For my wife’s birthday, we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Kansas City. Of course we hit a couple of counties on the way! So we rented a Nissan Rogue on Friday night and drove straight to our hotel – the Courtyard by Marriott Bettendorf. There were no new counties on that first night. That was saved for Saturday.
The next morning we set off for Kansas City. We worked our way through southeast Iowa until we reached HWY 2. We drove mostly west on HWY 2, driving through Van Buren, Davis, Appanoose and Wayne Counties.
From Wayne County we turned south and crossed into Missouri, and Putnam County. We discovered that the north central state of Missouri is incredibly hilly. It’s like as soon as you cross the border, there’s nothing but rolling hills for miles and miles. We headed mostly due south, weaving our way through Sullivan, Mercer, Grundy, Linn, Chariton, Livingston and Carroll Counties. We then crossed the Missouri River and entered Lafayette County. From there we briefly headed east for two miles on HWY 65 until we reached the border for Saline County. We turned around and headed back until we reached Lexington, where we turned north on HWY 13. We crossed back over the Missouri River and entered Ray County, our last new county for the day. At that point it was a straight shot to our hotel – the Hyatt Place Kansas City Airport.
That evening we had a birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory – where we were given some free birthday ice cream! After the meal we met up with some friends (who had driven from St. Louis) at an arcade bar called Tapcade, where for $5.00 you can play all the classic arcade video games you want.
On Sunday we had a long trip back to Wisconsin. We started off by crossing into the state of Kansas after heading south on I-635. We didn’t need to pick up any counties in that area. But since we were so close to entering another state, we decided to do it. From there we headed mostly east on HWY 50. Along the way we drove through Cass, Johnson, Pettis and Morgan Counties.
Once we reached Syracuse we turned north. We actually drove through a few counties we’d been to on a previous trip. When we got to Columbia we went north on HWY 63 for quite awhile. Along the way we picked up Macon, Shelby, and Adair Counties. At Kirksville we went northeast on HWY 11 all the way to Knox County. At the point we doubled back, went north on HWY J for a few miles and crossed over into Schuyler County. About one mile later we turned right on HWY T, followed it for about two miles, and entered Scotland County – our last new county for the trip, and our last county visited in the top “half” of the state of Missouri.
By the time we got back home (it was about an 11.5 hour day) we’d hit 25 new counties on the trip. We didn’t finish any states. But we “cleaned up” a messy area that we’d not been to previously, and was a little out of the way. So what’s next? Well we’re more than likely done collecting counties for the year. As for 2020, we’ll finally be visiting the one state we’ve yet to visit as a family – Hawaii. Beyond that, who knows? It may be a slower year for us county-wise. But there’s bound to be a few surprises. You can’t keep us at home! So stay tuned!
NEW COUNTIES - 25
TOTAL NEW COUNTIES FOR 2019 - 220
ALL TIME COUNTY TOTAL - 2082