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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Monday, August 1, 2022

From Illinois Through Missouri & Iowa to Nebraska

 Please join us as we continue our West-bound journey...
This time we travel from Illinois, through Missouri & Iowa into Nebraska.
The Eastern Bluebird and Red Hawthorn are the state bird/flower for Missouri
Around 9:54 I start crossing the Mississippi River on the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. 
Yes, I had some light rain... The ONLY day with some rain!
At Metro–East St. Louis, Illinois.
At 10:13 crossing the Missouri River on the 10–lane Blanchette Memorial Bridge at Saint Charles, Missouri.
The rain had stopped...
Blanchette Bridge I–70 West Bound ←click for short video
After passing Lake Saint Louis, we went more north on US–61, near Wentzville, MO
Very interesting drive with lots of Nature like Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln Hills Natural Area and Cuivre River State Park: Northwoods Wild Area.
When coming closer to Hannibal on the Mississippi River, we took the US–36/MO–110 West.
Hannibal was the boyhood town of Mark Twain and is famously known as the setting of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn!
Approaching Macon, Missouri (one–hour driving from our hometown is a Macon, Georgia!) and more nature with Macon County Park and Long Branch State Park with a huge lake.
Missouri kept surprising us, also with extensive agriculture and very lush and green fields!
Pieter gassing up after 524.2 km or 325 miles...
This was in Brookfield, Missouri
BUT it was actually our 4th try at a CASEY'S General Store for finding high octane fuel!
Otherwise we would lose our car's warranty...
Feels good for having enough for arriving at our destination and also for using the restroom and eating our lunch around 13:00.
Did drive 4 hours and 44 minutes since morning...
The maximum speed in the midwest is higher than in the east, so you can make good progress in general.
Vast agricultural areas we passed, very rural, not many towns!
Pieter and I, with our horticultural background HAD to stop and check out the crops we were passing...
This was around 1:40 pm and they turned out to be very healthy Soybeans, at blooming stage.
Near Saint Joseph Missouri, on the Missouri River, I turned onto Interstate 29 North.
More interesting nature, when passing through Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge.
Around 14:18 at Intersection near Cameron, Missouri on US–36 W and 110 W for diverting to Kansas City south on Interstate 35 or Bethany to the north on Interstate 35.
We kept going on combined US–36 W and 110 W(est).
It was a cloudy day but very pleasant for driving!
A bit of a traffic jam at this junction... so at 14:20, I managed to take this sign.
After passing a huge Power Plant on the Missouri River, we now turn left around 15:58 onto NE–2 W = Nebraska highway 2 West and stay on it for about 75 km or 46.6 mi.
Visible on this map, where we turned off I–29 onto NE–2 West.
We also did pass through a corner of the State Iowa, IA–2 = Iowa 2 which changes into NE–2 for Nebraska.
Around 5:32 PM I pulled up at the Hyatt Place on 600 Q Street in Lincoln, Nebraska
We relax in room 208 of Hyatt Place Lincoln/Downtown–Haymarket ←click link
After checking in and then parking the car in the adjacent public garage, I walked across the street to capture this train at Lincoln Station, Haymarket.
We were so very lucky all those days with perfect weather!
The Hyatt Place Lincoln/Downtown–Haymarket on Q Street. 
Yes, they use the alphabet for street names!
Lincoln is the Capital of Nebraska.
An overview of our travel for that day; we really did go WEST!
The achievement for the day, lots of climbing again.
A total of 892 km or 554 miles.
Enjoy this short 2 minute Relive video below.
Stay tuned for day 3...


  1. What an amazingly long journey. Well done. You two are very brave.

    I like the postage stamp at the top of your post.

    God bless always.

    1. Dearest Victor,
      Thank you and the postage stamp has some meaning for the state of Missouri that we crossed for so many miles.
      Brave or not, but both of us don't like putting things off forever but just getting it 'done'.
      So glad we now shared this experience together.

  2. Me gusta la vista de esoe puentes. Espero que hayan tenido un feliz viaje.

    1. Querida Antónia,
      Sí, un viaje feliz juntos, ahora todavía era posible. ¡Esos puentes son increíbles!

  3. Replies
    1. Cara Olga,
      Grazie e sono ricordi per sempre, per averlo fatto insieme!


  4. Wonderful! Reminds me so much of our many years doing road trips across the vast USA - first back in the '60's and '70's with the kids, then later on our own so we could check every state off on our map, visit every National Park, and visit with friends along the way. Bob would like to do it all again, me not! Prefer to fly to a specific city, pick up a rental and go from there. He's still a fine driver, never had an accident, but I really don't enjoy more than a few days on the road now, and I don't enjoy driving myself in strange places. You are amazing Mariette - don't know how you do it! We hope to cruise again by next year though - see a little more of the world, even though we've seen a lot - but will enjoy being waited on, relaxing more, and meeting new people. Life at sea is so enjoyable, and I like to unpack and stay in one place for a couple of weeks!
    The cruise brochures are piling up around me lately, they all want us back!
    Happy travels - hugs, Mary

    1. Dearest Mary,
      No doubt you've done it in your younger years and seen most of the USA. We traveled a lot in the USA but mainly work related and no time for sight seeing.
      Being from the Old World, we have had so many visitors that stayed with us for weeks on end, that 'our' dreams were always pushed to the back.
      It really was NOW or NEVER and I'm glad we did it.
      Just got back from Atlanta where we had our Infiniti QX50 tuned up and we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Suites. No rushing this morning for first getting to the city and then shopping.
      Felt great except our swimming fell into the water yesterday afternoon... Next time!
      Cruise brochures arrive, the one glossier then the other but for our healthy diets those are out of question and Pieter does not want to go through the stress of flying. I'm done with it as well.

  5. Every two years we would drive back east to visit my parents family. Dad always did at least 500 miles a day. Now this was in the 1960's and the interstate was not yet complete. Mom had her AAA trip kit and would follow along and we'd stop at places along the way. Such fun memories.

    I would LOVE to go cross country again.

    1. Dearest Debby,
      Indeed, the Interstate in all states was by far not complete.
      Even though, I've traveled a lot of Highways also.
      Kudos to your Parents for doing this; with the cars from that era!
      Indeed, fond family memories and great example of family ties.

  6. Bravo! What an amazing journey!

    Your joie de vivre is inspiring. I was hesitant about my long deferred trip to Italy but I thought I was too old to travel - I think I will call my travel agent today!

    Hugs and blessings, my dear, dear friend.

    1. Dearest Veronica,
      It was an amazing journey with so many surprises and unexpected things!
      When well prepared, even my 93+ Pieter managed to live through it. He certainly enjoyed it.
      So did I, from behind the wheel and through these posts I can actually relive it all.

  7. Hi, Mariette and Pieter!
    I haven't been around the blogging world much these days, but fortunatelly around here the weather is getting cooler.
    I can see you two have been traveling a LOT! :)
    I love to travel and Nuno does, too. We have been to some locations in the States, but we've never been to Illinois, Missouri, Iowa nor Nebraska! By the pictures you took, the voyage has been wonderful and I hope you have a safe travel.
    Goede reis! (I hope this is written right! Oh, and a fun fact: the word "reis", means "kings" in portuguese)

    1. Dearest Paula,
      Hoping things are okay on your end, especially for Nuno.
      Yes, we DID it, a long talked about and dreamed about trip.
      These two posts are only about covering a vast distance for getting to our destinations.
      But even these days had lots of surprises that we thoroughly enjoyed.
      Tonight's post will give you more real pictures and joy.
      The USA is so vast, we have traveled a lot through it for work but still had no clue about the real dimensions. This was good, for seeing it unfold.
      You wrote that perfect; nice surprise! Yes, I knew that from Spanish; rey.
      So far I've been very lucky, also with my FINAL solo trip to The Netherlands, or my 67th trip. After three years I finally got Mom & Dad's items home with me... quite emotional.

    2. Oh, I have to read your older posts, so that I can catch up!
      I didn't know that you didn't have your sweet Mom and Dad things with you. Those are always emotional moments, because of all the memories each item brings, aren't they?

    3. Dearest Paula,
      Finally I was able to go to Europe after all the Covid nonsense got lifted.
      Yes, they are emotional and yesterday I did pick up Mom's bridal gown from the dry cleaner and one day I want to wear it and have photos taken. A black rayon georgette dress.
      Also more, religious items that mean a lot to me. My great–uncle blessed their marriage 73.5 years ago and he blessed other pieces.

  8. I will add one tiny comment to your cross country odyssey ... East St. Louis is in Illinois, where I met the father of my children in the library, in the high school we graduated from me in 1959, him in 1958..

    1. Dearest Helen,
      Thank you so much; did already correct his!
      In my previous post I've even mentioned that big rivers often are the state border...
      What a special memory for you! Thanks a million.

    2. correct this of course... I'm typing too fast!

  9. I love the midwest---went to college in Columbia, MO for 4 years. Some of the best times of my life!

    1. Dearest Marcia,
      Glad this did bring back fond memories for you to look back onto.
      We both fell in love with the midwest, while passing through!

  10. Since I was a teenager, I've dreamed of crossing the US. In a kind of coast to coast.
    Coisas de Feltro

    1. Dearest Christina,
      Well, since we immigrated here in 1983 I've wished I could cross from east to west, sitting high in a truck for a wide view. BUT, I had no brother or cousin driving such a truck and that was it...

  11. What a long road trip through so many states!!! Thanks for sharing those lovely scenes and details of your journey with Pieter, dearest Mariette!
    I wish you both a nice weekend!

    1. Dearest Marie–Anne,
      Well, the USA is so vast and there is no way around it for reaching a certain destination.
      But still we loved the huge rivers and the artful bridges across. Also the agricultural fields were quite interesting to see.
      Lots of surprises for us to observe and remember!


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