Following our exhausting day’s drive yesterday, Miss D. and I took extra time to rest this morning, rather than make an early start. That was no problem, because our destination, Indianapolis, was less than four hours by road from St. Louis. We hit the road by about 10 a.m., and got in at about 3 p.m. local time (changing from Central to Eastern time zones in the process, thus gaining an hour).
The roads through Illinois and Indiana were not very impressive. I don’t know whether it’s the more extreme climate in the north central USA, or a different way of doing things, or just plain budget shortages, but the roads seem to get worse as we travel further north from Texas. Oklahoma has some good (the tollway from Oklahoma City, through Tulsa, to Joplin in Missouri) and lots that are pretty bad (I-40 from OKC to the Arkansas border, or US 287 from the Texas Panhandle to the Colorado border). Missouri had stretches of interstate that were obviously recently upgraded, and quite good, but other parts were pretty poor. Every Illinois interstate I’ve been on since coming to this country, twenty-odd years ago, has been in poor condition. Indiana’s interstates around the international airport in Indianapolis are pretty good, but getting there from the Illinois border was a bumpy and uneven ride. I guess we’ll see whether the stretch to Ohio tomorrow will be any better.
We met up with Mad Mike for supper, along with his wife and their scarily smart daughter. “Small person”, as Mike refers to her, has two certified geniuses (genii?) for parents, and boy, does it show! Despite her still very tender years, she’s smart as a whip. I’m really looking forward to seeing how she does as she matures. I think she’s going to be a very impressive young lady. It was good to see her parents again, too. They’re great people, and Dot and I value their friendship highly. Mike has an interesting and esoteric collection of weaponry, including a few recent acquisitions that made my mouth water (how about a 19th-century Damascus steel muzzle-loading 12 gauge double-barreled shotgun in very good condition and working order, or a Canadian Inglis Hi-power complete with original wooden holster doubling as a shoulder stock, and the original leather strap, all in excellent condition?).
Tomorrow we head to southern Ohio for a couple of days. Miss D. has some family business to attend to, so I’ll play chauffeur for her and help as best I can.