Seven States Down...One to Go!

As we come to the end of our fourth day of travel, we cannot help but reflect on all of the fun we have had in such a short amount of time. So far, we have covered 1,800 miles of the great American Countryside - from the metropolis cities of Denver and Des Moines to the antiquated, down-home-can-I-cut-you-another-piece-of-pie main streets that make this country so unique. After spending Monday night in Grand Junction, CO, we began the grueling climb over the Rocky Mountains. And what a climb it was (11,500 ft atop Loveland Pass!). Yet we hardly noticed the ascension as the massive rock formations that the word "mountain" can just barely begin to describe riveted our eyes the whole way.

After climbling and falling those great heights in the same day, we came to Denver ready to eat (of course, it was lunch time too). It took just seconds to find a parking spot near Coors Field (the stadium that the Colorado Rockies call home) where we found the Breckinrigde Brewery for lunch. Picture BJ's...and you've got this place. We had Bison Burgers and Fish & Chips to fill us up - and it was really good!

After lunching in Denver, we set out for what would immediately become a flat, field-filled drive through the remaining third of Colorado and the Nebraska border. Brian drove, Monica slept. :) The skies were like everything that you'd picture in a Thomas Kinkade landscape...and Brian hates Thomas Kinkade. But it was still beautiful. It is amazing how vast and open the U.S. really is. Once we crossed the Nebraska border, we found a delightful camping spot in a little town named Ogallala (which just happens to be very fun to say as well!). We picked our own camping spot amidst rustling trees, 100 yards or so from the shore of Lake McConaughy. The lake had white sand beaches and we immediately felt at home. After a long day of driving and humid weather it felt really good to get wet!

We made a salami wrap dinner and spent the evening admiring the beautiful surroundings and playing games.

This morning we awoke to a vastly different view of Lake McConaughy. The fog was extremely thick and our tent was covered in a layer of dew. We packed up the campsite and decided to head out a bit earlier than we had originally planned. Shortly after we had left, we experienced our first Mid-West torrential down pour. To native Californians, this was quite an expierience! Once the rain stopped, we realized that our car had been purged of all the bugs that it had accumulated over the past few days.

Other than a quick lunch stop to McDonald's, we quickly made our way across the state of Nebraska and into Iowa. While we were enthralled with the Rocky Mountains, the state of Iowa has proven to have a surprisingly beautiful countryside.

Even better, now that we have reached Des Moines, we realized we only have 260 miles or so until we reach Wheaton! After checking into our hotel in Des Moines, we took off for a BBQ dinner at Famous Dave's (famous for BBQ, I guess!) and boy did it live up to its' name. Finally, after having gorged ourselves on ribs, chicken, pork and anything else that ends up on a barbeque, we are back in our hotel room getting ready for a relaxing dip in the Spa! So that's it for now - we'll update you again tomorrow once we reach our new home: Wheaton, IL!

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