Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Made it to Colorado!

It was a humid 22C at 7am, with some fog at first. We got to Kearney as planned, and went through the Archway tour. It was an interesting walkthrough.

By the time we got into Colorado (CO), it was warm and sunny. It reached 39C (yes 102F!) later on, but a lot drier than the morning. Elevation steadily rose as we went. We were amazed at the number of feedlots in CO, for cattle and for bison.

We're camped in a park in Estes Park for tonight. It's a resort town, just outside Rocky Mountain Natl Park, where we're going to try to go tomorrow. As we arrived here, so did a storm - big raindrops, gusty winds. Sure glad we're not in a tent!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Camped in Nebraska

After the first day push to get past Chicago, we slowed down the last couple of days, with later starts and some detours. We stopped at a "Coast to Coast" cg new Des Moine Iowa last night. This is one of those "membership" campgrounds you pay a lot for each year, then camp quite cheaply. Our Passport America membership allowed us to stay there, for $22.20. We sure wouldn't want to buy a full membership! The (usually large) RV's were packed in like sardines in places. Lots of highway noise. We got a pretty good night's sleep though.

Today's drive got pretty interesting, as we drove under a fierce-looking dark cloud giving us lightning, heavy rain and winds. We pulled off for a little while, but it passed through pretty quickly. It made us quite nervous for a while though. We just kept on trudging along Interstate 80, and camped quite early in Prairie Oasis cg, near Henderson Nebraska. Quite a nice spot, not busy yet at least, very pleasant hosts.
The campground office runs a takeout pizza business too, so we ordered one later on. The owner walked it over to our site when it was ready, real service!

Tonight we'll figure out where to go from here. The weather at the Grand Canyon South Rim sounds like it will be pretty hot yet, so we'll likely aim for northern Colorado, and work our way down to the North Rim via Bryce Canyon park. Tomorrow we're planning to visit the Archway at Kearney NE, a pioneer exhibit we missed when we were along this way in 2009.

Weather: 19C at 7am, down to 17C a few hours later under the thunderstorm, up to 29C and sunny later on. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Camped at Hickory Hollow cg, near Peru Illinois

We had a long (for us) driving day today - 858 km. We wanted to get west of the Chicago area so as to miss any weekday traffic, and we did! Hickory Hollow is a nice cg, close to the I80 highway but very little traffic noise, due to hills and trees between us. It also honors Passport America, so a serviced site was $16 for us. We got here at 2:45 Central time, left New Dundee about 6 AM Eastern time.

Weather: mostly sunny, up to 27C
Route: 401/402/I69/I94/294/I80.

294 was a toll road, but only 10 km. Toll was $1.75, hardly worth the lineups to pay, you'd think.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

*START* of trip to US West, Aug 2011

We've decided to head to the US Southwest this fall, taking in the Grand Canyon and area mostly. It's easier to contemplate a trip like this now that our 4-legged pal is gone, sad but true.

Tomorrow we'll be heading to Waterloo for a family get-together, then on to camp in Curt and Jo-Anne's driveway for Saturday night. This saves us a round trip home, as we'll just head down the 401 Sunday to Sarnia and cross into the US there. 

A relaxing afternoon at Curt and Jo-Anne's: