Yesterday Mitch and I arrived at Fort Leonard Wood in the middle of Missouri to visit a friend of ours who is stationed there in the army. First off, if you've never been to an army base, it is nothing like you imagine in the movies. There are no lines of soldiers constantly running everywhere, there are no jeeps or humvees around, and there are Pizza Huts, Burger Kings, and other signs of "civilization" everywhere. Our friend even lives in his own apartment with a kitchen, washer/dryer, his own room with a double bed, and only one roommate! It's a pretty sweet gig, as long as you don't mind waking up before dawn to do push-ups and dealing with the knowledge that at any point you could be sent to war. Pluses and minuses.
Yesterday was the first time that I saw what I had been expecting and wanting to see since we left, flat and boring farmland, which there was plenty of in southern Illinois. We then got to visit the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and was pleasantly surprised how pretty the interior of Missouri is. Obviously a different world than I'm used to in New Hampshire though. In New Hampshire it's expected that if you need something you can't find with a 5 minute drive, it will only take you an extra few miles of driving to get it. In Missouri, if you can't find what you're looking for in your area you can expect at least an hour long drive to a decent sized city that hopefully has what you're looking for. It gives you an appreciation for what it means when people say "Main Street America," where Main Street is literally your first and only stop for essentials.
Anyway, tomorrow we head further on and we're planning on stopping in Springfield to visit a friend of mine who graduate from Drury University who I met in London a year ago. After that it's on to Oklahoma and the great expanse of nothing in the great American Southwest. Hopefully the Civic won't crap out 70 miles from civilization and leave us stranded but I'm hoping that the repair work done a week ago will get the warhorse through the desert.
Oh and a word on the World Cup. If anyone can watch the USA game against Algeria and not become a fan of soccer instantly then they are beyond help and obviously a commie. We really don't have a timeframe on this drive but I made it very clear to Mitch that no matter what happens, I will be finding a place to watch every single game that the USA plays from now until they're eliminated, which hopefully won't be for another week at least. Hopefully the US can escape any bullcrap penalty shots given to Ghana, unlike the World Cup 4 years ago in Germany when they were victims of yet more questionable calls by the referee. But I digress.
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