Travel Log for May, 2003

Updated May, 2003

Log Date: +1854: 030501: 35N7.5': 90W4.2': 327': Mississippi River RV Park, Memphis, TN

On Thursday, the 1st, we drove to the post office and retrieved our General Delivery package from Livingston, TX. There was nothing in it about the query to Literary Group or any other agent. This marked the end of the exclusive period for the Literary Group. They should have answered by this time, but I thought maybe it was still in the mail.

We drove on downtown and found that the Emergency Management Offices had moved out of the Memphis City Building. They had been located in the second basement, a significantly wrong place to be in the event of an earthquake. Their move requires a slight change in my novel; I suppose I could say that the Department of Seismic Safety took over their basement offices after EMA moved. Anyway, I was not able to meet with Tammy Simonton of several years ago, the lady who provided me with the report on the status of fire stations in Memphis in the event of a major tremblor. That visit had inspired several scenes in my book.

On the way back to the rig I drove across the river on I-55 to West Memphis to purchase fuel. I had not seen a price under $1.45 in Memphis and it was $1.269 at the Pilot station just across the river. When we returned I installed Alice's Hoyle Casino CD on my computer. I found playing the games to be addictive and wasted most of my time on the computer.

On Friday we went looking for a WalMart in West Memphis, the closest from our current location. We couldn't find it, but we did find a pretty good Mexican restaurant where we had lunch and got some local directions, finally locating the WalMart on I-40 just west of the I-55 exchange. The next day we tried for a Home Depot on the east side of town but it was not at the place I expected. So we drove on out I-40 to Costco to shop for our standard groceries (ham, bananas, tomatos). We also found a new large LCD atomic clock with remote temperature sensors and humidity display, all for $27. What a deal!

Lo and behold, there was a Home Depot just across the Interstate so I was able to purchase the PVC pipe I needed. On the way back we stopped by Hub Cap Annies on Getwell to pick up yet another hubcap for the truck. This was the third one I had lost after having my tires rotated at Express Tire. So after putting the new hubcap on and paying the $25 I drove back to the RV Park. Guess what. The hubcap had already come off. So I plan to drive on without the flash of chrome on my right front wheel.

Saturday morning I was up fairly early. I needed to dump the holding tanks. The sewer hose would not reach, so I decided to use the macerator. I had not used it for a couple of years but always carried it for situations like this. Everything went well until the flex tube came off during the gray water cleanout run. Luckily it had not happened when I was pumping the black water. After tightening the screws I returned to action and completed the job. The macerator fills a rare need, but it is really handy for those special situations.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out in the park and playing computer games. I had a lot of fun with the poker tournaments. I am pretty sure some of the automatic players cheat; I know they bluff.

Log Date: +1857: 030502: 35N25.75': 87W27.78': 833': Natchez Trace, TN

Sunday morning we prepared to travel again. Our next stop was the Natchez Trace TTN Park. We headed south on I-55, then caught I-240 east. Alice wanted to make the trip on US-72, also known as Poplar Drive through the heart of Germantown and Collierville. At least there were few people on the road at that time, so the traffic lights and 40 mph speed limit did not present too much of a problem. We did get a chance to see some very beautiful homes and humungous churches along the way.

US-72 is a nice road, and once you get into Mississippi it is a four-lane divided road. There are few towns of any size so it goes along pretty quickly. We were amazed at the lack of big trucks; either they do not use the road or they do not travel on Sunday mornings in that part of the country.

Just after Burnside we crossed the Tennessee-Tomigee waterway, a route by which barge traffic from Mobile can reach the lakes on the Tennessee River and hence the Ohio River. There is a great RV barge trip that goes up the waterway then down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. Alice would like to take it some time.

There were no roadside rests, so I just pulled to the shoulder near Iuka for a break. I took some great pics of a beautiful purple thistle blossom. There were several other pretty flowers as well. Shortly afterwards we entered Alabama and at Buzzard Roost transitioned to the Natchez Trace Parkway.

For the next 61 miles I tootled along at 50 mph enjoying the peace and quiet. No commercial traffic is allowed on the Parkway, and there are no stopsigns. There were a couple of anxious people who wanted to exceed the speed limit, and they finally got up nerve enough to pass me.

Small blue and white flowers covered the shoulders that had not been mowed. From time to time there were smatterings of yellow and a rare pink. I should try to find out what kind of flowers they are.

We turned off at Napier Road, turned back under the Trace, took the 100 foot long side road to be sure we cleared the overpass (only 11 feet on the main road), and shortly found ourselves at the TTN Park. I checked in and we drove down to the Phase II campground to set up. The trip had been 194 miles.

There was a notice in the program that there would be a jam session at the Town Hall Lodge Sunday and Monday evenings at 7pm. We had a quick supper and headed over for the jam. It was also a chance to collect email and help another RVer who had made the mistake of trying to replace his AOL 5.0 with AOL 8.0 on a Windows 95 system. I gave him some help and suggested he talk with his son who had sent him the CD. There was only one other jammer there but we had a good time.

That night the weather started going bad. There were intermittant rains and then some huge claps of thunder. At 2am the next morning we were awakened by the ranger and people next door with the news that there was tornado alert and we should go to the Town Hall Lodge, just in case. So we spent a couple of hours watching TV as the storms went to the north of us. Finally, we headed back to bed, at least I did. Alice was still nervous and sat up watching TV until nearly daybreak.

Monday morning we watched the Weather Channel and again went to the Town Hall for an alert. We used the email port to check on the state of the rest of the world. We decided that with the unsettled weather we should just stay here at the TTN park and go directly to Racoon Valley the end of the week when things had cleared. We were dreaming! That afternoon we washed clothes and extended our stay at Natchez Trace. That evening we again went to the Town Hall for another alert.

Tuesday morning I worked on Broken River, trying to get the start of the book to flow the right way. I also fretted about the lack of response from my queries. At 11am I spent an hour and a half on the phone participating in a Board of Directors meeting at Jojoba Hills. The Board decided to authorize the replacement of the office computer system. I had also gotten emails from Deb that our webhost had gone bellyup and she was moving our website and email postoffice. I changed the Jojoba Hills redirect to go to AOL so at least I should stay in touch.

We drove into Hohenwald for lunch and groceries. The lake at the campground was flowing out both floodgates and the streams were all running bank full from the torrential rains we had been getting. It rained on us in town. Upon returning I dug out the books on self-publishing and started reviewing my options. My inclination was moving strongly towards forgetting the agents and publishers and just get the book into print.

Then the rains started again. We learned how to spot Lewis county on the Weather Channel maps and watched as wave after wave of severe storm warnings and tornado alerts covered our area. Then TV reported on the floods around us. There would be no chance to go to Lewisburg or Lynchburg as we had planned. Bridges were washed out or flooded. We discussed the elimination of our plans for eastern Tennessee.

Tuesday night we were once again awakened by a torrential rain. We watched the tornado alerts go around us on both sides with the rains pounding on the roof and the hills resounding with thunder. We would have headed for the Town Hall again had there been a warning for our county, but it was only an alert. But it did make up our minds. We decided to head directly towards the Dayton area and work things out with JC when we got there. Along the way we could stop in the Mammoth Cave area for a couple of days and do tourist things.

Wednesday morning we waited for the rain to cease, or should I say abate somewhat. We collected email and I informed JC of our change in plans. Our website was still down so I wasn't be able to upload this update. I sent email to the Literary Group agency asking if they had made any decision. Then it was time to start preparing to travel on Thursday, like getting propane, making a new music CD, and ordering mail sent to JC's home.

When I went to the store for propane, it cost $2.12 a gallon. When I got the tank back to the rig and installed it, I could not open the valve. After working with it the valve handle broke apart. Superman must have closed the valve. I put the tank in the truck and headed back to the Trading Post, where the gal sent me to see the manager. He was a bit embarrassed and said he would get the tank fixed. I left it with him, hoping to see it returned early the next morning.

Log Date: +1861: 030508: 37N8.0': 86W1.4': 944': Cave City, KY

Thursday morning we prepared to head out for our 170 mile trip to the Cave City area. The sky was cloudy, like it had been for the past week. The forecast was for more rain, but more to the south. I dumped the holding tanks using the macerator. We rigged for travel and drove to the main gate. The Manager said it would be an hour and a half before the fellow taking the tank into town would return. We parked the rig to wait. An hour later he said it would take another hour and a half and offered $20 if we would just take the tank and get it fixed ourselves. I said we would wait. Finally, about 11am the fellow returned from town with a new tank, filled with propane. They had given up trying to fix the old one. I installed it and we headed out.

Our route took us on up the Natchez Trace. It continued to be a pleasant drive, and we saw numerous fallen trees along the way. The storms had taken their toll.

We followed the Trace to its end on State Route 100 where we turned towards Nashville. We could have gotten onto I-40 but our chosen route took us through one of the business districts of Nashville. When we reached Interstate-440 the signs were misleading and we missed our entrance. But that proved to be fortuitous, for on the other side of the freeway next to a Dairy Queen was a service station with a good price on deisel. I fueled the truck while Alice purchased a couple of Blizzards and soon we were back on the road.

I had no chance to see anything of Nashville. It was a hectic drive on the freeway. We intersected with I-40 and shortly thereafter turned north on I-265. That road turned around to head east, but we turned north again, this time on I-24. All this time we were in the midst of construction and lane closures, so keeping in the correct lane was a challenge. A short time later I-24 headed off to the left and we were on I-65 headed north. I was amazed.

Slowly the number of businesses and houses decreased until we were driving through the wooded hills of Tennessee. I finally had a chance to enjoy my Blizzard.

There was no announcement when we transitioned into Kentucky; signs just started talking about Kentucky. We thought of stopping around Bowling Green, but Alice had located a Passport America park near Cave City. We continued on to the Cave City exit and turned back to the left on KY-70 for 2.5 miles to find the Singing Hills Campground. We checked in for three nights at $13 per night and were assigned a nice spot near the office.

The campground was a bit old but in good condition. There had been lots of rain (what else was new?) so it was soggy. We got things set up, including the Satellite TV. We were still hungry so we took the advice of the locals and went to the buffet (sorry, can't find the name) back near the freeway exit. There were a couple of busloads of kids just leaving, and the waitress said two more buses were on their way in. We quickly ordered the all-you-can-eat catfish dinner. The food was excellent and should have been called more-than-you-can-eat. We took home nearly a pound of excellent meat for leftovers.

On the drive up Alice and I talked quite a bit about self-publishing. There had still been no word from The Literary Group, and I was pretty sure they would reject the project. I convinced myself that I should go ahead and look for a way to publish the book, and if an agent or publisher came along, what I had done might be of some help. Thursday evening I started to work on a self-publishing plan and began to prepare a mock book cover.

That afternoon we watched the Weather Channel. There were some fierce tornados in Oklahoma, and the real-time reports placed them very close to where my cousin Roseann lived in Oklahoma City. Friday morning I called Aunt Lottie and she confirmed that Roseann had indeed lost everything in the tornado. Her animals were okay, but horses across the street had been killed.

That afternoon we drove west on KY-70 to the Mammoth Cave National Park and took a caving tour. There were a number of tours available, but we chose the Frozen Niagra. After waiting about an hour, we boarded a bus to go to the entrance. Then we descended almost 200 steps into the depths and walked maybe three quarters of a mile through the cavern before climbing back out. The temperature was constantly cool and we were in a moderately damp part of the cave. We saw many interesting formations and the park ranger who lead the tour was an excellent guide. I took what I consider to be an excellent picture of cave crickets. Alice was disgusted by the picture.

Friday evening we found the Sahara Steak House on the east side of Cave City and had prime rib. It was moderately good.

It rained more during the night, and Saturday I again worked on plans for self-publishing. It appears the 6 by 9 inch format is the most common. I checked several examples and decided a format with about 400 words per page made sense. I printed the book to a PDF file with those specifications and found the book would be about 250 pages. I put together a sample book cover to get an idea of what the finished product would look like. When I wrapped the cover around one of my geology books all of a sudden Memphis 7.9 began to be a real thing.

About noon we went to Glasgow for lunch and to shop. When we returned to the rig we visited with the folks next door (two couples from Cincinnati). I showed them my proposed book cover and they thought it looked great. We all put together an impromtu potluck and had a great time.

Log Date: +1864: 030511: 39N27.7': 83W56.3': 960': Wilmington TTN Park, Wilmington, OH

Sunday morning we hooked up and drove the 237 miles to the Wilmington TTN Park in Ohio. We headed north on I-65 and took the I-265 bypass around Louisville to catch I-71 heading northeast. Just south of Cincinnati we joined I-75 and headed north. On the advice of our new friends, we stayed on I-71 straight through the middle of Cincinnati. It was a busy experience but with Sunday morning traffic it was not too bad, just a matter of watching the highway signs and being in the correct lane at the right time.

It was nice to get beyond Cincinnati. Once again I could look around and found that I had not seen much of the big city. We continued up I-71 to exit 45 where we turned off on OH-73. We had not had lunch yet, and there was a Country Kitchen restaurant at the exit, so we stopped for a bite to eat. That was when I found out I had been driving in a very, very windy climate. Luckily it had been mostly a tail wind.

After a tasty lunch we drove the remaining two miles to the Wilmington TTN Park just down OH-380. We checked in for two nights and went to find a place in A section. After setting up I called JC (aka our son, David) and announced our presence. We made arrangements to drive to their place the next morning. Then we went to the Trading Post to collect email. There I learned my query had been rejected by The Literary Group. The die was cast, I would self-publish Memphis 7.9.

Monday morning after breakfast we drove up to JC's place to check things out. After visiting for a while I used JC's DSL connection to check out self-publishing sites, using recommendations from Dan Logan who gave a seminar at the Crescent City writer's conference last September. The most interesting and complete site appeared to be and I printed out the FAQ page for review. It was a place that would allow me to do most of the work and keep the costs under control.

Alice and I got know Krista's grand-daughter, Fayth. Three years old, she is a ball of energy and a tiring joy to be around, meaning, she would wear you out if you tried to keep up. Krista's mom, Rose, was staying with JC and Krista and was a big help taking care of Fayth. After the first of a series of great suppers prepared by Krista, JC and I agreed we would go camping at Dillon State Park in eastern Ohio where we could get hookups for the trailer. I could work on the book and he could go fishing.

Log Date: +1866: 030513: 39N49.6': 83W59.2': 902': JC's home, Fairborn, OH

Tuesday morning we rigged for travel and pulled the trailer 35 miles up to JC's house in Fairborn. They had a good driveway in their backyard where we were able to set up with electricity and water. The backyard was fenced so Wolf could run and bark to his heart's content with his old friends, Sunshine (a beagle bassett mix) and Foxy (a Pomeranian).

I decided to go with the Great Unpublished plan. I collected complete specifications on how to prepare the book and book cover from their website and began working on final copy. I set the target to have the book ready for submission within a week.

Wednesday the families went to the Wright Patterson AFB Air Museum. It had expanded since we first saw it, and this time we took more time to look around. We also went to the Imax theatre for the International Space Station flick. It was really hard for me to keep from getting all emotional from it. There is so much of my life that has been driven by dreams of what I saw there.

Log Date: +1868: 030515: 40N1.6': 82W7.0': 762': Dillon State Park, Zanesville, OH

Thursday morning both families went through the process of packing everything up, and we headed off to Zanesville. We traveled on I-70 most of the way, so it was a smooth ride. We tried to stay in touch with the family radios, but they were not very effective. JC's truck did not like to drive at my speed so they moved on ahead. They went too far so we got to the campground before they did. The trip was 118 miles.

I dumped the tanks before we went to our site. We registered for two nights but ended up staying for four. It cost $18 per night. Sunday through Wednesday we could have used Passport America and gotten in for half price. It was a pleasant camp, except for when the mowers were working. Of course, if it had not been for the mowers, we would have been knee-high in grass. As it was the dogs still collected a few ticks.

JC and Krista camped next to us in their tents. It was soggy when we got there, and then it rained, and rained some more. JC and family fished on Friday while I worked on the book. Most of my effort was in creating a good book cover. I decided to put the intensity map on the front cover. As a result, I learned a great deal about working with PhotoShop. After a few crashes and file losses, I became quite adept.

We made it into town to visit WalMart and had lunch at Applebee's. The weather continued to get wetter and wetter. JC and Krista went fishing one day and had to drive some flooded roads. We were able to have a really good campfire with marshmellows only one night. We finally decided it would be more fun back in Fairborn.

Log Date: +1872: 030519: 39N49.6': 83W59.2': 902': JC's home, Fairborn, OH

On Monday we returned to JC's home in Fairborn. As we left the park, Alice suggested we turn left and avoid the Interstate. We had a very pleasant drive through some of the backroads of Ohio and even saw one of the really old oil wells of the area, still pumping. This time of year the trees were covered with brilliant green foilage. Everything looked so neat and manicured. Then I realized that only in the past 20 years has everyone had the ride-um lawnmowers that are now used to trim the shoulders of the highways and the acres of grass that surround the houses. The early settlers must have had one hell of a time fighting their way through the underbrush we could see covering the ground in all the wooded areas.

We got back on I-70 from Columbus to most of the way to Fairborn, but turned off on US-68 to take a "short-cut" to JC's place. Alongside the road I spotted an Auto Parts Recycler (it is now politically incorrect to call it a "junk yard") and I thought of the glove compartment latch that had been broken for the past two years. Dodge had wanted $175 to replace it!

When we reached Yellow Springs there was a road sign pointing the way to I-675, so I followed the directions. That path took us through four miles of residential streets before we finally turned right on OH-235 to head into Fairborn. The total trip had been 124 miles, six miles further than the trip out, but worth the extra time and distance to become better connected with the Ohio countryside.

On Tuesday I wrapped up the final versions of all parts of the book submission package, including a biography and a short and a long description of the book, and sent it off over the Internet. I chose the special offer to purchase 100 books up front to save the cost of signup and shipping. I also specified that the book was to be made available as a Palm Pilot eBook. The only thing missing was the ISBN number for the back cover. I sent an email asking for instructions on what to do.

Wednesday the women went off to shop. JC and I went to the Recycler on US-68 to purchase a glove compartment latch. It cost all of $20 for the labor to fetch it from the yard and the fellow apologized! I just smiled and thanked him; I was $145 dollars to the good. Then JC and I went to see the new movie "Matrix Reloaded." I had not seen the first movie but could still make sense of the plot. The advances in photography and animation from the days Bill and TJ worked on such features at Adaptive Science are totally awesome.

Upon returning to JC's I found an email with an ISBN number and instructions on how to use it. I modified the cover to include it and added a picture of the author, then uploaded a new cover PDF to their website.

Thursday was a day of resting and visiting with family. Alice and I took the family to dinner at the Amir India Restaurant. JC had picked out a different Indian restaurant that had a coupon, but we got the address wrong and ended up at the Amir. The food was fantastic, though we all seemed to react a little to the curry about 20 hours later.

Saturday JC drove the family to the races at River Downs in Cincinnati. We parked the van at trackside and cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and drank beer on the asphalt, twenty feet away from the sign that said no cooking and no booze. Fayth got to pet the horses as they went by on their way to the starting gate or returned from the race. I won a net of $10 but Alice lost $14. It was a pleasant day in the cloudy sun and we were all tired when we got back home.

Sunday I worked on the website for Selling Books and The 7.9 Saga. I decided to make it a subdirectory of for the time being. The main effort was in preparing a new map for the Broken River page. I also watched the Indy 500 race until Michael Andretti dropped out. Then I lost interest.

Monday morning Alice and I went out for a continental style breakfast and prepared a list of what needed to be done before we hit the road again Tuesday morning. The list included getting the website updated and dumping the holding tanks. Once again the macerator proved its value. I also spent a couple of hours reviewing the scenario of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake and the response of the armed forces. Some of the ideas will be used in my upcoming books. Finally, we finished with another fine dinner prepared by Krista.

Log Date: +1880: 030527: 39N42.00': 87W3072': 590': Horseshoe Lakes TTN Park, St. Bernice, IN

JC came by to say goodbye shortly after six. He was heading back to work at WPAFB. Alice and I had breakfast and rigged the trailer for travel. By 7:30 we said our goodbyes to Krista, Fayth, and Rose and pulled out of their back yard. We headed north on I-675 and turned west on I-70. There was no problem with commute traffic through Dayton.

In Ohio we noticed that the road signs were placed almost a quarter mile back from the freeway. As soon as we hit Indiana the signs came in next to the road. It was striking.

The drive on I-70 went smoothly and as we approached Indianapolis we noticed signs telling that I-70 through downtown was closed. That was okay, I planned to go around the city on I-465 anyway. It took us about six miles south but there was no tension. Coming back to the north on the far side of town, we took the US-36 exit to head west.

The first few miles through Avon and into Danville were at about 45 mph with lots of stoplights and traffic. Things cleared up once we got out of the urban areas, at least until we reached Bainbridge. There we came to a complete stop. After three minutes we moved forward three car lengths and stopped. This process repeated itself for about thirty minutes. We finally got far enough into town to see that there was some kind of blockage ahead with a flagman. But the flagman seemed to care only about letting the eastbound traffic move ahead.

We finally made it to the center of town where a crew was trimming trees. I had to run a red light to stay with the westbound group of five vehicles that were finally given the go-ahead by the flagman. It was one of the worst-run crews I have seen working on the roads in a long time. Thank goodness I am retired and don't have to be anywhere anytime soon. At least we made it through town and continued on down the road.

We continued on US-36 to the west. After crossing the Wabash River the land became flat. There were fields of six-inch corn stalks coming up with borders of trees and roads. Near Dana, the home of Ernie Pyle, we turned south on IN-71 and after passing through the small town of St. Bernice, turned onto the lane to the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails Park.

When we checked in I found my TTN card was missing. Alice had hers, so we made it in, but our search for mine was futile. Maybe I left it at Natchez Trace. We found a great spot in A section and set up camp. When putting up the satellite antenna I found the skew axis point had slipped out its socket. After repairing the skew we were able to get the both the 110 and 119 satellites. Finally we could spend a quiet evening to ourselves.

We spent Wednesday resting and catching up. I created a new personal business card for the writing business. We collected email and it appeared that my broadcast message about the website had not gone out. I sent email to Deb to check. That evening I cooked a pot of beans and we had another tornado alert with a touchdown about 20 miles from us. The storm passed south and we had a pleasant evening playing games on the computers.

Log Date: +1882: 030529: 38N53.75': 91W33.50': 761': Lazy Days RV Park, Mineola, MO

Thursday morning we rigged for traveling then went to the Adult Center to collect email. Deb verified the broadcast had not gone out. I tried it again but did not get a response back before I had to get off. I am not sure what the problem is.

We packed up and finally got on the road about 10am. We took the direct route to Paris, IL on back roads and found ourself coming into the back side of town with no road signs. This was a case where having the GPS available helped us find our way through town to Illinois Highway 1 where we could head south to I-70.

Once we were on I-70 it was a matter of just moving along to the west. The weather was cloudy and there was something of a northwest wind. We stopped at a Citgo station near Casey for fuel and Dairy Queen Blizzards. We continued to St. Louis, taking the I-270 bypass. Alice wanted me to take the 370 bypass off of I-270 but I remember sometime in the past when I was not happy going that way. So we continued over and caught I-70 in Bridgeton.

We had thought about stopping in East St. Louis at the casino boat where we had stayed last time, but Alice had found a Passport America park about 50 miles past St. Louis. I was getting pretty tired by the time we pulled off at the Danville exit after a 257 mile drive. We drove a mile and a half down SSR-J to the Lazy Day RV Park. It proved to be a very pretty, well-kept park. We set up and I took a nap.

Alice wanted to go out to supper, so we drove on down SSR-J alongside the Loutre River to Hermann, an old town on the other side of the Missouri River. The drive through the hills and farms of central Missouri was very peaceful and pretty. They had obviously had some flooding recently, and the farmers were just beginning to get back into their fields to plow.

We drove around the old town and then had supper at the Riverside Cafe. It was moderately good. There were many bed and breakfast places scattered throughout the town and many antique shops. The Union Pacific railroad still runs through the town every hour or so.

On the way back I purchased deisel at a local service station for $1.299, the best price I had seen for some time. At the rig we watched programs recorded on the PVR -- I had not bothered to set up the satellite TV. I went to bed early.

Log Date: +1883: 030530: 39N22.79': 94W41.99': 920: Basswood Country RV Resort, Platte City, MO

Friday morning we rigged for travel. It had rained during the night and was still sprinkling. We were back on I-70 before 9am.

The drive on I-70 through the center of Missouri leaves a distinct impression of the state. First, there were multitudinous large elevated highway signs advertising businesses along the Interstate and the benefits of advertising on large elevated signs. Second, there seemed to be an Adult Superstore every ten miles or so advertising whatever kind of sex toy, DVD, or whatever you could want. Third was the multitude of fireworks stores.

When we turned north on I-435, just east of Kansas City, all those distinctions disappeared. There were no signs, no sex shops, and no fireworks. There was also less traffic. It was pleasant and a reminder that we should not judge a place by what is immediately around us.

We followed I-435 about twenty miles before it turned west. Then we took US-169 on north four miles and drove about five miles west on state highway 92. At Interurban we headed back north to the Basswood Resort where we checked in. As I suspected, many years ago there was an interurban railroad that ran between Kansas City and St. Joseph on that road. Along the way I had driven 199 miles.

Again we were staying at a Passport America park. We were only staying one night but we had paid for our PA yearly dues with that usage. Of course, I had driven 50 miles off the direct path to reach the park. But it is a nice park and well equipped. It was worth the trip.

Once again I tried to get messages out over the Internet about the printing of my book, but there is still some problem. Deb's email said it may be because our webhost doesn't want a big load on their mail server and are limiting the traffic.

Log Date: +1884: 030531: 38N22.5': 97W38.2': 1,487': Mustang Mobile Home Park, McPherson, KS

Saturday morning we hooked up to drive on in to McPherson to visit Margaret and Ralph Barringer, Alice's sister and brother-in-law. It was moderately cool. Leaving the park, we headed back down Interurban to highway 92 and then west for five miles where we entered I-29. It was confusing at that corner because we didn't even leave the entry lane before we tranfered to I-435 heading south.

We drove 32 miles on I-435 and entered Kansas as we crossed the Missouri River. Most of the area we were driving through was urban mixed with farmland. We picked up I-35 and continued to the southwest under a cloudy sky. One point of interest was that we passed by the town of Santa Fe, Kansas, a busy railroad area. It occurred to me that the name of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad came from that town and not from the capital of New Mexico as I had always assumed. You learn things driving through the country.

As we neared the town of Emporia Alice instructed me to turn off onto US-50 on the east side of town. This took us through the heart of town, and at the west end of town we passed under I-35 to continue to the west. Our intention was to continue west on KS-150, but as we came to the intersection we found the announcement that that road was closed, so we continued down US-50 to Florence. We missed US-77 which took us back north to our planned route and had to make a U-turn down the road to turn north. Nine miles north we resumed our trip west on US-56 into McPherson.

We came into town on First Street and quickly found the Mustang Mobile Home Park. Margaret had made reservations for us, and there was no one at the office, but we found our name on space 10 and quickly backed in to set up camp. The trip had been 214 miles.

After unhooking the trailer Alice called the Barringers and they said supper was waiting. We drove over for a meal and visit to catch up on what was going on in the various families. Our mail from Escapees was waiting so we had a chance to catch up on catalogs and such. There was not much news in the packet. We left before it got too late and returned the the rig to rest up. It had been a long day.

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