Starting our Journey Today

Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Just as the snow started falling, we left home at 8:30 A.M. heading down I-55 toward St. Louis.  Wasn’t long before we were out of the snow and driving in cloudy skies and 32 degree temperature.  Not a bad day for driving.  We decided to drive through St. Louis rather than take the longer bypass. 
Heading SouthGoing by the smoke stacks in Springfield, Illinois
Just as we entered the city limits we started noticing flashing signs telling us that I-44 was closed.  We kept driving and the signs didn’t give us any specific direction to go.  Told us to take I-55, so we did.  As I went further, the road split, one going to Kansas City and the other back toward Chicago.  I thought if I went toward Chicago, I would hit I-44, but no. Ended up going back over the Mississippi River to Illinois, south of St. Louis.
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Turned around at the first exit in Illinois and went back toward the Kansas City route.  Started seeing more signs saying I-44 exit was closed and to take I-64 or I-70.  I didn’t know where those were, so followed the traffic taking the exit to I-44.  Wasn’t long before we knew why I-44 was closed.  As we left the interstate at the blockades, we could see the entire interstate was flooded.  Photo is not great but you can see the water is everywhere as the road dips into the valley ahead.
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Once exiting the interstate, there were no signs to tell us where to go, so we wondered through the back hills of the town of Bowles south of St. Louis somewhere for about a half hour.   Finally, saw some road workers, working just off the road we were on, so stopped and asked how to get to Tulsa from here.  He told us to go about a mile up the road we were on and get on Missouri hwy 30 going west.  Take that road for about 40 miles to St. Claire and we would hit I-44 on the west side of the floods.
We did that, and finally, we were back on track again.  So glad I didn’t get stuck somewhere where I would have to stop and turn around, but luckily I didn’t.  Lost a little time, but the scenery on hwy 30 was pretty as it went tjhrough the Ozark hills.
We hooked onto I-44 about 40 miles east of Rolla, Missouri.  We have stayed at the Walmart in Rolla a couple of times, but never liked it because there is no flat place in the parking lot.  We went 60 miles further down the road and stopped at the Walmart in Lebanon, Missouri.  This is the stopping point I had hoped to make before dark.  We got here at 3:30 P.M. with plenty of light left.
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See you later.

7 comments:

  1. Glad you finally got going south...warmer weather is in your future!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. I hope so. Luckily, the weather is not too bad. Low 30s for a low, I can travel in.

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  2. Glad you got to see some pretty scenery on your detour! And happy you are settled for the night! Love you guys and miss you already!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Hope you're feeling better. Should have nice weather for travel today. Heading to Lawton, Oklahoma.

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  3. Bet it's a good feeling to be back on the road again & luckily you made it past all that flooding around St. Louis. We've been watching that on the news. Better keep a close eye on the crazy weather ahead, everything just seems to be kinda nuts this winter.

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    1. We had no idea I-44 was closed due to flooding. The flashing signs did not tell us. We were shocked when we drove over the overpass at the blockade, that it was flooded for 24 miles. We were lucky to hit highway 30 and it was not flooded. We're on our way.

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