Monday, February 2, 2009

Day two

Monday February 2

When we left Wal-Mart at 8:30AM White One said it was 27 degrees. Plus the wind was blowing so it was pretty cold.

Tonight, Monday night we are in an Oklahoma State Park, We are the only ones here so we had the pick of sites with electric and water hook up for $16. It is an opportunity to get the Michigan Road salt and mud washed off. But what a cold job for Dick to do after dark with unheated water

Driving through Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois looked pretty much the same but as as we crossed the Mississippi River, the geography changed drastically from flat farm land to steep rolling woodlands. I-44 is cut through the hills so there are sheer rock faces. The woods also changed from mixed hardwoods to Oak and Cedar with Sycamore's white tops towering above the the rest of the forest. There was a gradual change, as we crossed Missouri, from the hilly Oak/Cedar forest to the flat open grasslands of Oklahoma. There are odd large mounds occasionally dotted on the flat former Prairie. When we asked about them, a local fellow said he thought they were natural.

As the day progressed the amount of snow also lessened until in Oklahoma there were just the few odd bits left in the shade of buildings.

So the roads have been pretty much the same boring interstates that one too often chooses when you are in a hurry to get somewhere. We started with I-69 in Lapeer, Michigan and took that all the way to Indianapolis, Indiana, then switched to I-70 and picked up I-44 in St. Louis which took us all the way to the Oklahoma border where surprise, surprise we were on the Oklahoma tollway with no other place to go. But it turned out to be not a bad thing. There was a very helpful lady at the information plaza who showed us how to get to Austin without going through Oklahoma City and the easiest way to get around Dallas/Fort Worth. She also pointed us to several Oklahoma State parks – and we picked the first one we came to. It was getting dark and we were tired. We MIGHT get to Austin tomorrow but maybe not. We may just find somewhere to stop on the way.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The trip starts

Tonight we are “camped” in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Vandalia Illinois, the same Wal-Mart where we stayed on the first nigh out of our Spring 2008 trip. Then it was April and pleasant shirt sleeve weather. Tonight it was hovering just above freezing as the sun went down.

When we left home this morning the roads were slushy or snow covered most of the way to Lapeer. From Lapeer to Lansing they were just wet, and from west of Lansing the roads were mostly dry. The sun was bright most of the day and the highest temperatures were in Indianapolis when it reached 47

We saw wildlife and wildlife signs all along the Michigan roadside fence rows where deer, we saw one doe, had been working the shrub and tree plantings for fruit and twigs. At one point we saw a flock of turkeys scratching for food and were able to see their tracks all along a ditch bank that paralleled the road. Snow continued to be deep even forming large drifts on the roadside banks well into Indiana. Then North of Fort Wayne the roadway banks had large ares that were bare and large areas of corn fields were more exposed so the snow was less deep than at home.

In Indiana we saw several herds of deer foraging in corn stubble and what looked like frozen lakes because the fields were so completely covered with snow. But by the time we reached Vandalia which had a severe ice storm last Monday and Tuesday the snow was much reduced.

Sunday 7:30 AM

Headed out. The sun is just coming up and the wind is blowing but the sky is BLUE.