Sunday, September 30, 2007

Drove from Kansas City to Decatur, Illinois, today. Trip took about seven-and-a-half hours, including a lunch stop in Hannibal, Missouri. On the road I came across several pickup trucks with dogs riding in the back. One stood sentry atop a toolbox, his nose pointing straight into the wind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier animal in my life. (I know it’s not a good idea to drive around with a dog in the bed of your pickup. Nonetheless, when I was a little boy, my parents had a pickup and they used to drive around with my sister and me in the back!)

After I crossed the Mississippi into Illinois the landscape suddenly became more, well, boring. Flatter. Less colorful. It didn’t help that the highway I’d been on, U.S. 36, suddenly became a charm-free Interstate.

Around 4:30 I reached Springfield, home of the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which I will visit in the morning. Can never have too many presidential libraries on a road trip!

I stopped at a Super 8 – I actually have a Super 8 frequent traveler (or whatever) card. I checked in and went straight to my room. My tummy was rumbling, and I had to go to the bathroom RIGHT AWAY. I opened the door and immediately sat down. Then I noticed that the trash hadn’t been emptied. And that little bar of soap on the sink had been used. When I finally walked into the room I saw that the bed was unmade. For a minute I thought I’d just busted into somebody else’s room and gone to the bathroom urgently. Turns out the room hadn’t been made up. I went to the front desk and got a new room – in which the AC is broken and the TV remote is missing. But at least the bed was made.

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