Thursday, April 23, 2009

Second day gets me past the Mississsippi

    I got an early start today (7:30 a.m.) after a quick but pretty good breakfast. I felt a little bit like some OCD type when I asked the server to toast my Ezekiel bread. But I can't eat (and don't want to) all-white wheat bread anymore. With high clouds in Chattanooga at 54 degrees (brrrrr) and the first part of the drive up through some mountains north of Lookout up near Sewanee, it was a pretty drive down the other side to Kentucky.
   But early on I stopped at the rest area about ten minutes from Chattanooga to do some rearranging of CDs and drinks. What a glorious surprise to see such a beautiful rest area! I hated to leave this serene location, but the road needed to be chewed up.
   This area is probably spectacular in the fall. I'd like to come back and do some drives around in the mountains again. I could only imagine what it must have been like for the soldiers - on both sides! - during the Civil War to be running up and down or around all these elevations.
   No major traffic issues until I got to the outskirts of Nashville and then several jam-ups occurred. But I didn't really lose much time after all.
   Before long I was past Nashville (which was a lot larger than I imagined it to be) and followed I-24 up near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. This area has rolling hills, wonderful old barns perched on grassy mounds, and while Kentucky is noted for its horses, I actually didn't see any out in pastures near the roadway. I just kept on driving and slowly the miles rolled away. I ended up eating the rest of the steak from last night while finishing up Kentucky / Paducah.
   Then I was in Illinois, but still heading North!!! I was feeling discouraged that after two days of driving I hadn't made much western progress. According to my estimate, it seemed like I could make St. Louis, Missouri, by early afternoon. Fortunately the road work on the lower part of I-57 was not much of a delay factor. And soon I was on I-64 heading west at last!
   I tried to take a picture of the Gateway Arch, but it didn't come out... hard to drive and focus on the camera, too.
   By 4:30 p.m. I was driving into the parking lot of the motel... unfortunately the pool was not heated, even though it is under a roof. I decided I wasn't feeling brave enough for cool water and got settled in. Tomorrow, Friday, I can push to get to Boulder, CO for the night, or split it up into two 6-hour days. I'll decide tomorrow.

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