This weekend is one of the four statewide business meetings for a fellowship I belong to, which will take place in the middle of the state and several hours from my house. The meeting will start Saturday morning, but as an officer I help set up the meeting room on Friday afternoon and attend an officer's meeting later that night after dinner.
This time setup is at 3 pm. It takes about three hours to get to the hotel where the meeting is held. (I usually make a couple of stops, so I add another half hour.) Doing the math, leaving a little after 11 am should get me there in plenty of time. However, Mother Nature decided to have something to say about it. There's a prediction of snow/sleet overnight and a good part of tomorrow. The area I have to drive through has a forecast of three to four inches of snow. Not much, but since I really don't like driving in winter weather I decided that I would go a day early. With an entire day to get there I wouldn't have to be on a time frame. I could stop where and when I wanted, and at the hotel I could even take advantage of the hot tub that I never have time for.
I ended up leaving mid-morning. I drove due west on Interstate 70 across the river into St. Charles county, where I made several prescheduled stops. After those were done I was free to stop when and where I wanted to. At one exit I saw a sign for an antique mall and decided to pull in. I detoured to make a stop in the downtown historic Brick District of Fulton (something that has been on my bucket list since I've been attending these meetings). There, I found GOPO Popcorn Shop, where I could sample all of the flavors before buying. I left with a cup of locally roasted coffee and two small containers of popcorn for later.
After Fulton I made it to Highway 54 and went west, which would ultimately get me to my destination in Camdenton. In Jefferson City I detoured to Central Dairy for a rich, decadent ice cream cone, then continued my trip. I passed through Lake Ozark and stopped for groceries at Dierbergs, a St. Louis-area chain that has stretched their boundaries with a location at the Lake. There I picked up food for dinner and snacks for the weekend. I also found a gas station with prices a little cheaper than others I had seen and filled up my gas tank.
Although it was a day filled with exciting adventures I was glad to arrive at my destination. During the last half of the trip intermittent periods of fat snowflakes fell from the sky, an omen of what was to come. Tomorrow the only snow I have to deal with is what I will see from my hotel window.
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