Monday October 9, 2017- Trip Day 66
Sunday, October 8th– This day marks our course change towards the barn- our home in Reno. Up until this day we’ve meandered. Now we put our heads down and drive forward with purpose. Well, if you call making 200 miles a day purpose, that is. We plan on driving to St. Louis, then up the Great River Road to LeClaire Iowa and then burn rubber on I-80 towards home. Weather to the west has already caused some early snowstorms and we need to be vigilant of hazardous weather occurring between our location and home.
Today we plan on traveling more miles in one day than we’ve traveled for a long time. Our goal is to escape the remnants Hurricane Nate as it makes its way towards the northeast. We are not completely successful as it rained hard in a very short time last night as 2.3 inches of the wet stuff came down. Sunlight doesn’t come until well after 0700 hours so picking up our gear has to wait. Luckily the heavy rain also holds off until we are picked up and ready to roll. We are off at 0845 hours.
Our route is mostly Interstate highways today so we should be able to make pretty good time- for us. I-75 south to I-64 west and we are heading toward Louisville. Weather is iffy right now but don’t you worry, it will get worse. It starts raining pretty hard, wipers at standard steady wipe now- non of that intermittent stuff. The rain and high humidity make sight seeing impossible- ya just cain’t see mucha anythang! Did I mention that as soon as we crossed the Ohio River from the North that Southern accents in Kentucky became quite noticeable?
We pass through Louisville and it’s still raining hard but at least we can see the iconic Louisville Slugger Bat leaning up against a brick building and can see a lot of bridges that lead back into Jefferson Ohio. Today is not a good day to be out in the weather. It would have been nice to stop, especially since it’s Sunday morning and downtown Louisville should be quiet. We pass a pair of big locks on the river and continue on. The only stops we made were at rest stops to stretch our legs a little. One of them had a huge grassy field just past the visitors center so our Muttzo Megan had herself a romp!
We are at the Vanderburgh 4H Center campground near Evansville Indiana for the night. The rain has subsided- now it’s just warm and muggy. This park has quite the reputation on the web. The office is closed on the weekends, there is no campground host, there is no box containing registration forms nor a place to deposit payment. In fact, we don’t even know what the camping fee is as it varies on the web by as much as 18 dollars! I guess we’ll find out in the morning when the office opens and before we leave. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to sour once again so we will continue our trek towards St. Louis MO.
Monday, October 9- The campground office never opened so we’ll contact them and ask what we owe for the night. As one camper facetiously stated on the internet the park is FREE! We traveled through three states today, Indiana, Illinois, and now in Missouri yet only covered 190 miles. With the time changing to Central from Eastern getting up at 0630 seemed so much more natural getting up at a reasonable time rather than scraping my patootie out of bed way before sunup, that time being after 0700 hours. We were actually on the road before 0800, our customary time to depart as opposed to 0900 hours in Eastern time. I guess our getting up later and departing later had a lot to do with being on the western edge of the Eastern time zone as the sun comes up later there than, say in New York City or Richmond. Weather warnings were in effect as we drive west.
Fog is limiting visibility but it’s not too bad only affecting our view of the landscape. The interstate system is unlike the US highways as they are designed to bypass local towns. This one is no different. We drove off of the highway only once entering the outskirts of Mt. Vernon to purchase fuel. As we approached St. Louis the Illinois landscape turned from rural farmland to urban metropolis. Just before reaching the Mississippi River we see downtown St. Louis and the famous St. Louis Arch. Unfortunately the whole area was darkened by a fog layer so we only saw St. Louis in black and white.
Driving east of town on I-70 now old districts of the big city come into view. We are amazed at how many brick structures appear to be burned out. Jil investigates and states that the structures have been abandoned then burned over a period of many years and the building’s owner’s leave them as they lay. Pretty sad. We pass through now famous Ferguson………… and are saddened by the turmoil that recently occurred there.
Our campground for the night is 370 Lakeside Campground in St. Peters located about 20 miles north and west of downtown St. Louis. It’s a multi use park, the west end being an RV park. The RV park is nicely laid out with lots of space between sites. A lake is within sight and a bike path runs through it. Very nice!
P.S.- This is the mid west. Even though we are well into autumn severe storms are making their presence. One past by us not 20 miles away this evening dropping 1.5 inch hail in downtown Louisville. Yikes!