Westward, Ho!

My journey has really begun. I left Chicagoland September 6th for my next destination-Denver. As I travelled across Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska at a furious pace of 100 miles per day, I stopped nightly at campgrounds that I plotted out on RV TripWizard. If not for technology, I would still be wandering around the midwest dazed and confused! I do have a Rand McNally Road Atlas that my friend Judy gave me, that has been invaluable, especially when I wanted to stick to back roads during episodes of high winds. Driving in conditions with 25mph gusts is like walking with a poster board in a wind storm.

I stayed in some beautiful state parks with lakes and hiking trails, experienced lovely sunsets, a couple of bone-rattling thunderstorms, and several calamities that I was able to overcome.

Sunset at Prairie Rose State Park
Harlan, Iowa

Some of the calamities I’ve experienced have to do with my animals that travel with me. My dog, Gemini is the worst offender. He constantly tries to find new ways to get through the gate and eat the cat food in the back. At first, I thought that I left the gate open until I saw him walk right up to it and pull it open, then casually walk to the cat food bowl and start gulping down as much food as he could. I now have to secure the gate with bungies or place a heavy object in front of the gate.

Gemini, did you eat the cat food?

There was also the fly infestation that lasted several days and drove me insane!! I stopped at Walmart and bought the old fashioned fly strips to hang in RV. I chose a central location but kept bumping into the very sticky fly-filled strand hanging down-YUCK! When I threw it away, over 30 flies had met with an untimely death. I wasn’t sad.

Then there was the mouse that set up housekeeping all over the RV. I found a nest in my outside tool storage compartment complete with dog food rations that were transported from the storage bin on the opposite side of the rig. I could hear him at night scrabbling around in the cabinet above my bed at night. Now, one would think, that traveling with cats, there wouldn’t be a problem with mice! How in the world did I adopt 3 of the laziest cats on the planet? Needless to say, the mouse made his exit from this life via a trap under the kitchen sink-yuck! I wasn’t sad.

Driving through Iowa and Nebraska , I was challenged by the miles and miles of road construction. At one point, I saw signs for narrow bridge ahead, a 10ft. wide limit. I know all the dimensions of my RV. It is 26′ long ( 29′ with the bike rack), 11.4′ high and 8′ wide, so I wasn’t worried. The wind was gusting that day at over 20 mph, so I slowly approached the one-lane bridge behind a line of traffic. I was about half way over the bridge, and it was tight, and a gust of wind hit and forced me sideways, and then Bang, something hit the sign post on the bridge! It didn’t stop me or disable my rig, so I kept going until I could pull over in the next town and inspect the damage. I soon found out that my brand new step ladder got bent up because I had it tied to the back and it sticks out about 6″ past the width of the RV. Ooops! It is still useable despite the fact that one of the legs is bent at a weird angle.

One of the many wind farms in Iowa
Crossing the Mississippi

As I crossed the MIssissippi River, I felt like I was really “on the road”! I’m on unfamiliar roads and charting my way through life without any expectation of success or failure- it is what it is- I’m just going with the Flo!

10 thoughts on “Westward, Ho!

  1. Hi really enjoy reading this. Hopefully you have nailed a lot of “challenges” and will have smoother sailing. Your adventure sounds great and we envy you. Still home bound here, but did a baloon ride last night. Really cool. Keep trucking. D and Z

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  2. Let Gemini eat that cat food! He’s in his golden years, retired and on the road. Now, those lazy, mouse-loving cats are another story…..

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  3. Enjoy reading about your adventures. I imagine you are slowly working out the kinks. I’m currently in Slovenia and really enjoying the trip.

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  4. Life is so good. The thrill of driving down the road, not knowing what you will find around the next bend. There is snow just north of you

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  5. The look on Gemini’s face is priceless! I’m afraid the mice would do me in…especially at night. There’s something magical about the big western skies. Years ago when I was driving in the West, I felt like I was in a Bierstadt painting. I look forward to the next installment of “Go with the Flo”–happy travels!

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  6. Love your adventures. Sounds like you are enjoying the GOOD LIFE. Flies, mice, highway barriers. All in a days journey. Lol 100 miles per day will allow you to see a lot of this beautiful country. Enjoy, drive safe and thanks for sharing.

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