Day One — Ellisville MO to Grand Island NE

[524 miles today and so far. Hwy 40 from Ellisville MO to I-70, I-70W to Kansas City MO, I-29N to Nebraska City NE, Hwy 2 W to Lincoln NE and I-80, I-80W to Grand Island NE.]

This morning, I said my goodbyes and pointed the family truckster away from the rising sun, toward the prairie, and the beginning of my journey.

I couldn’t help but think about home a bit as I passed Wright City. Wright City is home to the little farm from which we got Emma. That little wiggly bit of dog has been such a joy to us, and as I passed Wright City, I couldn’t help but reflect on my little pup.

When I left Ellisville this morning, it was 72 outside. Two hours into the trip, the temperature had dropped to 54 degrees. Unbelieveable. As I continued west, then north, then west again, the temperature continued to drop to about 48, with loads of clouds and some outrageous wind. Of course, with it 72, I’d set out in shorts and a t-shirt. This really raised the eyebrows of the folks I encountered, but that’s nothing new — my tolerance and preference for cold weather is legendary! 🙂

When I pulled off I-29 to continue westward on Hwy 2 toward Nebraska City, I discovered that there is a Lewis and Clark museum there. I stopped, and enjoyed the warmth of the musuem. I also took a stroll on one of the trails to an overlook that stood high above the Missouri River. This was a wonderful view, but with lots of the leaves off the trees, it wasn’t as nice as it could’ve been.

I’d forgotten just how brown Nebraska can be around this time of the year. The farther I drove, the browner it got. Most of the trees had already lost their leaves — the high winds, I suppose, took care of them. However, the prairie grasses were beautiful! All kinds of reds and yellows, and the occassional brown and green. Combine that with the clouds today, and it made for some beautiful photos.

The rest of the drive was really pretty uneventful. I wound my way to Grand Island, a town I never visited when I lived in Nebraska. After checking in to the hotel, I asked if there was a Runza in town.

Runza is a restaurant chain that I used to frequent when I lived in Omaha. A runza is basically a calzone-style bread, stuffed with a meat and veggie combination. And as I walked in, I understood why I like White Castles so much….. the waft in the air smelled just like a Castle! After a runza and fries, I was quite satisfied, and ready to pack it in for the night.

And so, here I sit, watching South Park and Drawn Together, and looking forward to tomorrow’s drive into Wyoming.