600 Miles of Beauty

What a day! By a wide margin today provided my dad and I with the best experience so far on our cross country trip to Myrtle Beach. We drove in four states, saw beautiful country, went by major cities, experienced some interesting weather, and knocked out over 600 miles.

My dad and I had a GREAT day on the road going through four states.

My dad and I had a GREAT day on the road going through four states.

We hit the road early this morning as we were cruising in the U-Haul by 6:30 a.m. Reason for leaving so early was twofold: We wanted to end the day earlier than the past two days and frankly we wanted to get out of Iowa as soon as possible (did I really just say that?). It didn’t take long until we entered Missouri, the state where we would spend the majority of the day driving through. The Show Me State was absolutely beautiful as we enjoyed the vibrant green trees lining us on both sides and pristine cut grass dividing the east and west roads. We forgot about the beauty though for about ten minutes as we drove through a torrential downpour. After the rain let up and we could breathe a little easier we admired the ensuing lightning storm that lit up the morning sky.

The highlight of the ride through Missouri for me was going past Kansas City and getting a gorgeous glimpse right inside Kaufmann Stadium. We also stopped in Columbia where we fueled up and then enjoyed lunch at Lee’s Famous Chicken. Ending our tour through the state was a ride by St. Louis where we saw the Gateway Arch and the Edward Jones Dome.

I took this photo of St. Louis from our U-Haul.

I took this photo of St. Louis from our U-Haul.

Right after St. Louis we entered Illinois. The scenic views from Missouri carried into the Prairie State as lush greens continued to dominate the landscape. We mostly drove right through except for a stop at a rest area where my dad and I stretched our legs and strategized on where we would end the day at.

The decision of our mini meeting was to stop in Paducah, Kentucky. Although we flirted with the idea of driving all the way through to Nashville we thought back to our goal at the beginning of the day to try to leave ourselves more time to enjoy the evening. We honored our ambitions and drove the short ninety minutes from the rest stop in Illinois to the Hampton Inn of charming Paducah. As I sit here in our room I am looking forward to a nice dinner at the town’s most popular steakhouse, some relaxation, and then the NBA Playoffs later tonight.

With the sun and high 70's weather in Kentucky please excuse the sunglasses.

With the sun and high 70’s weather in Kentucky please excuse the sunglasses.

Here are today’s stats:

Total Mileage Today: 605 miles

Total Mileage for Trip: 1864 miles

Number of States Visited Today: 4 – Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky

Number of Stops Today: 4 – Outside of Council Bluffs, IA (needed to shut my door harder), Middle of Nowhere, MO (bathroom break), Columbia, MO (gas and lunch), Middle of Nowhere Illinois (strategy meeting and bathroom break), Paducah, KY (ending point of the day).

Food Consumed During Today’s Drive: Lee’s Famous Chicken 5-piece dark chicken box, 1 pack of Planters Heat Peanuts.

Drinks Consumed During Today’s Drive: Can of Xyience Energy Drink (Tangerine Twister flavor).

I had a really nice time today! Can tomorrow top it? We are aiming high as we look to make it all the way to my new home of Myrtle Beach which would put us in town one day early. We will have to drive over 700 miles and deal with losing an hour but we will try to make it happen. Thanks for the interest and support during this cross country extravaganza. Remember that you can follow live updates of my journey via Twitter (@BrentReser) and you can make my day by tweeting at me by utilizing the #BrentCoastToCoast hashtag. I can almost smell the beach from here. Don’t Blink.

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