Day 1.5-2

If I had to sum up last night with one overly-dramatic, blanket sweep
of a statement it would probably have to be "hell on earth." Hey, I
acknowledged it would be dramatic. It wasn't all bad, to be fair...
But all you nay-sayers were right about a few things: "it's gonna be a
lot of work." (everyone), "your tent is gonna leak" (grandpa
anderson), "you guys are crazy!" (Mostly everyone), and "those driving
times are a little ambitious." (Lindy).

So, as I had written earlier yesterday... We were running a tad behind
schedule. Like five hours behind. That means we arrived at our first
campsite with about 15 minutes of sunlight left to set up camp. Once
we did that, we sat down and cooked a relaxing campfire dinner. Oh
wait, that's actually not what happened at all. While that is what I
went to great lengths to plan, what really happened on Night #1 is an
entirely different story.

When we got to our campground, we were a little (a lot) surprised.
The campsites were tiny and were so close together it was almost
impossible not to back into someone's site with our van. And when I
say "someone's site" I should really say "yard" because the campground
was actually full of RV residents! This may be ignorant of me... But
did you know that people pay rent, park their rv or camper and LIVE in
these places? I mean, they had porches built onto the front of their
campers. They had wheels, and a porch! They had gardens, lawn
ornaments, outdoor furniture... I saw a guy mowing his lawn when I was
walking to the port-o--potty! I used a port-o-potty in someone's
yard. It was all very confusing.

We set up camp as spastically as possible, around 9:30ish. At this
point the kids were starving but we still had to build the fire, get
out the kitchen bin, start the camp stove and get dinner cooked. It
takes a very long time to cook dinner, at 10:30 at night, when it's
pitch black. I mean it was hot, humid, dark, buggy, and exhausting.

After dinner, we had to get the kids down, give London her nebulizer,
wash the dishes and pack up all the kitchen stuff. The kids were
obviously exhausted. The girls were out as soon as their heads hit
their pillows. Harper slept fitfully and would wake up periodically
to do something bizarre. He has bad nightmares, so he spent a lot of
the night incoherently screaming his head off. He was an ultra-pest,
trying to irritate the girls long after they were asleep. And at one
point I woke up terrified because he was crouching right by my head
demanding that I give him a kiss. Again, exhausting and confusing.
London woke up once in the middle of the night, so I fed her - which
never really happens, but out of fear of the other kids waking up, I

That's when the sideways rain first started. It sounded awesome.
But, the kids' sleeping bag ended up bunched against the tent wall so
it ended up getting wet. A few places on the tent had very minor
leaks, but it was wet enough to make packing up in the morning a touch
of a drag. We did wet breakfast, packed up wet camp and left almost 2
hours later than our goal... Which tells me we're improving!

We left Indiana, stopped in Illinois for a picnic because we saw an
awesome scenic lookout tower. It was, naturally, closed when we got
there. But we took the picture below, and had a quick dinner anyhow.
Then we went senselessly out of our way (2h 15m) to drive across the
mississippi river so we could go through Iowa and Wisconsin before we
headed to Minnesota. Our goal is to go in every state that we
possibly can, which adds a ridiculous amount of driving time, for very
little reward - really just a few blurry photographs of various
"welcome to whatever state" signs.

We are due to arrive in columbia heights, minnesota tonight to stay
with our friends laura and ethan. The GPS has our arrival time for
11:00p. We have been making good time, so we usually shave off some
time. Then London will explosively poop up her back, and we end up
adding more time than we shaved. So, to conclude Day #2, we will get
to see friends and take showers around 11:00, give or take a shave and
a crap.

Discoveries of Day #2:
-we grow a lot of corn in this country.
-tom had his daily run in with bird poop. He grabbed the edge of the
picnic table (which was clean) and got bird poop on his hand from
UNDERNEATH the table!
-the world is NOT running out of room for people. We figured out that
if each person ate one less can of Niblets a year, we could build
houses for all the people currently packed in china... And I'm talking
homes w/ acreage!
-the girls are not fond of port-o-potties and "would really rather go
in a regular bathroom because where do you even wash your hands!?"
(They are in for some serious disappointment in a few days when we're
in the dessert... A port-o-potty will seem like royal treatment at
that point.
-sometimes you have to swaddle your baby in a pillow case, just when
you're in a desperate laundry situation.
-london will poop explosively right while I am blogging about it.
It's like she knows...