And by “70 all the way to Omaha,” I mean…

…that we drove through scenic downtown Zionsville, Indiana for about ten minutes before we remembered we were heading in the general direction of 74, and not 70. And so we turned around and appreciated the (lovely, picturesque!) downtown all over again.

I should say here again — Former Roommate’s house was lovely, and her stepfather was a terrific host. He got up at 6 AM with us and made superb coffee before we went on our way. It was by his instruction that we checked out the Zville downtown (we told him we were heading back to 70…oops) — definitely a nice way to start the morning, if we had to improvise a route briefly thereafter. After this minor mishap, it was pretty straightforward: drive straight across Indiana (which was peppered with series of signs for a website against gun control…or maybe just pro gun in general? In any case, my favorite set, spaced out over about 70 feet, was “THAT RABBIT FOOT”….”WON’T SAVE YOU”…”GUNS SAVE LIVES”). And then we drove through Illinois. And then Iowa. And then some more Iowa. And after STILL more Iowa, we rolled across the Missouri River into Omaha, Nebraska, where we are currently stationed for tonight.

Oh, did I forget to mention that we drove across the Mississippi? That’s a big deal, right? …Not if you’re driving Rt. 80 from Illinois into Iowa. I was starting to burn out on driving and about to turn over the wheel, but wanted to wait until I had done The Momentous Thing and Driven Over The Great River for the First Time. And then there wasn’t even a sign…you would think it was the Pocomoke. Actually the Pocomoke has a sign. Delmarva is proud.

Anyway, today was long and flat, and though we did have a short stop in Covington, IN (“On The Banks Of The Wabash!”) and drove by DeSoto, IA (the birthplace of John Wayne), it was pretty much a straight shot, with some nice rolling country (corn, soy, wind turbines) in Iowa. But still,  a very different part of the USA, and a view of places I hadn’t really seen before — with the exception of Ames, IA, all of today’s destinations were new.  Eventually, a monotony did sort of set in after we had covered every possible topic relevant to US foreign policy (mostly Mexico, China, and our relationship to western Europe, with a little bit of the Middle East thrown in) during the Indiana hours. 

I started to get drowsy and babbly sometime after Peoria, and by Iowa City I was telling my mom about the bizarre dream I had last night in which I was dating a video blogger and we danced around his apartment to an old De La Soul album while wearing large flannel shirts. After that, I got a little more self aware and I finally surrendered and put on a book on tape to save our collective state of consciousness, and possibly my sanity (/dignity?). It’s River of Doubt by Catherine Millard, and it’s actually pretty good for travel listening — all about Teddy Roosevelt’s South American expedition in 1912 down the “river of doubt,” an unmapped and extremely perilous tributary to the Amazon (or so we’re led to believe at this point in the book….I’ll correct myself tomorrow if that turns out to be false).  If I absorb nothing else, I now know that anacondas can weigh up to 500 lbs. 

After quite a long haul, we’ve just had a nice, cheap Mexican dinner (aweeeesome sopapilla) and are settling in for the night. Only five to six more hours to go — my next post will be from Cheyenne!

8D4 — I loved your bed! Enjoy your Bananagram….

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