Road trip again: Keosauqua to Sioux City and back

Sit myself down?  Well, I might

With the short days I’m driving at night

     And when I arrive

    With a mileage dive,

This traveling thing is a fright.

The same week I drove back from the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) class in South Bend, Indiana, I drove from Keosauqua to Sioux City.

I left the quiet and peace of Van Buren County in the afternoon.  While the sun faded I navigated the county roads, and I hit the four-lanes in the dark. 

I’m getting better and better at night driving because I’m doing so much of it.  I’ve been road tripping for a month now, and while I saw my family at Thanksgiving I didn’t see them at home.  I grinned most of the way up Interstate 29, staying alert for deer and thinking of home.  I indulged in my favorite caffeine dosage form, dark chocolate.

I rolled into bed six hours after I left Keosauqua, revved up from the drive and the caffeine.  Still, I slept well because of the home court advantage: in my bed with my wife.

After Bethany left for work in the morning I attacked two weeks’ worth of mail. I prioritized the top five percent and threw the rest away.  I didn’t have a single personal letter to open.   The Post Office subsidizes junk mail by charging more for first class, thus the junk mail clogs our postal system.  The vast majority of my mail goes directly into the landfill.  The US Postal Service needs a competitor.

I went to a couple of banks with a month’s backlog of miscellaneous checks

At the blood bank they told me I’d have to wait till January 6 to donate blood.

When I stopped for gas I found my right front tire low at fourteen pounds, explaining the drop in gas mileage from 31 to 25.  I concluded I need to check my tires more frequently.

At Care Initiatives Hospice I signed paperwork, and learned that a third Hospice program will soon open in Sioux City.  I told the head Hospice nurse to send the competition a cake or something, to welcome them.  They won’t be taking market share from us, I said, the pie will just get larger. 

To explain why I would go to Storm Lake to meet the fellow from Sioux City who will make a brace for my right ankle would impose on the reader’s patience; the punch line comes down to timing.

On the way back to Keosauqua, Sweetheart, my GPS, had, well, problems.  I followed her instructions past a sign reading, PAVEMENT ENDS.  I turned her off, turned around, got out the pocket road atlas with a palm-sized map of Iowa, and reverted to celestial navigation, longing for a really good sextant.  Fortunately I had a clear night and bright stars. 

In the last week I’ve driven 1400 miles.  I arrived back in Keosauqua looking forward to not travelling till the end of the month.


One Response to “Road trip again: Keosauqua to Sioux City and back”


    As a rule of thumb, each drop of 10 degrees drops the air pressure in a tire by one pound per square inch.


    Proper inflation of your tires is essential during the cold winter months. The cooler temperatures can cause the air in your vehicle’s tires to contract and thus make your tire pressure fluctuate. Maintaining proper air pressure in your tires during the cool winter weather will allow you to have good traction and handling no matter the temperature.

    When the weather changes from warm to cold it can affect many parts of your car, the tires being one of the most important. Tires need to have proper grip to the pavement so that you, as the driver, can control the vehicle. Temperatures that rapidly decrease can cause the air inside of your tires to change which can cause problems with your tire pressure which will then affect your tire performance and your safety.

    You should check your tire pressure more often in the winter months. The shorter days, thus less warming sunlight and colder temperature will give you tire pressure issues. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in the outside temperature, the tires’ air pressure will change by about 1 pound per square inch (psi). This falls with colder temperatures and rises with higher temperatures.

    The different in temperature between summertime and wintertime is nearly fifty degrees Fahrenheit. As the outside temperature changes it results in a gain or loss of around 5 psi. If the tires are not properly taken care of and air pressure maintained the tires performance will plummet.

    This is why you need to check your tires’ air pressure regularly. The tires need to maintain the tire pressures listed in your owner’s manual. The tire pressure recommended in the manual is what is called a cold pressure. This does not mean that it is only for cold weather but the temperature that your tires should have before starting to drive on them for the day. Once you have driven on the tires they are warmed up.

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