It’s 9 p.m. Thursday night and I just got to Missouri after driving down endless I-57 through Illinois. I’m at a McDonald’s somewhere just across the line, in what feels like Tornado Alley. It’s raining and an oddly warm wind is blowing and blowing hard. I left home in Paw Paw eight hours ago to the minute, have covered 467 miles and I am just halfway to my destination.

That would be Texas’ Lake Fork about an hour’s drive on this side of Dallas, 1,004 miles from my driveway, according to my phone’s GPS.

Outdoors columnist Dave Mull lives in Paw Paw. Write to him at dave.sportfish.mull@gmail.com.