Saturday, July 12, 2008

The end of a long driving day - half way there

Short update tonight, because I am dog tired.

We are at the Wa Keeney Travel Plaza 24-7 Truck Stop, at the junction of I-70 and US-283 in Wa Keeney, Kansas (map).

We had a relatively uneventful drive from Badlands today. We did have about a ten minute or so stop for road construction on South Dakota 44 going through the Pine Ridge Reservation, and we changed drivers twice somewhere in Nebraska so that Louise could relieve me for half an hour or so.

During my little break, I did some more work with the mapping software, and determined that we could shave another dozen miles off by cutting over to US-283 via Kansas 23 and US-50, and so we turned off onto 23 just outside of Selden. The tentative plan from there was to overnight and have dinner in Hoxie, which resources showed as having a free city park and at least two restaurants.

When we arrived in Hoxie, at least one of the restaurants was defunct, and another looked mostly unappealing. The clincher was that the city park was virtually inaccessible, with a humpy driveway and a low tree, and did not really evidence any signs of being overnight-friendly. It was also still early in the day, around 6:30 Central time (and our bodies are still on Mountain, where is was only 5:30), so we decided to press on.

That put the kibosh on continuing down 23 all the way to US-50, because there were absolutely no restaurants, nor any apparent overnight spots, along that route until Cimarron, a good three hours further. So we opted instead to hop on I-70 from 23, and head east to Wa Keeney, where the guides showed two truck stops and a few restaurants. While this route is a couple miles longer than continuing on 23, it's still about ten miles shorter than the original plan of US-83 all the way to Texas.

That kept us on the road about an hour longer than planned, but we were able to just walk over to dinner (no wine, though), and also get gas for the scooters. As a bonus, we are now just 50 miles shy of the halfway mark, with about 700 miles to go to Austin. That will put us arriving Monday afternoon, well before closing. Tomorrow night, with any luck, we should be in central Texas someplace southwest of Wichita Falls, after crossing the Red River from southwest Oklahoma.

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