Gustav Spills His Guts

Just outside Windsor, Gustav’s guts started spilling. Gustav had slammed into Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, and plowed north through Arkansas into southern Missouri. By the time it reached Sedalia, the storm had devolved into an extratropical depression, which meant that the system was going out of business, and the heavy clouds were liquidating all over the place.

We rejoined the unfolding pavement, pushing into the storm. An hour north, I traced the entire length of Highway 11, and as Erifnus shimmied through turns as tight as an Ozark mountain road, her headlights began reflecting off the heavy rain, signaling the advent of nightfall and the continued good health of Gustav, the ragged remnant hurricane.
In the middle of the storm in the middle of the night, in the middle of rural America, I reached New Boston, where a right angle in the road slowed traffic to ten miles an hour. Hell, if you slow down that much, you might as well stop. Appropriately, local folks erected two taverns and a hotel at this hairpin in the highway. The town’s population struggles to reach a dozen, but nightlife seemed to be hopping, with cars parked solid along the main drag.
Erifnus kept going, goaded by my right foot. Despite her advancing age and wiper blades that played like finger painters on the windshield, she handled water pretty well. Until we got in a little too deep . . .

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