Thursday, May 22, 2014

Road Trip USA

Well, we've been slacking on the posts, we admit. The primary reason is a true lack of reliable wi-fi over the last two+ addition to a slight blogging burnout. ANYways --


I think if you click the above link you can see where we've spent each night, marked by numbers. Way back when we decided that this road trip would have two themes: exploring the natural beauty of our own country, and spending time with people we love. So far, we're doing splendidly. We've had a great combination of car camping, backcountry camping, motels, and homes of friends and family. We've run the risk of packing too much into too little (both literally, i.e. Daisy is at her full capacity; and figuratively, i.e. "Louisville is only ten hours away without stopping, let's go!"), but we're having a fantastic time. We've had a good balance of highway and back roads, which has allowed us to take advantage of 75, or 80, mph speed limits, while also seeing smaller towns and communities.

Here's a summary play-by-play --

Boston, MA: found a summer sublet (here we come Harvard and Tufts!) and dined with amigos
New York, NY: more dining with amigos, plus a slumber party. And GREAT bagels.
Philadelphia, PA: lunch with cousin Julia!
Eastern Kentucky via West Virginia: WV is full of gorgeous, green, empty, rolling hills. We slept at a beautiful state park after crossing the border (fun fact: Lexington, KY has amazing bagels too).

On our way to Louisville, we drove through horse country, where many derby horses are bred, and saw some amazing properties. We spent the night with Geena (who has a gorgeous apartment with awesome balconies) and her mom (activities included watching G's slow pitch team kick ass).

Beautiful horse farm.
Mike is more interested in weather than softball apparently
A short drive the next day brought us to St. Louis, where we spent the weekend with Anna and Robert. Highlights included sitting in on Anna's seventh grade honors class and watching them read their essays, getting a personal tour of Schlafly's Brewery courtesy of Robert, some great homemade meals, and the City Musuem (a crazy weird jungle gym for adults).

City Museum. Gotta protect those knees.
I didn't have any other pictures of our hosts...Robert found red lentils!
The purdy arch
The Arch Museum...
A late night drive landed us in another pretty state park in southern Missouri. I should mention here that an amazing memory foam pad for the tent has revolutionized car camping for me. In the morning we stopped at another state park (State Parks are amazing! They are clean, beautiful, and empty) in Oklahoma where Mike promptly lost his sneakers aka left them on the roof.

I had this childhood memory of loving to pick up turtles that were crossing the road in order to "rescue" them. It's not quite as fun as I remembered...they just kinda sit there and looked pissed at you.
The next few days were spent in Oklahoma City at Mike's mom's house. Highlights here included relaxation, golfing, and an unbelievable trip with Marie Elise and Ross to the OKC Thunder vs LA Clippers playoff game 5. In our XXL t-shirts, we screamed until we couldn't hear anymore while the Thunder came back and won.

We are DIRECTLY to the left in this picture. He told us to quiet down and then sat there, unable to watch Westbrook's epic foul shots, in the background. We're working on getting him his wedding invite. 
Finally, we headed out the panhandle of Oklahoma into one of the most rural, and conservative, parts of the country. Mike was concerned that Oklahoma had too many trees (in the east) to be true Great Plains. The panhandle reassured us. It's really flat. And dry. We saw few people, two pronghorns, and an extremely informative roadside exhibit.

Flat. Dry. Pronghorns.
Now we know!
We also visited picture canyon in the National Grasslands, which was underwhelming, but sort of cool.
This drawing from probably a few hundred years ago would have been much cooler had there not been graffiti literally everywhere. Really too bad. Kind of ashamed of our country here.
What's next?? Mike will pick up from here. Check out the map above for a spoiler :)

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