Leaving Tennessee on a beautiful morning, the woods were so lush and moist they looked edible. I drove narrow winding back roads to get to the highway leading to Missouri. I wanted to get past St. Louis by the end of the day, about 300 miles.
I was listening to a really good audiobook mystery and must have zoned out. I looked up and saw a sign for Paducah. Wait a minute. Paducah? Hell, I didn’t even know I was in Kentucky. Well, one of the most famous quilt stores in the country is in Paducah as well as the National Quilt Museum but I’ve already visited both so once I confirmed that I was indeed supposed to travel through a little tip of Kentucky to get to St. Louis, I decided to just keep driving. But then something very strange happened.
I must have gone into a fugue state because I regained consciousness standing at the check-out register at Hancock’s of Paducah with several yards of Kaffe Fassett fabric in my arms. Hmmm. How’d that happen?
Back on the road I continued listening to my mystery and wondering why I wasn’t hungry. Driving a car probably doesn’t qualify as a high energy workout so I was grateful that I wasn’t junk food bingeing as I usually do when I’m driving. Normally I convince myself that if I’m vacationing so are my fat cells and Doritos, BBQ Fritos, popcorn & beef jerky calories don’t count.
I jerked out of my food-related reverie when I noticed a sign telling me I was in Indiana. That can’t be right. By the time I found an exit to pull over to check with Siri on my GPS I was in Missouri. I began to believe that my car has an automatic pilot. I also believe in guardian angels.
I was a little intimidated anticipating driving through St. Louis but it was a piece of cake. I stopped for coffee to figure out where I was going to spend the night. I located Graham Cave State Park near Danville, MO and decided to camp there. I actually drove down a dirt road to find the park and was getting a little spooked but finally found the ranger station. This campground is on the honor system. You pick up an envelope, locate a site you like, put your $$ in the envelope and drop it off when you leave. It’s a very pretty little campground with confusing shower and bath facilities. There are two separate rooms – one for the toilets and one for the showers. Naturally I kept walking into the wrong one to meet my needs but met some really nice women in both All in all, another comfortable night and I was packed up and ready to go by 6:15 a.m. because I wanted to check out the prehistoric cave before leaving the park.
The cave was occupied 8,000 – 10,000 years ago but do you think I could find it? No. At 6:30 in the morning there was no one around to ask. I tried three times to follow the signs to the cave but the only trail I could locate was through the woods for 1/4 mile and I just didn’t feel comfortable trekking through the woods alone. So exploring the cave will have to wait for another visit.
I’ll be in Nebraska tomorrow.