Embarking, Corn, and Cheez Whiz...Oh My!
|Status post exploring in the sticky bushes
|Rend Lake, Illinois
Figaro, who is usually more easy going, was NOT excited about being loaded into his carrier. Cleo, who is by all means afraid of planet earth, wouldn't even allow us to carry her from the garage to the car, a distance of MAYBE 20 feet. We had to put her in a small cat carrier in the house to transfer her to the carrier in the car. So after loading them up (with a little bit of hissing and general disgruntledness involved), we waved our final goodbye and headed out from Knoxville.
And made it several miles to Walmart.
The cats were so intensely scared and unhappy with moving day after the first 10 miles that we made a quick run through the cat aisle, bulking up on cat beds and toys to try to make the journey more comfortable for them (and consequently us). After buying out anything that looked like it might help calm the cats, we took off again, this time REALLY leaving Knoxville. Our cat supplies were to very little avail; they remained very verbal about their discontent the whole day.
We made it to Rend Lake, Illinois that evening. We spent the night at Wayne Fitzgerrel State Park which was a beautiful state park with nice wooded campsites, long bike trails, and water access to the lake. Figaro was excited when he was able to get out of the car and went dashing for the bushes...which happened to be full of stickies (my botanically correct term). He got covered in stickies as did I when I had to retrieve him from the thick underbrush. We were pulling stickies out of him (and me) for days. Cleo on the other had was not interested in the great outdoors and bolted under the bed. We didn't see her much the rest of the evening.
|A drive by the Arc in St. Louis, MO
The next morning, we continued on our way north. I spent a lot of time in the car studying for my medical boards (Argh!) while Ernest listened to Podcasts about everything. The cats continued to seem terrified on the second day, particularly Figaro. Cleo would quickly retreat for her bed, where she wouldn't make a peep the whole journey, while Figaro paced, meowed, pawed, scratched and remained in a general state of chaos. It occurred to Ernest that once upon a time the vet gave him Cheez Whiz to distract him from a shot. He was a huge fan at the time and didn't even realize he had received a shot. We figured it was worth a try and went with some good ol' fashioned Cheese Wow (the Walmart version of Cheez Whiz). And it turns out he absolutely LOVES Cheez Wow. It seemed to calm him down immediately, and he would go take a nap after getting his Cheez Wow fix. Brilliant.
|The Penultimate Cat Calmer
|Le Mars, Iowa...Ice Cream Capital of the World!
|Corn for days
We spent our second night in Saint Joseph, MO and continued our way up. We were getting so many comments on Buttercup and our setup along the way that we put our Instagram name @therumriver on the back of Buttercup so people could follow our journey. As we were driving through Nebraska, some locals messaged us that were were minutes away from the city known as the ice cream capital of the world! I have been known to like ice cream, so we figured this merited a stop.
|Corn Palace, Mitchell SD
|Mitchell, SD Corn Palace
|Scary corn EVERYWHERE
|Leg 1: 1587 miles