Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Travel Tales: LA to Akron 2014 - Day Two

A night time view looking across the Mississip...
A night time view looking across the Mississippi River of the St. Louis Arch and city skyline. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had a great night's sleep and left Amarillo later than I normally would have done. I fully intended to take it slowly for the next two or three days. I had not recovered from my injuries and I did not want to push as hard as I had the previous day. However, the Weather Channel had a surprise for me. I would encounter severe weather and possibly tornadoes on the third day. My entire route would be in the danger zone. My objective was to get as close as I could to the eastern outer edge of that zone on the second day. That way I could run ahead of the storms on the third day.

I had a good reason for pressing on with my trip instead of waiting it out in a hotel. One year I was traveling west in Texas and was planning on staying in Amarillo. As I was driving I noticed how two weather systems seemed to be moving towards each other. I decided to drive out of the area. Later that night a tornado and large hail damaged homes and vehicles in Amarillo. I did not want to be in a similar situation where my car could be damaged in a storm, so I kept driving.

After an hour on the road the rain started and it poured. Rain is always worse when drivers are traveling on the interstate. Every time I had to pass a truck I got a huge backwash from the truck's tires. My first instinct was to brake, but then I realized I had to power forward to get clear of the water. When I would pass the truck, I would get hit with a huge blast of wind. This went on for my entire time in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. The day was absolutely miserable, so I did not take any photos.

I was able to drive straight through St. Louis since it was after rush hour. I was happy about that since I do not like to take the bypass. The Arch is always so beautiful at night and I was able to see it during a lull in the rain.

I reached my goal that day which was to drive to Effingham, Illinois. This city was on the very edge of the severe weather zone for the next day. I needed to evaluate my situation the next morning to see if I would stay in Effingham during the storm or try to make it home.
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