I will first apologize for any typos and grammar errors. It’s 2:00am after a very long, sleep deprived day yesterday. On Thursday. we got off to a rough start. Thanks to a poorly set alarm, o-dark-hundred started a little later than anticipated. We wanted to be up by 2:00 am, but it ended up being 3:38am. Regardless, we got on the road (without forgetting anything that we can think of right now), without too much commotion.
The van was already packed. Thankfully Mr. Dickens is a small fellow – there really wasn’t any spaces or cubbyholes left unfilled. So the four of us, my husband Jim, our friends John and Sue, and I crammed ourselves into our allotted spaces and we hit the road. This will be the most boring part of our trip. It’s our intention to get to San Francisco as quickly as possible, then slow down and do some sightseeing. Not to say that our trip was boring. Oh no, the reason the four of us travel together so well, is that we can find humor in almost anything. There were many times that we were laughing so hard we were in tears. I’m very glad that, for a Victorian fellow, Charles Dickens was a bit of a wild guy. I’d hate to think we made him too uncomfortable! Even so, I’m pretty sure the ladies of his day were a bit more reserved than Sue and I are, and the gentlemen were a little more “gentlemanly” than Jim or John. I am certain he never heard song lyrics like the ones we were coming up with.
We left Wisconsin and drove south into Illinois, then west across the Mississippi River into Iowa. The only sights we saw in Iowa were from the car window as we zoomed by, which consisted of the worlds largest truck stop, and newly sprouted corn fields.
Lunch was a picnic lunch eaten at a truck stop somewhere between Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. We took turns at driving, except for Mr. Dickens of course. Each of us tried to nap at different times, but without the ability to stretch our legs out, none of us got any really useful rest. We did learn a little bit about the Oregon and Mormon trails which both parallel I-80, one to the north, and one to the south. I-8o is the second longest transcontinental highway, which runs all the way from New York City, to San Francisco, California. It is also the highway that most approximates the Lincoln Highway – the first road across America.
It was exciting to a small degree when we finally crossed the state line from Nebraska into Wyoming. Nebraska can feel like the longest state in the country. If you have never been in this part of the country it is desolate. There is nothing but scrub, tumbleweeds, and cattle ranches – lots and lots of cattle. Our rule of thumb is to always eat whatever is the local specialty, and that would be steak. So after a very scrumptious steak dinner at Little Bear Inn, although as you can see by this picture, their bear wasn’t all that little! We finally hunkered down at a La Quinta hotel at 9:00pm (which, since we crossed time zones would be 10:00pm Wisconsin time).
I would like to say I got a good nights rest, but as I said in the beginning, it’s only 2:00am and I’m awake typing this. In just two hours we will be up and back on the road. Today we aim for Reno, Nevada. Yesterday we traveled just over 1000 miles. today will be almost the same. At least we will be leaving the Great Plains and entering the Rocky Mountains. I know Mr. Dickens was not too fond of America in his past visits, but he’s never been to this part of the country. I have visited this beautiful mountain range before, and I think he may be in for a treat.