Deb and I have avoided planning days longer than 300 miles, especially after that blitz run we made from Arkansas to Texas in June. Today was an unintentional breaking of that pattern, if only by 25 miles.
After lingering over a brilliant sunrise, we wheeled the bus (and his toad) toward Kansas City. We knew we had to cross the Missouri River twice today, and we chose our bridges carefully. That didn’t pan out quite the way we thought it would, since the Interstate-highway bridge in KC was torn up pretty good. We put that first one behind us and moved on.
Northbound I-29 and most of the other roads we traveled today were an absolute joy for us and our 37,000-pound rig. The weather cooperated, traffic was manageable and the countryside was pure Heartland.
At some point in my youth, probably at school, I learned that this region was called “America’s Breadbasket” — endless expanses of corn, soybeans and wheat, fields that feed a nation and much of the world. I’m always inspired by such a sight, the way some folks are moved by mountains or the ocean, probably because I came up in farm country myself.
The quickest route to tonight’s destination would’ve been to push farther north into Iowa and cross the Missouri again at Decatur, Nebraska. That would’ve put us on a decrepit, no-margin-for-error toll bridge with a steel-grate deck. Instead, we turned west through Omaha and made our second crossing there, then headed north along US 275 and a couple of state routes.
It turned out to be the best decision we could’ve made.
Those secondary roads plunged us into the heart of the Heartland. Cresting each rise in the landscape presented us with another breathtaking scene of abundance. I confess that it brought tears to my eyes more than once.
This is America.
Our long travel day ended at a small town in northeast Nebraska. The company that makes the tow bar we use to pull Mercy has a small RV park next to its headquarters here, and for customers (like us) it’s free.
We’ll spend tomorrow resting, probably exploring the town and surrounding area a bit. Whatever we do — and I hope you know what I mean by this — we’ll have no doubt exactly where we are.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.