LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - Today's drive was a mixed blessing. We officially entered into the Eastern half of the country at 1:52 pm Central time, crossing the Mississippi River in St. Louis. We celebrated with lunch and and a pale ale at the Schlafly brew pub, a local institution in St. Louis.
We drove through five states today - Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Although the scenery was beautiful, we also saw considerable destruction left in the wake of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ike: flooded roads, swollen rivers, downed trees and miles-upon-miles of destroyed crops. Here in Louisville there are 200,000 residents still without power. Our hotel is across the street from a storm evacuation center, and National Guard trucks are lumbering up and down the street.
We also heard from Lori's brother, Don, who lives in Houston with his daughter, Wendy. Don's house escaped major damage and flooding, but he expects to be without power for a week or two. He considers himself among the luckier in his neighborhood. All of this is all the more ironic for us given the perfect weather we've enjoyed on this trip.
Today's tacky Jesus sign award is a tie between the big green "Jesus" sign near the St. Louis Arch, and a sign near Kansas City that reads "Jesus is our repose." I am still contemplating the meaning of that one.
Tomorrow we will head eastward on I-64, and expect to get to Charlottesville sometime in the evening. We've had a great adventure seeing so much of this amazing country of ours. But we are road weary and ready to reach our new home.