Day 2 – 1020 miles
Usually Jess and I sleep in whenever we get the chance. On this morning however, we were up at 6:00 a.m. without the use of an alarm. I guess eleven hours of sleep is enough for the body after being up for 24 hours, fifteen of those on the road. It was glorious sleep, too. The kind of sleep where you wake up slowly after a full night’s rest, and just hover in that half-sleep zone for fifteen minutes right before you wake up. It was a good thing, too. We were driving to Laramie, Wyoming.
1020 miles west of Chicago is Laramie, WY. I went to college in this little town, and the wife and I were going to stay there for the night, hopefully catching up with some friends. Unfortunately, it’s about a fifteen hour drive across some of the most boring highways in the U.S. If you’ve ever driven through Iowa and Nebraska, then you know what I am talking about, if you haven’t, I’ll spare you the details. Just know that the highlight of the trip was driving by the world’s largest truck stop.
World’s biggest truck stop
The most difficult aspect of driving long hours is staying focused. When you’re driving on a mundane highway with nothing to break up the scenery it gets a little hypnotizing. Add that to the thump-thump thump-thump rhythm of the road, and it is difficult not to zone out.
Jess and I were trying to find ways to pass the time and stay alert. I put out the idea of listening to a movie on the iPad over the Bluetooth in the car. It worked well, but was too distracting for me to listen to as I was driving. I kept trying to watch the movie in Jess’s lap. No bueno.
We found something else to occupy our time on the long drives while talking with my mom. She mentioned that she used to listen to books on tape, so Jess and I downloaded an audio book. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I’ve read this book a few times – it’s one of my favorite books – but Jess doesn’t read much. I hoped that she would like it, and so far, sixteen hours into the audio book, Jess says that she’s enjoying it. It definitely helps to pass the time.
It was a long day of driving, but we made it to Laramie. We stopped at the Lincoln Memorial rest area, about ten miles east of Laramie, which, at 8,640 feet in elevation, is the highest point on I-80. It is also close to the town of Buford, which has a legit population of one. There’s not much to see out here, but what there is to see is eclectic in nature.
Giant head of Abraham Lincoln
- Starting miles: 74,678
- Ending miles: 75,698
- Miles traveled: 1,020
- Total miles traveled: 1,954
- Cattle seen: 254
- No. of times I used cattle to hide flatulence: 6
- Busts of Lincoln seen: 1
- Number of times stopped for gas: 4
- Number of times stopped to pee for Jess: 8