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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 16th June.

    Thursday saw me heading further east, to The River, at Charleston MO. Just a short drive, and did not feel like going any further so spent some time looking around the area and town. I really wanted to see The River, but was unsuccessful. I had been advised that it probably would not be a good idea to go over the bridge. An uneventful day.

    I should mention here as well, that with pumps being so far away from the buildings, I normally park at the pump and then request help. The thought of walking all that way to pay inside, and then walk all that way back to the pump is too much. So someone usually comes out and takes my money and the Pilot FJ card, then when I have filled the tank they bring out my receipt and change. It has always worked well, until this day in Charleston - though I did not discover the missing card till I got to my next stop to fill up.

    Some time ago there was a report from two lasses who did a road trip, and mentioned that truckers had paid for their showers. It was at an FJ where I asked to purchase a shower. a week ago or so, when the trucker at the cashier next to me must have heard, and told my cashier I could have one of the 'free' showers he had earned.

    FJ Charleston for the night.

    (Odo - 140420)

    Lifey

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,648

    Default

    Truckers get a bad rap sometimes, but overall, I think they're a good bunch. One time, a trucker handed us a gallon of diesel oil when we were having trouble with our (old) truck - it was low on oil in the middle of nowhere. Just today, I saw a trucker go up and hand a bill to a woman who was outside a FJ with a small, older motorhome, a gas can, and a sign that said "Need gas".

    We used to be able to count on FJ to have reasonably priced diesel fuel, or at least equal to whatever was being charged elsewhere in the area. This trip, though, I think we've only used an FJ or Pilot once. They've been higher than everybody else in the area.

    Reading your travels -- figure you're long past Missouri now, but you must have been leaving MO about the time we got there -- safe travels! I'm enjoying the reading, especially now as my own trip is coming to an end!


    Donna

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Courteous, generous and good company

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    ... but overall, I think they're a good bunch. One time, a trucker handed us a gallon of diesel oil when we were having trouble with our (old) truck - it was low on oil in the middle of nowhere. Just today, I saw a trucker go up and hand a bill to a woman who was outside a FJ with a small, older motorhome, a gas can, and a sign that said "Need gas".
    Donna I heartily agree. I enjoy their company. A week ago or so I got to chatting with a guy in the truckers' lounge, and he suggested to me a little town I should visit, which is very nice. Imagine his surprise when I told him I went there on my last trip, and was able to tell him all about it, and show him photos (I was on the computer at the time). He had never met anyone who had been there.

    A week, or maybe two, ago, I was not getting any response from the cashier where I was. A young man at a nearby pump had asked me for money for gas, and I asked him to go inside and tell the cashier I needed help. When I gave the cashier my money, I asked her to put $5 on his pump and the balance on mine.

    I make a point of never giving anyone who asks for it, money. I will pay for the gas, buy them a coffee or lunch, a piece of fruit, whatever. But I never give money, which could be spent on alcohol or drugs.

    Lifey

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 17th June.

    Wanted to see The River, and had read that route N led to the levy. After asking four or five times, one lady said to me, I have no idea about route N, but if you continue along this road, it leads to the levy. The tiny settlement in which I was does not even rate a mention on the map. Just past the houses, there was a sign indicating route N north. I took this all the way to where it ends.

    It did lead to the levy not far out of town, but there was no access anywhere. I continued, hoping to see The River. When I got to the very end of the road - where the ashphalt finishes and the gravel starts - just short of Cape Girardeau, there was a large building on top of the levy. I drove up the driveway where it said 'no entry' and went inside. It looked like an upmarket Restaurant. More than an hour before lunch, the tables all set and the folk working there were very nice. From inside the restaurant The River was visible in all its magnificence. They showed me outside onto their large deck, and allowed me to spend some time taking photos. (It would be a lovely place to have a party on a hot summer's night.)

    From there I made my way to I-55 and headed for St Louis a city through which I had often passed, but never spent any time. If only I had psychic powers I never would have entered that interstate. We had gone but some 30 miles on this heavily travelled road leading into St Louis, when it all came to a grinding halt. For the next hour (no idea how many miles) all this traffic moved slower than walking pace. In fact the needle of the speedo did not move from the zero. It was a case of put it in drive and brake when you got too close to the vehicle in front. There were of course, the impatient ones who had to change from lane to lane, and back again. None of which helped.

    When we got to the Genevieve exit, the road was closed with flares right across it. There was some roadwork going on, but definitely no accident or other incident. Three, or was it four lanes of traffic were routed onto the exit, with resultant congestion, and sent through this little town and the next one. I was back on The Great River Road.

    Finally we got to St Louis, quite a bit later than I had hoped to be there.I drove around for a while, not stopping anywhere significant, but just wanted to get a feel for the place. When I found my way back on the interstate, I made my way to that night's destination. It was then that I found my fuel discount card missing.

    FJ at Warrenton, MO.

    (Odo - 140660)

    Lifey

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 18th June.

    [No idea why it posted the same one twice.]

    Next day was going to be on minor roads the whole way. US-61 is a scenic route through lovely farm country with crops waving in the wind, old and new farm buildings, some most picturesque. Bonus is that much of this road is designated The Great River Road

    Headed for Troy, Bowling Green and Hannibal on my way to the border. Other than for lunch, my only stops were short ones to get out of the van.

    Once in Iowa US-218 took me north to Iowa City. I had driven the northern part of this road, which I really enjoyed, and this section was no less an enjoyable drive. I-80 then took me to Davenport.

    I had been told about the biggest truck stop in the world, and aimed to check it out. However, gps not withstanding, when I saw the sign the exit was well and truly behind me. It will have to wait for another day.

    FJ Davenport for the night.

    (Odo - 140972)

    Lifey

    [p.s. I have had some issues trying to post to this thread. Seems it is now working, so while the going is good, I will copy and paste the posts I have prepared elsewhere on my computer.]
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-21-2016 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 19th and 20th June.

    This was going to be a long day on the road, so an early start was in order. Fortunately I woke up early - about 7.30, about two hours earlier than most mornings - and headed straight for Dubuque on US-61, which in this stretch does not go anywhere near The River.

    Was on time to meet up with my friend for lunch. Since this was father's day in the US, it was very busy everywhere. We enjoyed a nice smorgasbord lunch at a new cafe within Hy-Vee. It is great to catch up with friends one only sees every year or so. Actually, this lady was my twin's penpal since the late 1950's.

    After lunch it was off to Chicago, where I wanted to be on the Monday, the day absentee voting opened in our election downunder. I let my gps take me right there, tolls and all. I was looking for a place to stay not too far from the train as I needed.to make my way into the consulate next day, Found quite a nice hotel in Oak Lawn, with a coupon for $62 per night, with microwave, fridge, and spotlessly clean.

    The receptionist at the consulate had told me which train to get and how to find my way there.

    I had long known who I'd vote for. The ballot paper for the house of Representatives had 5 candidates in the electorate where I live. However, the Senate is a different story. It is a paper to represent all of the State - Victoria. 12 members to be elected. That ballot paper had no fewer than 78 different political parties on it, as well as a dozen and a half or so of independent candidates. Each party is able to put up, up to 12 candidates - not all had. One had to fill in numbers 1 - 12 besides one's preferred candidates.

    I am glad to say that the result turned out to be just what I had hoped for.... no one has an outright majority. They are just going to have to negotiate and actually talk to each other. A nice change. (The anti labour and anti social security bills to which so many of us objected will not be able to be bulldozed through.)

    By the time I got back it was far too late to set out for St Paul, so decided to stay another night. Friend in Chicago - Orland Park - had said to let him know if I was still in town on Monday night, we'd go out to dinner. It so happened that he grew up in Oak Lawn, and knew a great Italian restaurant - Palermo's - just around the corner from where I was staying. My little scooter took me right there. So good not to have to drive when things are really close.

    Fantastic food was enjoyed in great company. It is always good to catch up with him - snowhawg on RTA. He is such a great story teller about all his travels.

    Spent the rest of the night packing most of the things back into the van, ready for an early get-away next morning.

    Midway Hotel, Oak Lawn.

    (Odo - 141217 )

    Lifey

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,648

    Default

    Sounds like you were in or near some of my old stomping grounds -- northeast Missouri (Canton, right on Rt 61) - Orland Park and Oak Lawn right down the road from where I grew up. Glad you made it to the Consulate so that you could have your vote counted.

    Following along with your travels, especially now that I'm back home myself....


    Donna

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th June

    The run into St Paul was my usual route, I-80 to I-39 to I-90 and I-94. Other than the endless road construction, especially into St Paul, the trip was uneventful. Despite an early start, I did not get there till almost 6pm.

    Four days spent with my friend (son's in-laws), in St Paul MN doing the normal things families do. Here too my scooter came in handy going places we had previously not been able to go. The weather over the last two weeks or so had been hot to heatwave, which limited outdoor activities.

    I always enjoy my time in St Paul, good shopping, thrift stores and second hand books.

    Now for two more appointments, Missoula and Seattle, before I head north.

    (Odo - 141705)

    Lifey

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 25th, 26th June.

    It was of course, not early when I said goodbye in St Paul, and headed to Missoula - well actually only Fargo for that first day... straight up I-94. Was hoping to go on and visit Teddy 'Rooseveldt NP on the way.

    In Fargo it was the FJ for the night.

    (Odo - 141953)

    Next day it was straight along the interstate again to exit 42, whence US-85 would take me to the northern end of the national park. If only it had all been as simple as it is to now write about it.

    That day was a Sunday, and the last thing I would have expected is the heavy traffic on this road. It was clogged with oil industry vehicles large and small, with which the motor homes and other traffic had to contend. This two lane road only had three or four passing lanes, and then only for short distances.

    On top of that I found the actual park section most disappointing. One road in and same road out. In the end it was not all that different from Badlands NP. Maybe if I had never seen Badlands I might have appreciated it more. Heading south on US-85, back to I-94 there were even fewer passing lanes. By the time I got to I-94, there was no time left to go visit the southern section, which I was told is much more scenic and interesting.

    Headed to FJ in Beach at exit 1 for the night.

    (Odo - 142453)

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-22-2016 at 04:10 PM. Reason: correction.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 27th June.

    Monday continued along I-94, which in this area should rank equal with I-70 through CO. For something like the next 100 miles it takes one through Badland scenery. Not a route to rush, but a highway to enjoy and take in all it has to offer. A most enjoyable drive.

    By the time I got to Forsyth it was time for a change of scenery. I exited onto US-12 and took that all the way to Lewiston ID. Marked as a scenic route, it was that and a lot more. All along this route there are roadside boards telling of the history and of Lewis and Clark. A definite must for anyone interested in history. Unfortunately all too few of the signs had parking close to them, and on this fairly busy (which surprised me) two lane highway, it was not really safe to just pull over and stop. The official speed limit on this road was far too high to be able to enjoy all it had to offer.

    I could not help but think that a drive along this route would teach anyone more thAn a year's worth of history lessons. It really makes history come to life.

    A wonderful day on a very pleasant road in glorious weather, pulled into the Budget Inn in Helena ready for a good night's rest.

    (Odo - 142906)

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-22-2016 at 04:30 PM. Reason: typos

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