This summer we did one of our best adventures... ever! If any of our trips deserves the title "On the Road", it would be this trip: cruising nearly 12,000 km i three weeks. Wow! From Chicago we went down along the Mississippi to San Antonio in Texas. From Texas, we headed north west to Kalispell way up in Montana and finally headed east back to Chicago.
Part 1 : Chicago to San Antonio.
Part 2 : San Antonio to Kalispell.
Part 3 : Kalispell to Chicago.
Between Chicago and San Antonio we stayed in Rock Island in Iowa, St. Louis in Missouri, Forrest City in Arkansas and Greenville in Texas.
Click each photo to enlarge
Dublin, June 2016
For months we had been impatiently waiting on this day. But finally we could pack our backpacks. Roger made sure to bring his western guitar. After all we'd be spending the next three weeks on the road in western American.
We went to Dublin Airport and enjoyed the lounge. Excited,
McBear was studying all the aircraft.
"I thought you'd seen them all by now", Roger said teasing McBear.
He continued: "You know, once you seen an aircraft, you've seen them all: long cabin, pilots, two wings and two engines... well, sometimes four.
McBear didn't fully agree...
Rock Island, Illinois, June 2016
We arrived O'Hare in Chicago and headed west on Interstate 88 to the Mississippi and arrived at the Holiday Inn in Rock Island. We were all excited - well, until a thunder shower drowned our visions of the perfect holiday. But next morning the sky was blue...
We stopped in Buffalo at a bank to secure our funding. Or put it simple: We needed some cash in US Dollars. With sufficient funding, we went south along the Mississippi river. We had rented a car, a Chevy, in Chicago. Great car for cruising.
Nauvoo, Illinois, June 2016
We crossed the Mississippi in Madison and stopped for
a picnic lunch at the river bank.
"Did we bring coffee?" McBear asked
"Yeah... but I can't find the cups..." Tom said.
St. Charles, Missouri, June 2016
We stopped for the night at Hampton Inn in St. Charles near
St Loius in Missouri.
"I found the coffee cups!" Tom said excited. "They were in the bag with spare batteries..."
"Why on earth would you put them there?" McBear wanted to know.
"Well... I think I was thinking of "recharging", you know... batteries and recharging, coffee and recharging..."
"I see your logic..." McBear answered.
We wished to see the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. But it's huge, so
in order to see the arch in its entirety, you need to cross the
Mississippi River and view the arch from the east.
"Can an aircraft fly through it?" Angus wanted to know.
"Easy!" McBear responded. "But don't tell Roger - he'd want to try!"
St. Genevieve, Missouri, June 2016
On the way south we stopped in St. Genevieve as there are a lot of old houses remaining from the time of the French colonisation of America in the 1700s.
St. Genevieve, Missouri, June 2016
We wished to do a ferry ride across the Mississippi, however the ferry was in dock for maintenance and repair.
On our way through Arkansas, we followed the Interstate 40 and then the 30. We kept the road atlas nearby - just in case our humans should get lost.
We wanted to see the birth place of former US president Bill Clinton. The home is located in Hope, a small town. We found the exit on the interstate 30 and went around Hope in search of more signs. But at the end we had to leave all hope - there was no hope of finding Clinton's birth place in Hope!
Greenville, Texas, June 2016
The interstate 30 went through Texarkana and then we crossed the border to Texas! We stopped in Greenville for the night and enjoyed the "saloon" in our room.
As per usual after a long day on the road, McBear got busy downloading photos and emailing everybody at home and checking today's news. Now, the hotel didn't have a bear sized desk, but Barry's Teabags made a brilliant substitution.
Before we left the next morning, Roger was sporting his hat
(again) to make sure he looked his very best.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest bear of all?"
"ME, of course," was the answer.
Then Roger heard a voice asking through the door. "Are you done?"
"Good God", Roger mumbled. "Everybody is impatient nowadays!"
San Antonio, Texas, June 2016
We arrived the Pyles's residence in San Antonio for a stay with relatives of one of our humans.
San Antonio is a huge city in southern Texas - it's actually in the top 10 of the largest US cities. The nex day we went to the city centre to visit The Alamo where Texans foght Mexicans in 1836. Although the Texans lost the Alamo battle, their heroic and fierce resistance weakened the Mexicans to such degree that the Mexicans lost the war.
We went to the San Jose mission in San Antonio. Here, we got bear sized real sombreros, wow!
The mission was founded in 1720 and was the largest of five missions in San Antonio.
Check out the Google map from Chicago to San Antonio.