As we finished driving through Missouri on I-44 we reminisced about how bone jarring that route had been last time we took it. Periodic signs announced that a major resurfacing project had been completed in 2012. As we enjoyed the smooth pavement I wondered if this had been paid for with TARP funds, the sort of government assistance a red state like Missouri does not favor. Electronic signs had also been added which allow DOT officials to keep drivers informed about Amber Alerts, changes in road conditions, etc. A good idea.
In Oklahoma I-44 became a toll road. For what we had to pay to drive it, it better be in great condition! We were pleased that our Illinois tollway machine worked so well on drives northeast as far as Maine, but the Okies wanted cold, hard cash. Much of eastern Oklahoma is Indian land and didn't appear to have much to offer tourists on a cold winter day. A very welcome sun and blue skies appeared and the temperatures rose to the low 40º's, but there was still plenty of snow on the side of the expressway from a recent storm we're glad we missed. It's ironic that we're seeing more snow here this far south than anywhere else we've been this winter. As it melts the snow is a tropical shade of pink, reflecting the red soil rather than the dirty look we have in black earth country.
Fuel prices are delightfully low in MO and OK. More importantly the price of diesel is getting closer to the price of gas. Enjoy it while we can. In Arizona we'll see prices that rival those at home.