Sunday, June 03, 2018

Auburn Indiana to Joplin Missouri

Hampton Inns are very nice. The staff are professional, housekeeping does everything just so and the facilities are immaculate. On top of that, they have the best mattresses and pillows we have found. We can't afford one every night, but we deserve one every once in a while.

We had the hotel breakfast this morning. Sandy had her usual cereal and yogurt, but I indulged in scrambled eggs with ham and cheese mixed in plus some turkey sausage links. We filled our travel mugs with coffee and were rolling by 6:30 at 66 F under overcast skies.

As we approached Fort Wayne, I was amused to see billboards promoting emergency rooms at competing hospitals. This was totally alien to us because Canadian ER's are generally overloaded. There were several hospitals in close proximity and all looked new and shiny. I wonder how much the appearances and excess capacity cost US citizens?

Indiana is a very pretty state. The flat land where we started today wasn't boring due to trees, structures and other features. Then the green rolling hills started and it got even prettier. Every time I come this way, it makes me think of Heinlein's Green Hills of Earth.

 The overcast started to clear

 Indianapolis on the horizon

 Lucas Oil Stadium

 Brazil Indiana - Home Of The Popcorn Festival

 Land of Lincoln and Central Time

 Military vehicles are slow on freeways


 It must be Effingham Illinois

 Eight miles of I-44 will be under construction soon

 This was a slick outfit

 Federal Correctional Institute - Greenville Illinois

Construction equipment ready to roll

 Near St Louis, the road is already one lane - reason unknown

Gateway Motorsports Park

Approaching the Mississippi River and St. Louis, I slipped despite the I-don't-know-how-many-times I have come through here. Instead of taking I-55 across the river to I-44, I took I-70 and then had to go through downtown St Louis on Tucker Avenue. It was an interesting detour. The last time I did this, it was on purpose.

 I think the speck is a B-17

 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

 Old Man River

 We could barely see the Archway from way over here

City Museum Building and Ferris wheel 

 Seen on Tucker Avenue - St Louis Missouri

 Excellent detail

 Strange architecture

 Almost like a castle

As we were travelling through St Louis, Elvis was singing In The Ghetto on the radio. The song was released 49 years ago and yet it rings true today in many places. The thought saddened me.

 PT Cruiser woody continental

We got off in the outskirts of St Louis, Eureka to be precise, to have lunch at a Culver's. I had a mushroom/Swiss Butterburger and fries while Sandy had chicken tenders and then got a cashew caramel Sundae to go. We inadvertently detoured down to Six Flags Road before rejoining I-44.

Missouri limestone

Culver's - Eureka Missouri

 We were here for the Wandering Rally last September

 Super 8 in Cuba Missouri where we spent a rainy night with Auggie and Sue

 Nice teardrop trailer behind a jeep - Mal?

 Still haven't stopped to meet the fudge packers

 Missouri is pretty too

 Limestone makes great caves

 Tracker Boats

We stopped at the Love's Truckstop in Stafford, Missouri for fuel. The goal for the day had been Springfield, but we were essentially there already and it was still too early to stop. I used my Wyndham phone app to select the Days Inn in Joplin Missouri, but every time I got through to the Complete Reservation button it didn't complete. Moving on the Plan B, I called Wyndham from the road and made the reservation.

We noticed a lot of passengers today with their feet on the dashboard. A couple of drivers as well. I guess these folks have never seen photographs from accident scenes. There are also signs along the side of the highway that say #BUPD - Buckle Up - Phone Down! Good advice.

It was 86 F as we approached Joplin. The wind was changeable, but it was strong no matter which way it was blowing.

 It was windy

 Our home for the night - Days Inn Joplin Missouri

We checked in at 5:00 PM central and got our gear up to the room. Then we walked across the street to the Olive Garden where we split a Tour of Italy dinner. In addition to the ubiquitous bread and salad, this consisted of chicken parmesan, lasagna and fettucini Alfredo. I expected an extra plate, but the kitchen actually prepared two separate plates. very classy and also very tasty.

 I can't help but think of The Entertainer

 86 F and she is carrying a jacket (worried about AC)

 People never talk any more....

Half a Tour of Italy

After dinner, we returned to the room where I looked after my end-of-day chores. It was good travelling today and we were ahead of schedule. That was enough to make me happy. We are planning to make it to Amarillo, Texas tomorrow.

I did get a text this morning from PC Mobile, my cell provider. It seems that, following the fiasco around our new PC Mastercards last month, the PC Mobile rep disconnected my automatic payment feature and the May invoice never got paid. I used the phone Hotspot for a secure connection, logged on to the website and paid the bill with the new card. Then I reactivated automatic payments. I need my phone when we are on the road.

Today's Route (671 Equinox miles):

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