Wednesday was, hands-down, the worst day of driving so far. I left Springfield a little before 9 AM and drove directly into a rainstorm. After a quick call to my parents (who had far more access to the internet than I did) to ensure that I was not in fact driving into a whirling child of Tornado Alley, I proceeded. The rain drizzled over my car all day, off and on (mostly on) through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. While I was glad for the free carwash (Lady got a bit dirty on the Oklahoma dirt roads), I was quite tired of driving by the time I met my dear friends in Radcliff, KY. Luckily, Wednesday was also the day I was required to cover the most distance–all driving should, from now on, be much more leisurely, even if it is full of grey weather.
I got to see some pretty incredible things Wednesday. Traffic moving through St. Louis, Missouri, was more akin to a parking lot than a freeway, so I was able to enjoy the Mississippi river (which looked, like every other time I have ever seen it, like chocolate milk) and a city divided by districts (“the Warehouse District”, for example…we don’t have one of those in ATX) and historically defined by industry. Looking around at the architecture and snapping pictures of empty buildings and synthetic arches, I felt very much like I was entering the eastern part of the US, and traveling through a place with a distinctly northern history.
Once I got out of the city, I found Illinois and Indiana to be remarkably reminiscent of Texas hillcountry–albeit with an abundance of taller, greener trees (and more green in general). I stopped in a rare dry moment in Indiana to snap a picture of a cornfield–another difference from Texas. All the fields I passed were cornfields, which left me thinking about monoculture, corn syrup (the candy ingredient that rightfully receives so much bad press for people once did wonders for prolonging the life of an excellent draft horse I knew) and crop circles.
I arrived in Radcliff, KY (which is close to Elizabethtown!) a bit after 6, and was instantly swept away by my dear friends to their beautiful house and a hot, waiting dinner. I couldn’t ask for a better reception.