Illinois and Iowa made Ohio and Indiana look like my grandma’s metaphorical backyard garden. Where in Ohio we saw a cornfield, in Illinois we saw a corn sea. Where cornfields dotted the highway in Indiana, highway dotted the cornfields in Iowa. Just driving through there made my poop look weird.
I knew this day was going to be the longest and prepared by bringing book two from the Game of Thrones series (which is actually called A Song of Ice and Fire but that couldn’t be farther from manly) and read one chapter. The rest of the time I wasn’t driving I frantically searched for cell phone reception. What a day.
Omaha, our next stop, is luckily right across the border of Nebraska. As we crossed the Missouri I snapped another great “Welcome to” sign picture:
We only had a few hours in Omaha, as our campsite was about 30 minutes west of the city. So we did what everyone does in Omaha, and got steak. This steak was phenomenal. Grab a napkin to wipe the drool from your computer because here’s a picture (with CHEESY GRITS. CAN LIFE GET BETTER.):
I took that knife for my collection (of things, not knives) and we went to get some dessert. For future reference, do enter an ice cream shop with a knife in your hand. Things could get weird.
After trolling around a nice little area of Omaha (after stopping at the car to get rid of the knife) we headed to the campsite, which was just outside a very small town called Fremont. Fremont was like a Midwestern spin on Toledo, but could have had a greater variety of lampshades. It was getting late when we finally got to our site, so we went to set up the tent I was borrowing from my aunt before the sun went down.
The tent had no poles. Which if you know anything about tents means it was now a huge, complex sleeping bag, or a tarp. Which is less than ideal for a week’s worth of camping.
Luckily, we were in the Midwest which means you’re never farther than 15 minutes from a Walmart. After purchasing a new tent (thanks Mom!) and discovering that the People of Walmart mostly come from the Fremont, NE store, we went back to the site to blindly set up our tent. Using our cell phones as flashlights we got it up only to realize we bought the penthouse of tents. A family of five and their dog could easily share it with room for clothes and a small kitchen. So we had some room to sprawl out.
Unfortunately the tent wasn’t sound proof. Every hour or so a train would go past the campsite, all night long, blowing its horn. And every time I woke up and for a split second thought we were under attack. It is obvious that my campsite picking abilities rival my “Welcome to” sign picture taking abilities.
After a sleepless night for the both of us, we tore down our canvas mobile home and headed to the first destination that we were really looking forward to – where trains couldn’t jar you awake and all the tents had poles: The Badlands of South Dakota.