Friday, May 8, 2009

A Trip Not To Be Remembered

There is nothing memorable about the eastern leg of this journey except the weather. It rained, and then it rained more. That wil be the most enduring thought. I climbed into the mountains of New Mexico and stayed a night at Crytstaline State Park, which is in an old coal mine canyon near 7,000 feet just before Raton Pass that “passes” one into Colorado. In the morning, the fog and rain had come that would remain my constant companion for the next seven days. The drive from there was long and while unremarkable in many ways, far too many miles for that short a time and in such visibility as to stifle my genuine curiosity about the passing landscape. U.S. 180 hosted me until it exhausted itself in western Kansas and U.S. 54 became my route through the rest of the quiet, wet and usual landscape of fields, cattle, and small towns.

After a short night at Cheney, near Wichita Kansas, a state that appeared closed that weekend, it was on through Missouri and the Ozarks which seemed too busy for a Sunday afternoon and on to Macon Missouri and a lovely campground with unfortunately little time to enjoy it. Before the light of day it was back to the road, and the rain. I abandoned sights for time and the relative safety of Interstate Highways at Hannibal, MO and went on to Danville Illinois which is about as far east as one can go and still be in the state. I stayed at the delightful and delightfully named KickaPoo State Park. I had abandoned all pretense of curiosity at this point to merely get all the miles I could each day. Every other day I changed time zones, losing what seemed to be an hour of precious time and further confusing my dulled senses.

The further East I went, the cooler it got and the harder it rained so I pushed on to the edge of Ohio the next day saving the mountains of West Virginia for the final push. This is a part of the trip I usually enjoy since it is so scenic. The fog made it anything but this time so I remained on the Interstates and ended the day in Front Royal Virginia in even heavier rain and under a Tornado alert, the second of the trip. I made for a motel, clean sheets, someone else’s towels and the luxurious knowledge that someone else would feed and clean up after me for a change.

Sadly the stop for La Coachasita was less pleasant. If the torrential three inch rains and wind she endured was not enough she suffered the significant but not mortal wound of a severe water leak caused by an improperly tightened seal on the roof air conditioning unit. This is not the first time this has happened just the worst time. Fortunately, I was not sleeping there this time. She sits, forlorn and tired now, in my nephew’s driveway with a most unsightly blue tarpaulin on the roof of her hind end. She will be there until Monday when a nice fellow will repair it and make her a proud road warrior once again.

This will be the last post for a week or more as I travel from here to New York and Boston for family affairs and visits. By then there will be new pictures, I hope, new people and places. Mostly, I hope there will be new weather.

Until then, to paraphrase Garrison Kiellor, be well, do good works, and be nice to each other.


  1. Oh. Tough conditions - that is the problem with a schedule. Hope the family stuff is fun and weather improves!

    That cloud photo, though - WOW!

  2. Awesome cloud photo! Sounds like a fairly miserable trip, though. Have fun with the family, and here's wishing better weather for a more leisurely trip back.

  3. it! There's a river by that name in southwest Wisconsin, too, amidst old tobacco barns and apple orchards.

    Sorry to read of the foggy travel conditions and the water leak. Sounds like better days ahead.

    Yes, your shot of the dark cloud mass is fantastic! I enjoy seeing the old buildings, too. Enjoy traveling and visiting!

  4. Nice pics....I hope you were driving away from that cloud instead of towards it. Its been rainy and cold here too.

    And since the new thing is the Star Trek movie....Live long and Prosper!

  5. I spent three years in Nebraska at SAC Headquarters, and you made me laugh with your comment about Kansas being a state that appeared closed that weekend! There's nothing more boring than miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles...

  6. Looking forward to the Boston and New York pics...

  7. Here it is June 2 already and we're still waiting to hear more about your trip and trusting that La Coachacita no longer has that unsightly blue tarpaulin on her hind end, although that is preferable to what the rapper Eminem had to endure at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night, which if you haven't heard or seen was Sasha Baron Cohen's bare, smooth behind, no blue tarpaulin anywhere in sight, six inches from Eminem's face -- much too close for comfort, if you ask me, which you didn't, but I'm just saying.

  8. (Rhymsie, why do you even watch shows like that?)

    Screaming through the fog in my mind: "Please put up a blogpost, Reamus!"

  9. I don't watch shows like that, but the Drudge report website had a link that, after I had seen, I wished I hadn't....