373 miles (hot, hot miles), 18.2 MPG, $98.71 gas, $0 tolls, $22 Willow Creek State Recreation Area Campground.
Tough day today. Up early (thanks to time change). Macbride had an even trashier clientele than we’re used to. Who knew you could hold a cigarette and beet can with one hand? Or watch your kids play with the RV blackwater dump area, while they’re eating? I could go on and on. As I said in an earlier blog – fine for an overnight, and cheap.
After an hour of top-down driving, we ran into a hail-filled thunderstorm trailer that at least sand-blasted the trailer clean. We were of course in a one-lane construction area in this blinding storm. Then it got really hot, especially as we entered Nebraska.
We followed route 30 much of the day. That same route that comes from Philly, and still called the Lincoln Highway. Eventually made it up to our intended Route 20 (Oregon trail) in Nebraska. Corn, corn, and more corn for the last 500 miles.
Can’t find gas with more than 91 octane, so putting an additive in the tank. Today was rough on the car. Between the AC barely keeping up, the construction rough roads, and the hills, I kept imagining blue smoke coming out the back. Turns out hazy Iowa looks like blue smoke everywhere. So, I was on edge..
After miles and miles of nothing (save the Dona Reed theatre), we followed the only paved road into Willow Creek State Park – a relative oasis. Found a site in the nearly-empty campground right on the water (we could swim within 50 feet of the site). The real beach is a quick walk away, and we went for a quick swim. The a spaghetti dinner al fresco.
Tomorrow: onward to Rapid City, SD and Mt.Rushmore, etc. Then the trip (and mountain driving) really begins.