Day 2 – Five States and Twelve Hours

We woke up this morning in Arden, North Carolina. I’m writing right now from Columbia, Missouri. Yep, 732 miles on the road today and just about twelve hours. We passed through Tennessee (the bulk of our driving), Kentucky, Illinois and finally Missouri after leaving North Carolina behind. We took in the Blue Ridge Mountains, missed out on downtown Knoxville because of construction and a detour, cruised by Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee. Paducah, Kentucky and St. Louis were also victims of our assault today, though the latter was much more impressive (see below).

It poured down rain on several occasions, we witnessed a mattress fly off the back of someone’s pick-up truck, 36 different license plates (not counting Ontario and Saskatchewan) graced our presence, crossed into Central Time Zone, the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and have mastered the tag-team effort of backing up the truck and hitch in a tight space.

Yes, this morning we found ourselves nearly boxed in after parking last night in an empty parking lot. Maybe it was the hoards returning from their concert. Either way, there was little room to maneuver. But together we managed to spend about 25 minutes in the worst Austin Powers impression of all-time. Eventually we avoided the Land Rover closest to our position and with the help of our off-roading capabilities, managed to evade the Comfort Inn and set off for our twelve-hour journey.

Anyway, now we’re in Columbia, home of the University of Missouri and more-or-less halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City. Tomorrow we’re going to do another big day and hopefully end up somewhere between Mitchell and Wall, South Dakota. But in the meantime, check out a few pictures from today. You can also follow along (as Halie can attest) on my Twitter account at: http://twitter.com/hairmanmao. Ok, the pics:

Our geranium riding the dash in a rain storm in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Our geranium riding the dash in a rain storm in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Crossing the Ohio River (from Kentucky into Illinois) near Paducah, KY.

Crossing the Ohio River (from Kentucky into Illinois) near Paducah, KY.

The first of two views of the St. Louis Arch, gateway to the West.

The first of two views of the St. Louis Arch, gateway to the West.

You guessed it, the second St. Louis Arch photo!

You guessed it, the second St. Louis Arch photo!

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