The Loneliest Road, St. Louis to Mt. Vernon, Kansas

It took an hour to get to St. Louis on I64. Traffic was moderately heavy and sometimes frantic. It rained heavily as I navigated the southern edge of the big city. You can complain about 18-wheelers all you want, but I have nothing but respect for these road warriors. I could barely see the lanes, so I got behind a tractor-trailer and followed. He slowed to a safe speed as we wound our way around overpasses, underpasses and roads going everywhere. Thank God for Google Maps GPS directions. One wrong turn and you’ll lose an hour. with crazy people driving too fast, we (my tractor-trailer and I) passed several accidents. I wasn’t dressed to get out in this rain, and thank God I didn’t have to. I finally found I44 and it started thinning out slightly. Now the trucks were all business, but I was trying to find Rt. 50.

Rt. 50 is a coast-to-coast highway and a main route before interstates. My goal is to travel this road to Nevada, where it gets its name, “The Loneliest Highway”. I have traveled it across Nevada, and it is appropriately named. Through this part of the country, it is simply a beautiful highway through beautiful country, lush farmland and small towns. America at its best.

This is Amish country with Amish restaurants and furniture stores. They take incredible care of the land. I wanted to stop at bakeries and shop antique stores, but I must get on. It’s Dutch country and New Holland tractor sales. Some parts of the road are four lanes with a speed limit of 65, while other parts are two lanes and 55 or 60 speed limits. For me, this is a very pleasant drive. I only took one wrong turn through an interesting town where 50 turns left with no sign, or maybe I was too busy looking at the sites.

I’m a sucker for Lewis and Clark, so I drove well out of my way to get to Clark’s hill where he surveyed the Missouri River where the Osage joins it. I hiked up the hill to a trail along a ridge overlooking the river. You could hear the river roaring. It is high and muddy and moving fast. I cannot imagine oaring those big, heavy boats up this river. It was hot with 100% humidity. I was sweating like a dog. At a platform, all you can see are trees, the way Clark would have seen it. I’ll post some other pictures when I get time.

I wanted to get to Dodge City, but by late afternoon, I had enough. Fortunately, there is a Corps of Engineers campground around Cheney Reservoir, or rather there are about 8 campgrounds. Still I was lucky to find a spot. 4th of July is coming up. This is a beautiful campground with very generous sites right on the lake. It would be a good place to stay for a while, but I must go in the morning. About 475 miles today, but then I took a nice hike.

  3 comments for “The Loneliest Road, St. Louis to Mt. Vernon, Kansas

  1. Jane-Ashley Skinner
    July 1, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Speaking of Osage, you must read Killers of The Flower Moon about the Osage Indians and the birth of the FBI. Peter and I listened to it on a road trip last year. Great book!

  2. Ron Lowry
    July 1, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Greg:  I view you as a “Road Warrior” Supreme in your own right.  So much to see and so little time ….will become more prevalent in our lives remaining time.Safe travels.R

    • July 5, 2020 at 7:26 am

      I agree Ron. Time is precious. So much to do, so little time. Looking forward to being on the river with you soon. It’s hot here, very hot!

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