I left Collinsville about noon, after much lugging of Too Much Stuff down the hall and across the parking lot to my car. WAY too much stuff. Food, books, computer stuff, photography stuff, costume stuff, fencing stuff, regular clothes stuff, ice chest with more food...and I'd never taken the sleeping bag *out* of the car.
With such a late start, driving west into the sun all the way to dark didn't appeal, so I planned a five hour (roughly) drive and am now in Joplin, MO. With every mile away from the Mississippi, the breeze strengthened and the air lost a little of its humidity. Now, so near the Oklahoma border, the sky was actually blue this afternoon, not that murky bluish-gray, and the clouds (fewer) had definite shapes. And I could breathe, even though it was beastly hot by day (but was cooling in the evening, another change from the St. Louis area.
Tomorrow I head for Arkansas, to visit friends. The directions to their house make it clear that it's rural ("If the road turns to dirt, you've gone too far.") Directions included things like "Look for the van on a stick, then the Peterbilt sign...straight ahead are cute ponies, but turn left...." I have it all written down.
The day after that, I will attempt to make it home, or mostly home. We shall see.