Lewis and Clarke Expedition Chapter 2

Whoa baby, the weather out last night was frightful! Somewhere near me there is a tree wishing it wasn’t the tallest tree around! Lightening was spectacular overnight as the cold front passed through.

Right now it’s light rain outside and I’m packing up to leave. As you can see from the weather picture above I’ll drive out of the weather pretty soon and the rest of the day should be nice.

It’s 7:30 and the birds are singing … 450 miles of highway are in front of me so I’m going to go.

So, I get off like I said and it’s raining lightly outside. That’s in Granville where Craig’s house is located. As I merge onto I-70 the rain really starts coming down. And stays coming down until I’m maybe 50 miles outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. The atmosphere is so thick with moisture that the clouds are all the way to the ground. Then, like most cold fronts, the weather starts to clear immediately behind. First the puffy white stuff, then blue skies start poking through the puffy whites, then the sun emerges. Suddenly, it went from cold and raining to hot and clear.

I look down at the GPS and it’s saying I’m going to arrive in St. Louis at 14:30 (that’s 2:30 pm for Gloria’s sake). But wait, I’m now in Central time. About the time I’m thinking I’m going to be in St. Louis at lunch time I pass a sign. Not just any sign. This sign said, “Be prepared to stop!”

Stop on I-70? I’m looking around me at 3 lanes of traffic moving 75-80 mph and thinking, “No way”.

The sign changed to the next screen: “Air show in progress”.

“Oh no!” Air show next exit. It’s clear there’s no way I’m going to make it to St. Louis before sun down.

So like a junky to their favorite drug, I’m off at the next exit in a jiffy. I have a Subway sandwich, 2 diet cokes and a bag of peanut M&Ms before you can say, “What’s your favorite color M&M!?”

In 5 more minutes I’m in the cheap seats overlooking the airstrip camera at the ready. As anyone who knows me knows that I think anything with wings rocks. Helicopters count too. I was able to get some awesome pictures at the airshow today.

Tuffy and Spangle, in particular, enjoyed the show. Like me, they are aviation buffs and dream one day of flying on their own. Although neither have tried to fly on their own, one of their “parents” shows a keen interest in flight. Maybe it’s with her father and wanting to do what he does, who knows. Anyway, I enjoyed their enthusiasm and interest in the air show today.

Of particular interest at the air show was the F15 and the CJ1 aerobatics. I’m tellin’ ya, the only thing the F15 did tht the CJ didn’t was go faster! I’ve never seen a passenger jet do the things this guy did in the air today. In some strange way it makes me appreciate the strength of the machines we tend to fly in every day. For instance, a CJ1 can, apparently, go straight up until it’s ready to enter another level of flight. Amazing, really. Probably modified engines, I don’t know.

The F15 is just an awesome machine by itself. I’ve got some sound clips of it an the P51. Both sounds are unmistakable. I would recognize them in my sleep. Check back later for the .wav files. As soon as I upload them I’ll post them here. But for sure check out the air show files when you can.

From Dad:

I just made our hotel reservation in St. Louis for one night, Saturday July 31 at a nice hotel near the L&C Exhibition. It’s called Cheshire Lodge, 6300 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117. Phone number is 800-325-7378. You can view their website at www.cheshirelodge.com. It’s a nice hotel that offers shuttle service to the Exhibition. I negotiated a reasonable price of $106 for John and I and $96 for the single occupancy guys. Two of the rooms have two queen beds each and one has a king bed, all non smoking. That was the only non-smoking they had. The hotel is in the Forest Park area of St. Louis.

So, I’ve made it to the Cheshire hotel and it’s pretty cool. Very old but nice. Tomorrow we are going to see the Lewis and Clark exibition here across the street which is, apparently, going to take the better part of the day. We’ve decided to stay here tomorrow night too and will depart St. Louis on Monday morning first thing. We have to get up to Omaha, NE for an event there before they shut down on Tuesday so we’ll be on quite a mission in the next few days.

One last picture. On my way out of town Gloria took a great picture in my final riding setup to the west coast. For more information on the equipment I’m taking on this journey check out the equipment section of this web site.

See you tomorrow.

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Published 31 Jul 2004