Part 1 -- Getting There:  August 4 - 6, 2001

Denver, CO to Cooper's Lake, PA


We're off at last!

August 4, 2001 -- Denver to Lincoln, NE

Okay, maybe I spoke too soon when I said this was an interesting bit.  Actually, it's not terribly exciting.  I haven't even taken any pictures yet.  But at least we're finally on the road.

My goal was to have everything all packed up and ready to go before we went to bed on Friday, but after a comedy of errors that involved Keith locking his keys in the minivan and me missing a bus, we ended up a couple of hours behind schedule.  We settled for getting the suitcases packed and having everything stacked up and ready to go in the morning.  And it only took me until 3:00 am to accomplish this!

After a restful four-hour nap, it was time to get up and get going again.  We were due at the Westminster Faire at 10:00 am to participate in the SCA demonstration there (we were scheduled to lead the dancing).  We were only about a half an hour late getting there, after packing the car.  We kept thinking of "just one more thing" that needed to be brought along.

We had fun at the Faire, but then it was time to get going.  After a stop to pick up some supplies (shampoo, etc.), we finally took to the highway, headed for Nebraska, at about 3:30.  We stopped in North Platte for some decent bar-b-que for supper, and now we're driving through Nebraska in the dark.  There was a beautiful moonrise, and we got a glimpse of the Platte River monument they've built across I-80 (but unfortunately, it was dark, and we couldn't get a picture).  It's now about 11:30 Central Time, and we're still about half an hour out from Lincoln.  And I guess that's all I can find to say tonight.

August 5, 2001 -- Lincoln, NE to Sturgis, MI

We arrived in Lincoln around midnight, and intended to get an early start, but encountered some problems when we tried to use the laptop to dial in and make reservations for the night.  After trying everything we could possibly think of -- including using the old laptop -- we finally had to give up and make a telephone call for a reservation.  How lowering!

We did get a chance to watch the Weather Channel, though.  We had decided to take the northern route across I-80 on the theory that, being further north, it would be cooler.  Right.  The weather maps all showed a band of hot, humid air right across our route.  The highest temperature/heat index on the entire map was ... Lincoln, NE!

We finally got out of Lincoln around 11:00.  We decided to stop in Des Moines for lunch, and happened across a Chinese buffet that we thought would be quick.  Much to my delight, we discovered that not only did they have a good Chinese buffet, but they had lots of other stuff -- including sushi!

Other than that, it was another uneventful day.  Well, okay, except for this bit of unexpected traffic:

There was some traffic slowing around Chicago, where we also stopped at a White Castle for dinner.

We stopped for the night in Sturgis, MI, which was just over the border from the Indiana Turnpike.

August 6, 2001 -- Sturgis, MI to New Castle, PA

We got off to another late start, but this time because we were being lazy.  Travel was again uneventful, though we did encounter a group of three other travelers who are also headed for Pennsic, at a rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike.

When we finally reached New Castle, we decided to check into our motel room first.  Our room is somewhat disappointing, however; not only do they not have the non-smoking room we reserved, but the hotel also does not have a swimming pool or a guest laundry.  Since it's likely that there are no other rooms available within a hundred miles, we are putting up with it, and the room is actually not bad.  And we know where to find the laundromat and places to swim.

We quickly unpacked and changed clothes, and then we were off to the War!