Although the forecast predicted scattered snow showers, it looked like the beginning of a serious blizzard as we packed the final bits into the motor home, hitched up the Jeep, and headed out at 8:30am, positively the crack of dawn for slow pokes like us. The big white flakes hit the windshield for about an hour and then stopped. Central Illinois clearly had a lot more snow last week than we had in metro Chicago, but the pavement was dry.
A huge arch that is the symbol of westward migration in the development of our country stands on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, and let us know that we'd made it to St. Louis. We've heard that barge traffic on the river is about to come to a halt because the water level is so low due to drought conditions all summer. The river bank extended out for a few blocks from the arch before the slender stream that the Mississippi is today could be seen. Here's hoping they can dredge a channel down the middle and keep things moving or more bad economic developments will plague the Midwest.
I-44 winds through rolling hillsides in Missouri. We saw few animals outside except for an intrepid herd of llamas that stood motionless as sleet began to fall. As we drove, it piled up in an ice dam between the two wiper blades. I began to have flashbacks to one of the worst winter drives we have ever had through this area in 2005. Then the sleet stopped again and the ice dam began to trickle down the windshield.
Just as we came to the campground it began to snow. The proprietor said that an ice storm is in the forecast for 3am. If this comes to pass, it could be difficult to open the side door where the power cord is connected to the motor home. We may have to be content with seeing what the Lebanon area has to offer on a winter weekend until we can get the power cord stowed back inside the rig. The adventure begins!