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roadmaven

Kuralt Was Right.

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"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." -- Charles Kuralt

 

No kidding. If I ever had doubts about this statement, they were dashed this weekend. I took a "mental health trip" spanning some 1256 miles throughout the midwest and southeast. I gassed up the car Saturday morning at 8:30 in Indy , jumped on I-74 to Cincinnati, where I picked up I-75 to Knoxville, TN, where I picked up I-40 to Nashville, where I picked up I-24 to Paducah, KY, where I picked up US 60 to Sikeston, MO and called it a day. 769 miles total! I took all of 3 pictures Saturday. The first one wasn't on the interstate, but of Sanders Cafe in Corbin, KY. The other two were on I-40 west of Knoxville where I took a couple of driving shots of some hillsides that were painted in some nice autumn hues. Unfortunately, it was dark by the time I got to Cairo, IL, so I basically missed the view driving over the 2-lane bridge over the Ohio River, immediately followed by the 2-lane bridge over the Mississippi River: Cairo I'm not a big fan of water and high places. However, the darkness got me across both bridges with ease, even though while crossing both I was certain a bridge collapse was imminent. :unsure: I made it to Sikeston and unfortunately no mom & pop motel was to be found, so I stayed where "life's great". I was on the side of the motel where a McDrivethru was within 20 yards of my window. Lovely!

 

Sunday's drive was much more enjoyable. I took US 61 north out of Sikeston to St. Louis. Very nice drive, although I'm glad I didn't decide to drive north out of Sikeston Saturday night looking for a motel, 'cause there weren't any to be seen for miles. The road is a great road to drive though. I thought it was odd that there was a 1-lane bridge to be found on a US highway. Don't see that too often. I entered a Wal-Mart in Festus, MO where I'm happy to report 10 copies of American Road were on the shelf on the magazine rack there. Back on the road, I made it to St. Louis, picked up some St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, and jumped on I-64 through town. I picked up some of 66 in Illinois, then I-55 up to Springfield where I picked up I-72 and then I-74 back home. Nice quiet weekend. Uneventful, but trips are what you make of 'em. Look forward to more of my trip reports in my personal search to see if there IS anything to see on the interstates.

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Well, I guess if you've decided to drive interstates, there are worse choices than I-75 through KY. But I'm glad to see you got back on the right track in Paducah. If you had made it a 794 mile day (What's another few miles at that point?) you could have stayed at the Hickory House Inn in Dexter and sampled some Kip recommended BBQ.

 

I rather like the bridges at Cairo but I've never crossed them at night. However, I have found that doing it between a pair of semis adds something to the experience. Maybe I'll have to work on a midnight crossing with steel toting semis in front and behind for that ultimate thrill.

 

By the way, I believe you've probably set a new record for the most 'I-'s in a forum post. :lol:

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If you had made it a 794 mile day (What's another few miles at that point?) you could have stayed at the Hickory House Inn in Dexter and sampled some Kip recommended BBQ.

 

You know, I knew there was a restaurant or something down that way you and Kip talked about. For some reason I kept thinking it was in Sikeston, although I knew it wasn't Lambert's. Shoot, I coulda used some BBQ this weekend too! Well, I reckon another weekend trip is in store! :D

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I don't like those Cairo bridges, day OR night. But the continuation across the levee into Misery is even more fun!!! You just know if one of those 18 wheelers coming the other way decides he wants the WHOLE highway you ain't go no place to go!!! Except straight down.

My daughter would rather swim across the river than use the bridge. LOL

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Edited by hester_nec

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You know, I knew there was a restaurant or something down that way you and Kip talked about. For some reason I kept thinking it was in Sikeston, although I knew it wasn't Lambert's. Shoot, I coulda used some BBQ this weekend too! Well, I reckon another weekend trip is in store! :D

 

 

While in Sikeston you coulda walked about 1/2 block west and had throwed rolls at Lamberts. Glad you took U.S. 61 from there to STL because that's a cool trip, especially in October. Why I-55 to Springfield to Indy rather than I-70 the entire trip?

 

I don't believe we could do interstates unless time was really a factor. Totally boring and loaded with trucks. Two lanes forever!....Bliss (GO CARDS!!!!!!!)

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Why I-55 to Springfield to Indy rather than I-70 the entire trip?

 

Well, it was about 3pm and I had a hankerin' for a cheeseburger and vanilla shake at the Launching Pad. Then I reazlized by the time I got there and back home, it'd be after 10. Next trip! So at that point I veered off in Springfield. I'd have taken 36 home, but I didn't want to get in the covered bridge festival traffic in Indiana.

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Ain't it great to be called upon to explain why you drove the interstate instead of (as I know you must all do for friends, co-workers, & relatives) explaining why you didn't. :P

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I know what you mean Denny.

 

I find most of my vacations end up being a combination of both. When driving, I take the Interstate for the first 30 minutes or so from home before branching off as I have covered the local two lanes more often, the look for the routes I really prefer to drive.

 

When flying somewhere, I often take the Interstate to the first location to get acclimated to the area, and then start the exploration trips.

 

But I know our relatives in New Hampshire could not understand why it took so long to drive from Allentown PA to Bennington VT to visit. I don't think they will ever get it either...

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I am not much of a superslab guy, but have to admit that I-75 from its western terminus in Utah, to Denver, is one impressive ride. Construction had to overcome formidible obstacles. The scenery is breathtaking.

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[font=Aria :D l Black]

Absolutely concur. Our local antique car club took a weekend jaunt from Hampton Roads, Va. through the Shenandoah Valley, nearly 500 miles and none of it on the interstate. It was a great, leisurely trip with some beautiful scenery. Let the trucks have the interstates and save the two lane roads for me.

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I'm not much of a bridge person either, especially the bridges at Cairo but I will go out of the way to stop at Cairo just to go to Fort Defiance and relax and watch the two rivers at the confluence. Its a grand sight and worth a stop.

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I was just able to purchase three Charles Kuralt books at a used book store. Reckon I'm in for some good reading.

 

Has anyone read any of his books?

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I've read one or two of his books. They're much like the show with many short standalone stories.

 

Now here's a story combining Charles Kuralt, a road trip, and a used book:

 

On the way home from the Springfield, MO, Route 66 Festival, I stopped at the Ernie Pyle Museum in Dana, IN. I only knew of Ernie as a war correspondent and was surprised when Charles Kuralt, speaking from a video, said that Ernie had been one of his inspirations. I learned that before the war he had written travel columns. The museum had a small book of reprints available so I bought a copy. It contained columns he had written in the 1930s on the southwest and I really enjoyed reading about the Arizona, southern California, Nevada, and New Mexico of 60 plus years ago. One story involves a visit to Boulder Dam while it was under construction (and still called Boulder Dam). Not too long after that, I was rummaging through Alibris or Amazon Marketplace (used & discount books) and found a deal on "Ernie's America - The Best of Ernie Pyle's 1930s Travel Dispatches". I made the buy and have a thick and interesting collection to tackle when the snow arrives. The foreword is written by none other than Mr. Kuralt.

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