The adventure begins... 

In the summer of 2004, my family and I decided to take a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There, we would meet up with some more family members, and spend a week at the beach. It sounded like a great adventure.
This is the route we planned to take on our round-trip to the Outer Banks, and except for a couple of short-cuts it's the route we ended up taking. I was excited about the trip; not only would we be seeing the Atlantic Ocean, but the journey would give me a chance to visit some places I'd always wanted to see. There were also several states along the way that I'd never visited before.
Day One: Tuesday, June 22 
I loaded up Satori, my midnight blue Dodge Caravan, got my wife and three kids, and we all hit the road. We got a late start leaving Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The earlier in the day you get started, the more sunlight you've got to help you drive. We didn't hit the road until late morning, which hurt us. We headed north from Broken Arrow and connected with Interstate 44 near Catoosa. That's where I-44 becomes the Will Rogers Turnpike, from Tulsa to the Missouri border. We followed I-44 all the way to St. Louis. 
On Interstate 44, we passed under the world's largest McDonald's near Vinita, Oklahoma. Years before it was bought by McDonald's, it was called the Glass House Restaurant. No kidding: This is actually where I had my high school senior prom. 
In Joplin, we stopped at the truck stop for some lunch... and it was possibly the worst restaurant experience I've ever had to put up with. It was expensive, the cornbread was cold, the service was lousy, the chicken was dry, and we ended up wasting an hour and a half in there. I'm never going back. It was 3:30 in the afternoon before we made Lebanon, Missouri, where we passed a place advertising "Things & Stuff for Sale."
No, it's just 
the name 
of the town. 
Move along. 
At 6 PM we hit St. Louis, and the guys got to see the Gateway Arch as we went over the Mississippi River. Zack started taking pictures with his little disposable camera. Interstate 44 ends in St. Louis, where we picked up Interstate 70 eastward into Illinois. Shortly after that, Satori clicked over 110,000 miles. On the Illinois, we passed a town called St. Elmo, and I wondered if there was a St. Elmo's Fire Department. I'd buy that t-shirt. As late afternoon turned into evening, we passed miles and miles of fields bursting with corn and other crops.
At Exit 159, a giant cross suddenly loomed out of the trees on the side of the road, not unlike the giant one along Interstate 40 in Texas. This one was 198 feet high, constructed by the First Baptist Church of Effingham, Illinois, "the Crossroads of America." It's possible there was no pun intended. 
After dark, we crossed over the border into Indiana, and arrived in Indianapolis at 10:30. We had some trouble finding the hotel, since the map was all screwed up, but we finally found it. I locked the bicycle up in the car, just to be safe. I drove 641 miles that day. I had no trouble falling asleep that night.
Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6 -- Day 7 
Day 8 -- Day 9 -- Day 10 -- Day 11 -- Day 12 -- Day 13 
 All original content copyright (c) 2004 by Tim Frayser  --