Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lebanon, Mo

I suppose I should be grateful that he doesn’t insist on staying in a paying campground each and every night, but Jamie sure has amazingly high standards of comfort when it comes to urban boondocking.  We have passed large parking lots, churches, hotels with long semis in the parking lots, Cracker Barrels (reported to be friendly to RVers), museums, all in search of the elusive WalMart or Target or Lowe’s.  When the entire family is on the brink of exhaustion he will then abandon his standards and allow me to pick the spot; last night it was the truck parking area of a Conoco gas station and tonight it is the truck parking area of the Waffle House.  There have been lovely quiet areas but by the time he abandons his standards we are all starving and take the first area we see.  There is free Wifi across the street, at a cluster of three or four hotels, but he won’t park over there, so here we sit, surrounded by refrigator trucks (the noise of which knows no bounds) and to get online, I walk out to the roadside and do a quick download and upload.  The trucks are stacked in here like lumber; when we arrived we had 3 or 4 semis accompanying us and now the parking lot is full, with other trucks occupying the edges of the parking lot.  Jesse says it sounds like a thousand cats are purring beside his bed.

We left Janesville, Wisconsin on highway 51 and followed this meandering 2 lane road all the way to Peru, Illinois.  It was a lovely road that traversed many family farms and flattened out into rural Illinois.  Jamie was insistent on making tracks though, so we abandoned the back roads for this and that and tonight find ourselves on I44 in Lebanon, Mo.  He promises me though, that tomorrow we will leave I44 and head into the Ozarks where there are no interstates and I will be at peace again.  We have been traveling very long days; six or more hours of travel and over 200 miles.  For us, this is a LOT of daily travel.  It makes it an even longer day when we don’t leave “camp” until noon or later.  Tomorrow I plan on being on the road by 8 or 9am.

What can I say about this mode of travel; it is tiresome and boring but we did show the kids the Gateway to the West (St. Louis Arch) today and they got some run time at a rest stop.  I’m really looking forward to Texas when we can rest from outrunning the cold front (due tomorrow in Illinois and Missouri) and relax on the beaches before heading into warm Mexico.

I really shouldn’t complain though; I used the very last of our whole wheat flour to make a loaf of bread and the generator ran out of gas with 2 hours left in the bake cycle.  We topped off the genset and restarted it and the breadmaker started up where it left off.  So we have fresh bread for midnight snack.  And Michelle, if anyone, should know how my kids LOVE to eat right before bed.

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