All adventures start somewhere, and mine started with the night before.
It's always hard to sleep the night before travel, but when you add the fun of a text from a friend who loves to stay up very, very late just as you are about to fall asleep, it makes for an even more difficult night before. So after about 5 hours sleep, i got up to the usual laundry, kittens, dog walking, kitchen cleaning and an additional list of to do's.
The always tentatively scheduled departure time was 7am. After all the usual, plus packing, ironing extra clothes for Sweetie, and lots of screaming from the kittens, it was 8:15 not when i headed out of town, but when i headed to the gas station for fuel and ice.
Yes, ice. As usual, i travel with food and cast iron in tow. When people want shrimp etouffee, they get it, if i can possibly deliver.
The original plan was for me to go pick up Daye in Arkansas on the way to Illinois. Since she was never able to call me with concrete plans, i simply headed for I-55 N.
The great thing about interstates is that you can really click the miles off. The sad thing is that what used to be scenic 35mph drives through small town centers with cops patrolling to make sure the visitors obeyed the speed limit or payed a nice fine to the city coffers on the little highways has instead become occasional stops at the cookie cutter exits that have built up away from the historic centers of these towns, featuring the same smorgasbord of chain gas stations, fast food restaurants, and the ubiquitous Wal-Mart.
Traveling alone is a good and a bad thing. It's good, because you don't answer to anyone else; if you want to stop and use the facilities or get a cup of coffee or put your feet up and read the paper for 20 minutes, you do it. It's bad, because it can get lonely.
So i stopped when i wanted, rested when i wanted, and ate a grapefruit in a grocery store parking lot without let or hindrance.
As for blogging, well, lots of places have wi-fi, and so i can sit here near the Mississippi/Tennessee border and drink decaf and get a post ready.
Aizu Byakko Matsuri -- Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima, Japan (ceremonial recreation of a march to war in 1868; through the 24th)
American Business Women's Day -- US
Barnesville Pumpkin Festival -- Barnesville, OH, US (through the 25th)
Breakfast, Snack, Elevenses, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Tea, Snack, Dinner, Snack, More Snacks, Supper, Snack, and Bilgewack Celebration Day -- Fairy Calendar (Borms; they are little known relatives of Goblins, given to being overweight and sedentary and lying around feeling ill; bilgewack is their term for having eaten too much and having to lie down.)
Car-Free Day -- Europe; Montreal, Canada
Coya Rayni -- Inca Native Americans (festival to honor Moon Goddess Quilla, with a focus on purging sickness and evil; through tomorrow)
Dear Diary Day
Elephant Appreciation Day
Fairmount Museum Days/Remembering James Dean Festival -- Fairmont, IN, US (through the 25th)
Feast of Mikeli -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (harvest celebration; through the 24th)
Ice Cream Cone Day
Independence Day -- Bulgaria; Mali
International Day of Radiant Peace -- www.radiantpeace.org
National Centenarians Day -- US
Princess Martha Louise's Birthday -- Norway (an official flag day)
Ritual of the Netjers of the Two Lands (Upper and Lower Egypt) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar
St. Maurice's Day
World Maritime Day -- UN
Bonnie Hunt, 1964
Scott Baio, 1961
Joan Jett, 1960
Andrea Bocelli, 1958
Debby Boone, 1956
Shari Belafonte, 1954
Tommy Lasorda, 1927
Michael Farriday, 1791
Lord Chesterfield, 1694
Today in History:
Legion I Italica is created by Emperor Nero, 66
Switzerland becomes an independent state, 1499
The General Provincial Court at Patuxent, MD, US, empanels the first all female jury in the colonies to try the case of a woman accused of murdering her child, 1656
A final 8 people are hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Mass., 1692
Nathan Hale is hanged for spying during American Revolution, 1776
Russia establishes a colony at Kodiak, Alaska, 1784
City of Des Moines, Iowa, is incorporated as Fort Des Moines, 1851
Richard Wagner's opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich, 1869
The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published, 1888
Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather, King George III, as the longest reigning monarch in British history, 1895
Italo Marchiony granted a patent for an ice cream cone, 1903
The Duke of York's Picture House opens in Brighton, now the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain, 1910
Ralph J. Bunche becomes the first black winner of the Nobel Peace Price, 1950
The Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library, 1991
David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon, 2003