Sunday, September 08, 2019

Collinsville Illinois to Eureka Springs Arkansas

There was only 300+ miles to Eureka Springs, so this morning was supposed to be a leisurely start. That went out the window when I checked the weather network and saw that there was a severe storm bearing down on us from the west. Sandy was up and we were on the road by 7:37.

Interstate 255 led to the bridge across the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, avoiding the city traffic. This morning, 255 South was closed between I-55 and I-64 for road work so we detoured to I-64 and 255 on Illinois 157. This proved to be a pleasant (mostly rural) alternative.

The storm caught us just as we crossed the Mississippi into Missouri and was intense for a while. The lightning show was impressive and the visibility was limited.  On I-44 I noted that Missouri wreckers have red and blue lights, which I found a little disconcerting.

 Good thing we had a reservation last night

 Light rain before we started

 Looking at the Gateway To The West

 Clouds more ominous as we approach the Mississippi

 The cloud textures become apparent

 The rain begins

 Dark as night

 With patches of not so much rain

 Not much happening at Six Flags

We were just getting clear of the weather when the phone rang. It was the hotel asking if we had left a Kindle behind. That would be my Kindle, which I put under my pillow when I was ready to go to sleep. My Kindle with 150 unread books on it. It was only 52 miles back (through the rain) so we turned around. I had planned to have breakfast at a nice restaurant in St. Clair, but that was not going to happen so we stopped at a McDonald's on the way back to Collinsville.

 Back over the Mississippi

 Barge traffic is steady on Old Man River

We pulled into the motel and the young lady at the desk got my Kindle out of a drawer. I thanked her profusely and we started all over again. I promised Sandy I would not put things under my pillow in motel rooms ever again.

There was a Facebook message from Mad Mike, a VROC friend we hadn't seen in way too long. He was spending time in Collinsville looking after his mother. I wish we could have connected

The wayward Kindle

 Back down Illinois 157

 Gateway now shrouded in mist

 Took my Chevy to the levee...

 Deja Vu all over again...

 Show me

 Still quiet at Six Flags

We ran out of the rain just as we reached St. Clair. Touching base with Sherm, we found out he had left his reunion early and was on I-80 in Winnemucca, Nevada. He was heading east with a vengeance.

 Tractor parade in St. Clair Missouri

 An interesting place name

 How did they land that plane on that pole?

 Super C and huge trailer

 Another water tower

We stopped for fuel at a Love's truck stop. Gas was $2.159. We picked up some new Subway sliders and a Mickey D's smoothie to go.

 Great gas prices

 We spent a night here last year

 Westbound traffic was light

 Must be coming back from somewhere

 Row houses facing the Interstate

We turned on to US 65 at Springfield. South of Springfield, they had 65 north closed because they were shaving the concrete road preparatory to resurfacing. Lots of dust. From Ozark on, we went up and down the big hills towards Arkansas as the temperature climbed. At was 96 F as we went past Branson.

 Road work - US 65 North

 Northbound cars waiting to exit for the US 65 detour

 Traffic was good

 Hills were big

 Cross was new

 Branson was still there

 This is the land of Nothing Is Level

We left US 65 at Missouri 86 and wound our way down to the Arkansas state line at Blue Eye. Since the last time we were here, the D'Monico Resort on Table Rock Lake had added a whole new section they have dubbed Phase II. I saw there was a helipad on the roof. Some day, I will stay there.

 Crossing Table Rock Lake

 The D'Monico Resort and its addition

 Welcome to Arkansas - Blue Eye

Arrived just before 5:00 PM

Today's Route (437 Equinox/trailer miles):

First attempt (103 miles):

Second attempt (318 miles):

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