Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

July 22, 2012

To Colorado, part 2

Continuing the trek across the plains to Colorado story:
Camp at Chatham SP, IA
Sunday: Road closures made us head further south than I wanted in Illinois.  I was also winging it for awhile because Mr. Garmin kept wanting me to head for Chicago.  I was aiming for a more northerly route to have less heat but no way did we want to have Chicago traffic to deal with. I headed for US24 and defied Garmin for quite awhile.  The dog didn't get any swimming in because I wanted to make up for the lost time struggling with the refrigerator.  Once we made it across Iowa and the Mighty Mississippi, we were in Keokak, IA.  I hadn't realized that we had gone that far south.  It was the end of the day and I was tired so I started looking for a place for the night.  A little north of town, Garmin said there was a campground so I headed to it.  It was another one of those fit you in tight private campgrounds.  Yuck.  On the road, I saw a little sign saying Chatham State Park.  So I headed for it, got a bit turned around but found a little campground with electric, water, and a dump.  Might have been showers there too but I didn't look.  Only a handful of campers and a camp host were there.  Nice sites for $15.  It was essentially right across the road from the full and crowded private campground.  Yay, nice private site with AC for the night.  I cooked the hamburger I had brought along to use it up with some onions and spices for dinner.

Monday morning, I cleaned out the dog water pail and noticed my fresh water was a bit murky.  So I took advantage of the water and emptied my tank, rinsed it and filled it with fresh water.  Cleaned up the dishes and pet bowls to tidy up the van.  I threw a stick for my dog to catch while waiting for the tank to fill.  It was getting warm so I wanted to be on our way.

Garmin kept trying to send me to Missouri but that was too far south for this heat wave.  I headed for IA 2 to head across that state.  It was a pretty drive with hills and forests in among the farms.  The southeastern portion is Amish country again.  I saw a couple of buggies with just a man driving it and both times he waved at me.  I've never seen that in the Ohio and Pennsylvania Amish country.  They aren't unfriendly there but they keep to themselves.  The land made its slow rise as we left the Mississippi and headed west.  It was open country with only very small towns for the most part.  Crossed the Missouri river and headed west across Nebraska towards Lincoln.  At Lincoln, I decided to abandon the US highways and just go on I80 along the Platt river.  As flat as NE is, I thought a bit of the flat Platt river valley would be a touch more interesting.  Near dark, we ended up near Kerny, NE where there's a Ft. Kearny State Historical Park with a camp.  $5 entry fee, $12 to camp, +$6 for electric.  I took it.  It was hot and I was tired.  They had several nice ponds but wouldn't let me swim the dog.  Oh well.
These 2 hate each other, and yet in the van, they do this.
Ft Kearny, NE camp

Tuesday morning, I made coffee, did some dishes, tidied up and headed west.  Stopped for more ice, drove on, hit the S Platt and down along it.  Getting flatter.  I started feeling sleepy at the dull landscape and the heat so I stopped and got a little food. That perked me up.  I saw on the Garmin a reservoir a bit off to the left so I looked for the signs and it was Sutherland Reservoir.  I pulled up to the campground along the lake and down to the water area where a couple others were dry camping.  Parked the van in the shade for the cats and let the dog out.  She fairly bounded down to the water.  The beach was big and sandy and there was only a person with a child a ways out in the water so I moved aways from them, asked the dog to find me a stick and we spent a good hour with her swimming for the sticks.  She really needed some good exercise and this was perfect.  When she finally refused to go after a stick (her signal that she's tired), I walked back to the van.  She followed, then went off a ways to poop.  
Sutherland Reservoir, NE

I opened the van door and Nissa, my old girl cat hopped out.  So I took her on a little walk.  Sylvester, the male cat perched himself on the entry and thought about it but didn't leave the van.  Meanwhile, the dog ran back to the lake and asked for me to come back and play fetch some more.  She took a load off and was ready to go again.  But I wanted to get going.  So after a bit, I called her and we loaded up and headed southwest and west along the S Platt.  Took I76, then US34 into Greeley and got to my sister's at about 5pm.  
I want to swim some more

Nissa exploring

Sylvester: Hmmm, should I or shouldn't I?  Nah

The dog slept heavily and was still a bit subdued when I got to my sister's house and her dog.  The two dogs really like each other but we had to separate them because they wanted to do the rough puppy playing that she can't do much of yet.


  1. aw... cute animals... trying to get caught up on blogs and such! I know where you are because of WGS ... ;)

    Sure wish you'd use a larger font! my old eyes are squinting! ... I do the enlarging the screen thing though but it's still way small.

    You must have good eyes, Mary... ;)

  2. Thanks. I'm rather partial to them. This trip is very busy. I bumped up the font size so I hope it is better. Thanks for telling me - I had no idea. Do you use the mobile version or the web version?
    I didn't see how to increase the mobile version font size.

  3. oh much better! no the mobile doesn't matter ... it just does what it does... I have my blogs bookmarked on my iPhone but it is so hard to comment. Sometimes it will pop right up and other times now ... then if I make mistake typing? oh, baruther.... you have to click on done then put your finger on the spot and sometimes it just takes days to comment. But I do read them...

    I have my blog set for access by mobile or web... I just email a picture with a bit of writing some time... hard to blog on the phone... well, for me, anyway -- tee tiny keyboard... not for old eyes and one finger typing... just tried to capture a rainbow picture! didn't too well! Hahaa but fun trying... ;)

  4. Isn’t traveling with pets awesome? It really sounds like a great idea. I'd love to have one soon. A dog first probably so that whenever me and my wife stop by the beach, I'll have a buddy for my morning run!

    Tia Oshields

    1. Dogs are more trouble than cats to travel with but they make nice companions too.

    2. Yeah! I've seen the folks get out in the rain and such to walk their puppy dawgs... whoa.. plus.. seriously ... as much as I love animals... a wet dawg? oh man? HAhaaa bad smell

    3. My pup hardly smells at all wet. She has the perfect coat - self cleaning.


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