Joe Versus the Volcano … of Road Trips


Let me get this out there … I should have driven another 0.4 miles.

Let me get this out there too … I am Tired!!!

The drive today was not as long as yesterday, not as far, and pretty uneventful in comparison.  779.8 miles today took twelve and a half hours to get done today.  It was a simple run down I-70 from Dayton, through Indianapolis, through East St Louis (is there any other St Louis?), and Breaking South on I-35 in Kansas City for the run to Wichita.

The total mileage from my parking spot in Dorchester to the hotel in Wichita:  1599.6 Miles … yeah, should have taken the long route to the hotel, right?

The plan is to shut it down for a week, kinda.  I have work to do here in Wichita during the week – so I am in town until Saturday morning.  The pup and I are hanging at the hotel with a bar, if that tells you anything, and earning a paycheck.  After that, we wrap this thing up with the last 1400 miles over next weekend.

I feel alright, somewhat energized from the long run, but feeling the ache of early mornings, the stress of staying alert for hours, and (no I am not kidding) the intensity that comes from a pretty awesome audiobook.  I get pretty poetic during those runs and wrote and re-wrote this blog a hundred times over hundreds of miles.  All I got is one topic – a good one – but just the one.

It’s my ‘Joe Versus the Volcano’ of road trips.  See, I love the 80’s movie Joe Versus the Volcano – sure the story is clunky, some of the plot points are forced, and some of the acting could have used a good editor/director; but there are brilliant moments in there.  Anyone who actually knows the movie, may remember all the bad stuff – it was generally a flop with critics and box office.  But I name you my top 5 favorite movies, Joe v. Volcano is there.

At around mile 575, I got a call from Jeremy Phillips, and was pretty dogged.  He teased me about the road ahead of me, because I was facing the stretch of I-35 through the Flint Hills, pointing out it was likely going to be the worst part of the drive.  I disagreed, madly disagreed.  After snow blowing over the only mountain range I got to see and instead was left with hours and hours of … well .. Ohio-Indiana-Illinois-Missouri; the Flint Hills were going to be nice.  In FACT, I’ve always loved the Flint Hills.  Sure it’s flat treeless landscape, but it is wide rolling hills with little rocky buttes of flat treeless landscape.  When I thought about how many people don’t like the Flint Hills, I realized … well … you get it .. Joe Versus the Volcano.

So in my tired state let me give you this:

Mitch’s Top 5 Stretch of Roads in the USA:

#5 – I-35 in Kansas thru the Flint Hills – Joe v. Volcano
#4 – Parks Highway North of the Talkeetna Junction in Alaska – running along the south side of the Alaskan Mountain Range complete with (on a good day) Denali staring right back at you.
#3 –  I-70 Colorado – West of Eisenhower Tunnel – winding your way through the Rocky Mountain Canyons
#2 – I-76/ Pennsylvania Turnpike from Murrysville (Pittsburgh Exit) to Breezeville (Gettysburg Exit) — and then the run down the Lincoln Highway (US30) to Gettysburg … but that is more for sentimental reason.
#1 – Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm Heading South of Anchorage, AK.  I dare you to think of something that can beat Turnagain Arm. You try I will throw back something more awesome in return, from glaciers to mountains, from ghost towns to whales.  I DARE YOU!

Alright, I am getting room service and going to bed.


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