Because from here on out, I get to work on my Bucket List because I've got the Monkey off my back!


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Leaving Indy:

Finally got the trailer and car loaded and hit the road in a rush. The last two weeks of moving three rooms of furniture to storage by myself, disposing of what wouldn’t fit, and organizing stuff has left me exhausted. The hardest part of any trip is getting out of town. The planning, good-byes and anticipation can wear you ragged.
As soon as I got my move-out inspection completed I just threw everything in the car and trailer and took of for Troy's in Missouri. Will spend about a week with Troy before officially starting the trip.
I figure that the trip should not begin until I’ve officially entered foreign soil, in this case Arkansas. How could it begin when I leave Indiana? I’ve left Indiana a thousand times over 50 years. Half of those times I left Indiana and entered Illinois and left Illinois the same number of times, and all those times I entered or left Illinois I was going to or from Missouri. No, the trip begins when I enter Arkansas. New horizons.

Will visit Troy and we’ll go to a Littrell Family dinner in St. Louis and visit Merrimac Caverns afterwards.
In all my hurry to just ‘get out of town’ I had a major mishap in Terra Haute. Nothing serious but it could have complicated things. Getting out of town in a hurry I knew that I had to fix the harness on the trailer. I figured I’d make it to Terra Haute and stop at a hardware store and repair the problem before crossing the state line into Illinois. Their State Troopers have a tenuous relationship with Littrell’s driving through their state.. I did this successfully and then took of for Iuka,Illinois were I was determined to find a tombstone and graveyard I have been searching for the last 20+ years.
I pulled over at a rest stop to catch some zzzzs just outside of Mt. Vernon. The next morning when I got up I realized that I didn’t have the trailer keys! As soon as I realized it I knew exactly were I had last seen them, on the trailer fender in the parking lot of Lowes in Terre Haute. 143 miles away back in Missouri. So I turned around and drove back to Lowes to look for them. No luck. Went inside to see if they had been turned in. No luck. They gave me directions to a locksmith to get one lock cut off and duplicates made of my back-up keys. On my way there,
about a mile from Lowes, I saw the keys in the road. One key was applicable, one was still usable, and two keys were destroyed. he padlock is still functional. The black plastic casing was torn of but it still works. Go Master lock!!
Later that day driving in southern Illinois I got dangerously close to running out of gas. The interstate from Effingham to the Mississippi south of Marion does not have a lot of truck stops and gas stations along I-57. Dad and I (30 years ago), Troy and I (3 years ago), and I (this trip) have been caught driving backroads desperately looking for a local pump. This time I was nearly to the Mississippi River when I realized my dilemma. I didn’t think I could make it to Charleston so I turned off into Cairo Illinois. Big mistake.
I remember Cairo as a bustling town, but that’s not the case anymore. I drove down main street completely to the other side of town and not one working gas station. I stopped at a liquor store on the edge of town and was directed to keep going and cross the bridge into Wickliffe, Kentucky!
So I did so. Then I returned to the bridge, crossed it back into Illinois and then over into Missouri.
So, to recap; in less than 24 hours I had been in and out of Indiana and Kentucky, to Missouri, left Illinois twice and entered Illinois 3 times.
Yeah, we're not counting this as part of the 49 State road trip. See ya Arkansas.

Organizing the trailer: supplies, food, clothes, etc.

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