Sunday, July 6, 2008

Entry 2: Indianapolis IN to Joplin, MO

So today was somewhat of a blur. I acquired a neighbor in the Flying J lot while typing last night's entry.

Their rig made me feel kind of teeny. They were very nice older couple all decked out in Harley gear head to toe. Their 5th wheel (a 'Raptor' nonetheless which obviously beats 'Cougar'....definitely Gob's 'paper' to Michael's 'rock') was a Toy Hauler so they had two cycles in the back awaiting deployment. They confirmed that the 'holy shit we're going to die effect' we experienced on the road earlier that day wasn't the truck. The pavement was just grooved funny and we caught the rhythm between truck and trailer wheels at the right speed to make it pull an "all your transmission are belong to us" joke. The couple was on their way from their home state of Arkansas to an undisclosed location in PA.

We left Indianapolis and faithfully followed the GPS which insisted we head through St. Louis instead of hopping on the by-pass. That was all fine and good until it decided "oh yeah btw, hop over a lane and get off at this exit in 500ft......" Needless to say we heard the word "Recalculating" more than a few times over the next 5 minutes. We got a picture of the Arch though. Woot!

Our next destination was the Wal-Mart parking lot in Ozark, MO where we planned to take advantage of the 'park overnight' offer. Whoever designed the 'RV' section of the lot assumed that making the spots perpendicular to an uphill slant made for easy leveling. Probably some trucker designed it as a form of passive aggressive revenge for RV's having the gall to fill up diesel at the Trucker stations since the pumps operate twice as fast.....

.....On that note, I was warned to prepare myself for some good 'ole intimidation and harassment from truckers while filling up. So far I've lucked out. They've just been pulling their shit on the highway inching over on me and flying past probably guffaw-ing farting and spitting chew at the same time.....they stereotype me....I'll stereotype them thank you very much (no offense to my Uncle and Cousin who are actually cool Truck drivers). Great way to learn control though!

All tangents aside (Ha! Get used to 'em!), we decided to bag Wal Mart and planned to head down the road an extra hour and a half to the next Flying J (not just for marching band stops anymore, right Gina?).

We met my parents' old Kansas friends (they lived out there from '75 up until about when I was born) who had taken a trip to Branson (Kind of like Nashville meets Niagara Falls Tourist Hell). Since we were already parked at the Wal Mart they came out our way and we had our reunion at the Subway in the Wal-Mart. It was an enjoyable visit since the last time I saw them (17yrs ago) my conversations mainly consisted of "I think the Ultimate Warrior is Better than Hulk.....but not as cool as The Undertaker" while sporting a fanny pack and feathery mullet.

The hour and a half drive from there to the Flying J was pretty sweet. There was this one small cluster of clouds off to the left was constantly spewing all sorts of lightning everywhere. On the right side of the highway, the sky was perfectly clear and hanging on to twilight. On top of that, people were setting off fireworks along the side of the highway and off in the distance ahead of us. Coupled with hearing some old band stories from my dad, it made for a great ride.

I can feel myself changing and becoming quickly acclimated to the road. I'm turning into one of those 'truck pride' people (insert Tim Allen's 'Toolman Grunt'). I know more about a diesel engine and how to take care of it than I had ever thought possible. There's something powerful about sitting high up hauling something behind you.

I'm also realizing that I was probably a pretty shitty driver no matter how courteous I thought I was being after dealing with peons zipping both around and in front of me, then darting off an exit ramp or slowing down immediately. Now that I realize how long it takes to slow one of these rigs down and how bad it is to have to use the brakes to stop quickly, I'll never drive a car the same again.

See? I'm getting all RV snobby and separating myself from 'normal' drivers haha.

I'm a little concerned that my Nostalgia gland hasn't kicked in yet. I had a great crew of people I felt very close to back home. I'm hoping it's just my concentrating on not dying on the highway that is keeping my mind occupied

Anyhoo, when we got to this Flying J, we didn't notice any RV spots. So after "Austin Powers"-ing for a bit to get turned around we realized that they had setup the Fireworks tent right over the RV spots and there was a car with people just hanging out on their car parked right at the edge of the RV spot. Once they left, I straightened out and leveled. That was an adventure in and of itself as we weren't balanced left to right and I didn't think to bring various thicknesses of wood. Metal needs to hit wood at the same time with regards to the jacks from what I was told. But it'll do for the night. We're going to chill in Amarillo tomorrow.

And lemme know if this crap is way long winded and lame. I've never blogged before.....

But I think my feelings on blogging are starting to parallel my feelings on being an RV'er......

More tomorrow.....


  1. Sounds like a great trip so far! Can we hope for a "Meet the Circus People" feature with pics and vital stats? Good luck on the rest of the drive ... to DESTINY.

  2. the bigfoot monster truck museum is somewhere near the missouri / kansas border, keep your eyes peeled!

  3. you say long-winded, i say, interesting.

    this sounds amazing. be safe!

    congrats on your journey!