Now that we've been back for a few days and I have unpacked *most of my things, I can take a breath and recap our recent cross-country drive.
Anyone traveling in a rental truck towing a car with a dog in the cab will quickly learn it's going to be a long, slow journey. You will be passed by 18-wheelers going up hill (that's when you know you're slow), you will be boxed in between trucks at rest stops, you will pay $25 in tolls to simply drive across the "great" state of Indiana, you cannot go in reverse without blocking traffic for 15 minutes (cities are NOT your friend), and even places that are pet-friendly charge fees and confine your pet to using certain back doors. The best routes are flat, open roads and the best places to stay will have plenty of parking, restaurants that allow carry-out options and they will have a patch of grass for your dog to roam on. Our route was slightly revised early on and we ended up staying one night in the following places:
Days Inn, Cedar City, Utah —>
On the way we ate at the Mad Greek Cafe in Baker, California which makes really good hummus and flat bread. It was a long day of driving so we didn't get to see much besides the long road ahead of us. Econo Lodge, Rock Springs, Wyoming —>
Salt Lake City is on the way here—we managed to find the Utah Capital building and lawn but somehow missed the tabernacle...despite the fact that everyone says "you can't miss it." We stopped at a state park/rest stop in Evanston, Wyoming which had a big rushing river through it and a field of bison Maya seemed to mistake for a dog park with really big dogs inside it. Next time I would drive past Rock Springs...happily. Best Western, Fort Collins, Colorado —>
Tommie and I were intrigued about Colorado and planned to drive down to Boulder but then decided to save time by going to Fort Collins (slightly North) instead. There was a quaint college downtown area nestled between the mountains. We walked around the Colorado State University campus and got some yummy take-out Thai food.
Best Western, Omaha, Nebraska —> Admitedly, driving through Nebraska is not the most exciting tour but the clouds in the sky against the open fields can be pretty. We were diverted off the freeway around Sidney due to a smoking accident—I took the time to enjoy a delicious mint oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen. Our Best Western Hotel in Omaha was one of the nicest places we stayed in and it had a Perkins restaurant attached to it so we could get some real food after our D.Q. pit stop—though I'm pretty sure I could survive on blizzards alone.
Holiday Inn, Muscatine, Iowa —> Stopped in Des Moines, Iowa for lunch near Drake University. Everyone we met in Des Moines was intrigued by Maya the wonder dog. A little off the beaten path, Muscatine is along the Mississippi River.
Comfort Inn, Elyria, Ohio —>
We drove a lot this day and lost another hour in Ohio—time is also not your friend when driving this direction.
Holiday Inn Express, Schoharie, N.Y. —>
New York started to look "like home." There were lots of pretty rivers running under and next to the road with people canoeing and camping. The hotel was practically deserted and in a quiet location where we could walk to a Dunkin' Donuts and hear the peepers at night.
Home Sweet Home