This, my friends, is Day 408 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve, and it’s the end of Day 5 of whatever this is that Deb and I are doing.
We’re doing well.
By any definition we had an unconventional day. We rolled west for a while and then, staying on the same numbered U.S. route, bent south across endless stretches of farmland. The landscape and long views gave this old country boy chills. ‘Merica.
We stopped to fill with diesel at a station in the middle of nowhere. Since there was a fair amount of truck traffic on this two-laner I didn’t have any heartburn about getting a load of bad fuel. And since the station was on the Mudflap program, one of two diesel discount deals we’re using, we paid just $2.67 a gallon, 23 cents off the pump price.
Not long after the fillup we exited and pulled into a Walmart, where Deb met and reunited with a handful of cousins she hadn’t seen in 40 years. You can imagine what an emotional experience that was — the joy of reconnecting after so long, if only for a little while in a parking lot, was truly special.
We wheeled out of Walmart and caught the Interstate back east a bit, eventually heading south on a road that challenged my ability to drive Ernie more than anything I’d encountered so far. It was narrow and the steep curves were impossibly tight, mile upon mile of corkscrewing upward through dense woods with barely enough room to thread our 40-foot bus around the bends.
Eventually (and without a scratch) we emerged onto old Route 66 for the final leg to our destination. We’re “dry camping” tonight — no hookups whatsoever, parked in a grassy field at a micro-brewery in eastern Missouri. It’s part of the Harvest Hosts program, which means we pay exactly nothing to stay here. (The annual membership fee is only $85 right now, normally $99, discount code MAY.)
Once we were pitched, we walked up the hill to the tasting room and enjoyed a half-dozen different beers, all brewed on-site, all spectacular. On the recommendation of the brewery staff, we ordered dinner from a local family restaurant run by second-generation Italian-Americans. Delicious.
We have this corner of Missouri all to ourselves this evening. We’ll sleep well.
And we’re doing another Harvest Hosts stop tomorrow night. Stay tuned.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.