We drove from Bloomington, Indiana to Kansas City on Friday and Saturday of last week. It was supposed to be a one day drive, but the enormous ice and snow storm that hit Missouri on Thursday night changed plans for most travelers.
We left Friday morning and made it to St. Louis without running into any bad roads. Once we got to St. Louis though we were warned by friends and the local KMOX am radio station that things were especially bad west of St. Louis.
This tree was at a gas station we stopped at in the North side of St. Louis. When you see this tree, imagine seeing every tree like this. Unfortunately, although it is stunning to see, many trees don’t manage the extra weight very well and lose many of their branches. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if they didn’t collapse on top of powerlines. One women who called in to the KMOX radio show described how a powerline in her backyard was shooting 5 foot high sparks. That night be heard that approximately 1/2 million people were without power and some would have to wait about a week for power to be restored. They called out the national guard to help with the mess.
While in St. Louis we stopped at the LDS temple where I took the picture below. It wasn’t very busy since most people were probably staying home, but we were able to buy some fun stuff at the distribution center, including the 25th anniversary edition of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Krueger’s Christmas and the DVD version of the movie Legacy, the one that used to show only in Joseph Smith Memorial building in Salt Lake City.
So, things were looking up and we decided to press on West. Once we got close to Lake St. Louis we realized that the roads weren’t going to be that great as we drove further. We got a call from a friend whose parents and in-laws live in St. Louis and heard that things were supposed to be pretty bad further west and that I-70 was closed by Kingdom City, somewhere in the middle of MO.
We found out how true the warnings were when we got 30 miles East of Kingdom City and all movement stopped on the freeway. Things gradually let up, but it took us at least 2 hours to cross the 30 miles. Fortunately we found an open room in Kingdom City and managed to navigate through all the sleeping truckers to the Day’s Inn that the guy at the Hotels.com hotline had been able to book for us.
On Saturday morning (pictured here) we left early, again encountering some snow-packed roads, but were able to make it to Kansas City intact by early afternoon. However, over the morning trek we counted over 50 vehicles that had drifted or flown off of the road, going in the median, or into the side. Almost half were large semi-trailer trucks. We also saw a tour bus tipped precariously at 45 degree angle on the side of the road, and we saw someone in the median asking for help on his cell phone, the same person who had just sped past us a half-an-hour before.
So we felt blessed to make it here safely. Tomorrow my wife flies home after having spent the weekend looking for homes together and enjoying some time away from the children (while my mom watches them – thanks mom!). Hopefully we will sell our home quickly and find a good home quickly so I don’t spend to much time in my temporary basement apartment shown below.
Tomorrow I start a new job. (Although I left my second form of ID back in Indiana, so hopefully my job lasts longer than tomorrow!). If the next few weeks are as dramatic as our trip, I may have to reconsider all this change!