Day 1 – Cleveland to Dubuque, Iowa

Day 1 – Cleveland to Dubuque, Iowa

Finally, I get to start writing about the trip. Here goes:

Well, my first couple of days were a mixed bag for sure:

Thought I was downsizing, seems like an awful lot of stuff to take.

Thought I was downsizing, seems like an awful lot of stuff to take.

I was planning on leaving Saturday, July 25 but I got a late start, so Sunday ended up being my new launch date. The plan stood to get from home past Gary, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois and then somewhere after that. The ride to Gary, Indiana was lovely, the weather was great. I was feeling very optimistic about my latest life choice. Then I took a wrong turn and was stuck in Chicago traffic for over an hour. Not just traffic, but stop and go and almost get hit a few times traffic. I was freaking out and was low on gas (my bad!). I do not know how I got so turned around. Sammi, my GPS, was just about as confused as I was. I considered turning around and going home but I did not.

A gift from my friends and a great way to start my trip!

A gift from my friends and a great way to start my trip!

I got to Dubuque, Iowa at the end of the day. I had a city campgrounds in mind but could not find it because of lack of signage. But I called the number and the camp host came right over to get me. He was awesome and put me close to the front. The temperature was very hot so I rolled the windows down and quickly taped up some screens Mike had made me to keep bugs out and cool breezes in. It worked perfectly. As the sun went down, the temperature went down also. No sounds but the songs of crickets, passing traffic and the melodic sounds of a faraway train. This semi-outside experience was a first for me.

My view from my very first campsite!  Very close to the water!!

My view from my very first campsite! Very close to the water!!

Unlike at home, there was no television, no loud refrigerator, and no other household noises. Just the sounds of nature and a little traffic. It was so incredibly peaceful. I have yet to be in peace mode, I am still in stress mode, but it will come to me. Soon I hope!!

Devi did a great job camping!!

Devi did a great job camping!!

As far as car camping, I have never done it but I had an “idea” of how it should go. Boy, was I wrong. I struggled with getting comfy, staying cool, trying to get undressed, eating (dinner last night was snacks given to me by a friend) and generally getting used to sleeping in a SUV down by the river (yes, I was really next to the Dubuque River). I fought and struggled for a couple of hours, but then got my “blankie” out of storage and my pillow and drifted into dream land. Just needed some comforting items.

I never realized how beautiful Iowa is!!

I never realized how beautiful Iowa is!!

Unlike at home, there was no television, no loud refrigerator, and no other household noises. Just the sounds of nature and a little traffic. It was so incredibly peaceful. I have yet to be in peace mode, I am still in stress mode, but it will come to me. Soon I hope!!

Amazing Iowa Sky!

Amazing Iowa Sky!

I learned a lot last night and feel like I am well on the road to becoming a car camper aficionado or not. This morning I woke up reorganized the car and started on my way to Nebraska.

Just a cool bridge -- looks like modern art.

Just a cool bridge — looks like modern art.

As I think back on the last few days, I am very impressed with how beautiful this country is.  The corn fields of Iowa are amazing but also feed us and feeds the farm animals,  fuel our vehicles and have been known to be a main part of certain adult beverages.  Corn as far as the eye can see and it was truly stunning.

Sammi, my Garmin.  She can be chatty at times :-)

Sammi, my Garmin. She can be chatty at times 🙂

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