We agreed to take the best part of three days to get from Denver to Dayton rather than rushing there as fast as we could. Since it’s winter, we really didn’t want to take our time and do any tourism. We also prefer to drive for no more than about eight hours a day given the lack of daylight this time of year.
We got really lucky with the weather. On the whole the roads were dry and clear the entire way from Lakewood to Angie’s parents’ house but once we’d gotten here, the roads started to ice up with the freezing rain.
We decided to take the northernmost route, mainly I-80, and as Angie had told me, it is quite pretty in places. She says the I-70 route isn’t nearly as interesting and there are many more semi trucks on I-70.
We powered through Nebraska as fast as we could on Tuesday and spent the night in Lincoln. Highlights of the day were the clear light and the incredible amount of hawk sightings. We also saw at least two bald eagles. My brother Robert thinks that we see this many birds because we are looking for them, while most people wouldn’t even notice. We also saw wild turkey and lots of deer along the way.
We reached Lincoln in the early evening and had a quiet dinner in the room. We stayed in a Rodeway Inn in an industrial, but overall peaceful part of town.
On the second day we drove from Lincoln to Champaign-Urbana. We plugged through the last 50 or so miles of Nebraska and stopped briefly in Council Bluffs, Iowa at a very nice HyVee grocery for coffee and some additional food for our meals.
Again, it was mainly a day of driving and most of our stops were just to stretch our legs and get Rebbe out, or to get gas. We kept these stops pretty brief because despite temperatures in the 20s it was actually REALLY cold. This was mainly because of the feature that also made the driving very hard today: high winds. It made the cold much colder and made it vital to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. More bald eagles were sighted on the second day, even though we didn’t expect to see as many in Iowa, plus a few wild turkey again. Iowa’s landscape does seem a bit more attractive to me than Nebraska, with rolling hills and slightly more winding roads. We were also treated to an amazing sunset when we paused in Peoria, IL to fill up with gas before the final slog to Champaign.
Like everywhere else so far, Champaign was very cold, plus there was a fair amount of snow on the ground.
The final day of this journey was from Champaign into Miamisburg. This took us through a bit of Indiana, including a strange route to navigate around Indianapolis that took us on some surface streets, which we didn’t expect. We only had about four hours of driving and were thrilled to arrive in Miamisburg while the weather was still good. Rebbe was especially thrilled to find “Grandma and Grandpa” and their dog Lucie at the end of three days in the car!