|The high dry plains of NE CO - CO14|
From Greeley, I took CO14 to Sterling, CO, I76 to I80 to Grand IS., NE, then US30 to I680 north of Council Bluffs, IA to Des Moine, SE to Ottumwa, IA, US34 to Galesburg, IL, I74 to Peoria, US24 to Huntington, IN, US224 to Van Wert, OH, US30 again across OH to 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, PA 168 SE to Washington, PA, then US40 to Cumberland, MD where Garmin directed me onto MD 51 along the Potomac River to Paw Paw, WV to WV9 to Berkeley Springs, WV where I defied Garmin and headed north up US522 to Hancock, MD and down I70 and home. US 30 heads to Chicago and I was avoiding that town trying to head as due east as I could.
America looks different on the US highways. I've been trying to go along them for different views. But IL is flat almost all over - corn to right of me, corn to the left, interspersed with frequent soybeans. But I had the excitement of an idiot trying to pass a big oversized, slow semi with 3 alert cars only to make an oncoming pickup veer to the grass and he ended up there too. Really dumb and lucky no one actually got hurt.
I left Greeley on July 30, midday and ending up at Johnson State Park, NE near Lexington, NE. A really nice park with electricity ($5 entrance, $18 camp). Nice size sites with lots of trees for shade. The park banned dogs off leash anywhere or in the water. I swam the dog at the border of the park.
Next camp was the Red Rock Reservoir Army Corps of Engineers North Overlook campground south of Des Moines, IA. $16 with electric. It had a camp host who told me all sites were reserved but I could stay if only one night and to pay in the morning. Same restrictions on the dog swimming and I could not find a place not populated and accessible to sneak a swim in. That was a problem with a lot of the lakes I passed. I found a small lake near Mt Pleasant, IA in a city park that wasn't marked no dogs, so she got a swim there. The cats also decided ot jump out of the van there.
We stopped at the Little Turtle Reservoir (Huntington, IN) where we camped on the way out to swim the dog. They had a no swimming sign at the boat dock but said nothing about dogs. I wasn't swimming and if no prohibition, then it is ok. Dog had a great time and there was hardly anybody there. They had a dump and fresh water so I did that chore.
Next camp was the Walmart at Monticello, IN. It was a lot less humid so I ran the genny for a little while to cool off the van interior, then ran a fan for a breeze overnight and was comfortable. There was a nice grassy area for the dog.
Last camp was the Walmart in Washington, PA. Still lower humidity. It had a very small grass area for the dog.
On US40 at the highest point (Negro Mountain, MD), I stopped at a pretty wayside. A rooster appeared and began crowing repeatedly. I hopped out of the van on the opposite side of him (sans dog) to see what he would do. I don't see him but then I look behind me and there he is, following me about 20 feet behind. After a bit, I get the dog out for a break. She eagerly sniffs and gets his scent then sees him. All thought of peeing is lost and she wants to hunt him down. She was thinking - Chicken! I eat chicken! He took one look at her and disappeared. Then I see him in the tall weeds up the hill keeping an eye on her. So funny to have a patrolling rooster at the wayside. A wise bird, tho.