Sunday, April 19, 2020

Joplin, Missouri to Springfield, Illinois

Location:  Coalfield Rest Area on I-55 south of Springfield, Illinois

Last night I didn't get to making my dinner till 9:30.  Luckily, I had bought a smoked ham at Walmart and I heated two slices and made myself a delicious ham sandwich.  Yuma had a couple of slices too.  By the time I got to bed it was after 11 o'clock.  Very late for me.  

The truck stop was quiet last night, so I got a good nights sleep and didn't get up till 8:30 this morning.  We had a nice leisurely breakfast and on the road at 10:30.  My goal today is ambitious.  I want to be on the other side of St Louis and across the Mississippi River into Illinois which is 280 mile almost exactly the same miles as yesterday.

My day was uneventful and the WL again ran flawlessly.  There are some fairly big hills in the Ozark area of Missouri and occasionally I would downshift to 5th or 4th gear to keep my rpms up, but no problem. 

Popular rest area.

Beautifully well kept.

Up and down the hills we go!

In the center of the southern part of the state is Fort Leonard Wood.  I shutter every time I go by.  I had basic training their in the fall and winter of 1967 as an Army grunt.  Caught pneumonia and thought I was going to die.  But I didn't :))
Couldn't get a picture of the river crossing but when I arrived at the truck center I had hoped to stop for the day I found it to be completely full.  There wasn't one spot available and this was at 3:30!

So I follow the Illinois highway 111 north hoping to find a place in a small town.  As I drove through Roxana, I saw a closed gas station and pulled in there.  After thinking about it, I just didn't want the town police to boot me out because I don't know the rules in these small towns, so I moved on.

Not far up the road I saw a Walmart Supercenter in Wood River so I started to pull in there and saw next door was an empty building for sale with a large parking lot.   

By this time it was after 5 o'clock and time to eat.  Decided to just have dinner, so I pulled out my grill and sat it on the ground next to the building and grilled a potato and heated up a couple of slices of ham.   Heated some corn kernels on the burner inside and Yuma and I had dinner.

Now it's after 6 o'clock and I again didn't feel comfortable for some reason, so finally I decided to move on.  We routed ourselves over to I-55 and stayed on it till just after 7 o'clock when I found my first rest area and we pulled into it.  So, I'm now back to a comfortable element and ready to call it a night.   
We ended up driving 350 miles today, way more than I intended.  However, it was a beautiful sunny and warm day with no wind.  Perfect for a days drive.  I must say the WL is a pleasure to drive.  It just loves to hum along at 65 mph.

We are now just over an hour from home, so in the morning I can clean up the WL a little to make it presentable and be home by noon after a leisurely breakfast.  The end of this adventure is fast coming to a close :(( :))  Sad for it to end but glad I will be home with Dolly, Fergie and the rest of my family.  

It's only 8:30 and I'm done with my day except for pudding and whipped cream. :))

See you later.


  1. Glad you are close to home. I know what you mean about not feeling comfortable in a place. Sometimes moving on is the answer. Glad to see you played with the gears a bit today. The WL will purr when its in the right gear!!! Safe travels in the morning.

  2. I understand the mixed feelings sad to see the travels end but at the same time so darn happy to be home. This year has been a strange ending for all of us. I feel like we are caught in "limbo" but at least in a safe place. We have stayed at that Route 66 rest area at least twice on our trek west. It is a nice rest area. Continued safe travels.

  3. That sure was a good travel day and happy that the White Lion is running well for you. Safe Travels tomorrow, I'm sure you will be happy to be home and Dolly will be happy to have you home.

  4. sometimes you just have to plug onward. Your gut tells you when it is a safe place to stay and if it doesn't feel right, move on. Only an hour from home? So exciting! I understand the mixed feelings though too. A journey coming to an end always makes us sad yet once close, we just want to get there.
    Safe travels today. Dolly will be anxious to see you both and the new WL.

  5. I bet you will be glad to be home with your family!

  6. Whoa that was a long day! I understand not finding a comfortable parking spot. Sometimes it's just better to drive on. Glad you have made it so far safe and sound. Give Yuma a pat for me. I bet he'll be happy to be home too.

  7. Another long drive day but with good conditions. Stay Safe!

  8. You enjoy your family and all those hugs when you get there. We give hugs to our family unless someone is uncomfortable..which no one is !! Obviously you can see we don't buy into the media hype. Enough of that. LOL. Enjoy your short travel day and then showing off the WL. Keep us posted through the summer as I would love to see pics of your town, since I didn't get to visit as was planned!

  9. Glad you made it so close to home. Parking at Walmarts or Malls after getting permission you park close to the road but with your door facing the building and their Security Cameras. Never had any problems.
    Be Safe and Enjoy being with family.

    It's about time.

  10. Happy reunion with Dolly and the family. I'm sure everyone is excited to have you back home. Ditto the above.... pay attention to your gut and keep in touch during the summer. I too would love to explore your home area and keep up with Yuma. Thanks for sharing your winter adventure.

  11. Glad things are going well for you and Yuma. Getting close to home always makes one feel good and yet a bit sad at the same time. Safe travels home tomorrow.