July 17, 2011: Picking Up Again in Indiana

Medifast Status: Day 76, Down ~38.5lbs

I woke up on my own pretty early this morning.  We are in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Nowhere near as far along the route as we had hoped that we would be by this morning.  I had originally been hoping that we would be in Missouri or, at least, central Illinois.

We were rushing to get up and moving today.  We are all dragging and no one wants to get back in to the vehicles but we want to get the drive over too.  With so many people to get loaded up it just takes forever to do anything.

Today’s drive was better than yesterday’s.  We moved somewhat faster, but not fast.  Everything was going okay until we hit St. Louis, Missouri.

My car got caught behind a large truck going into St. Louis across the Mississippi River and we were stuck taking an exit that took us through downtown rather than going straight on to I44 that would carry us across the state.  The other car made the turn and was ahead of us now.  Emily, Liesl and I had to meander through St. Louis for a while to work our way back to the highway so we were ten miles or more behind everyone else.  It was kind of nice getting to actually see St. Louis, though.  I’ve always wanted to see it so it was not a completely bad thing.

Getting back to the highway was not the problem.  The real issue came in that the other car got caught in traffic when an RV lost control and hit a bridge causing the highway to get shut down.  It was not shut down for them and they were able to sneak through the one open lane before the police completely closed the road.  We, on the other hand, got caught a few miles back in completely stopped traffic where we sat for two hours!

While we were waiting for the highway to open back up the other car drove on and went to do a bathroom and gas stop to kill some time – good thing that it was their car and not ours since it is theirs that needs to get fuel twice as often as we do.  Then, since they had so much time to kill, they went on to a caverns and did the tourist thing while waiting for us.  In reality they probably should have just gone on without us as we travel much faster than them on the road and take half as many stops.  We would not have caught up for a while but likely would have caught up somewhere near the Oklahoma border but have been, overall, an hour ahead or so.

Eventually they turned us around on the highway and we had to head back up the way that we came and get on to side roads to run alongside I44 – we were actually on historic Route 66 – and eventually we were back onto the highway.  We met up with everyone else at a McDonald’s farther down the highway.  We had ended up being fifteen minutes or so ahead of them by that point.

The rest of the drive was uneventful.  We were completely exhausted.  I did manage to listen to the rebroadcast of the Prairie Home Companion show that we had heard the end of last night.  I also got Emily to try listening to Wil Wheaton read Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” which she, being nine, has never read but neither have Dominica nor Francesca!  I can’t believe how both of them, being such ardent readers, never read such an American classic.  This is probably my third time reading it myself.  I can’t remember when I first read it but I was probably around Emily’s age.  I’m not sure where my original copy has gone – probably lost on a shelf at dad’s house somewhere.

We didn’t get to finish Tom Sawyer but we did make it about two hours through the book which is less than four hours long.  Good progress.

It was late, very late, when we finally got back to Carrollton.  Probably two or three in the morning and later yet by the time that we all finally managed to get to sleep.  Everyone except for Francesca and I got a lot of sleep on the drive.  Emily, I know, was asleep for easily more than half of the drive both days.  So she is very well rested.

I did manage to listen to the bulk of “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris” on the drive.  I’m not quite done yet but getting pretty close.   I have really been learning a lot from this book about American and French nineteenth century history.  I know how a far better understanding of the second French empire and how that came about, how it fell and the Franco-Prussian War as well as a much better appreciation for the art and literature of this period.

I am very glad to be home.  The house is still standing and most of the plants have loved having the house as warm as it has been.  It took me a while to get things like the Internet and phones turned back on since we had absolutely everything unnecessary shut down while we were gone.

Now for some sleep.  I will be in the office tomorrow and the Grices are planning to drive back down to Houston right away in the morning.

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