25.04.2017 - 27.04.2017
The next leg of our journey was the longest with just over 9 hours of car time on Tuesday, April 25. We started the day with a quick visit to Jackson, Michigan where Ryan’s friend and former co-worker from TRC, Roy, resides. After the fellow engineers caught up, Ryan and I were on the road again.
Upon a recommendation by my sister, we immediately got hooked to the “S Town” podcast. Per it’s description: “John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.” We listened to the entire 8 chapters during our extensive day of travel (the first 5 were the best). Beware of graphic content and vulgar language if you decide to give it a try.
Our goal was to make it to Des Moines, Iowa to camp out for the night. However, our hungry stomachs had a different agenda, furthermore we were ready to get out of the car prior to reaching the capitol. We found a nice place on the Mississippi River called Front Street Brewery Pub & Eatery in a town called Davenport. After Ryan and I consumed a Reuben and fish tacos, respectively, we resumed our drive through the Hawkeye state. With daylight winding down and rainy weather persisting, Ryan and I decided to skip out on the tent and spend the night at a casino off interstate 35 instead. The room rate was reasonable, plus we were able to run on their treadmills and take a shower the following morning. Of course I had to invest some money into the slots, but unfortunately I ended up leaving $60 poorer. Must be saving my luck for Las Vegas!
Wednesday, April 26 was another day of driving. Our next destination was a KOA campground in Salina, Kansas, right off of route 70 West. We stopped to grab some groceries at Hyvees in Kansas City along the way. I wore my New England Patriots sweatshirt in Chief country and one of the cashiers proudly showed me his Patriot socks, pronouncing that “you aren’t the only Pats fan in this neck of the woods!” Ryan and I made sandwiches for lunch and enjoyed the city’s lush scenery.
We arrived to Salina around 4:00 pm and set up our brand spanking new LLBean Vector XL 6-person tent. Talk about camping in luxury! We both had plenty of room and could easily stand up in it. We brought a bunch of camping equipment in our rooftop carrier including our LLBean sleeping bags, Thermarest sleeping pads, lanterns, a Coleman stove, and folding chairs. Ryan and I were the only people tenting and did so at the low price of $24 for the night. Our site had a picnic table and fire pit for which we purchased two bundles of firewood. After setting up camp, Ryan got to work cooking dinner (leftover quesadillas and soup) while I wrote my first blog of the trip. We lit the fire to keep us warm since the temperature ended up getting down into the 30s, brr!
After sleeping in late, we made breakfast sandwiches and coffee then packed up our stuff. Next stop: Denver, Colorado!