I spent a few years in Ames, Iowa, back in the day. Wallowed through a few years of school here, met my first husband in the vicinity, generally milled about some.
Ames happened to fall directly on top of the need for dinner tonight, so we stopped in.
While I would have liked to have taken the brood to Great Plains Sauce and Dough, they don’t know what dairy-free means, so we settled on Hickory Park, a yummy BBQ joint in an old train depot.
Well I think they’re in an old train depot. It sure feels like it, and I know they used to be. The memories are foggy.
They can seat about 800 in here, I swear. You leave the table to go to the restroom and return twenty minutes later, out of breath, and having fully worked-up your appetite.
There were some dairy-free miscommunications, but in the end, with minimal management involvement, we all had food in front of us that we could eat. Food that looked pretty delicious.
Scott settled on this one:
Because he’s got control issues.
It was the size of a plate.
In order to save him from himself, I tried a bite.
I had to unhinge my jaw, but it was totally worth it.
We’re winding down. We’ve come 10 of our 15 hours in the $900 van today.
And I’m sitting here, wishing I hadn’t eaten so much food, and thinking of this kid who was our reason to finally take the plunge and drive all the way to the other coast. All the way to the far coast. The kid that was brave enough to move on out there and experience life in the National Parks for a time. What a story.
Rachel’s making her way in the world, and doing in on her own terms, and we couldn’t be prouder. Way to make it happen.
Also, we’re a tad grateful she made us finally take the dream trip.
If you happen to pass through Oregon, and see the kiddo, give her a wave from Ma and Pa back in Colfax. We miss her.
We’ve only been gone for three weeks. I know we only covered a hunk of the U.S., a mere smidge of the globe, but we amassed a pretty impressive list of encounters.
Just for fun, and in no particular order, we hit:
- The tallest Waterfall in North America (5th in the world)
- America’s 2nd National Park
- The tallest concrete dam (and 2nd-tallest dam, period) in the U.S.
- The world’s tallest trees
- The longest single arch bridge in North America
- The largest collection of hoodoos in the world
- The 2nd-longest suspension bridge in the U.S.
- The largest reservoir in the U.S.
- The most massive trees in the world
- The world’s largest ocean
- The highest point in the contiguous U.S. (almost)
- The 3rd-most visited National Park
- The coolest caves I’ve seen (disprove me!)
- The first protected natural wonders in the U.S.
- The deepest lake in the U.S.
- The crookedest street in the world
- The longest National Park tunnel
- The nation’s deepest canyon
- The westernmost point in the contiguous U.S.
- The windiest point in the contiguous U.S.
- The westernmost city in the contiguous U.S.
- Arguably the hilliest city in the U.S.
- The 8th-largest Monolith in the world
- The longest stretch of public beach or coast
- The clearest lake in the world
Not bad, eh? If only we got around to it when the Oregonian kiddo was still in the backseat. Sigh.
But alas, she’s got six months out there. She’ll have her own list. Maybe we’ll do it together someday.
The picture at top? That’s from when Rachel and I drove out for the first time almost two months ago. A lot of water under the bridge.
Lots of miles for us, and lots of life for her.
The Whole Enchilada:
- Whirlwind Indeed: Ready the Mailbags (6/16/2018)
- Day One: Sunday, May 20th, Billings, MT (6/17/2018)
- Day Two: Monday, May 21st, Coeur d’Alene, ID (6/18/2018)
- Day Three: Tuesday, May 22nd, Trail (Crater Lake), OR (6/19/2018)
- Day Four: Wednesday, May 23rd, Crater Lake continued… (6/20/2018)
- Day Five: Thursday, May 24th, Crater Lake marches on… (6/21/2018)
- Day Six: Friday, May 25th, Bandon (The People’s Coast), OR (6/22/2018)
- Day Seven: Saturday, May 26th, Bandon and Beyond (6/23/2018)
- Day Eight: Sunday, May 27th, the Coast continues on… (6/24/2018)
- Day Nine: Monday, May 28th, Memorial Day on the Ocean (6/25/2018)
- Day Ten: Tuesday, May 29th, Humboldt Redwoods, CA (6/26/2018)
- Day Eleven: Wednesday, May 30th, Yosemite Pines RV Resort (6/27/2018)
- Day Twelve: Thursday, May 31st, Yosemite (6/28/2018)
- Day Thirteen: Friday, June 1st, Another Day in Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy Beckons (6/29/2018)
- Day Fourteen: Saturday, June 2nd, Finishing Up at Yosemite (6/30/2018)
- Day Fifteen: Sunday, June 3rd, Sequoia RV Ranch, Three Rivers, CA (7/1/2018)
- Day Sixteen: Monday, June 4th, Sequoia-Kings Canyon (7/2/2018)
- Day Seventeen: Tuesday, June 5th, Sequoia’s Last Stand (7/3/2018)
- Day Eighteen: Wednesday, June 6th, Through the Desert to Hurricane, UT (7/4/2018)
- Day Nineteen: Thursday, June 7th, Zion National Park, and more… (7/5/2018)
- Day Twenty: Friday, June 8th, Bryce Canyon and the long road to Boulder… (7/6/2018)
- Day Twenty-One: Saturday, June 9th, Chateau de Boj, Boulder, CO (7/7/2018)
- Day Twenty-Two: Sunday, June 10th, More Boulder Respite… (7/8/2018)
- Day Twenty-Three: Monday, June 11th, Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog (7/9/2018)
- Day Twenty-Four: Tuesday, June 12th, Greetings (7/10/2018)
- About that thing… (2/8/2019)