From Mile High City to Miles of Flat

Doing another catch-up post (again). Would've kept up, except we've been having boatloads of technical troubles with the new mifi device. Sigh. We have had technical troubles with the home computer that our house sitter is using and with our on the road connectivity, and I had to return my new Lytro camera to the manufacturer. Definitely first-world problems.... But such are our 21st century lives. It seems that the increased conveniences come with proportionally larger inconveniences ;-)

So, we left off traveling through (shudder) Colorado Springs on our way to the progressive island of Boulder County. Ah. Love it there. So much open space for the public to enjoy, and enjoy we did. Found an enormous dog park for Bago, and of course our friends' house looks out over an equally large open space, home to a prairie dog town that provides endless hours of viewing pleasure. We managed to squeeze into a nice hair salon recommended by our friends to get ourselves trimmed up before heading into the Midwestern wilds--that was a nice treat. Then we spent a wonderful day and a half getting caught up with our friends and watching Bago thoroughly enjoy a grassy back yard:

Neglected to get a group shot, but here are a few snaps of the beautiful 2-hour hike we took near El Dorado S.P. and our fun dinner in downtown Louisville:

5-man band. Note the 4 iPads being used as "sheet music" below....

...while the bass player held out with his hand-written notebook!

From Boulder, we headed downhill to the long drive across Nebraska. We stopped for our first recommended lunch in Ogallala, NE: the promisingly named Homemade Heaven Sandwich Shoppe. The folks who wrote this review really need to get out more. They claimed this was a 5-star "legendary" restaurant. It was certainly OK, but oy. Not worthy of any kind of praise. Perhaps the fact that the place was up for sale, but honestly, the burger was serviceable (and way overpriced at $6.95), and the pie was only OK. Nothing special. Starting to doubt the utility of now that we've hit a string of real disappointments (especially the BBQ recommendations).

We carried on, fortified, though, through the all-of-a-sudden very hot weather (90s) to Fort Kearney State Park. Very pretty campground, and we lucked out getting there on a Thursday, as the weekend was fully booked. That evening a cold front moved in, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Refreshed, we hit the road again the next day, stopping at a fabulous interstate rest stop with a fenced, off-leash dog area! Why don't we see more of these? Great idea. Then we made it to Lincoln, Nebraska and its huge off-leash dog park (and a Culver's next door for lunch! Yes, we got Culverized.)

Onward we travelled (after wearing out the dog) through St. Joe, bypassing the awesome-sounding (to Lisa) Glore Psychiatric Museum, some place we would've definitely have visited if we weren't trying to get to my brother's house on Saturday. For the "next time" list.

We did make it to Cameron, MO, and our favorite Missouri state park by 5PM, just in time to snag the last paved electric site--way back in the corner with plenty of grass for Bago. Ahh. Folks there couldn't really grasp that we were just overnighting. Everybody else was seriously set up for the weekend with their flags and lights and wooden name plates out, but we didn't even put out chairs because of the mosquitoes! One lady asked Lisa to walk her through the travel map we have on the back of the RV, and she commented that she'd never been anywhere "but here."  We are indeed lucky.

Two long days of driving segued into a third, as we lengthened our day with a detour through Quincy, IL, so I could visit Calvary Cemetery (18th and Locust) and put some flowers on my grandmother's grave for Mother's Day. (I had promised my mom, who has Alzheimer's and still thinks her mother is living) that I would "visit" grandma this month. I have kept my word, even though she won't remember. I won't have to fudge the truth too much.  We even squeezed in a quick visit to the 1929 Maid Rite, thanks to Lisa's suggestion.

Then we made it to my brother's backyard paradise (beautiful landscaping) and a fun dinner with the best Midwest pork tenderloin sandwich from the local bowling alley. Perfect! And Bago is being such a good boy now. He really held it together through those last 3 days of long driving (300+ miles). He's finally learned to go comatose (sleep) when we're underway, but wake up rarin' to go every time we hit a rest stop/dog park. Good boy.

Off for a few days of family time. I must remember to take pictures!

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