Tuesday, 8 October 2013

All kinds of friends

After a reasonable sleep we washed, ate and rolled out of Kanopolis Lake by 1030. We’d experienced a few very light showers through the night but nothing to really mention a lot like the remaining miles across the Sunflower state. We made our way back onto the Interstate with the aim of making Missouri by night fall. Chris smashed a few hours and a few hundred miles before we pulled in off the I-70 for fuel and food just short of Kansas City. With an uneventful day of soaking up the miles Chris decided to take a break and allow me to take over. In all honesty we didn’t need to go any further as we’d made a lot of progress in a short time. We pulled out the trusty map and aimed for the nearest state park. In the past these had often offered up amenities and a safe place to rest up. This time was no different. Knob Noster was just a short drive off the interstate in a quiet wooded area. We pulled in and started the routine of Chris cooking and myself preparing the bed. We’re almost domesticated now. Once all was done we actually had time to sit down type up our blogs and just relax for an hour or so before dark, making a nice change from the rushing around every night. By the time we hopped into the ‘Burb though we were wide awake. So we chatted for hours before finally nodding off. Unfortunately neither of us seemed to sleep too well that night as we both tossed and turned and woke up at regular intervals. So when it was time to wake up, we went back to sleep, resulting in a very late start. Once we were up and somewhat functioning we clambered out of the Suburban and began breakfast. Having barely started on our bowl of cereals a woman approached us asking if we’d like some campfire biscuits. Both Chris and I stared blankly at each other thinking ‘Biscuits for breakfast? Seems a bit weird.’ Still we politely accepted the gift of warm food and carried on with our morning as the nice lady headed back to her campfire. A few minutes later she returned with, what I think was tea. It tasted ok anyway. Again she started to head back when I decided to find out a bit more about our nice neighbour. Turns out her name was Tabatha, she was the secretary of the park and was a local. So with the introductions over we thanked her again and started to discuss our plans for the day. Shortly after we heard, ‘YOU GUYS LOOK COLD! COME SIT BY THE FIRE’ as Tabatha yelled to us from across the road. We were actually fairly chilled and popped over for a quick warm. There we met Shirley and her husband who volunteered at the park to maintain and collect camping fees from the campers and other odd jobs about the park. They were all very accommodating and we spent a good half an hour if not an hour before Tabatha headed off to meet someone. She wished us well and headed off. We stayed and chatted with Shirley and her husband for a while again speaking of many differences we faced between our two nations. It was a morning well spent but time was pressing on and we hadn’t even showered yet so we parted ways with our lovely hosts and hit the shower room. Feeling refreshed and all packed up it was time to check the vital fluids and hit the road again.

I was driving so I aimed for yet another scenic highway. You could say I like the road less travelled, even here on the straight. I like to see the America that isn’t on the silver screen, meet the normal people who live and work there. Missouri had given me all of that. It was only a state we needed to pass through but now it’s a state I may someday return to if I ever need to get away from it all. We weaved our way through the back roads for hours until it started to get dark and there just wasn’t anywhere to pull in. If there were they failed to sign post it, one such parking spot did pass us by and I did think of turning back but the white tank doesn’t exactly possess a tight turning circle. We ploughed on and on till we started passing through the small town of Potosi. By then I was done, I couldn’t face another minute behind the wheel so I pulled into a Dollar store and stepped out to stretch my legs. We couldn’t stay for long and I was in need for something to eat. So our choices were to carry on without knowing how much further we could go before we found ourselves falling asleep at the wheel, or take a break at the golden arches then try and spot a remote area on the map. We chose the latter and so we ate some mediocre burgers regained our bearings and headed back into the night hoping the alternator had enough life in it to keep the lights running. It was fine and just 20 miles on we saw St. Joe state park. It didn’t have a campsite but it was too late now we just had to stop so we pulled round into the far corner of the parking area and turned in for a well-deserved sleep. Tomorrow we cross into Tennessee.