|We stayed up later than expected last night. Laura was checking email and doing looking online about today’s drive, and I was working on Tuesday’s trip journal. So didn’t get up until almost 9:00 today. We had to stop at Walmart (gagging as I’m writing this) to replace the styrofoam cooler that gave up the ghost yesterday. How did we find out about the cooler? Went to lift it out of the car and the back seat was wet. Fortunately I had placed an old towel under the cooler and it absorbed most of the leakage. By this morning the seat had completely dried and you could never tell it leaked. We hit the road towards Mt Vernon IL about 10:30.
A lot more traffic today, everywhere we went we ran into road construction. Seems like being back in the big city after driving through rural Nevada, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
We’ve been getting pictures of the signs when we enter or leave a state and today was a bonanza. We got pictures leaving Nebraska, entering/leaving Iowa, entering/leaving Missouri, and entering Illinois. Seems like a lot of states to hit in one day.
Since we need to be in Hagerstown on Sunday and 8+ hours of driving a day is starting to take it’s toll we didn’t plan any sightseeing today so the journal entry is not very interesting.
We got a late start today, probably since we got to sleep so late. Another welcomed and tasty hot breakfast from the hotel. Not too much exciting today. We were really focused on making up time. I enjoyed the drive through Wyoming and Nebraska; both states were actually very pretty. I also liked the fact that every other radio station was country. A little bit of good music definitely added a pep to the drive. Sometimes finding a station was a challenge, but at least it gave us something to do.
We passed through Iowa for a short bit. We didn’t snag a great picture of the welcome sign so we decided to do our ONLY backtracking of the trip in order to get the necessary picture. It only added ~10 minutes and was well worth getting that beautiful, close, in-focus snapshot of Welcome to Iowa. We bypassed Kansas and quickly crossed from Iowa into Missouri. I bought a scratcher here too & won $2! But I forgot to cash it in before we crossed into Illinois. I’m still debating whether it’s worth it to mail it in or not.
By now we were keeping close watch of the border crossings on the map and GPS. We were poised and ready for the Illinois sign and knew that it was just across the bridge in St. Louis. Despite our best efforts, the pesky sign evaded us. Dad and I are still not sure whether it was actually there or not. We joked that Illinois just didn’t want to welcome us. I did get some pretty good shots of the Arch in St. Louis though.
We arrived in Mt Vernon late…AGAIN. We got food to go from Bandana’s BBQ. It’s a chain, but still fairly local (MO and IL only maybe). We grabbed some brews while we waited for the food. No local on that though: a Blue Moon for me and a Sam Adams for dad, which turned out to be the wheat style much to dad’s dismay. In an effort to please dad, we tried (with a little confusion) to locate a package liquor store to get him some real beer. Turns out this is a drive-thru liquor store...weird. I didn't even know that those existed (should they even exist?) haha. Trying to stick with the local theme, we picked up some Pale Ale bottled in Illinois. Back at the hotel we chowed down before even unloading the car. The BBQ was delicious and the beer was decent. Again the hotel was very nice (kudos to dad for the accommodation planning).