What's Tony Thinking

Today’s Road Report


Okay, let’s start by acknowledging that I failed the state capitals test, big-time. Laramie is not the capital of Wyoming. Cheyenne is. Lexington is not the capital of Kentucky. Frankfort is. I did get one right. Topeka, where we were last night, is the capital of Kansas. Still, a failing grade.

Clearly, this is what is wrong with America today. Forget the kids, “young people today . . . blah, blah, blah. “It’s the old people, like me, do not know their state capitols. This is what ails America, and something needs to be done about it.

Hopefully, you are better at remembering 5th grade geography than I am.

Tonight we are in Lexington, not-the-capital, of Kentucky. Still, a pretty nice town. It’s been a long day. Eleven hours on the road. But our reward will be a relatively short, 375 mile drive, tomorrow to our destination, Greenville, South Carolina.

Today we began in Kansas. We went through Kansas City at rush hour. A little gnarly. Then on to St. Louis, Louisville and now Lexington. So, in addition, to Kansas, we visited the following states today: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. There are more hills and forests in Kansas and Indiana than I would have thought. In Missouri there are more billboards advertising “Adult Shoppe(s)” than any other state we’ve visited.

That seemed a little bizarre. Does Missouri have more “Adult Shoppes” (the ending is cute, don’t you think?) than other states? Or does it just have more liberal billboard policies? Other popular signage in Missouri was for gun shops (or is that “Gun Shoppes”?) One sign said, “You shouldn’t have to break your budget to defend your home.” I had thought of Missouri as kind of bland and reliable, Truman-esque. Not so sure about that any more.

Many mid-west states tout their native sons who went on to national import. Kansas celebrates Dwight D. Eisenhower, along with Bob Dole and Arlen Specter. Illinois is of course the land of Lincoln. Missouri has Truman to tout (wonder what he would think about all the “adult shoppes” in his home state?)

We also  crossed some big rivers today, including the Missouri, the Mississippi and the Ohio. Somewhere in there the Wabash River also drifted south. By northwest standards these rivers all appear a bit lethargic.

So, the good Lord willing, we will make our destination in Greenville, S.C. early or mid-afternoon tomorrow. Thanks for gently calling to my attention my completely insufficient knowledge of our states and their capitols. But really, who would remember Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky?

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