800 miles in two days. For us, the perennially pokey sabbatical fulltimers, this is a record. To break it down a little more, Tuesday we did Little Rock to Effingham, IL... 456 miles and a team high for one day of travel. Wednesday we drove the famous Effingham to Beaver Dam, WI leg... 357 miles. And yes, we arrived at our home base in Wisconsin about mid-afternoon... just in time for the weather to revert back to near-Winter for a few days.
A few observations from the past two days:
Interstate Highways. They have their place and they can get you from point A to point B quicker than any other land-based means of transportation system I know of. BUT, and it's a big butt, they're congested with truck traffic... all of which is moving faster than we and the bus-house prefer to travel... which is to say in the 60 to 65 mph range. It's NOT a relaxing way to travel. Com'on... what's the rush? Oh... and can we talk about the condition of these super-slabs??? We all know large sections of them are falling apart, literally "falling, sinking, crumbling, and cracking apart"... tearing up our tires, suspensions, and nerves... and adding to the growing pain of traveling on these decaying ribbons of concrete. And get this... NEWS FLASH... there ain't no money to fix 'em. Been reading the papers lately?? So they're just going to get worse. Remedy? Get off the Interstates and seek areas in the west where there's less population density.
Cracker Barrel in Effingham. After touring and turning down the congested parking lots (full of trucks... nothing but trucks... never seen so many trucks...) of the Super Walmart, Menards, and Flying J at the same exit, we found a little oasis at the Cracker Barrel. The manager was almost eager to have us park overnight in their lot, perhaps motivated by pity (can you, sir, spare a tuppence??), the tell-tail dust on our well-traveled and wind-burned faces, or was it knowing full well that we were badly in need of our quarterly CB-fix? In any case, she offered us a quiet island in a sea of Kenworths and Peterbuilts to spend the night and we were so grateful.
Effingham itself. I don't have much to say about the town... except for that name. That wonderful collection of letters and sounds that roll off the tongue... "Eff-ing-ham"... the best Effing-town in Illinois. It's fun to play around with it, given it's unfortunate audible connection with one of the "bad words" in our lexicon. We found ourselves referring to things like this... "the Effing-Walmart"... "the Effing-exit"... or my personal favorite... "the Flying-Effing--J". Go ahead... try it... let yourself go. It's all in good fun and could be therapeutic.
I'm sure you're asking yourself, about now, after having slogged through this poor excuse for a post, whether Thom is just tired from two long days of travel or if Thom is under the influence of some fine Kentucky Bourbon? Hmmm?