PLUS FOUR – ONE WEEK

Gary GruberTravelPLUS FOUR – ONE WEEK
June 22 , 2022 /

PLUS FOUR – ONE WEEK

JUNE 19 –  The stark difference between western and eastern Colorado is found in a comparison of the landscapes. The former is populated by mountains, 58 of them exceeding 14,000 feet and numerous  ski resorts.  The latter is defined by flat grasslands and prairies.  Irrigation is apparent for growing hay for cattle and Colorado beef is regarded as high quality.  Each different landscape has its own special characteristics and appeal.  On a map, the dividing line between the eastern and western land masses is Interstate 25 that runs south to north through the state, NM on the south, WY on the north.  Colorado is our 8th  largest state with 104,000+ square miles.  Most people will not have heard of the towns we travel through because they are off the popular and heavily traveled routes.  Place names have their distinct character and history, places in CO like Alamosa, Rocky Ford, Brush and Sterling.

 

JUNE 20 –  Our objective during extreme heat is to try and get through it and head toward cooler temps which is a challenge when there is apparently some kind of heat dome over a large part of the Midwest.  Thus our compass pointed us north and east, toward Minnesota and Wisconsin where we’re hoping to find cooler weather.  For several days, the temp has been in the high 90’s, hitting 100 as we traveled through Nebraska, compromising our Interstate avoidance in order to cover more miles.  Thus, today without anything of significance, we end up a bit west of Omaha, having listened to an audible version of a big portion of “All The Light We Cannot See.”

 

 

JUNE 21 –  Looking at our maps, we see a way through Iowa to Minnesota, back on our favorite kinds of roads through the countryside filled with corn and soybean fields, mostly in a northerly direction and then east.  We love the farmsteads, the family farms that fed themselves and many others over the years.  Now, large production farms are under contract to several of the mega commercial agricultural companies such as Cargill and on the food producing side, companies such as Perdue and Tyson.  The smaller family farm seems like a relic of the past and because of my earlier family farm experiences, I chalk it up to nostalgia.  I prefer rural over city life – open, expansive, uncluttered views and that translates to a larger life perception as well.

 

On this first official day of Summer, we arrive mid afternoon in Fairmont, MN where it is serenely quiet in a tree-lined campground called, appropriately, Flying Goose Resort.You may have noticed the unofficial slogan on MN license plates, “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and if you count all of them, 11.842!  The official name for MN came from the French “L’etoile de Nord”. Star of the North.

 

JUNE 22 – A non-travel day, stationary in one place and a day of catching up, R & R, reading, writing, walking, looking ahead. Taking inventory in the pantry, making a grocery list, the usual housekeeping stuff of life.  We’ll wait on getting laundry done until we’re in another spot for a few days, perhaps somewhere in Wisconsin.  We do not have w/d on board so we either find a campground that has washers and driers, or take it to a wash/dry/fold service.  Not the same as at home, just a different routine.  Mundane?

 

On a travel note, with a tailwind from the west, we were averaging 19 mpg and then as the wind and our direction shifted and we headed northeast, and with a strong wind coming from the northwest, the average dropped to 15 mpg.  With the cost of diesel fuel around $5.39, average mpg affects the bottom line.  Without strong wind, we expect an average between 16 & 17 mpg.  That’s significantly better than we used to do with our big Class A RV’s and 7-9 mpg.

Next: One more week, expect to post around 6/29.