A step closer

Deb said last night what both of us had been thinking, wondering aloud if we could maybe, just maybe, drive from central Iowa to northern Arkansas in a single day. That’d make today a 450-miler.

We made eye contact. We remembered covering 500 miles on a run to Texas in June and vowing never to do that again.

The answer was obvious: No way.

Both of us woke up this morning feeling like hell. Despite that, and probably motivated by taking one more step toward Arkansas, we launched at 8:15am. Iowa kissed us goodbye with more rough road — I-35 southbound wasn’t as punishing as I-80 eastbound, but it definitely rattled the fixtures.

Oh, and it rained. I mean, it rained pretty much right up to the Missouri line and then stopped. So did the lousy pavement. Coincidence?

We broke up the drive by stopping at a few rest areas. (No fuel stops today. We’ll likely do that twice on Tuesday.) The last wayside rest was 55 miles short of our destination, just north of Kansas City.

Our run through KC marked the first time we’d tackled a major American city in a very long time. Traffic was humorless and (for a Sunday) heavy, and we had to negotiate three unfamiliar highway interchanges to keep us on our route.

It went smoothly, surprisingly so. And we escaped before Chiefs fans could slow us down. (There’s a home game at Arrowhead tonight.)

Also notable, at least to me, is that in Kansas City we drove over the Missouri River for the third and last time on this push. If I recall correctly that’s exactly half as many crossings as we made going the opposite direction in August.

By the time we shut Ernie down on our campsite east of the city, we’d covered 225 miles. We finished setting up before 2pm. And for dinner, we found a place that’d deliver authentic Kansas City BBQ right to Ernie’s door — perfect.

Heavy weather is moving in here tonight. Tomorrow morning will be wet, with skies clearing by afternoon and temps a good 20 degrees cooler than today. It’s a forecast tailor-made for what we plan to do — absolutely nothing.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

(Our social-media friends and followers already have seen this image, but I decided it was worth sharing here — last night’s sunset over our Iowa campground.)

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