So we hit the road yesterday, me and Mom. We left Bloomington, Indiana and made our way to Saint Louis, Missouri.
Did we take the freeway? No.
Mom wanted to drive through Amish country and show me Dinky's auction and Gustav's. So, we took State Road 50 through the countryside.
Now, State Road 50 is not bad at all coming out of the Bloomington area. Yes, it's slower than the interstate, but the road surface is pretty good and it's very, very pretty. Because Indiana Amish country is very, very pretty. Lots of corn and soy bean fields, rolling hills, big green trees, and, thanks to a big horse auction at Dinky's, plenty of buggies to pass. Since I love horses, that's no bad thing.
Gustav's (which is actually pronounced 'The Gasthof' - Mom doesn't know German) was alright. Located in Montgomery, Indiana, they've got an antique store, a crafty home goods store, a restaurant, a bakery, and of course, the Gasthof itself (guest house, or Inn). We looked in the shops and visited the bakery where we purchased a pretty little loaf of freshly-made bread (you can see them baking behind the counter) that tasted remarkably like Wonder Bread, and two cookies which tasted remarkably like nothing. We were a little underwhelmed.
We got back on SR 50 and continued west, having a pretty nice time, aside from the Great Bakery Let-Down. Eventually, we crossed the state line into Illinois.
We were supposed to continue on SR 50 until O'Fallon, right before Saint Louis, where we would get onto the Interstate. But after an hour and a half or so on SR 50 in Illinois, we abandoned our back-roads plan, hopped on I-57 S, then I-64 W the rest of the way to Saint Louis.
We got bored.
There is *nothing* on SR 50 in Illinois, as far as we traveled it.
Oh, you'll pass the occasional sign for a historic site. Don't follow them unless you have tons of time on your hands. Trust me. I know.
Also the road needs to be repaved. Just sayin'.
Anyway! We got on I-57 S at Salem, Illinois, and had a wonderful time zooming down a smooth, 4-lane road at 70 mph.
We finally arrived in Saint Louis. Traffic was fine, but there was some road construction. We had a little GPS confusion and passed our exit, but the GPS took us an alternate route that I think was actually nicer (partly because the exit we missed was clogged with cars). We got to our hotel, made it to our room and, although it was only 5:00 local time, crashed.
We had dinner courtesy of the store at the neighboring hotel and spent the evening watching NCIS re-runs.
So, first day of travel from Indiana to Oregon. A mixed bag in terms of recreation, but no flat tires and the weather was beautiful. I call it a success.