Thursday, March 19, 2020

Wet! The Next Leg, Sister News, Check-In with Home

Walmart, Terra Haute, Indiana
On Thursday, Mar. 19th we were both woken by the sound of the rain, wind and thunder at 4 – 4:30. Surprisingly, as windy as it was the Suite didn’t budge. It must have been coming from the right direction. I hope the Journey beside us was sheltered as well, they were right beside us. I didn’t get a picture of our stopover though, too wet this morning. It was still dark at 7 so after Bill had something to eat and we got washed up, we led the way out of Joplin at daylight.

About half hour down the road, I remembered to take a picture

Lots more standing water in the fields today
 We pulled out of there at 7:45 and got on to I-44E. First stop was a TA Travel Centre for fuel and we both topped up at $2.35/gal. Ken was going to lead but we had to pull out for another truck behind us. We got back on the interstate and drove slowly until Ken caught up. The rain was forecast for all across the area, with a large front coming through Missouri at 10 am. We were blessed enough to miss real heavy rain and only received light showers periodically to start the day.

Ken passing to take the lead
It was uneventful until around 11:30 we pulled off at a Full Facility rest area for lunch and a leg stretch among other things. We sat for about ½ hour. I will go on and review the St. Clair Rest Area for two reasons. One, thank you for being open to patrons who need a place to pull over and stop. 

We had a dry morning, just cloudy and mild

There are still things worth taking pictures of
The wipers went a lot from the road spray
Two, how frustrating it is when single family vehicles pull into the large spaces reserved for transports and rv’s. That is very inconsiderate. We can’t park anywhere else.

The Eads Bridge in St. Louis
There was some confusion (A LOT!) on our part and perhaps on Ken and Kim’s when we approached St. Louis. Kim got a message from their Garmin gps that the bypass I-255 to the south was closed. We suggested the I-270 which runs north and that is what we both took. Our gps’s would not recognize this bypass and we both ended up going in different directions. There was about 30 minutes at least of uncomfortable driving trying to get back on track. Our gps helped us there.

Many of us travelers will recognize this huge cross too
 Once and only when we finally got onto I-55N and eventually I-70E did I relax. I do believe “I never want to go through St. Louis again!” spouted from my lips. That was not fun at all and tensions do run high in those instances. On the other side at Pocahontas (😊 ) Bill pulled into a BP station just off I-70E and gave Black Beauty a well-deserved drink. She was almost breathing on fumes with just over 60 mph to E. We never go that low but once in the heart of S.L., we were stuck.

More dryness and we thought it was funny that
this transport got between us for the longest time
He was from Ontario and waved when he finally passed Ken and Kim
 The rain in the middle of our confusion did not help matters at all. It was so heavy that traffic was almost coming to a halt but of course, we’re in the city so you keep going. One of my biggest pet peeves, everyone needs to slow down! Back on the highway, the rain had once again stopped completely and that was a nice relief. 

There is sure a lot of standing water in the fields on either side of the interstate. The mild 67F surprised me when I stepped out of the truck at the station. It was lovely!
I think they've had enough rain, don't you?
Kim and Ken messaged to meet us at the designated Walmart location so we had a couple of hours to go before seeing them again. It all worked out and soon enough, we were entering Indiana. I missed the Illinois sign and then was too late also for this state. You can see by my picture that all I got was a blur. I tried!

this is my picture of the Indiana sign
don't blink or you'll miss it, like I did!
I kept myself busy during the easy parts of the journey today by crocheting the back of my sweater. If, for some reason, it doesn’t turn out and needs to be rippit rippit out, it kept me occupied. We arrived at Walmart in Terre Haute, exactly as we’d planned but were too tired to go any further. It was 5:40 EST. We lost our last hour and are now the same time as at home.

Today's collage was of water towers
My favourite is always the Lebanon bumblebee
Once set up beside our friends, Kim asked about a Happy Hour. We walked next door for about 30 minutes and Ken toasted us again as that would be our last – for a while. The plan is to scoot out early and make it home tomorrow night. Keith was trying to make it tonight and we haven’t heard a peep from Jo-Anne and Bob whether they made it home today. Shaun, if you are reading this, ask them to drop us a line!

Last Walmart set up, this season too
We came home around 7:15 and I made up a box of Mac & cheese with our last 2 big wieners for supper. I didn’t feel like chili tonight but Bill would have been fine with that. Our solar panels got no sun today so our batteries were not charged enough to last the evening. Bill turned the generator on before H.H. and after dishes, turned it off for the night. Now, we’ll make it through until morning. I sat to work on my post and then joined Bill in my chair.

A humdrum supper but it tasted good
and we had Jell-o for dessert tonight
Tonight, I heard from my sister, Gayle (& John), who spent the winter months in the Baja, Mx. They crossed into the U.S. yesterday (took 45 min) and soon blew a truck tire. Bad luck for them but he put the spare on and they have 4 new ones on order. It was good to hear that they are okay and resting in Quartzsite until that happens tomorrow or by Monday and they will make their trek homeward too. I feel relief that they will soon be on home land.

My first sunset in a long time!!
Bill’s step-Mom, my M-I-L, also called to make sure we were safely at a destination for the night. Thank you, Marilynne, for keeping tabs on us. It means a lot. This was a good day for the distance we’ve travelled. About 460 miles but I could well have done without the St. Louis experience. We survived and if that was a challenge, we passed it too. The rain needs to fall somewhere and it just happened to be on our travel day. 😊 We made it safe and sound and so did our friends.

And it was a beaut!!
Good night from Terra Haute, IN
and Happy Spring!
Thank you for checking up on us. We are doing well.


  1. Gosh - long drive. Glad you got through the big cities and rain! I don’t understand why they close Rest areas either. We need them now more than ever!!

  2. You are making great progress towards home but I sure don't envy you those long days of driving. I do everything in my power to avoid driving through cities. I hate them.

  3. Glad you guys are making good progress despite sometime crazy GPS'. Travel safe the rest of the way home. Hope you are able to return to the US next year. We are have lots of rain here in Fort Worth TX area also.

  4. Beautiful sunset. Glad you made it through St Louis in the rainstorm. That was scary. Hopefully tomorrow it won't rain and you make it home safely. It was a long drive today, but now you can rest.

  5. Hi folks,always enjoy the blog.You might wish to put Google Maps on your phone & use it as a check on your dash mount.Google is always up to date & very accurate.Safe home; afraid the weather is veryyyy variable,lol.

  6. Wow what a long drive! We avoid SL and OK City whenever we can! hate going through any big city for sure. Glad the rest area was open for you! Why they close them especially now I'll never understand. Even if it's just for parking. I too, hate that people use the RV Truck spots! In the winter in the sierras the rest area is used as a playground for playing in the snow and I really hate that! Every bay area person there is thinks it's their own playground so rude!! Ok done with that LOL. Glad you all are safe and sound! I bet that Happy Hour was bittersweet! Hopefully you'll meet up this summer. :) Glad you heard from Gayle and they'll be heading home soon. Travel safely guys!!

  7. Patsy, I had to chuckle a bit at your comments on St Louis, and read them to Dean. That is his same reaction every single time we drive through that city. Of all the cities we've traveled through; that is the one he absolutely hates driving in most. He had a good laugh because your comment was almost exactly his!
    Your comments on the parking at rest areas also echo our same thoughts.
    Safe travels on your last travel day. I know you will be glad to return home, as we were also. It was heaven, pulling into the park - even though it was packed (we took the last spot) and very wet and muddy, it was home! What a great feeling with all that is going on today!

  8. Woot! Almost there. We didn't have any problems going thru St. Louis but we didn't have a detour and rain. That's not a good situation. Happy to hear your sister is at a good place.

  9. Glad you made it safely to your overnight stop and should be home tonight.
    We are not fans of the St Louis highways either.
    Safe Travels and Enjoy being home.

    It's about time.

  10. Happy to hear you made it through the tough traffic of St. Louis. I'm guessing you're well on your way to Canada today. Safe travells!