On the whole, driving 11 hours across five states isn’t so bad when you are engaged in the Hunger Games series, read over the radio. Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri…we stopped in them all for a quick leg stretch, a slurpee, and a $1 lotto ticket from each state to mark the boundary. Every part of the interstate was remarkably the same. Little or no variation in pavement every step of the way. This is the very reason we will be travelling the ‘historic 66’ down to Little Rock the day after tomorrow.
Indiana had the best state sign, well the only one we saw, “Welcome to Indiana” in great big multi-autumn colours across highway #70 from an enormous Sao Paulo aluminum cross.
Road tolls on the Ohio turnpike were new to us. At the end of the toll road, a woman with greasy, stringy hair reached out to take our money with long, sharp nails curving at the end. “Pay the tallyman”, our contemporary version of the troll at the bridge said.
We didn’t let Vandalia get by without a quick walk by the stream and around the century-old white pillars towering of two four-foot boys.
We unraveled when we reached the Drury hotel in St. Louis. The kids’ quiet, peaceful, sleepy behavior on the long car drive quickly broke down to insults and kicks as their hunger and fatigue transformed them into small gremlins. But one plate of fries at Maggie O’Ryan’s busy pub, packed with Ron White and Radiohead fans proved to be the antidote we needed.
“Seumas?!” the waitress said as we discussed the menu, “that is the second time I have heard that name today! That is sooooo weird!” Seumas rolls his eyes, and we were all ready for a swim before bed.
The St. Louis Arch
Where the Mississippi Begins