The bus is well rested, spiffed up, packed, and we are ready to hit the road for our final 2000-mile trip “home”. The last leg of this long journey might be the most challenging. No, we’re not too worried about crossing The Rockies, the long stretches through The Plains, or any promised visits. It’s still all about the dog.
Setting out mid-August will be hot. This segment we’re hoping to cover more miles in a day. We’d like to visit Mt. Rushmore, perhaps Yellowstone, and follow the Columbia River into Oregon but Carlos is a year older and the heat will beat him up.
Last year this time we were on the California coast enjoying the coastal breezes and mild temperatures. When we set out west from Illinois and after crossing the Mississippi River, there is very little respite for beating the heat.
So we will probably do less camping and more overnights in air conditioned hotels. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not our preferred way to road travel. This may sound strange to a lot of people but for us hotels seem so sterile. Same bed, same flat screen TV, same hotel niceties, same waffles. We could be in a different hotel in a different city every night and not know the difference between stops.
We’re still counting on following the weather in a westerly direction and have heard that the little state roads like HWY 20 through Iowa offer a bit more excitement than the well worn interstate so we’ll probably take that course, allowing for the flexibility to stray off course, of course.
Normal weather during late summer in Yellowstone actually looks like we could enjoy some camp time with Carlos. Forecast is for mid to upper 70°s. That’s perfect. Higher elevation campgrounds, a river running through it. That’s perfect. What a perfect way to celebrate 100 years of our National Parks.
So, at the moment, our goal is to make it to Yellowstone in about a week. Stops along the way might include Oregon, Illinois ( just for the photo op), Galena, Illinois, home of US Grant, and if bike week has already ridden through, maybe Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Carlos has already seen Mt. Rushmore during bike week back in 2001, but Hali has never seen it. Well worth the slight detour.
We have considered other options like borrowing a zippier air conditioned car, or staying in Illinois until Hali gets back from the Caribbean late September but we do need to get Thor back to Oregon and Carlos is dying to see his puppyhood pal Tanner. It has been a long time. About ten dog years. Yep, it’s about time and it’s all about the dog.
“Home”. . . Oregon? Triple digit heat? Hmmm. . . Hold the bus!