The things that I learned while in Kansas today: you can continue to drive even after your gas range hits zero miles remaining, there are surprisingly few gas stations compared with the number of churches and cornfields, and the gas stations do not have sensors to measure when your tank is full.
Our day started off normally enough, we went back into Nashville after enjoying the hospitality of the Reihls. We had breakfast at Puckett’s, where I tried grits for the first time. (If you haven’t tried them, don’t bother.)
Then we walked over the pedestrian bridge to get a view of the Nashville skyline.
On our walk back to the car we turned the corner to see a car being towed. We both panicked before we realized it was the car in front of ours. Thank goodness!
We hit the road for our longest day of driving. We drove through Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. The only memorable event was when we were rerouted through a back road because of construction. The detour brought us across the most narrow and slippery bridge that I have driven over. The car was being pulled from side to side–it felt like driving on ice! Not to mention that the bridge lasted forever… seriously, there was a state line in the middle!
We felt pretty ambivalent about the day (minus the Kentucky/Illinois bridge of death) until we got to Kansas. As Lauren said, “Even Kansas City didn’t want to be in Kansas.” We ended up on Route 70 and there were no gas stations to be found anywhere. Somehow we were about 60 miles in each direction from a town with only 20 miles until empty. Of course we panicked and consulted our gps. We found a gas station about 25 miles away in a town called Wamego. We decided to take our chances, mostly because we had no other options. We drove about ten miles off the highway when we hit zero.
I started planning a desperate sprint to the gas station, with visions of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre villain in hot pursuit. Yet somehow our trusty car soldiered on. We were discussing the merits of being pulled over by a police officer and bursting into tears (although, of course, there are no cops when you need them) when the halogen glow of The Last Stop appeared on the horizon. Yes, that really is the name.
We have never been so relieved! While I was taking victory pictures of the sign, Lauren discovered another wonderful fact about Kansas. They have no sensors to stop pumping when your gas is full. Let me tell you, a geyser of gasoline never looked so beautiful before. On the ride back to the highway we saw a sign for the Bible/Rifle Church. I guess after all that, I didn’t have to worry about Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it was the gun-wielding, bible-thumping corn farmers that I had to watch out for!