Colorado, Here We Come {2016 Roadtrip #4 - the last part!}

This is the last post about our epic July roadtrip, I promise! I know I've been writing about this forever, but since the trip covered over 3 weeks, it was the best way I could think to do it without having to skip anything I wanted to document or blast you with a 20-page post! Back to reality after this.  :-) 

Our first day heading back West was a big one, heading from Pennsylvania up into Michigan. Now Michigan is definitely not "on the way" home per se, but I couldn't resist the urge to pop up there since it really didn't add too much time to the whole drive.

The drive was quick enough. Since we'd had a break since our last big drive days, it didn't feel too rough. We were all excited for Michigan too.

We changed things up a little for this stop and did an AirBnB instead of camping. I'd gotten some recommendations from my cousin, who'd gone to college in Ann Arbor, and I wanted to be somewhere close enough that we could look around a bit, and have somewhere safe to leave the pup. It was a bit of a relief honestly. I love camping, but it is exhausting setting up a camp, just to break it all down the next morning, drive somewhere new and repeat the process.

We did dinner out in the city, then swung by the stadium just to see it.

That place is massive!

We headed back to out stay after that to get showered and into bed, since we were all pretty exhausted.

The next day was an easier day, heading back to Iowa, and this time Rock Creek State Park. I had an idea we might check something out before we took off that morning, but it was raining when we left, so we just got on the road. It was a good thing since within a half hour it was absolutely pouring, torrential rain plus lightning and thunder! It stayed that way for about 150 miles until we were all begging Mother Nature to just let up for a bit.

It did then, and we took advantage of the sun that came out to make one quick stop before leaving Michigan. They aren't kidding when they call them Great Lakes, are they?!

Gwen was positively in awe of Lake Michigan (once I explained it wasn't actually an ocean), and I was too!

After that it was through Indiana and Illinois...

And into Iowa...

For another lake-side campsite. They seem to do that well!

We got set up pretty quickly, giving Gwen some time to play at an on-site playground before getting ready for bed. We were up early, though not on the road as quickly as I would have liked.

We finished off Iowa, then on through Nebraska. This time going through Nebraska we knew what to expect, and yep, it was long.

My two little traveling companions were, well, slightly less enthusiastic today. We made a few extra bathroom breaks, that I think were more about boredom then bladder, and we hit some extra traffic thanks to construction and accidents.

Rainbow behind us!

Our last stop was supposed to be at North Sterling State Park, in Northern Colorado... but by the time we got to Colorado and felt the crazy gusty winds, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was set up camp again. North Sterling is prairie grasslands, and I had heard the stargazing there was gorgeous, but that also meant not a lot of cover, and when we saw more thunderstorms sweeping in, it made our decision easy. 

We were all more then ready by the time we pulled into our apartment complex 12-hours after we got in the car, on July 31st, 21 days after we left. It was great to greet Trav, it was wonderful to stretch our legs, and that night it was with much contentment that we settled into our own beds.

The trip was amazing, and being home is just as wonderful.

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