Highways, Trucks, and Ice Cream

That's our RV and car in the foreground. It takes a lot of truck to haul one of these windmill blades! They are beautiful in operation, and so much larger than they appear.

I’m finally beginning to settle down and find balance. We left home on our Great Adventure last Thursday, arrived in Rapid City, South Dakota, on Wednesday, and have been here for a few days. Our plan for traveling was “three hundred miles or 3:00, whichever comes first,” and we stuck to it much of the time, but it didn’t make us feel relaxed about the trip and in fact I thought it was worse. We hit the road later in the mornings, then drove hard and fast until it was time to stop and that felt to me like I was running a race, so the overall trip from home to here just took longer, and was not at all the leisurely jaunt we had anticipated. We’ve done the trip in years past in three days, but that was exhausting, so we extended it to four days a few times, did it in five days once and that was hard, too, but seven days on the road this year seemed endless.

In retrospect, there were several things that caused it to be stressful. We’re still in the middle of a home renovation project and leaving it unfinished was uncomfortable. We also had plunked a gigantic yard sale in the middle of everything in order to get rid of years and years of clutter, and that created major chaos; at at the end we had to deal with lots of unsold stuff that we didn’t want to take to the “Swap Shop” at our local transfer station (I will forever call it the dump). Those things combined with my retirement – a life changing event that needs to be processed, at least for me, in quiet time and space, which didn’t exist at the time. Plus, at the end, and most important of all, I have realized that no matter how we frame it, the trip between New Hampshire and South Dakota will always be traveled in a hurry because there are wonderful grandchildren and family I love dearly at the other end and every day matters. I just want to get here as fast as I can, and I know now that will never change.

Big rigs fascinate me, and they looked beautiful in this huge truck parking lot. The trucking museum is in the background.

But we are here now, I have had lots of hugs and kisses, we have planned many grand things to do, and I’m feeling more like myself than I have in many weeks. I can think about writing again, and will be able to take the time to enjoy each day instead of trying to check things off an endless list.

There was one fun interlude along the way that I would like to tell you about.  The Iowa-80 Truck Stop, the largest truck stop in the world, is one of those places about which we have said, “We should stop there,” every time we passed by. This year we really did stop, and in spite of the 100 degree heat, it was fun. There is, of course, a huge store where truckers can buy everything from screens for their windows to chrome covers for their smokestacks and all things in between. There are services like showers and barbers, too, and there’s even a museum of trucking history.

This 1910 farm wagon could race along at 15 mph; its wheels are wooden!

My husband loves this kind of stuff, so we enjoyed a walk around the store and headed across the parking lot to the museum.

I have always been intrigued by the big rigs and part of me would love to be a truck driver, so the stop and the museum were fun and I got some good photos.

As I write this, my husband is out walking the dogs and when he returns we’re headed out to find me a hat with a big brim. After a week here with family, we’ll begin the second leg of our Great Adventure: Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. (Three hundred miles a day or 3:00, whichever comes first. This time we’ll do it right!) We’ll be out in the hot desert sun; I’ll definitely need a hat. I’ve already stocked a supply of SPF 100 sunscreen, so we’re prepared. Once we’ve got my hat, it’s off to see the grandchildren. We’re having an early pizza supper and then a trek to the local ice cream parlor – Armadillo’s, arguably the very best ice cream parlor anywhere.

Life is good.


2 thoughts on “Highways, Trucks, and Ice Cream

  1. Glad you are starting to relax. It really does take a certain amount of time away from home to unwind. I usually start my summer with my trip down south, and I instantly start relaxing. If I am at home, I always have a list of things to accomplish and even if I am sitting doing nothing, I’m thinking about the list. Enjoy every minute with your family.

  2. I visited Iowa I 80 in 1978, on a bicycle trip from Des Moines to Davenport. I slept in a little motel room, rolled my own and had an unforgettable time! Had roast beef on white bread, listening to stories of the interstate. Best time of my life.

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