Des Moines, IA

On Wednesday night Andy elevated his status from awesome to legendary. Without even thinking about it, Andy agreed to drive us all the way to Boulder, Colorado. Remember he came out of surgery a few hours ago. But here’s the catch: Andy didn’t have his car, and Matt needed to drive back to Springfield. So, Andy got on the phone, called around looking for a car to drive over 1000 miles west. One prospect fell through, then another and the chances weren’t looking good. In comes Casey to save the day. Casey drove a couple hours up to Walcott, Iowa to pick up Matt and take him back to Springfield. So, Matt left his car with us to drive to Boulder, Colorado and back. Don’t worry, we’ll go to the capitol in Denver too.

Andy may just be the nicest guy around, or at least in the western hemisphere. He works for his local church helping kids as a youth minister. He is an easy going guy who has no problem sacrificing the pain of recent surgery to drive some strangers a couple states over.

So we spent Wednesday night at the I-80 truck stop and got going the next morning. And by morning I mean 3:00 PM. That’s just how we roll. The drive through Iowa was exhilarating and unbelievable. Flat, empty fields, mixed with thin, leaf less trees, and billboards. Don't forget the billboards. Andy made the arrival at the capitol building more exciting by jumping curbs and taking the governor’s parking spot.

There to meet us was Julia, Heather and their families. They were all excited to see us and get in on some group jump shots.

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We met a senator and he invited us into the big political speaking room to have a look. It was interesting, but getting photos was way more fun than anything else.

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We were gonna stay longer, but he asked us if we wanted to attend a gubernatorial. That was the most awkward word we ever heard so we left and went outside for some more photos.

We said goodbye to out capitol guests and continued west. In the town of Council Bluffs disaster struck. Andy got a call from work, they needed him there, so he called off Colorado and planned to head back towards Springfield. Oh well, duty calls. It worked out well, as Dusty had just called to offer a ride from Omaha, Nebraska to Lincoln. So we met up with Dusty, said goodbye and thanks to Andy, then kept heading west.

Lincoln, NE

Dusty sped us into Lincoln on Thursday night, arriving shortly before the witching hour. We got our jump on at the capitol, then looked for a place to stay. Dusty is a good Nebraska guy, he's even getting married in a few months and starting up his own software business. Not bad Dusty, not bad.

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Joe called us up as we were coming into town and offered a place to stay. Joe has a sweet new house in the Lincoln suburbs, and offered up some rooms for us. He works as a local carpenter and wanted to have us over. He even hooked us up with food before we left in the morning.

Tom had arranged to pick us up Friday morning at Joe's house. He took a couple hours off work from the hospital to take us out of town. Tom let us off in York one hour outside of Lincoln, with about eight more hours of corn fields before Cheyenne or Denver. We got going on the side of the highway and waited, and waited, and waited. Then we waited a couple more hours. This gave us time to think back to Day One when Ed from Massachusetts sang us the Nebraska fight song.


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We even had a sign saying "Colorad", the O didn't fit, but got nobody. We did watch all the college kids with Colorado plates drive home for Thanksgiving though. Finally after waiting on a cold, windy on-ramp Armando pulled over.

Armando speaks very little English, and we speak very little Spanish. In fact, we highly doubt he will ever see this web site. We tried to tell him about it, but there's no way he knew what we were talking about. He just responded with a friendly smile and laugh. Armando was our second non-English speaking driver, but he was the first driver to frisk us. It wasn't even at the beginning of the ride, after driving a half hour or so, he asked us to pull over (Scotty was driving), got us out of the car and frisked us. He patted us down as the construction workers beside us looked on puzzled. He seemed pleased with our lack of weapons, so we got back in the car and continued west. So, why was Scotty driving? We don't really know, he wanted one of us to drive, and we needed to make up some lost time, so off we go. Armando was a really nice guy, but we don't really know what his full story is. Couldn't find out what he's doing in Nebraska, what he likes to do, or why he drove us here to Ogallala, in western Nebraska. Either way, we parted ways with big high-fives while he shouted "Amigos!"



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A trail of crime across America #9

In the state of Illinois changing in a vehicle is illegal, except in the case of fire. Also, bowling is prohibited in many areas. It doesn’t look like there’s any fires going on in the area. And there's some kind of human/surfboard/energy drink bowling caught on this security tape. 2 laws. 4Foreign men in 4 wetsuits. 10 cans of energy drinks. 1 awesome video.

Shame on Scotty and Fiddy for bringing some nice Australian boys in as accomplices to their crimes.



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Good thing we're all out of Illinois, two crimes at once is no joke!