A week ago, we hopped in the (non air-conditioned) car, threw in a couple of bags, a tent, and some food, and drove east on I-70 for about six hours. During this part of the trip through western Kansas, we learned a few things by watching road signs. People in western Kansas are really concerned about the fate of unborn fetuses, and some of the signs were actually pretty offensive. One can see the world’s largest prairie dog in western Kansas, and there are signs advertising roadside attractions that are actually over a hundred miles away (who detours over 200 miles roundtrip to see some dumbass roadside attraction?). We also learned that humidity pretty much starts at the Kansas-Colorado border, and just gets stickier and muggier as one continues east. Our original plan was to camp at a state park west of Salina but we realized we had to drive INTO Salina to find dinner (Subway sammiches), and after a quick stop at the weirdest liquor store I’ve ever seen (we were looking for wine, but they didn’t have it) and the procurement of some groceries, we sucked it up and went to the KOA. That was right by the highway. On July 3. At least it had an actual bathroom, which was pretty much the only thing it had going for it – the floodlights around the place stayed on all night, the ground shook every time a big truck drove by, and the womens’ showers weren’t even useable. And of course, people in Salina were setting off fireworks most of the night. The family camped next to us was, shall we say, interesting – perhaps Quiverfull? – they had 10 kids ranging in age from older teen to one-month-old infant (and yeah, I asked, and no, I don’t think I’d choose to take MY one-month-old on a weeks-long roadtrip). Dad appeared to be in his 40s, the woman appeared to be in her mid-30s (at the oldest) which means the oldest kid was born when she was super young. They also had two dogs that made doggy noises all night. Man, that was weird.
We woke up really early and got the heck out of there on Wednesday, calling Cagey after it was a decent hour to let her know where we were and to solidify plans to meet for brunch. We met Cagey and Average Jane at an IHOP just west of Kansas City, and had a lovely time. We also got to meet Arun, the famously gorgeous Internet Baby, who began to study up on his new role as the Older Brother by learning how to be more useful to his mom. Cagey was due to give birth on Friday, and she still came out to meet a couple of strangers from the internets. And her daughter Anjali finally made her appearance last night!
After KC, we continued on our merry way across Missouri (hotter, muggier), and in Saint Louis I got to see the arch a little through the rainstorm. The storm got worse as we headed east, and we ended up in a torrential downpour for nearly an hour – and of course, drivers were being ridiculously stupid in how they chose to drive through the weather. It didn’t let up until halfway through Illinois, and both Illinois and Indiana looked the same from the highway – lots of green trees, no mountains or hills. Some flowers. We made it to Louisville at around sunset, and called EEK, who navigated us to her house in Germantown. We were hot and sticky and gross, so after we ate dinner we took showers and then went out to the Nachbar to meet Todd of Death Wore a Feathered Mullet (and some other people). It was the night of the 4th, and people in EEK’s neighborhood seemed to get pretty excited about their street fireworks, so much so that a couple of guys put on a show for us as we sat on Nachbar’s patio – these were real, up in the sky type fireworks, and the show went on a good long while.