So the trip started out a little rocky. I left the house at 8 in the morning, after having woken up at a quarter after 5 and saying my goodbyes to the family. The first stop was Meijer, yes, the place that I love, and chatted a bit with people and then stopped at the gas station and talked with Gloria and Pravina.
I realized that I needed air in the tires and they informed me that the air pump was broken, so I tried another gas station, but that pump too was broken, so I went back home. As I was working on preparing the tires, it occurred to me that I had no idea what psi the tires needed.
Mother kindly turned me to the owner’s manual, and from there I figured out the information that I needed. After all of the detouring it was 8:50 and I was on my way…again.
The distance from home to Chicago seemed short and quick but there I also ran into a bit of a problem. I was warned about the highway surrounding Chicago, mainly where I-94 meets up with I-80.
It turned out that while I was stressing about making the correct highway I already had. Mapquest told me to stay left toward I-83 and the Torrence exit, and for some reason I interpreted that to mean that I should get off on that exit, so I did.
Thankfully there was a Mickey D where I had an iced mocha and yogurt parfait, called Andrew and Melissa- and subsequently Caleb Noble- and finally turned left because I realized, after consulting the cashier at Mc Donald’s, that’s all I had to do.
The distance through Illinois was fairly pleasant and uneventful. Iowa on the other hand was rather mind-numbing and horrible. There were several Antique Malls that were calling my name, but I resisted.
While traveling through Illinois I had to fill up the gas tank. I took the Mayesville exit and turned right, to find nothing. There may have been a gas station on the left side of the road, but I was too far on the road to want to turn back, which may have been my downfall. All I could do was drive and drive and drive because there were no gas stations!
I finally came across this little pump station that was sitting in the middle of nowhere. Cautiously I exited my van to approach the pump and inserted my card to pre-pay. It said that my card was accepted and that I needed to pump gas, so I grabbed the nozzle and nothing happened. I looked at the card reader, and it said ‘please insert card.’
I was extremely frustrated and looked around for 3 to 5 minutes and finally just left. I kept driving around Mayesville looking for a gas station, and there was nothing!! Nothing!! In the end there was a huge trucking station across the street from Iowa’s ‘trucking museum.’ Even then I took the truck entrance, taking a minute to circle around to the other side where I could fill up.
From here on it was smooth sailing. Really smooth sailing. Actually, too smooth, and boring. Iowa is the worst state ever. I never knew what people meant by that, but now I do, booooring. Missouri was quite a bit better, actual hills and stuff.
Here is not some of the exciting things I saw on my way, but all of the exciting things.
Stanberry met me at 6:30 that night. The warm yellow of the sign on the corner of the gas station/general store (Casey’s) told me that I was near my New Year home. Fifteen minutes earlier Andrew had warned me about their drive way and how I would need a ‘running’ start to make it up…I thought I new what he was talking about. In actuality, it took me three or four tries to make it up the drive way and into the car stall.
The street was iced over and there was such a huge bump and hill that one couldn’t even see into the stall. Even backing up to get a good start into the drive, Dodgis Caravanus could not grab any traction on the icy road. On the third or fourth try DC made the initial climb up the drive and we made it to the car stall safely and soundly.
Melissa and Andrew met me with a couple o’big hugs and I felt home. Thank goodness for the ability to stretch out! My legs were cramping from all of the excitement of I-80 and I-35.
I don’t remember what we did when I first arrived, but I do remember watching ‘Kicking and Screaming.’ It was definitely a Will Ferrell movie.
Andrew and I talked into the morning while Melissa slept on the couch. The shower I took that night was nice, but I left the shampoo and conditioner in the other room…oops. God, you are awesome and you are taking me on the adventure of a lifetime, and this is just the beginning!