Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Breather in St. Louis

On Sunday, I took a long walk with the dogs around the University of Wyoming campus, then came back to the Travelodge in beautiful downtown Laramie so we could get on the road. The transition from Wyoming to Nebraska is stark; the mesas and brown lands and mountains turn almost immediately to green, rolling hills, which trail off into flat farmland. Rachel and I got far enough ahead of Jennifer, Hannah and Olivia so we could take a swing around the Wyoming state Capitol, just to say we saw it, and get back on the highway. At this point, we were listening to "Thud," a Terry Pratchett fantasy novel about Discworld. The last time I listened to it, I was going to and coming from Berkeley; it was disconcerting this time to listen to it on the Plains. We also stopped briefly in Kearney at the prairie arch; since we had the dogs, we didn't go in, but we wandered around and stretched our legs.

We made it to Lincoln well before nightfall, and Hannah, Olivia and I took a dip in the pool. The Ramada Inn South was quite nice, and the dogs again were well-behaved. In the morning, we headed out on Nebraska 2 to Iowa, where we hooked up to I-29 on the way to Independence, Mo., where we had a picnic lunch in a park across the street from the Truman Library. I worked in Independence in 1989, so I enjoyed driving around and seeing the old sights -- the Truman home, Independence Square, the newspaper, the RLDS auditorium and the "center place," where Jesus is to return, according to Joseph Smith. After filling up, we made the last leg of the trip to my in-laws' house in St, Louis in about three and a half hours, and here we are. Today, we say "Ratatouille" in digital projection -- I thought the film lagged a bit in the second act, mainly because the characters of Remy's brother and dad are underdeveloped, but I thought it was very funny and moving overall, and the digital projection gave it a stunning sharpness.

July 4 we rest again, then Jennifer and I take off early in the morning July 5 to close in Tuscaloosa.


Gina Tempel said...

Hi Richard,

We're enjoying reading your blog and glad to hear that you made it safely to St. Louis.

Anna and I were watching old videos the other night, and came across the 11th Street kindergarten Christmas play of the "Night Before Christmas" with you narrating. We laughed so hard that we cried watching Rachel and Anna as reindeer and all the other kindergarten kids, especially the directionally challenged Santa Claus. We have a lot of good memories about all of you LeComtes in Reno. We look forward to visiting sometime in the future in Tuscaloosa.

Gina, Sig, Anna

Forrest Hartman said...

Another great post. I've always wanted to drive across the country, so I'm enjoying the scenic descriptions.