No Turn

Yesterday’s post was titled “Another Turn”.  Today’s is titled No Turn which refers to my rookie mistake regarding the parking of the trailer in the hotel parking lot.  I managed to get the trailer into a corner of the parking lot from which there was no escape.  I managed to work it around enough then was forced to unhook the trailer to reposition the truck to allow pulling it out in a different direction.  Ok – I guess I learned something today.  It really was a little disappointing because an hour or so earlier I successfully completed a similar maneuver on a very uneven gravel pull-off which was nothing more than a wide spot on a very narrow gravel road.  All is safe / sound and ready for launch in the morning.

We left Effingham, Illinois this morning on a bright clear morning.  After some family discussion time over breakfast (Cracker Barrel) we decided to roll out the bikes / trike.  It was quite a process because all 3 bikes have to come out.  We accomplished that but I could have used another shower after rolling around on the trailer floor to unhook tie-down straps.  It turned out to be well worth the effort.

Spencer and I left the motel parking lot around 10:30 with the ladies right behind us in the truck and trailer.  The bike told me that the temperature was 78 degrees but it felt cooler.  This was some much needed relief from the heat and humidity of the day.  We had a target in mind and we were running close on time.  The route did allow us some time to enjoy old route 66 through Illinois.

It was really a great time cruising a long with Spencer right behind me.  I had this feeling of real contentment with him, Laura, and Jana all within my line of sight in the mirror.  Life doesn’t get much better for me.

Our target was located in Staunton, Illinois.  It was Henry’s Rabbit Ranch.  This is not to be confused with the infamous Bunny Ranch which is near Las Vegas.  This is a very different enterprise.  Richard Henry rescues rabbits and keeps them for others to appreciate.  We enjoyed talking to Rich.  He certainly is enthusiastic and loves what he does.  While SJ and Laura talked rabbits with Rich we started to load up the bikes.  We had decided that getting through / around / past St. Louis would be better accomplished via truck and trailer.  We had ridden the bikes about 100 miles.

Once again I rolled around on the floor which made another shower almost mandatory.  Jana almost asked me to ride in the trailer.  That’s how bad I was.  We were rolling – south on I-55 to I-270 around St. Louis then on to I-70.  There just wasn’t enough time to go exploring or to get back on Rt. 66.  We needed to make it to Independence, Mo and were trying to get there before dark.

We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a quick “drive by” of Warm Springs Ranch – which is the home of the Budweiser Clydesdales. What a beautiful spread all surrounded by white fence.  The main gate was closed but we were able to see the enormous barn and even some of the horses who were grazing in the pasture.  I was at the wheel so I don’t have any pictures to share.  I’ll try to “borrow” some off of the rest of the family and add them to this post.

I mentioned the gate was closed so we rolled past the ranch.  I was thinking we could pick up a side road and get turned around to get back on the interstate. Unfortunately the road just stopped and turned into a gravel path without warning.  I then was able to get our rig turned around by backing into a wide spot in the gravel (see opening paragraph).

We stopped for pizza at Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia, Mo.  The pizza was good but it was being with my family that made it a great meal.  The crane machine (my addiction) was a joke.  I don’t think anybody has pulled a stuffed animal out of there since Richard Nixon was president.

Back on the interstate we went for the last 100 miles.  The truck ran great for the 400 mile trek today.  The trailer did just what we needed it to do.  When we rolled into Independence it was about 8:30 PM and we were all pretty wiped out.  I’ll use that as excuse for the trailer-unhooking-rehooking.

When the parking issue was resolved I was pretty frustrated.  It didn’t help much that we had to get 3 sets of keycards from the very unhelpful front desk attendant.  The first two sets wouldn’t open the door.  We got into our enormous room (a suite really) and I was finally able to get the shower that was much needed earlier in the day.  The trip so far is fun and relaxing.  We spend the last 100 miles of the day talking and laughing even after being together all day.  I love my family.

Tomorrow should be under 200 miles but there are several things to see.  I hope I don’t have to unhook and rehook too many times as we head to Salina, KS.

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