are--after noticing the dichotomy of billboards for JESUS and huge crosses and God Bless America banners with ads for ADULT STORES, GUN SHOPS--none of the Capitals mine!!!--in the Quality Inn in Rolla, Mo. It is 9:30 and Bill is going to bed. We've had Pizza Hut pizza for dinner---delivered. I'm going to see if there is anything on TV or read, whichever is more exciting--ha! Tomorrow they predicted nice weather before rains and snow return on Friday.. So I'll keep out my sunglasses and hope that the day will dawn and remain as nice as today ended--with a sun so blinding that I could not read the exit signs as we faced into the West. And ,a first on this trip,--a lovely sunset! For now, time to change into a nightgown and get comfy. A demain. The Wandering Duo