We drove… A lot…
We left mom and dad’s place by 7:15. After a Starbucks run to keep the monster in the passenger’s seat happy, and a stop at the gas station for some gas and an energy drink (to keep the van and the monster in the driver’s seat happy), we got out of town by 7:45.
Not much to talk about here - we lunched at a Dairy Queen in Gallup New Mexico after passing through our first timezone. There were many, many Native Americans there - the only non Native Americans were us and some old bitty behind the counter who took all her orders on a waitress pad then punched them into the register…
We stopped for dinner in Tucumcari at a truck stop. They were announcing shower customers over the intercom which kind of confused Ethan until I explained that they were in their trucks more than we were in our car for this week! While we were there, a crazy looking old guy with fatigues and a long gray beard walked in, sat next to us for a few minutes, then packed his stuff up and started to leave. That was before Quin started up a conversation with him, that is. As scary as he looked, he was tickled pink to talk with Quin and started telling us about his grandchildren…
After Tucumcari we went off the Interstate and headed north. It was dark when we went through, but we were warned about the cattle fields by my parents. I could see a big dust cloud ahead, and once we reached it, we could smell what it really was. I can only imagine what it looked like, but I thought I was going to die from the smell… All in the name of cheap burgers, I suppose.
We finally arrived in Dodge City, KS at 1:00 AM Central time - we had passed through 2 time changes and touched 5 states on that day’s drive… We stayed at a Best Western on Wyatt Earp Drive which was a very nice hotel… Sleep came quickly.
In the morning we let the boys swim and got a little breakfast before hitting the road by about 10:00 Central. The drive was pretty boring today. Lunch in Wichita, which contrary to what you might think, is not actually a state, even though there is a college named Wichita State University… At that point we got back on the Interstate, a tollway as it turned out, which cost us $8.25 to travel on for about 2 hours… We quickly went through Topeka, Kansas City, and finally stopped in Des Moines for the last time. We ate at a familiar restaurant, Culvers, and we felt like we were pretty much home.
5 hours later, we were finally home. It was 1:00 AM Central - we were on the road 30 hours and 20 minutes including breaks the previous two days and had traveled almost 1800 miles.
It was a great trip, much better than I expected it to be - it usually is. I suppose I am a cynic when it comes to traveling with my kids, but they were, overall, fantastic and fun to travel with. To sum up, here are some parting statistics and random thoughts.
- In all, we traveled 4063.7 Miles over the course of 64 hours 37 minutes
- We traveled in 11 different states of these United States, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.
- Not all states are created equal - Arizona is beautiful, Texas and Oklahoma, not so much.
- Iowa has very nice rest stops and roads
- There’s no place like home!!!