29. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,


We are staying with friends in Belleville, IL, which is near St. Louis. Thought I’d bring you up to speed on some of the highlights of our trip since we left Martinsburg on Sunday.

We drove from Martinsburg, WV to Dayton, OH on Sunday, and it was an absolutely stunning drive! You hop onto I-70 near Hagerstown and then continue onto I-68 west which takes you along Maryland’s east-west axis, through Cumberland. You enter West Virginia again near Morgantown. Here’s a pic of our driving through Sideling Hill, this neat-looking man-made rock cut.

We spent Sunday night at Wright-Patterson AFB, near Dayton, OH. Dave and I were stationed there in 2000-2002. We let some friends know we’d be in the area and they wasted no time organizing a small BBQ dinner for us, and invited some mutual friends who had recently moved back to Wright-Patt this past year. The last time we had seen each other, only the Randalls had kids, the Sitlers and Vollmers were still doing the DINK-thing!

Jake and Timmy got to meet Rachel and Thor Sitler, and enjoyed playing in their backyard and eating BBQ chicken after a 7 hour drive from Martinsburg.

Monday morning, we hit the road from Wright-Patt for Scott AFB, IL, which is about 20miles east of St. Louis. Unfortunately, the stunning scenery had converted into most rural fields of corn and soybeans starting on I-70 in Columbus, but Jake and I found a fun diversion in searching out the NASCAR trucks transporting the race cars from the Brickyard race at Indianapolis to their next race destination at Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 500 this weekend. I saw many of these trucks (imagine “Mack” from the movie Cars) going in the opposite direction from us on I-70, but Jake was only able to see one of two of them. I was lucky enough to get a picture of Casey Mear’s vehicle’s truck in Indianapolis.

Again, we have friends stationed here, so we (again) let folks know that we’d be in the area and we received an invitation from Bill and Alisen Courtemanche to stay at their house and spend some time visiting. We also visited with Hugh and Rachel Freestrom who also are stationed at Scott. Lots of kids to meet, including two brand-new babies, and again Jake and Timmy were thrust into a “Here, meet so-and-so and go play!”. Kids can be so flexible sometimes!

Today we took a trip to the Whittle Shortline RR store in western St. Louis. I did some birthday shopping for Jake and for Johnny Goldman (shhh!) and the boys spent well over an hour enjoying the super-cool train table. It was hard to have to tell the boys they couldn’t buy everything they saw…

After the Whittle Short Line, we took a short trip to Bill and Alisen’s neighborhood pool, which had a cute beach-like kids’ area…

Tomorrow we’ll be headed out by 8am, continuing our northwestward trek. We go through St. Louis, continue westward to Kansas City, make a right and go north towards Iowa. We’ll cross into Nebraska just below Omaha, in the town of Bellevue…

…and hopefully that’s the last long drive we’ll be doing for a LONG while! We’re very glad to be wrapping up this journey — it’s been fun, and we’re so grateful to all the families who served us dinners, took us out for fun times and let us crash at their houses — but frankly, we’re exhausted and my clothes are starting to get tight from the good meals folks are giving us coupled with a significant lack of exercise.