Home Up Day 15

Day 14-Columbia, MO to Beckley, WV

Our goal today was to make it to Charleston, WV - which was a pretty good hike, plus we'd lose an hour crossing back into the Eastern time zone. We were trying to get home by late Friday, so we could surprise our granddaughter Kamryn at her birthday party on Saturday. She'd been told that we were not going to be home in time for it. So it was pedal to the metal time. No sightseeing or long stops. We were up and out of Cottonwoods by about 8:30, and the A/C belt seemed to have stopped squeaking for the moment. The weatherman was calling for 100+ degrees today in St Louis and Louisville, so we knew it would be another hot and muggy day. The air was thick with humidity, one thing that I'd certainly not missed out in the higher elevations out west.  We hit St Louis by around 10 a.m, there was some traffic but not a lot, although there was a big slowdown on the other side's westbound lanes just outside of town. We crossed over the Mississippi and into Illinois, and hooked up with Interstate 64. Today we'd be heading down through southern Illinois and Indiana, and then over the Ohio River into  Louisville in Kentucky, across Kentucky, across the Ohio again (twice in one day!) and into Charleston.  Actually, this was a notable day for river crossings - in one day, we crossed the Missouri, the Mississippi, and the Ohio twice.  Hot, muggy, farmland dotted with wind turbines.

 At Cottonwoods RV Resort-note the trimmed off awning. 

 Crossing the Missouri

 The river was low - a dry spring

 Traffic jam near St Louis-westbound only, thank goodness

 Crossing the Mississippi

 Into Illinois, just over the river

 Crossing the Ohio into Kentucky

We hit Kentucky about 4:30, and stopped at the Kentucky Welcome Center around 5 pm. It was closed. We made good time across the state, the traffic was light and weather good, although still beastly hot and muggy. The outside air temp hovered in the upper 90s pretty much all day long. We stopped for dinner in Mount Sterling around 6:45, and then hit the road again. There were a lot of places the road cut through the limestone and made cavernous walls on either side of the road.  Crossed over into West Virginia, the road got rougher, there was a bit of construction. By the time we hit Charleston, it was dark, and I piloted the RV over and around the construction zones, up and down the hills, and it was a bit of an exciting time.  We stopped for gas somewhere outside of Charleston, and headed for Beckley - the next burb of any size. There weren't too many places to stop out here in the backwoods. By the time we rolled in to the Cracker Barrel in Beckley, it was 11 pm. Long day. 

 The Ohio River, first time

 Louisville skyline

 Welcome to Kentucky

 Interestingly, they pronounce the middle city "Ver-sails"

 Over the Ohio 2nd time today, into West Virginia
End of Day 14 - 700 miles exactly.
Day 13
Day 15