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….life lived along route 80

August 30, 2017


route 80

Growing up in the middle of America, I lived through the excitement of the arrival of Interstate 80 and 35!  ..And now getting ready to retire in the middle of America, I have decades of travel experience on these roads with much more to come.

… for truth in blogging, I should reveal that I also have more than a passing knowledge of Interstate 95 and the Florida turnpike as well!

We generally travel East, this summer we headed West.. West to Denver and Breckinridge… West to visit the Colorado family.

DH plans our trips… though honestly get on Route 80 and drive for two days does not sound like it needs much planning!  Apparently the knowledge of truck stops, rest areas and the correct overnight location are integral to successfully navigating Route 80!

West on Route 80 was a uniquely pleasant experience.  We started with our short overnight trip to Davenport Iowa, see post on Iowa River Bandits, retreated home and then headed out for 10 days in the West.

Let me be very clear… Route 80 in Iowa and Nebraska is a well maintained, wide road through a flat vista with a speed limit of  75 miles an hour, meaning that traffic rolled along at 85 miles per hour… AND no tolls… Take that 80 East!  OH, and did I mention little traffic as well on 80 West…

Well, again for truth in blogging … it is pretty flat, actually very flat, with absolutely nothing to look at.  .. Hmmm, well at first glance nothing to look at.

Maybe it was the miles and miles and miles (can you hear me singing?) of sameness, but something began to bubble up.. the view is not the same from Chicago to Denver..

Ya start with corn… lots of corn, throw in a few soy beans, cross a couple of rivers, move into some large herds of cattle grazing on vast vistas of land, add more crops, these with sprinkler systems in the fields, mow through Eastern Nebraska… and head into tumbleweed, scratchy fields and vast views of nothing but fluffy clouds and blue skies…

We needed to slide down route 76 into Denver… finally reaching small foothills and a view of mountains on the horizon.

So much for 80, as we settled into Denver for a few days and then trekked up the mountain to ‘Breck’ as the natives call it.  Thankfully we took Route 70, lovely, wide and through the tunnel, as opposed to last years climb over the continental divide on a narrow road with no railings and the mountain ending way to close to the side of our car.

I am sure we all have our ‘things’, falling off a mountain is one of my unreasonable queasy causing events. I cannot look out the window, look up or look down… I am frozen, sick to my stomach, not even attempting to join the banter in the car…

So this year we took Route 70… Thank you dear cousins!!!

But I digress.. the prerogative of the small indy blogger!

Days fly by when having fun!  And fun with family flies even faster… Too quickly it was time to head home.  We took two days sharing the drive time out and made it back in one day.  The perfect match of weather, roads, and energy.  Reaching Des Moines on the return trip, we told ourselves we could stop at any time…  and then found ourselves on our driveway!

The drive was easy, however I think we just needed to be home for a moment!  We spent the first 11 days of August in the city with the dog… left the next day for Denver and by driving home in one day, gave ourselves two full days before heading back to the city to watch the cat! … there will be a post on that!!!




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