Wednesday, 18 May 2016

What you don’t expect can sneak up on you

The first two days on the road went just about as expected.  Long, brain-numbing mile after mile after mile.

Today I expected things to get more interesting and they did. 

I pulled out of my lovely motel (tongue fully planted in my cheek), just East of St. Louis, and headed for Missouri.    Shortly after crossing the state line I found my way onto Historic Route 66.   

Now, there isn't much of anything about the Mother Road at this point and very few travel it.  It weaves through lots of lovely green vegetation with the occasional deserted old house or gas station popping up.  Though some folks front lawns are interesting.
A front yard to die for!
R66 is mostly just a quiet strip of old beaten up asphalt.  Compared to I44  Route 66 is a slow route with the road posted speeds running between 35 and 55 mph.

Many ask what use does R66 have in today’s life of high-octane interstates.  Well, about an hour into Missouri this question was answered when I came upon a very large transport truck that had gone off of I44 and dumped, no exploded,  its contents all over the road.  
Lifting the carcass
The clean-up wrecking crews were in the process of trying to lift what was left of the truck onto flatbeds.  Eastbound traffic on I44 was backed up mile upon mile for hours.  However, those who were able to get onto R66 were just whizzing along.  So much for what use R66 is.

Route 66 clear and free
 About 40 miles South West of Cuba, not the island, is a hamlet called Plato, not the philosopher, Just outside of Plato is, at least what’s left of it,  a great plantation style type of house.  Built circa 1840, this house is in its final death throes and won’t be standing for much longer.

The Bates-Geers house
Getting to Plato was a bit of a jaunt.  For some reason, I guess to give me a more direct route,  my GPS directed me onto a dirt road that after about 20 minutes led me to a flat cement bridge with a fast running river washing over it.   
A lovely drive, ending in water
At the point of entry to the bridge was a sign that read “non-navigable during high water”.  I doubt most people in this neck of the woods know what non-navigable means, much less able to read it.     
Looks can be deceiving
For any of you who have ever crossed over the Spanish Town Road Bridge in Jamaica, you'll know what I’m talking about.  Both roads are submerged and you cross at your peril.  I got out and figured I could make it.  Gunned the car, the water it turned out was much deeper than it appeared and the car did a nose dive and went slightly underwater before popping out the other side.   

Made it.  

The moral however is “be sure to roll up your diver side window before attempting this”.

Eventually made my way to Slabtown Road just outside of Plato and found the lovely old house. 

Photographed the Bates-Geers house and upon going back to the car guess what I found.  My rear tire was completely flat.  Rats.  So much for Ford’s tire sensors.  The stupid thing only started to ding as I was getting out of the car to photograph the house.  I thought the dinging was because I’d opened my door with my keys still in the ignition. 
Would have been nice if the tire sensor had gone off before the tire was fully flat.
Aren’t spare tires wonderful things! Changing the tire would have gone a lot quicker but I had to stop and chat with all the wonderful locals who wanted to know if I needed any help.

Made it to Lebanon, which was my objective all alone, dropped the tire off at Sawyer Tire and they’ll have it for me by 8 am tomorrow.

Off to find a motel and relax.

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