At 5:15 am on July 10, the morning that our movers were arriving to load up our stuff for our move from Iowa to Oregon, I finally gave up on packing and woke up my wife, who'd gone to bed at 3 am, so that I could get a couple of hours of sleep. I don't know about others, but the observation in our moving guide that people underestimate how much time packing takes . . . it was certainly true for us.
Fortunately, the movers came prepared with enough bodies to help with not just loading but also last-minute packing, and that evening, my wife and two boys and I hit the road in our minivan. Stop no. 1 was West Des Moines, past the boys' bedtime, but not unreasonably so.
On day 2, we drove from West Des Moines to Kearney, Nebraska, coincidentally staying at the same hotel that my wife and I had stayed at seven years ago when we moved to Iowa from California(!). Along the way, to entertain my older son, we played the game of spotting different state license plates, racking up a total of 22 of them.
On day 3, we made it to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Some highlights of the day included a stop at a Burger King for lunch, where there was an enormous gathering of motorcycle riders. (I'll post a picture when we get settled in.) They were the Patriot Guard, there to mourn Sgt. Duffy, a local young man who had been killed in Iraq recently. We also stopped at Cabela's, which is like REI for hunters. Like the Second Amendment? You'd like this store. We spotted another 11 new state license plates, including Alaska. (No Hawaii yet.)
And on day 4, we arrived in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Wyoming is a pretty state, but man is it sparsely populated. Once we left Laramie, it was just barren. . . . I mean, it makes Iowa along the 80 look overdeveloped! And that's where I am right now.