June 22, 2017: Nebraska – Day 2
Driving through Nebraska brought some very Nebraska-esque sites, like covered wagons. And then there was the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. Quite a surprise when you’re not expecting a giant archway over the interstate!
By the time we made it to Lincoln, Nebraska we were ready for some real food. It’s hard to eat on the road when you try to eat healthy and even more so when you have food sensitivities. With an ulterior motive of renting an audiobook, we decided to make a stop at the old standby, Cracker Barrel.
They had a full menu based on food sensitivities and allergens so I was able to order a gluten-free, corn-free meal with no problem.
Do an unusually high percentage of antique car drivers prefer Cracker Barrel too? It’s possible.
Finding some food made us both happy and ready to keep driving towards the day’s destination: Mark Twain State Park in Missouri.
Chad enjoyed his first Cracker Barrel meal while I drove over the increasingly less flat roads of Nebraska and onward towards Iowa!
We drove through a corner of Iowa and could feel the humidity rising.
By this time I’d gotten news that Charlie was doing just fine and I could stop worrying about her. Before we knew it we were in Missouri and Chad was still working on his dessert.
As the sun set we stopped to get gas, very obviously in Jesse James territory.
Yes, this meant we’d be arriving in the dark, but since we had a cabin booked and didn’t have to set up a tent, we knew we’d be able to relax from our long day in the car soon.
Day 3 – Mark Twain State Park
Waking up in Chaco was hot, really hot, so it was a relief to finish out the day in the cool evergreen forest at Mancos State Park, Colorado. The next day before we hit the road we had a fun time doing some yoga, taking photos and relaxing. As ready as I was to get to our destination and get our dogs and cats out of the RV and into a more permanent living situation, I had a lump in my throat as we took down our tent and prepared to leave. The soft forest floor of Mancos had been so inviting!
As we made our tired way along the last leg of our cross-country odyssey (day 10!), I was thrilled to snap photos of the amazing scenery in Southeastern Utah. These landscapes always make me feel that I should be seeing big cats roam along them, as if they belong in Africa or southeast Asia. Beautiful scenery to end our trip with!
I got some good driving time in on the RV going from southwest Oklahoma to northeast New Mexico. The roads were nice and straight, which made for smoother sailing in the RV (which over 55mph often felt like a boat rocking on a troubled sea), and I started to relax a bit driving such a behemoth.
Out of all the stops on our trip this may have been my favorite place to arrive. Both Chad and I had started growing skeptical about what the park would be like as we navigated through the town of Clovis. But when we drove into the state park as the sun was setting, I felt a sense of excitement overwhelm me. Beautiful shades of mauve settled across the horizon as the grasslands moved under a cool breeze.
The campsite had an adobe-type wall around it which provided some privacy where we could look out at the beautiful view. We had a nice private site at the campground. I loved seeing the waving grasses the next morning and really wanted to stay there for a few days.