6:17 a.m. Still dark outside, and kids are all hyped up. We're leaving 17 minutes later than planned. Noah's first act was to kill a mosquito in the van with a left-handed ninja strike.
They were happy to discover the surprises I had put in the van for them: pillow pets and new boxes of markers, crayons, pencils.
Coloring and listening to our traditional road trip CD (Mr. Stinky Feet)
Noah is playing Little League World Series on the Wii, which he and Mike figured out how to hook up in the van.
. 8:11 a.m. Opening Missouri bags as we cross the state line. Hoodie notebooks and trivia cards. “Yogi Berra was born in St. Louis. Yogi quote: Baseball is 90% mental; the other half is physical.” “Missouri is an Indian word meaning “owner of big canoes.”
8:54 a.m. getting on I-70, and Sally (the GPS) said, “Continue 223 miles.” Mysterious loads in both lanes slowing down traffic. Mike is grumbling about how "some people have no respect."
We have seen ten different states on license plates so far. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hawaii plate.
9:20 a.m. stop near St. Louis to empty out and fill up.
9:27 a.m. speed limit is now 70. Saw a sign that says, “MoDot cares.” Mike and I spent a long time discussing different states’ Department of Transportation acronyms. He got confused and thought Ohio would be Oodot.10:00 a.m. Mike is mocking my use of binoculars to look at license plates. I coined the term “bimockulars”. He’s starting to drive all over the shoulders. I’m afraid I’ll get stuck driving all across Kansas. Saw a truck with Missouri plates on the back and Iowa on the front. ??
11:00 a.m. Mike and I are discussing whether or not Jesus was ugly.
11:30 a.m. handing out homemade happy meals. Sarah got cat earrings in hers.
Noah got a little screwdriver set and tape measure in his.
12:00 p.m. gas in Oak Grove, MO. $3.36/gal x 16.689 gallons =$56.23
12:30 p.m. opening Kansas bags. Inside were little fans that light up, but they were duds. Kansas trivia: Kansas produces more wheat than any other state. During the Dust Bowl era, winds carried Kansas topsoil as far as 500 miles out to sea.
12:30 p.m. Mike is drinking an energy drink. We had an ugly moment when I was getting his drink, and the road was curvy, and I fell on the kids, and Sarah screamed at me.
12:55 p.m. speed limit 75. I read our last chapter of Caddie Woodlawn and did our devotional. Now hoping to have an hour of quiet time.
1:55 p.m. We listened to Clementine on CD, and nobody talked to me for an hour. This is how introverts survive being with people 24 hours a day. We’re at 1217 feet elevation, according to the elevation app that Mike just downloaded. Kids are back to watching Mythbusters. 92 degrees. We haven’t turned the air conditioning on yet. Mike discovered that if we have the defrost and lower air vents on, the van stays surprisingly cool with no a/c. He has driven 520 miles. He’s a good driver.
2:30 p.m. We’re talking about what a brilliant idea Eisenhower had to invent interstates. Mike tells me that at this elevation, water boils at 209.3 degrees. I ask why, and he mumbles something obscure about hot air rising and air pressure and ends it with, “I don’t know.”
2:45 p.m. Mike is carrying on an extensive conversation with Siri on his phone. Sarah gave me a cup of trail mix with zero M&Ms in it. I asked her if she picked them all out and ate them, and she said, “Maybe. I don’t remember.” Just saw a cow swimming in a lake, and it made me miss Marty, for no apparent reason.
4:00 p.m. Noah is being ridiculously silly, and Sarah said, “Noah! I am done with you!” He said, “I understand. I would be too.” 98 degrees. No a/c yet and still comfortable.
4:38 p.m. going by the home of the largest prairie dog in the world.
5:05 p.m. stopped to pee and get gas because Mike wisely didn’t want to risk running out of gas before we made it to Colby, where gas is cheaper. So he put in a gallon at some hot, stinky place 25 miles east of Colby. The flies were so bad that I had to stand outside the van and shoo them away while the kids got in.
5:30 p.m. gas at Dillon’s in Colby, KS. $3.39/gal x 17.382 gal = $59.08.
6:00 p.m. arriving at Holiday Inn in Goodland, KS. Great hotel, nice pool. 3400 ft elevation. Who knew Kansas was so high?
View from the hotel. Yep, it's Kansas. Noah and I wanted to eat immediately, but Sarah and Mike wanted to swim first. Noah and Mike did rock-paper-scissors, and Noah lost, so we went swimming first.