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I was most disappointed to find it didn’t snow in the night.

Those were words I was going to regret later. We were up and away early, hitting the Sullivan McDonald’s for a couple of Egg McMuffins before going to St Louis. We spent ages looking at all the desirable goodies in REI, on the whole managing to not buy anything much. I did get a lightweight backpacking tripod which would have been very handy over the past week.

We got a call from the kids – their train was ahead of schedule so off we went arriving at the station just as their train arrived. Now I only had the two hundred odd mile drive back to Springfield to deal with. I wish I’d kept quiet about the snow. As we got near to Sullivan there were two inches; it was freezing on the road making the surface very treacherous, and it had started blowing almost a blizzard. I wonder what the troop of boy scouts that arrived at Meramec State Park the previous night made of that turn of events.

There was a jack knifed truck blocking the I44 at Sullivan, and over the next fifty miles I counted at least 10 wrecks. Mostly and worryingly minivans that had left the road and either tangled with the central reservation or the roadside ditch.

By Rolla the road was clear and we’d dodged the snow but it was slow and very nasty going for a while. We got home around four, and later we treated ourselves to a Mexican at our favourite place – Amigos. Pulling back into the garage I noticed that one of the headlamps was out. D’oh! They were both working on the drive home from St Louis.

Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.