Sunday, October 03, 2010

Greetings from Council Bluffs, Iowa

We put our first 585 miles behind us today: the big state of Nebraska. Sorry, folks, but talk about boring scenery! When we finally met up with the Platte River the scenery got better. It’s so brown and dry. I guess I am too acclimated to the East Coast! Please don’t take offense.

We are staying in the Days Inn with which we have a long history. My first stay here was on a trip by myself, with Sailor, on the way to breed him in Minnesota. It was pouring rain with black clouds and dark as night when we pulled in. I was hoping and praying that they took pets. They did. I walked him in the pouring rain, thunder, and lightening when we first arrived. When we came back in the desk clerk told me to gather in the downstairs hallway because there was a tornado warning. Geez. Since then we have stayed here on two previous trips to Colorado (on the way back). This marks our third stay. (Or fourth if you count the one with Sailor.)  The kitties like the room because the ground floor level rooms are slightly below ground with a lovely window sill for them to sit on and look out on the world.

Tomorrow’s goal will be to get through Iowa, Illinois, and hopefully all of Indiana, staying just 13 miles in to Ohio. We’ll see if we make it that far. If not, our Ramada Inn in Elkhart, Indiana will have to suffice. They seem to have gone downhill in the past few years and given that the no longer have the Bennigan’s Restaurant attached, it’s not as attractive. And may be the reason for the decline of the whole hotel. But, at this time of year it’s pretty much empty and a good place to walk the dogs.

We are anxious to be home now that we’ve started our return journey. Leaving the cabin this morning and hearing the last bits of water spitting out of the pipes as we drained them seemed so final. As did the closing and locking of the gate.

As I type we’ve had our meal of Hardee’s hamburgers (close by the hotel), and several glasses of good red wine. Rick is busy with his iPad and I got the computer. Bella is asleep at my feet, Hailey and Sam are asleep on one of the beds, eBay is curled up on the pillows of the other bed (on top of the sheet we bring to put on the beds), and Alex is crashed behind Rick. They will need to go out once more for potty time before we can turn in and turn out the lights on this first day of travel.

Before I go I have to say I saw one of the most pitiful sights in my life today which rates right up there with an experience I had as a teen driving from Florida to Colorado with my parents. We had stopped in Amarillo Texas and I saw a truck with an open semi trailer of dead, bloated cattle with their stiff feet all sticking up in the air. It has never left my mind.  Neither will the sight I saw today for the first time: a poultry truck. Beautiful white chickens were all stuffed into crates on top of one another. Crate upon crate. Feathers flying out behind the truck. When we passed I could see their sad eyes staring at me although it was impossible for them to move even a feather. So sad. That image will stick with me for a while. For sure.

So, sorry for that memory, but I wanted to remember it. Off to walk the dogs for final pees now and on to tomorrow’s trek.

Thank you all for sticking with me on our vacation. I’m sorry I haven’t been around to any of your own blogs, but I promise to catch up once we’re back.



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