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Heading Home, part three

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Haven’t done much (any) blogging this past week since I’ve been on vacation. I hope these next three posts about our travels make up for that :)Also, very little editing (I can’t read in the car without feeling sick – but I can type apparently…). Check out our website for a visual (including Foursquare check-in locations) representations of our trip.

DAY 7, Friday:

We left the Tetons and, for the first time this trip, made our way south and east. We discovered (thanks to our road atlas) that Wyoming is ranked number 9 in terms of total land (of all 50 states) but number 50 in total population! Less than 500,000 people live in Wyoming. There is a lot of open land out there! (Vermont is number 49 in total population which took us awhile to figure out). We stopped for lunch in Lander, Wyoming. We were hoping for a good Wyoming beef burger but the restaurant cooked the meat too long. Again, we are definitely spoiled by excellent burger options in Lawrence. We decided just to stay at a KOA in either Laramie or Cheyenne for the night. We needed a shower and a place to put up our tent.

We decided it would be fun to explore Laramie, a college town, where the University of Wyoming is located. With some excellent recommendations from my old roommate, Dana, we went to Altitude Brewery for some good food and great beers. We also hit The Buckhorn, a bar (much like a western version of Louise’s or Red Lyon in Lawrence) that used to be a brothel. We had a drink and did a little dancing. It was a wonderful last night in Wyoming!

Day 8, Saturday:

Our KOA site wasn’t so much a woodsy location, so lack of trees made our morning incredibly bright and our tent incredibly warm at 6:30am (it’s impossible for me to sleep if I’m warm or if it’s too bright out). We packed up our tent (we hadn’t gotten anything else out of the car), brushed our teeth and I washed my face and we headed back to downtown Laramie for some coffee, quiche and route-planning for our last leg home. Since we had totally eliminated Colorado from our trip (we’re leaving it for a long weekend trip) we did not want to mess with Denver traffic (even on a Sunday). Google maps recommended taking I-80 back across the plains and then south into Kansas on 77 (into Topeka) and over to Lawrence on I-70.

We left Laramie around 9 am, made it back into the central time zone and stopped for lunch at Penny’s Cafe, a diner just off of Interstate 80 in North Platte, NE. It was such a delicious meal, we both left Foursquare tips (we recommend the chili burger and philly cheese steak sandwich). And we kept on driving. Phil ended up driving eight hours today. Road trip rec: when you stop, take some time. It takes longer but I think it makes 11 hour drives more tolerable. Around 6:30, I jumped into the driver’s seat and Phil got some coding done. Having his Mac Book Air (and his AC adapter) was really great. 75% of the time, we had something charging (computer or one of two smart phones). We passed through Pawnee, home of Larry the Cable Guy (I had no idea he was from Nebraska). We were definitely ready to be home and excited for the “Welcome to Kansas” sign. We stopped by Phil’s friend Wil’s house to get Phil’s keys and then went to Phil’s house to unload the car (around 9:45 – this was 11 hours on the road – we lost 1 hour to the time zone change).

I will say by this time, there was DEFINITELY an odor in our car. We had showered the night before but it could have been us, our clothes we had on, the dirty clothes that had been sitting in the back seat all week or our shoes/hiking boots. My Hyundai Sonata pretty much rocked our 2,000+ mile trip and it definitely deserves a little TLC this week.

We unloaded the trunk and all Phil’s stuff, emptied the cooler and he started a load of laundry. I showered and went to get food. We ate and watched a few episodes of Scrubs in Phil’s lovely climate-controlled living room. Saying we were looking forward to sleeping in an actual bed was an understatement. Our trip was exhausting and full but we loved it. Don’t be surprised if PhilsquareHQ has a Wyoming summer office in a few years!

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