On the road again heading east out of Topeka, Kansas. My next “official” stop was in Lexington, Kentucky about 10 hours away. That was over my one day limit so I scoped out a little more than halfway point south of Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Big rivers out this way. This is the Kansas River…
Great American cities, too. K.C. looked really impressive up there on the hilltop.
Saw something in the air up ahead and was shocked as it got closer…
Yep, that’s a B-2 stealth bomber flying over Missouri. I was also as shocked to see dead armadillos on the highway. Didn’t realize they made it so far north.
Not the greatest shot of the arch and St. Louis skyline.
The legendary Mississippi.
And my home for the night, Rend Lake, Illinois. I’m trying to camp as much as I can when not staying with friends or family and this looked worth the 15 miles I’d have to drive south of the main highway.
I was kicking myself for not leaving Topeka a little earlier than I did, but after talking to a couple other campers it’s a good thing I left when I did. A huge storm blew through here and stirred things up pretty good. Camper awnings and tents were flapping everywhere so it must’ve been pretty intense.
This was also where I started noticing a pretty heavy southern accent from the folks I was talking to. And at least one guy made no secret of his racial preferences over cordial camp talk. I ended up finding a different spot for the night.
Made the unfortunate mistake of not gassing up before getting to the lake. As I left I thought I’d pass through Mt. Vernon again, but the highway kind of veered away and I found myself driving with a little less than a quarter tank and checking the map for towns along the way. It didn’t look like much was coming so I had to double back to Mt. Vernon after 10 miles or so just to make sure. Turns out I would’ve been on fumes before the next station had I kept going. It wasn’t worth the stress so I’m glad I turned back when I did.
Random road observation- I haven’t seen a single rented RV since I left Colorado. They’re everywhere out west. I guess it makes sense, the west has so much to offer as far as space, proximity, and national parks are concerned. I did see a few other north westerners on the road though so that made me feel less conspicuous.
Louisville also looked like a pretty city, but this snap doesn’t do it justice.
Horse farms for days in Kentucky.
Almost made it another day without hitting rain, but as it happened outside of Topeka, though not nearly as bad, I hit some right outside of Lexington. It was pretty much a spit, but a big thick heavy spit nevertheless. And it was a sign of what was to come.
And arriving in Lexington for a few days with my ol’ road tripping buddy Greg. More on him and this fascinating city soon.