We left Tennessee Tuesday morning and drove to St Louis, Mo. It was uneventful, but long. We stopped for lunch at a rest stop, and then a couple of hours later for a quick nap in the truck. We stayed at a casino RV park on the Mississippi River. We didn't do any gambling. Susan learned her lesson twelve years ago when she blew through an entire roll of nickles in Lake Tahoe.
Wednesday we drove to Springfield, IL for the day to eat lunch at the Cozy Dog Drive Inn. Those who have traveled with us to Awana events in Chicago will probably remember this place, but just to jog your memory, here is a bit of a reminder:
While at the RV park in St. Louis, we got to test the WD in the rig for the first time. It was AWESOME!!! The laundromat isn't horrible, but being able to take care of this at home was so much better!
We left St. Louis on Thursday morning to drive to Kansas City, MO. We were meeting up with a fellow HTDer who needed a truck part JW removed when we had our new bed made (HDT=Heavy Duty Truck). They travel full time and organize construction trips to build orphanages in Mexico and other countries. Trey helped him install the part Thursday afternoon, and Susan talked with his wife about full-time RVing, ministry, and the like. Later that evening, we talked more about our different ministries and reviewed a website some of the men are collaborating on for HDT camping. After that, we said our goodbyes and called it a night. We considered staying in KC another day or two, but the weather was 10-15 degrees cooler in Nebraska, so we decided to move out Friday.
After saying goodbye to the couple we met, we waited out a short set of showers Friday morning and headed out of Kansas City. toward the end of our trip, as we drove from I29 over the Missouri River, and into Nebraska, we noticed 10'-12' dikes around small business on the East side of the river - the low lying side. Most of the stores were empty, closed, and were completely surrounded by a tall wall of dirt. We've seen flood preparations in the past, but this seemed extreme.
We did a little research and found the Missouri River from Iowa through Illinois, to Missouri is flooding and these people were told that it might be August or September before the waters would subside enough to return home. Portions of I29 would be closed as water was expected to cover the roadway. We have had limited exposure to news, but we hadn't seen any indication that this was happening. (Maybe the fires in the SW have overshadowed other things going on.) The effected area covers many miles of river and each region has different issues (flooded bridges, failing levees...) Amid the sad news of the devastation, there were great stories of folks helping each other out in difficult times. We hope it is not as severe or long lasting as they predicted.
We are now safely in Lincoln, with elevation and distance on our side. We are staying at an RV park just North of town because the place we originally wanted was filled with RVs. It is the weekend, you know. When we arrived at this park, they were just finishing up a bison burger cookout, so we ordered one for dinner and split it. Yum!
As we were settling in for the evening, we saw on the HDT forum that the couple we just said goodbye to in KC this morning had an axle snap in two in Iowa today. This happened very near their destination and one of the men who had been on their ministry trips with them was able to meet them in his truck and do some quick welding which allowed them to slowly drive to safety. They are now safely off the road and waiting to see what kind of repairs they can get done. News like that certainly makes problem-free days seem that much brighter!
The Whites are attending their grandson's wedding in CO this weekend, so we have a few days here to restock supplies and figure out where we are going to stay. More on that later.