Monday, July 20, 2015

Brookland to Council Bluffs – 588 miles

cb best western

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Here I am in my $100 room at the Crossroads Best Western in Council Bluffs at the end of a 588-mile day.

I left about 6:15 a.m. after almost forgetting to pack my air mattress and inflator. It was a steamy 80 degrees, but I stayed reasonably comfortable most of the day as I worked my way north through cooler latitudes.

The only real angst of the day came after I left the Pilot truck stop/Subway at Collins, Mo., heading for Kansas City. Garmin started alerting me to 99-minute delays ahead, which I suppose is the default maximum delay in its traffic vocabulary. I checked each one and clicked the Avoid button, but to no avail. A couple of times the female GPS voice started repeating the alert every 20 seconds, nattering on without cease about supposed traffic crises ahead.

I decided to ignore the warnings and follow Garmin’s recommended path around the south and east and north sides of KC and encountered only one stop-and-go construction delay that cost me about 5 minutes. Once past Kansas City, the alerts stopped.

I stopped in St. Joseph, Mo. for an Arby’s jamoca shake and to nail down lodging for the night. I probably could have done better, but there it is. I’m on pace to reach Billings by Wednesday night, where I could camp free and save motel money. I find that idea appealing.

I got to my motel at 5:40 p.m., dumped my stuff in my room and stumbled across the parking lot to another Arby’s for a roast beef sandwich.

It’s still about a half-hour before the 8:52 p.m., sunset, but I’m giving serious consideration to going to bed.

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