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Writing tonight from Nashville, Tennessee, our third night on the road.  I had hoped to write nightly, but we’ve been so exhausted by the time we  hit a hotel room that it hasn’t happened.  We’ve been having a most excellent time!

Here are a few highlights.

Day One – Boulder, Colorado to Topeka, Kansas

 – The Tower Museum in Genoa, Colorado – weird, cool, amazing, bizarre, and only $1!!  Don’t let the Psycho-esque dummies in the upper windows scare you off.  Jerry the owner is a total hoot and loves to have people stop in.  The 13 rooms in this place are packed – literally with anything you can think of.  In fact, I believe one of their mottos is, “If it’s not here, it doesn’t exist.”  AND you can see 6 states from the top of the tower.  You can’t tell where they are or which states you’re seeing, but still….6 STATES!

In Goodland, Kansas, we stopped at the World’s Largest Easel!

I’ve never had such a good time driving through Kansas – it was beautiful!  We admired the corn – corn literally as far as the eye could see.  Friendly truckers.  Lots of churches.  The largest windfarm we’ve ever seen.  Lots and lots of roadkill.

Arriving in Topeka absolutely exhausted, we discovered that the Topeka Curse was still upon me.  There was not a hotel room to be had in Topeka – among other parties filling the beds was a Missionary Conference.  I wished we could have stayed for the fashion show the next day – I’m sure it was something.

So we drove an additional half-hour to Lawrence and spent a night at the Holiday Inn.  At least we were an extra half hour farther along the next day.  The people at the Holiday Inn in Topeka and the Holiday Inn in Lawrence were all exceptionally nice.

Day Two: Lawrence, Kansas to Branson, Missouri (Yes, Branson)

We enjoyed the rolling green hills of Missouri, and were disappointed that we didn’t get to see any Amish people after all the “Share The Road” signs.  We pulled into Branson after about 4 hours of driving – not bad compared to our 11 hours the day before. 

The Baymont Inn and Suites was off the Strip, which was fine with us.  We drove in and visited the Titanic Museum which was a very powerful experience, then tried to find dinner, but apparently there’s only one place left to eat on a Sunday in Branson after 7:30.  But eat we did – a good steak, with the music and long wait being made tolerable by two margaritas and two Dr. Peppers.  Kelsea was fascinated by the obesity problem.  Branson is a bizarre quasi-Las Vegas, Southern Style.

Today – Branson, Missouri to Nashville, Tennessee

Another long driving day – Kelsea slept for part of it.  We visited the World’s Smallest Cathedral (which is for sale).  We tried to visit the Fire (and Soda Bottle) Museum in Willow Springs, but it was closed, so we wandered around outside looking at the classic fire trucks.  The fire chief, who looks a little like an old surfer-hippie, happened to drive up and told us that the museum was now just the fire house, but he invited us in and gave Kelsea some ideas about how to accelerate her EMT training, which was very helpful.

We relaunched onto the highway going back the way we came, instead of forward, so I drove over the grassy median to get headed in the right direction.  Hey, sometimes it just has to be done.  And toodling along, we saw……AMISH PEOPLE!!  I was so excited.  I know they’re not a tourist attraction, but still!!

We stopped at Lambert’s Restaurant, home of the Throwed Rolls, for lunch and ate our bodyweight in catfish and chicken.  Kelsea caught a roll and the roll-tosser was a cute teenage boy, so she was way happy.

We crossed the Mississippi and the Ohio River and headed into Kentucky.  Kentucky makes me smile.  It feels like home.  It’s lush and green and gentle, and we spent too little time there before we crossed the Tennessee border.

They drive really fast in Tennessee.  Really fast.  But not as fast as Montana. 

We have been laughing and laughing.  We’ve been listening to our iPods, trading off on whose iPod day it is.  Kelsea has been our scribe – when we see something particularly entertaining, she makes note of it in our notebook.  I’ll pull from that for more writing once we get to the beach.

Tomorrow it’s Nashville to Asheville, where we’ll spend two nights.  It’ll be nice to have a short driving day, and two nights in the same place.

Sweet dreams, all!

July 2010
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