Travel dates: May 27-June 1, 2017
We’re approaching one week in to our eight week long cross country trip, so I thought I’d do a quick check-in (more comprehensive posts about the places we’re visiting and campground reviews to come….sometime). I’m going to try to do these once a week or so….a quick recap and some thoughts and a few photos.
We left Saturday night after our house sitters arrived and just went as far as Chattanooga for the night. Sunday was our one night in Nashville (we cut it down from a planned two nights so we could err on the side of St. Louis). As I mentioned on Instagram, we have a firm, “when in doubt, go to a president’s house” rule, so we spent our single Nashville afternoon checking out Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage.
And then on to St. Louis! We spent our first evening hanging out with my cousin, Alix, and their family, which was lovely. Abe got to catch up with his cousin, Jude, and they raced down the driveway together about 300 times or so:
We also saw Ulysses S. Grant’s house (see previously stated rule about presidents’ houses):
And the adjacent, Anheuser-Busch owned animal park type place, Grant’s Farm, where you can feed goats and drink free beer:
We also checked out the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Science Center:
We stayed at the Casino Queen RV Park in St. Louis, which is pretty much a parking lot behind a casino, but a pretty nice parking lot…and with very easy access to downtown St. Louis and this awesome view:
Which brings us up to today. Right now we’re sitting at Haworth Park in Bellevue, NE at a lovely campground where we paid $20 for a water/electric site on the banks of the Missouri River. We’ve had a great evening cooking out and exploring the park, but we’re only here because of an sudden change in plans last night.
We were supposed to be in Topeka tonight. But then last night we noticed a drip coming from the front wall of the trailer, which is never what you want to see. After some sleuthing and experimentation, we figured out that the drip was related to the AC condensation. So we slept without the AC last night and decided to reroute a bit so that we could get farther today, giving us time to take it to an RV service place tomorrow and get it checked out. So we had our longest drive of the trip today (we hope. Our longest planned drive, at any rate) at just over 400 miles. We did not get to see the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site. Instead, we drove for forever, and it made us all tired.
And then! We planned to stop at Walnut Creek Recreation Area in Papillion, NE. It has great reviews online, but doesn’t take reservations, so we called ahead this morning to see what the availability looked like. The campground host who answered the phone told us that she could hold a site for us. But then when we got there, there had been some kind of mix up, and they had nowhere for us to stay after all (they had been trying to call us, but had written the number down wrong). The good news in all of this is that we made really good time today, so it was 5:30 when we got to the campground and realized we had to leave instead of, like, midnight. So we remained in good spirits as they directed us 10 miles or so down the road to Haworth, where we found this very nice campground waiting for us.
And then! Our AC is working completely perfectly with no leaks at all at the moment.
So….I guess we’re still bringing it in so they can take the cover off the AC and see if anything looks amiss? Because we already changed our whole itinerary and missed Brown vs. the Topeka Board, so we might as well?
Aside from today’s drama, things have gone pretty smoothly so far…mostly:
*Abe was clearly pretty anxious in the couple of weeks leading up to the trip and behaving poorly as a consequence. He mostly talked a lot about how excited he was for the trip, but then occasionally would say things like, “I don’t want to go on a trip for like TWO THOUSAND days!” But he seems to be settling in now that we’re on our way.
*I was and remain nervous about pulling the big new trailer over the mountains out west….but the van didn’t break a sweat hauling it over Monteagle on the way to Nashville (nor did it have any trouble going down the other side; we used the brakes once for a few seconds just before a curve, and that was it). Last time we went over it, with the old trailer, I worked myself into a bit of a panic, because Monteagle is so terrifying that Johnny Cash wrote a song about it. So I’m pretty excited to be a two time Monteagle with a trailer survivor.
*We decided awhile back not to bring the dogs on this trip, for various reasons, so we have five whole animals back home to worry about instead of just the two cats like usual. Rory and Fiesta are staying home with our house sitters, and Fergus the anxious Scottie is staying with my Mom. My mother reports that Fergus is sad, which makes me sad, too…but I’m hoping he’ll settle in and cheer up soon. And Gavroche the kitty, in a display of spectacularly bad timing, got a bad UTI and had to spend a few days at the vet just before we left, so we’ve been anxiously reading updates on him from our house sitters. We were worried he was going to need to go back to the vet, but now it looks like he’s rallying (knock wood).
*Working on getting the hang of blogging while traveling. I’m not particularly worried about it here because this is my for fun blog, but over on the house blog, I feel some pressure to keep up, since it’s a source of income, and I don’t to create some sort of sadly ironic loop where the act of traveling means I don’t have money for traveling anymore. But, of course, I also don’t want to miss out on stuff because I’m stuck in the trailer blogging. I suspect making better use of our driving days to get things done is going to be key. And editing photos as I go instead of leaving all 8 million or so of them to do when I get home.
Tomorrow we get the trailer checked out (quickly, we hope) and then we head on to Sioux Falls, SD tomorrow night. The new states to add to our map are coming fast and furious now!
Oh! Dave is making videos! Lots of them, which makes me really happy, because I always think I should make more videos, but then I never do. Anyway, he just started a YouTube channel to keep them all on, but so far there’s just one because campground wifi is slow. So check out his first video (he did it in portrait by accident, but he gets it together for later videos!) and subscribe if you’re interested in seeing more:
And I’m Instagramming regularly about the trip. You can follow me there at BoxyColonialontheRoad; I’m hashtagging all this summer’s pics #bcxc2017 (for Boxy Colonial Cross Country 2017). I’m also posting more design/architecture related photos on my @BoxyColonial account (and using the same hashtag there).
All the updates:
Road Trip Post 1: starting off, St. Louis, etc.
Road Trip Post 2: South Dakota
Road Trip Post 3: Wyoming
Road Trip Post 4: Idaho, Oregon, N. California
Road Trip Post 5: San Francisco and the Grand Canyon
Road Trip Post 6: New Mexico, Texas, and home