The drive between Colorado and Pennsylvania is very, very long. I just finished my third cross-country road trip between these states. Packing the car was an achievement in itself! I accumulated quite a bit of "stuff" since my last drive out (skiis, boots, poles, a bevy of books) so we had to purchase a roof carrier just to store some of my clothes.
It took quite some time to back and get organized so we didn't even end up leaving Colorado Springs until 6:30 PM. We drove as far as Holly, Colorado, which is about three hours and is also the lowest elevation in Colorado at 3,392 feet. It was dark for the last half of our day one drive and all I heard about on the way to the hotel was, "We should have stopped in Pueblo, this is too dark and too empty to be driving through with an unreliable car." My rebuttals were: 1) Pueblo is only forty minutes from Colorado Springs, therefore it would be pointless to even drive that far. 2) HWY 50 at least has cell phone reception, which is more than I can say about Independence Pass to Aspen or the roads to Estes Park! 3) It's 9 PM, not 3 AM. 4) My car is perfectly reliable. It has made that loud creaking noise for years.
My little car Chili did quite well, not only getting us to our motel safely, but being a good sport the whole way back to Pennsylvania. The motel in Holly, Miles Court, was very nice and small. Once we got there, an adorable black cat was there to greet us. The poor cat wanted in our room! We gave it water and Cheerios and key lime yogurt covered pretzels, but she wasn't interested in anything, save entering our room! Interestingly enough, we also had room 13! While I don't think the hotel staff planned on the cat greeting us, the motel had some additional nice touches like Bath and Body Works products in the shower.
After leaving Holly, we drove as far as Garden City before stopping to walk through their free zoo. It was really nice and featured the greatest "no smoking" sign ever!
We also stopped briefly in Dodge City to look around and secure the stupid box containing my clothes. The heat index during most of the trip was 110 degrees!
The rest of our time in Kansas was spent driving past corn fields, oil rigs, and windmills. It can be a bit boring, but I love seeing the little, tiny towns and parts of the country that I would otherwise never see.
It started storming, so we stopped in Hutchinson, Kansas, which is large enough to have chain places like Starbucks and Olive Garden, and stayed at a Comfort Inn for the night. The next day we drove as far as St. Peters, Missouri and stayed at a Country Inn and Suites. I don't recall seeing anything noteworthy, save stopping at Cracker Barrel two days in a row (which is fine by me since they have Halloween and even a few Christmas decorations out!) The following day, we stopped at Lost Creek Orchards in Greenup, Illinois for smoothies, peaches, apple butter, apples, and a Christmas decoration that is adorable, but we didn't actually need.
We also drove past the "Cross at the Crossroads," the world's largest cross, in Effingham, Illinois.
We were hoping to make it home, but there was a lot of road work and traffic so we stopped in Columbus, Ohio for the night. We stayed at Country Inn and Suites again, which is probably my favorite hotel chain. They have a lending library, where you can select a book, borrow it, and return it the next time you stay at one of their hotels. They also have nice pools and tea and cookies in the lobby.
The next day, we took one more side trip to stop at Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia. My family goes to Oglebay every year for the Festival of Lights around Christmas time, so we wanted to check out what the grounds look like in August. There are flowers everywhere and lots of nice walking trails. I especially liked the floral clock.
I finally made it back to Pennsylvania yesterday afternoon. I'm off to London in two and a half weeks, so expect more regular blog posts then!
Have you ever been on a long road trip? Do you like road trips? Did you stop in any memorable places?
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: email@example.comHappy Travels, Crystal
What am I up to today? Check out my Instagram feed below to find out!