We packed up and left the campground as the weather was changing. The wind was whipping up. As Chris was loading the suitcases atop the car, he was pelted by a huge dust storm. As soon as we dropped the key off and got on the road, the rain began to come down in torrents.
We took Kansas 10 from Lawrence to US50, which we took across the south side of Kansas City on to Sedalia, Missouri. The rain had let up by this time. In Sedalia we stopped for breakfast at a Denny's Diner. As we were about to get back in the car, the rain caught up with us.
We continued on US50 East through Jefferson City and on to where it joined with I-44 to head into St. Louis.
We had thought about stopping to visit the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and Gateway Arch complex, but we really wanted to go on home, and besides that, the sky was all overcast and we probably couldn't have seen much from the top of the Arch anyway.
The traffic in St. Louis was pretty lousy for everyone wanting to take the I-70 bridge east to Illinois. They were doing some construction on the bridge that had us sitting in traffic for quite a while.
After we got into Illinois, we tried to stop in Collinsville to get some gas, but the streets were clogged by cars that had gotten off the other direction of I-70 to try to avoid an accident that had stopped traffic. Unfortunately, the traffic signals in Collinsville were all out due to the storm that had gone through earlier.
We got off of I-70 to get some gas and eat in Highland, Illinois, but Highland was also without electricity. None of the gas stations were working, the traffic signals were out, and the restaurants were deserted. Chris was getting a little panicky about getting some gas by this point. We took US40 East out of Highland to get back on I-70 and ran across the Shell station there which was the only gas station with electricity in a 30-mile radius. The cars were stacked 3-deep behind each gas pump.
After filling up, we continued I-70 east to Effingham, where we stopped for a late lunch at Cracker Barrel. After lunch we finished the final segment of our trip, and arrived safe and sound back at our home in Indianapolis.