Leaving On a Jet Plane...Well, Actually In an RV..

Trip Start May 31, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Sunday, June 20, 2010

It is Father's Day and I really don't want to leave. But, I know it is the right thing to do. Grandpa helped us get everything hooked up this morning and greased the hubcaps for us. He headed off to see Grandma before church while we finished packing and putting things away. I noticed one of the tires was low again and made a mental note to fill it up in Broken Bow before we head on down the road. We checked the weather - there was still a front on the Nebraska-Kansas border, but we should be through the Lincoln/Nebraska City area before the afternoon storms hit.

We stopped in Broken Bow to give Grandpa his Father's Day card and to see Grandma briefly. We headed on to Ansley and got air for the tire there. We just pulled out of town and called LORA to get a reservation when the front emergency window popped open and began flapping in the wind. I guess I didn't latch it properly or the bumpy road just shook it loose. Anyway, I pulled over and fastened it closed and we went on our way. It looked like the afternoon would be likely for storms so we're trying to get through the front before then.

We made it through Grand Island and down I-80 and just as we got into the Lincoln area, it started to rain a little. We had the weather radio turned on and JJ was checking weather on the phone. It didn't look like anything severe so we kept going towards Nebraska City. We pulled off the road a couple of times when it seemed like the rain was getting heavier and thought about heading straight South to get out of it. But, then the rain would let up and we would continue. At one point, we got off on a side road that eventually became a gravel road that was partially flooded. We ended up having to turn the whole rig around at a T intersection and back track a bit. (Thank goodness for those backing up lessons!)

We stopped for fuel near Nebraska City and kept going. We crossed over into Iowa and headed South on I-29 towards St Joseph, MO. Somewhere around the Iowa/Missouri border, the rain became torrential and the wind was blowing so hard the rain was coming in sheets sideways. We had the wipers on high and still couldn't see anything in front of us and barely knew if we were on the road or in our lane. Cars were pulling off the road everywhere. The ditches were full of water. The situation became VERY intense VERY quickly. I was scared, but something told me we needed to keep going. I knew there was nowhere for us to pull off the road that would be safe. We were driving in the right lane at about 30-35 mph with our hazard lights, head lights, and fog lights on to make sure we could be seen. Someone in an SUV was in the left lane back a little bit doing the same thing. I was praying that we would get out of that mess safely. I was worried the kids were scared as there were huge lightning strikes all around us and thunder booming all around. We took turns praying out loud and that helped some. We started singing "Shout to the Lord" together and finally after about 10-15 miles of this severe weather (which seemed like an eternity), the clouds broke up and blue sky shown through and we then turned our prayers into 'thank yous'. It felt like the blue sky was just for us as an answer to our prayers. It took me until we got to Kansas City to stop shaking from that ordeal.

We continued towards Lake of the Ozarks following the GPS directions. I had been having computer problems at Grandpa's house, so I wasn't able to research our route thoroughly, but looking at the map, it looked alright. What I didn't realize was the nice 4-lane road we were traveling on would eventually become a very narrow, poorly marked, winding county road through big hills and go across several bridges that were being renovated. We ended up on this little bitty road in pitch black night. We went through a lot of small towns with everything closed and nowhere to stop (including one named Tightwad with a building claiming to be the 'Bank of Tightwad'). Several of the bridges under repair were one-way and a couple of times we ended up stopped on the middle of a long bridge waiting our turn for the light. I was able to look to my left and see rebar grids and the water below - very unnerving!!

We did finally make it to our campground, pulled in, plugged in and went to sleep without really setting up. It had been an exhausting 12 hour journey, but we made it!
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