I don’t know if this will be a long post or a brief one.
I’m currently at a hotel in Sioux City, Iowa. I’ll start with what I’ve learned so far.
- 5 hours of driving daily is a bit excessive. So, I’ve cut out the Colorado sites and set up a more relaxed trip across the northwest.
- If it looks like rain, put up the tarp as soon as you get to the campsite. The first night I did most of the tent set up in enough rain I’m lucky to not have gotten sick.
- When getting to a campsite go look at the site options before you select a site. Otherwise, you’ll end up at site 31, where the spot for the car is blocked by poles, and you’ll end up paying for two sites.
- Move the picnic table close to the car. That will serve as both an excellent way to put up a tarp, and easier to take things out of the car.
- Pack, repack, and repack, the car until you’ve got everything you need within reach. Or, pick up a roof storage rack in Sioux City. Or both.
- Carabineers, zip ties, rubber bands, and bungee cords are life!
- Yes, you do want an air mattress. I thought I’d be fine. It took 2 nights before I said nope, and got an air mattress.
- If you end up at a beautiful campsite, with nice weather, take advantage of it to take time to make breakfast, assess your packing, check your itinerary, etc.
- EAT BREAKFAST
- Use. More. Bug. Spray. *scratch scratch scratch scratch*
- Some stops will be disappointing. Some stops you just won’t go to. Be okay with that. Because the stops that aren’t disappointing, or hard to find, will be absolutely amazing.
- People in Ohio are angry (okay, maybe it was just that one guy, because I didn’t know where I was going, and he started yelling at me).
- People near Chicago don’t use turn signals.
- Iowa roads are straight. But, not flat. Both hilly, and bumpy. But the people are super friendly.
- If the shower is cold at a campsite, just wait. It can take a while for the shower to warm up.
- DRINK WATER (still working on that one)
- If you plan on writing about your experience, know you probably won’t have the time or the energy, to capture a lot of quick reminders (check in on Facebook, save receipts, take pictures, IM your friends).
- The lady at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum was not kidding when she said it was better than the Studebaker Museum. It was way, way, way better.
Lastly, check the fine print on your cell phone contract. Or, you’ll end up finding out the hard way that you are only allowed 100 MB of roaming data. I went through that in about a day. But, after yelling at the poor, poor, support person on the phone, she was nice enough to give me a credit on my account. Which, doesn’t help me get roaming data back, but it did get me to stop yelling at her.
I’ve taken over 400 pictures so far. But I’ll leave the reader with just this one. It’s a reminder to actively engage with people along your journey because then you find out the coolest things. This is a picture from a place “Where the Ducks walk on the Fish” in Linesville, PA.
Until next time…