America is big. No, like really really BIG! In the past, Troy and I have spoken about how trips we have taken in the past were often seen only as the destination, and we didn’t account for the travel itself as part of the journey. Shifting our mindset and adjusting our priorities has allowed us to treat this road trip across America in a different way; we are experiencing every day as the destination itself (trying to, anyways). The satisfying feeling of crossing into each state, many for the first time, is highly rewarding. Troy and I are loving covering every mile of the road that we’re traveling on.
The second day of our trip delivered some shining new experiences and some unwelcomed ones as well. We headed right for my Aunt Joyce’s home in New Albany, Indiana, and along the way started hearing some not so good sounds coming from our back right tire in the car. By the time we arrived at her house, the brakes had completely started grinding and we knew we had to get the CR-V into the mechanics ASAP the next day. But first dinner!
Aunt Joyce and some of her family took us out to dinner and a memorable walk across the Big Four Bridge that used to be a train crossing over the Ohio River. This mile-long bridge is a popular spot for folks to come and take in the sights of Jeffersonville, IN and Louisville, KY. We had a fun time watching the light fade and walking from city to city. After a good night’s sleep and some homemade egg casserole, we dropped the adventuremobile off at the shop to get those brakes fixed. So glad we did, too, because the caliper had locked up and the brakes were in bad shape! We are crossing our fingers that this will be the last of our car repairs this trip. Thank you again to our Aunt Joyce for being such a marvelous host – We’ll be back with Zorro to hang out on the deck with you and Buddie!
There was a farewell BBQ and some fresh cherries for the road (which are delicious by the way) and The Adventure CRU set off for the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. We drove, listened to podcasts, and snacked on GrandyOats’ handmade apple cranberry trail mix and finally began to see the arch rising out of the city streets! We made a stop to stroll under the massive shining arch and watch the sun dip into the city horizon. Since St. Louis wasn’t on our itinerary to stop, we took a quick survey of what we did see while there and decided, yes, we would go back to visit in earnest one day. Those of you in the South will be pleased with our choice of dinner that night: eggs and hash browns, smothered and chopped. Waffle House, the shining black and yellow beacon of dinner to the weary traveler, hit the spot. Camping that night was a breeze – Thank you, Wal-Mart in some town we can’t remember the name of haha!
As the sun rose on day 4 of the road trip, we knew the highway ahead of us meant long and bright hours of travel through the rest of Missouri and on to not-so-flat-after-all Kansas.
Side note: It’s funny how a “few hours” of driving has become inconsequential, whereas it used to be considered almost a deal breaker.
A few hours later, we took a quick walk about Kansas City at the County Club Plaza Shops where we were lightly rained on, but it refreshed us for the long road ahead. See Troy had heard things about Kansas before we got there. “It is so flat and boring,” people would say, “it’s called flyover country for a reason.” But ultimately, we found Kansas quite pleasing. At least in the eastern half of the state, the rolling plains are not flat at all and the long stretches of highway across this sizable state allow for even abandoned-ish gas stations to be alluring. Quiet, warm, and peaceful would be some words I would use to describe our drive through Kansas. As with anything in life, you have to trust your gut – and that is exactly what happened in Colby, KS, at the Wal-Mart we were prepared to camp at. We pulled up after dark and realized the Motel 6 nearby was a much safer and reliable place to make camp that night, so we did. And we slept like babies!
What about day 5 you ask? Day 5 brought us to eastern Colorado. Colorado stole our hearts and we have decided that state – and its adventures – deserve their own post. Coming soon, but until then may you have peace in your heart and happiness on the road.