Monday, August 6, 2012

the great american road trip take 4: iowa to colorado


Day two has not gone the way we planned.  Too cold for our scheduled stop at Grand Island waterpark, we made a detour to the Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora, Nebraska. For a total of $20, the entire family spent two hours delving into hands-on science stuff. We caught our shadows a'la Peter Pan on the green screen, blew body-sized bubbles (well, if you have the body of a two-year old), sorted eggs the way real farmers do, dug for dinosaur bones, built a castle with oversized Legos, took our pictures in giant kalidescopes and generally had a fabulous time.



Next was Grand Island. We stopped for gas at Fat Dog's whose roadside advertisement says "You Are Nowhere," and "Best Looking Cashiers." ONE of those statements was true. Lunch was Little Ceasar's pepperoni pizza, and blueberry muffin popcorn at a Grand Island truck stop.


A short treck later and we were in the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska - Gothenburg. Ehmen Park is the home to a genuine pony express station. Tours are free (and short- just one room). The kids were only mildly interested, and I can't say that I blame them.  After all, this is I-80 in Nebraska, and it's tough to compete with "the best looking cashiers" in Grand Island.



We're back on the road. Yoda is sleeping, Punk and Kooka are in the middle of a movie, and Rico and I are taking full advantage of the free satellite radio that came with the van, by strolling through each decades station and playing "name that tune".  The battle is fierce, and we have just finished the 70s. So far I am leading, but only by a point. I'll keep you posted.

Despite Rico's constant assurances that there would be plenty of opportunities to stop for dinner between Gothenburg and Brush, I am here to assure you that there were less than "plenty.". In fact, aside from a McStop ten minutes out, there was nary a gas station between the two places - which is how we found ourselves at the Sedgwick County Fair in Julesburg, Colorado. 



With no food stops in sight, we followed the signs to the local festival, where we dined on a local specialty: Mike Michael's smoked ribs and potato salad. Yoda got to pet a horse, Punk and Kooka made an attemp at the velcro mountain, and I took in the 4-H exhibits. "How to Clean A Twelve Gauge Shotgun," and "Reclaiming and Melting Down Spent Lead" were the winners. Not surprising, since we were the only fair-goers not attired in cowboy boots, and "bigger than your fist" belt buckles. 



Even among the kids, ours looked out of place. There were no flip-flops, tank tops, or messy buns to be found. But there was plenty of food and after we filled up, we were ready to hit the trail again.

We hunkered down at the Econo Lodge Motel in Brush, Colorado, which is the only lodging ever, that has made both Rico and I vow to check Trip Advisor for every hotel here on out. Ewwww.

Oh - not that I keep track of these things - or gloat, but I did deliver a righteous butt whooping on our music trivia game. 16-8.


P.S. the new blogger ap I am working with is weird to me. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, but in the meantime, my apologies for the mess.

2 comments:

Treats said...

How come you forgot your bigger than your fist belt buckles. As Schroeder said recently on our trip, "these are not my people". I think I'd like the velcro wall climbing thing. I hate creepy motels more than I hate low flying geese. I've been known to throw a fit (ala a 2-year old) in icky motels. I do better just sleeping in the car. Love your blog posts. Kinda feels like I'm on vacation, too!

j said...

That's how I felt when you were on vacation too. Hope mine has a slightly different ending though. We're thinking of you every time we see a flock of geese.