On Wednesday morning we said a tearful goodbye to Nana and Pappy and hit the road bound for Nebraska. After driving through Illinois, we entered Idaho and I got to check off another item on my bucket list … Visit the World’s Largest Truck Stop. Well, by God, we found it. Iowa 80 … The World’s Largest Truck Stop. Wow! Amazing! Inspiring! In fact, I’ve decided to get out of youth ministry and I’m now pursuing a career as a truck driver. LOL! At 3pm we arrived in Lincoln, NE where we stopped for an hour and had some coffee and gelato (yes, I was stunned to find gelato in Nebraska) with my childhood friend, Jason Frew. We then drove another hour-and-a-half to Grand Island, NE where we stayed with Jason’t mom and my first grade teacher, Lori Frew-Kessler. Her son Nate was also home. After some dinner we had a wonderful time reminiscing on the past and reconnecting. I haven’t seen Lori since they paid us a visit in NY 20 years ago.
On Thursday morning we departed and headed to Colorado. On our way to our next pit stop, we stopped by the Group headquarters in Loveland, CO and were so blessed to have the whole youth ministry team come down and visit with us – Rick Lawrence, Kami Gilmour, Andy Brazelton, Justil Bowling, Veronica Lucas, and Jeff Storm. We ate a little lunch and chatted for a while before driving through Rocky Mountain National Park. Unbelievable! Breathtaking! We drove Trail Ridge Road – the highest continuous paved road in the United States, crossing the Continental Divide with beautiful scenery, with a high point at 12,183 feet. And, yes, we did it with our Uhaul trailer in tow. We saw elk and some moose – including one with a baby. After exiting the west-side of the park, we arrived in Grand Lake at the cabin of a wonderful friend who graciously allowed us to stay there. It was wonderful! We had a nice, relaxing evening including dinner in the very cute (yes, I said cute) little downtown.