Our cats had been very well behaved in the car, mostly sitting on our laps and snoozing as we drove. Of course, in our hotel room, our smaller cat was done snoozing about the time we were ready to. Moises (our little cat) was snooping around, scratching, getting into stuff, and creating a general ruckus. All Allyson and I wanted to do was get some sleep so we could maybe make it to the Wyoming border the next day.
He persisted, so we decided now might be the time to give him one of the sedative pills the vet prescribed for us in case they get nervous along the trip. We were hoping the effect of the drugs would be to temporarily turn Moises into a stoner cat who just sits in the corner fascinated my his own paw while we sleep or drive. Instead, it was like Moises had a bad acid trip. His back legs wouldn’t work, and he was just yowling and looking off into space, like there was a dragon or a leprechaun there that we couldn’t see. This went on from 3am until about 3pm. It went back and forth being comic relief and downright pitiful.
We set out from Saint Louis and hit Kansas City right at lunch time, stopping at Stroud’s, home of pan-fried chicken. We both ordered a chicken plate which came with a side of potatoes, green beans, gravy, and their famous cinnamon rolls. We should have just put in one order. The giant portions of heavy food turned out to be a good plan for a day of long driving. We were not hungry even when we turned in for the night.
We crossed Missouri, cut a corner through Iowa, then began the long passage across Nebraska. The hills on the east side of the state flattened out, giving way to miles and miles of farmland. It was a long drive. We were on the road for about 11 hours, passing through 4 states (we took the long way through Kansas City and spent about 5 minutes in Kansas).
There has been so much work and preparation leading up to the trip that today was really just a relief, because all we had to do was drive somewhere. I don’t think it hit us today what we’re doing, it was just like a long drive to visit someone. The land still looked a lot like Kentucky and Tennessee. Tomorrow, we will start to cross the Rockies and the landscape will look very different.
Tonight we are resting in North Platte, Nebraska. It smells like cows everywhere when you’re outside. There have been moments looking out over that flat land, we wait for the first moments we’ll see those mountains in the distance, a signal we’re closer to the West. All the things that wait over those mountains. We keep pushing mile by mile. It’s coming. And so are we.