A Trip Across the USA
Jon Vermilye's Photo Page
April 28 - The End of the Ohio River - At least for us.
Well, we are now officially on a road trip - Breakfast was at Denny's! Hey, I never said we had class, and a Denny's breakfast has been a staple of all our previous trips - Ask Don & Anne!
Crossed into Illinois on Route 62 over the Wabash River. We continued along the Ohio River until both of us felt we has seen enough, and took a shortcut on an inland route that didn't have quite so many turns, dips & bumps. We crossed the Mississippi at Cape Girardeau, Illinois. Although it isn't as mighty as it is further south, I included a photo of the Mississippi from a rest stop just before Gale, IL. We continued on Rts 72, 21, 8 & 19 in Missouri. Most of the drive was nothing spectacular, although 8 through the Mark Twain National Forest was OK.
We found that most of the campgrounds don't open until May 1st at the earliest, so here we are again in a Motel - The Super 8 in Cuba, MO.
Tomorrow we trek across the rest of Missouri & into Kansas. See you then!
April 29 - The Flatlands
We got our usual 8:30 start and, after a short run on Interstate 44 drove up 63 to Jefferson City & the Loneliest Road, US 50. Everything was fine until we hit Kansas City. The GPS had suggestions as to how to go around the city. I should have either ignored or followed them, but instead tried to do both. Bad idea. We were 90% of the way around the city before I decided the roads we were on were getting a bit too small to keep following. We were driving through housing developments - most huge, new homes. So, we got back on the Interstate bypass, and ended up going all the way back to the city to drive around it. When we finally got back on US 50 (actually we changed to US 56 across the first part of Kansas) we had driven an extra 50 miles to end up 5 miles from where we left the GPS route. The bad thing about it is the GPS recorded the entire mistake.
Once you are away from Kansas City, it appears there are only two directions in the state, West & South (well, of course there is also East & North but we are only using the first two.) Carol wouldn't let me tie down the steering wheel and take a nap at 65mph, but I know it would have been possible. Lots of cattle, and the corn is already as high as a chipmunk's eye. They also have oil wells - photo below. With the price of gas, it would be nice to have one of these in the back yard in Oswego. Still, we have not paid more for gas anywhere along the trip than we did when we filled up in Oswego.
We met a couple of gutter installers (they were not at all happy about doing their job in the rain) in Pizza Hut in Scranton, KS that knew about Oswego from their relatives in Buffalo. Probably something about the lake effect snow?
With a 60% chance of rain & thunderstorms with hail tonight, we didn't even try for a campground. We are in the Red Coach Inn Motel in McPherson, KS at the junction of US 56 & Interstate 135.
April 30 - Dodge City
Today we awoke to rain, thunder, & 42 degrees. After packing the van and a quick stop for breakfast it was back on US 56. We changed back to US 50 at Kinsley, KS. The area is kind of flat, but US 50 does vary from the West/South directions.
We did the official tourist bit in Dodge City. Went to the Boot Hill Museum & toured "Front Street", a group of buildings that recreate Dodge City's main street in the late 1800's. Some pictures below... We also stopped at part of the Santa Fe Trail to take some pictures of the wagon wheel ruts left from the wagon trains going west. They are hard to see, and, since the wind was howling, the rain was falling, and the temperature was 42 degrees, I didn't spend too much time taking pictures.
After looking at the map, and finding few choices to stop before Pueblo, CO, we decided to call it a day a bit early and stopped in Garden City, KS. Went to the Buffalo Reserve in Garden City to take a picture of some buffalo, but it was closed. I guess they are on vacation until Memorial Day! Actually, we have found a bunch of things closed. I suspect that April is not the peak of tourism in Kansas.
Well, enough for today. So far we haven't been able to find either a Ethernet connection or Roadrunner local dial up numbers at any of our motels. We will try to find a connection during the day tomorrow.
May 1 - An Internet connection at last!
Finally got a connection at the Holiday Inn Express in La Junta, CO. We aren't staying, but they were kind enough to let me use their WiFi connection in the lobby.
Kansas is Flat!
Carol on Boot Hill
Carol at Front Street
Wagon Train Ruts
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Last Update: March 25, 2012