Day two of our drive back to South Texas started in Sullivan Missouri — a place I’m not likely to return to for an overnight stay again. I’d stayed at this motel before (a couple years ago) but I remembered it much nicer than it is today. Ugh. We have been pretty fortunate with out choices of motels over the years but this one wasn’t a good luck choice. No names mentioned but just stay away from Sullivan is all I can say.
This return trip we are taking much more slowly. We’re taking three nights and almost 4 days to cover the 1600 miles or so. After sitting still for the better part of 4 months I kind of forgot how much I dislike 500+ mile days. We made the trip North in a rush to accommodate Katy, and we had an extra driver with her on board — but I gotta admit, my butt isn’t happy with 500+ miles in a day.
I like a good barbecue and we’ve always had good luck with St. Louis bbq joints. This time was no different. We stopped at a place called Sugarfire 44 — named so because among the chain’s locations, this one is adjacent to Interstate 44. It’s a pretty typical barbecue place: you stand in a long line to place your order. Your Q is plopped down on a tray on top of some butcher’s paper and you pay at the register. Q is doled out on a by-weight basis and you get a choice of sides depending on the joint.
Peg stuck with her favorite: a pulled pork sammich. I tried their beef brisket. We both deemed their offerings worthy but light on the smoke flavor, lacking a decent smoke ring, and a little tough on the beef item. It’s a chain and even though they say they are open each day until they sell out it’s clearly a joint that’s heavy on production and not as heavy on the quality of their finished product. Still — for the price it’s not a bad meal.
Today we have a short day in store. A paltry 300 some miles down to McAlester OK. That’s good because I’m realizing how much chasing around with young people tired us out. I’ll get a nap this afternoon for sure. 🤗🤓😉
We’ll be making this same trip in late April and if the weather allows (meaning if it’s not raining) we’ll try a more southerly route. This trip there was rain to our south for both the Northward and the Southward legs so we tried to stay dry as much of the time as possible. I’d like to try an Arkansas trip and a Louisiana route when we have opportunity.
Not much to write about except to say that I-44 has always struck me as sort of Route-66-ish. I’ve been taking this road since the 70’s and there are so many stores selling so many different varieties of rural kitsch that it’s humorous. Every little town has some claim to fame — in hopes of convincing a few of the many cars zooming past that they really ought to stop and spend some money. I’ve never personally been big on chachkies; there are only so many t-shirts you can wear; and if you stop too often to eat you’ll never make it to your destination — so I rarely stop for much more than the bare necessities. I guess I’m not the kind of traveler that the locals appreciate. Still — Missouri can be a beautiful state to travel through at the right times of the year. And there’s certainly a lot of fishing, hunting and trapping going on!
After our light travel day we’ll have a more rigorous jaunt tomorrow. About that — on the morrow. Thanks for stopping and check in again tomorrow to see how far we get.