Friday, May 31, 2013

On the Road Again!

I'm on my way to Cambria Pines Rug Camp.  I left home yesterday about dinner time and arrived in Colorado today about dinner time.  Yesterday, I drove the width of Michigan and Illinois, sleeping in 2 hour shifts several times once I reached Iowa.  Illinois and Iowa were familiar territory, family places and stories were running through my head.  One of my gas station breaks was at the intersection of Interstate80 (my chosen route) and a road that went to Princeton and Dixon - the two places where my niece and nephew were born (Dixon is also the birthplace of Ronald Reagan).  Then I skirted around Moline/Rock Island where my father grew up - I wondered how many of the places I passed were spots where my dad could have gone fishing or hiking (although my impression of his growing years were of his working all the time, even selling newspapers when he was only six years old).  Then, in Iowa, I passed the area where my great-grandparents homesteaded, and where my grandparents met when my grandmother was teaching school.  I was listening to a book on cd about a wagon train going west - and my grandmother was orphaned when her parents died on a wagon train.  How much easier my trip is when I can go a thousand miles in the time it took a wagon train to travel ten miles!

Iowa is 600 miles wide, all lightly rolling hills.  I was looking for sights to paint, but Iowa really doesn't hold much appeal for me - although I did see some interesting farmsteads.  The rolling hills are grassy green  (no sign of drought) with spotty clumps of trees on hilltops - those trees conceal farm houses and other farm buildings.  When it wasn't raining, the sky was beautiful with a changing variety of clouds moving from south to north (I took photos for future reference.)

Somehow, I slipped into Nebraska without realizing I'd changed states until I noticed the 75 mph speed limit.  I was mostly going 85.  At one point, a pick-up truck zoomed past me with the passenger leaning out of the window and waving both arms at me - he made a circle with his fingers and pointed at my wheels.  I pulled off right away since I was already suspicious of my left front tire.  It was down 10 lbs, so I was glad to have my little air compressor and I started looking for a garage or a tire repair place.  When I finally found one, I learned that my tire was destroyed, broken on the inside, and it had to be replaced.  At the end of the driveway for the tire store , I saw the only thing I really wanted to paint.  It was a great old tow truck, so I took a number of photos, but I didn't feel I could take time to paint until I get closer to my destination - since I left almost two days later than planned.

I was planning to stop for the night when I reached Sidney, the last city in Nebraska, and almost forgot to take the turn onto I76 toward Denver.  After I turned I remembered the motel near the welcome center where I've stayed twice before - and that's where I am now - and very tired, going right to bed.