1,000 Miles of Rain

Waukee, Iowa

Fire hose rain has dogged our trail for the past 12 hours. It’s unusual to drive more than 200 miles in the same rainstorm, but there’s a first for everything on the road.

The rain started last night past Laramie, Wyoming. It was the worst through Nebraska, all 460 miles of it. It’s dried up here, but the skies are still socked in.

The rivers, lakes, streams and ponds throughout the Plains, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois are swollen, like mountain rivers in the spring filled with run-off, except this is July in the Heartland. The trees and cornfields a lush green that would make the rain forest envious.

Rain wasn’t enough in Iowa, the first 120 miles I fought the wind. I never noticed before but the cornfields here list the same angle as the trees, it blows like crazy in this state. It’s hard work to keep the trailer from bouncing into the Hammer lane.

A high-tech take on a trucker message. Trailers usually carry a sign that says: Wide Right Turns. Motorists often see tractor trailers in the right hand lane, signaling a right turn but the nose of the trailer is pointing left, like the right turn is  a mistake. The cellphone-talking, ice cream-licking, iPod-checking four-wheeler will often try to sneak up the right side to scoot around the truck. Bad news  if the tractor meets the car at the corner.

Another sign of the times in the Plains states, it used to be the water tower announced a new town, but Stuart, Iowa has it’s name on the stem of a wind tower.

Next stop the World’s Largest Truck Stop, Walcott, Iowa for a Fourth of July hotdog. Final destination Columbus before retracing our steps to Omaha.

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