Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The move to Colorado with camping

We have been packing non-stop for a week and today was THE day. We were going to pack up our vehicles and leave Illinois for good.

The plan for the move was a simple one:

Day 1 Drive 500 miles, camp for the night

Day 2 Drive 500 miles, arrive in Fort Collins

The reason for the camping was three fold. It was cheap, we would be close to our vehicles which contained all of our worldly possessions, and we liked to camp.

To make communication between the two vehicles easy along the 1000 miles, Mike picked up a set of two Motorola short wave radios. We had wanted to get those for a while for hiking and our dual-sport rides anyway. This way we didn’t have to use our cell phones just to say “I need to use the bathroom soon” or “I’ll need gas within the next hour”.

We were hoping to leave Chicagoland before noon, but things like packing always take longer then estimated. By 3PM we were on the road. My Acura hatchback had never had this much stuff in it. Every inch of space was being used, every crevice was utilized. I actually ran out of room and had to leave some things behind, but I was still amazed how much actually fit in this little car. Mikes 4Runner was also fully packed.

Leaving Chicagoland just before the worst of the rush hour traffic

We managed to get out of Dodge before the rush hour traffic got too congested. Mike had looked for camp sites on the internet at the half way point between Chicagoland to Fort Collins. We were going to spend the night around Lincoln, Nebraska tonight, there was a campground near the interstate.

This picture didn't really come out, the glare of the window doesn't allow you to see how packed my car really is

The small folding trailer that Mike had bought to tow his XR before we even met holds two bikes nicely

Mike couldn’t drive too fast with the trailer carrying his XR and my 954RR. I followed his truck making sure the bikes stayed put the whole way.

Heading in to the pretty sunset

Around 11PM we pulled off the interstate and went looking for the campground at the Eugene Mahoney State Park. The park was enormous. We thought that after hours we could just pick a spot at the campground and drop the money in to a self-registration box. This wasn’t the case here, the signs said that we needed to go to the visitor center/lodge which was open 24 hours and register there.

Amazing looking visitor center and lodge at the Eugene Mahoney State Park in Nebraska

The signage in the park wasn’t too clear on where this visitor center was located at and the park was huge and it was very dark. We drove in circles but finally found the visitor center, registered for a camp site, paid $20 and were on our way to locate the campground and set up the tent.

It only took a few minutes to set up camp since there was no unpacking necessary, everything was easily accessible. Since this was an electric site and it was chilly tonight, we plugged in our electric blanket. By midnight we were tucked in and waiting for the sleep fairy to sprinkle us the magic sleepy dust. I usually don’t sleep very well while camping, waking up a many times during the night. I was very amazed how well I slept tonight, I didn’t wake up at all until the alarm clock went off the next morning. The overnight temps stayed in the mid 40's.

No comments: