May 2nd --Kansas City, St Louis and Memphis--
Kansas City is on the border of Kansas and Missouri, although larger part lies on Missouri. I wanted to take a picture of the welcome plate of Missouri. But it was a little bit tough because there are so many roads crossing the border that most of them don't have the plate. I drove around the city for about 30 minutes and finally found it. I took a picture of it and headed east along the I-70. Kansas City is a large city and there should be a lot to see, but I couldn't take time. I needed to hurry up to catch up the schedule. However, this state of mind caused another trouble. Just before St. Louis, I was stopped by a highway patrol for speeding. First he said he would give just a warning, but he changed his mind to give me a TICKET. Moreover, he asked for the inspection of my baggage. What's the hell! He opened all my baggage. He seemed to look for something like guns, drugs, or etc. I guess that a Japanese guy with a California license, without any occupation, driving a car with Colorado plate, traveling around US looked strange to him. He seemed interested in an air-band receiver but it's nothing bad to have it. I was so much shocked with this trouble. I may be involved in a circle of negative feedback. I really need to get out of this circle to enjoy the journey.
I got to St. Louis more than 1 hour later than expected. I didn't feel like walking around but I parked my car. I walked to the river-front and took some pictures. The Mississippi river was large but not so clear. There was a big arch in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park. I also took some pictures. The green was beautiful but it couldn't heal my pain I've got these 4 days.
I bought a burger and got on the I-55 to south. Memphis was still about 280 miles away, but I couldn't run fast. I was afraid of being ticketed since I thought my license could be suspended next time. It was a long way and many cars passed me. On the way I made three phone calls, to the mechanic who was repairing my Jeep, to a travel agency to book a air ticket to Japan, and to my family. As I got so many troubles, I thought these series of events might be some indication of a bad thing in Japan. But fortunately, I was the only person in a bad situation. My family was all well. After passing around Cape Girardeau, I sometimes had an occasional shower. I crossed the border of Arkansas and stopped at Blytheville for dinner. Although it was in a service station, I really enjoyed the roast chicken and salad. I booked a motel in Memphis to avoid straying around Memphis at night. When I was ready to go, I had a terrible thunderstorm. I got to a motel in West Memphis at 21:30. The accent of a receptionist made me realize that I was in the South.
At last I got this picture
The river-front of St. Louis
A big arch in St. Louis
The state line of Arkansas
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