Day 45: North Platte, NE to Des Moines, IA (and still going)

Just a quick hi from the road as we’re now barreling our way across the East. I underestimated the number of Nebraska stops but went after nearly all of them anyway. The weather was so nice today that I couldn’t resist. We didn’t cross over the border into IA until 4:30pm so now I will pay the price for that indulgence.

The dogs didn’t get much exercise as every field I selected seemed to be a haven for nasty stickers. I had to run Nik on pavement which always bloodies his feet a bit as he scampers for ballies. Grip, who never lets me touch her feet without trying to take my hand off, was very calm for sticker removal. I had to pick out about a hundred of them from my pants and from the doggie blanket in the van.

We’ll be taking the Flying J tour on the way home. Flying J truck stops have been very good to me on these cross country trips and there are a lot of ’em on this I-80 route home. Tons of them in IA, IL, IN, OH, PA — which is just what I need. Coffee and a bathroom and internet service ($4.95 for a 24-hour pass at all their locations) is all I need. I can sit right in my van in the parking lot and log on. There’s all that fun trucker stuff to look at in the store, a restaurant, and you can even take a shower if you want to. I love hearing the rumble of the idling trucks and the announcements over the intercom as I type this “Number 412, your shower is ready”. With a nearly non-stop 17 hour drive ahead, I feel like a trucker myself right now.

For some reason, I can’t get to their regular home page while I’m logged in. But here’s info about their internet service anyway:

Flying J doesn’t give a crap if you sleep in your car or park your camper overnight. I’m sure you could go into the restaurant in your robe and slippers if you wanted to and no one would bat an eye. Can’t beat the price! I’ll probably only sleep three or four hours tonight as I’m as excited to get home as I was to begin this trip. I understand there might be nasty weather ahead as Chicago got eight inches of rain today as Tropical Storm Ike has spread to the Midwest. But, hey, it’s better than driving in snow like the last Midwest trip.

Today’s photos and more commentary to come Monday morning. Back on the road now — heave ho!

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