KS > MO > IA > NB
We decided that it was best to carve out our days into smaller drives so we weren't just utterly exhausted and had forgotten how to stand up by the time we got to a campsite. Luke had carved out a route for the first few stops, so we said goodbye to the family in Kansas, loaded up the pups and we were off.
We didn't actually stop in Missouri, and we may have gotten gas in Iowa, but we counted them since we drove through them. The first stop we were heading to was just outside of Omaha, Nebraska along the Salt Creek. Before we got there, we stopped at a local grocery store to grab some food for the first couple of days and fill the rest of our pantry box.
When we finally arrived at our location I was a little skeptical. It had a really large creek but the water had definitely seen some better days. Also, it was right on the side of a decently busy highway and we learned on the other side was an active train track. At one point we said that if you had a white noise machine and put every noise on at once, that would be this place. But, this whole thing is supposed to be an adventure, so we stayed.
The dogs seemed to really like being able to run through the terrain and at one point Shoester came running back tangled in a huge vine. Words fail to sum up just how comical this whole campsite experience was, but the top picture should help with that.
Here are some highlights from the first night.
1. We cooked lasagna over a fire. About 50% of it burnt to a crisp, but the middle layers were really tasty.
2. We chatted with a few people who came to the creek to fish and learned that people in Nebraska like to bow fish. Neither of us had ever seen someone fish with a bow and arrow before so that was interesting.
3. Salt Creek apparently is a common place for Big Foot sightings. We only saw an owl though.
4. Sox bit a toad and lived to tell about it. More on that in the next post.
After a night of little sleep, we were still in good spirits. We had brought some things to make a breakfast chickpea hash but we (Luke) didn't follow the recipe completely so it lacked a bit of flavor. I want to try it again sometime, but we'll see. We packed up camp and headed four hours north which landed us just outside of Valentine, NB to a really pretty campsite place called Cub Creek (are you sensing a theme here?). Not only was this campsite scenic and peaceful but it also featured a pump-well for fresh water, a basic BBQ grill, picnic table and an outhouse.
This place was great for the dogs because it was covered in grass and had lots of room to run. We let them explore while we set up camp.
Taco soup was the plan tonight and as promised on our Instagram this is the link to the recipe. We did add an onion, some sweet peppers, and some cheese we had leftover which really added a lot of great flavors but it also would have been tasty on its own.
A little sidebar here. I like cooking so I've made it my personal goal of the trip to see how "gourmet" we can eat on the road. No beans and hot dogs for this family ... well not yet anyway. If you follow me on Pinterest I started a road trip recipe board that you can follow if you want ideas for your next trip.
This recipe made a decent amount of food, so we offered some to our camp neighbor and enjoyed a cool conversation with him. (Hi Pat!) After dinner, we washed our dishes by the well and relaxed in the hammocks. We were hoping for a clear night sky so we could see the Perseids and were a little bummed when the clouds rolled in. But a cool thing happened. After about an hour of darkness a hole in the clouds right over our field of vision opened up and we could see the show. God is so awesome with His little blessings like that.
We debated staying at our current spot another night, but Luke was excited to get to the Badlands so we packed up again and started another 4-hour drive to South Dakota.
See more from our Badlands adventure next week.
Thanks for following us on our grand adventure!
- the Beaucampers