1.07.2014

Indiana to Joplin, Missouri

Right now, I am positive that Jennings County Indiana does not look anything like this, in fact I understand that it is very Arctic right now!
Welcome back to my coverage of the, "Oklahoma Is OK" trip; the picture above is a shot of my amigos leaving the Rowlett compound-I think Wille Dawg wanted to wrestle JT for his bike...
We followed Wes through a chilly, Xenon bright morning ride through the roller coaster hills of south central Indiana; I was grateful that Wes took the lead otherwise, my route to the super-slab would have been rather tame!

  
Our morning would be spent sauntering west on super-slab 70. Riding in a group can be a tall order, but with out much ado, we quickly figured out an order and fell into a nice groove; changing lanes and fuel stops became fluid and we operated as one; we would continue to operate this way until the last minutes of our grand tour. By noon, we were stuck in traffic with a great view of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis...
  
The rebar infused concrete overpass flexed while we alternated between creeping forward and sitting still on molten Milwaukee iron; after infinity seemed to pass, traffic began to flow west again and we deftly merged into the lane for Interstate 44. Soon afterwards Ole Girl reminded me that gas would be appreciated and my belly spoke up as well. I had no clue where to exit for vittles but I rolled the dice and scored when I located a Chipolte; there we consumed high-end Mexican fast food. Afterwards I spied a gas station a block away where we refueled. Back out onto the super-slab and into Missouri. Westbound the traffic was flowing nicely and the Xenon sun was shining!
Truck stops are great places to consume coffee, five hour energy drinks and people watch while doing all the above; we were not disappointed here...
 Our blue sky's started to dim and soon took on the color of lead as we continued west...
Our six-hundred mile day was winding down with a little drizzle and by the time we made our last gas stop, it was a light rain. The gravel parking lot of the gas station was pock-marked with craters, nonetheless, we navigated around them and were back out onto '44. The rain seemed to be getting worse so I poured on the steam. Soon we were at the Joplin KOA where we were greeted by a harder rain. At this point I was not to keen on sleeping in the rain and the proprietor of the KOA made me an offer I could not refuse...
  ...we spent the night in the lap of luxury! A very auspicious way to end our first day.

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