Wow. Since the last blog update, so much has happened. Unfortunately, not all of it good. I'll start at the beginning. As I was leaving the bookstore where the last blog was written and where we went to buy a hiking book about the area so we could get out of the condo, I twisted my ankle. Damn, it hurt. I hobbled myself to the car and held back the tears. I tried ignoring the problem and going on with the day. By the end of the day, I was holding back tears just sitting still and limping like crazy when I had to walk. I thought that the rest of our trip was ruined for sure. I iced and elevated it all night though, hoping for a miraculous recovery in the morning. As it turns out, I had one. It was sore and a little achey, but I wasn't limping and the pain wasn't any worse than any other soreness in my pregnant bones body. Whoopee! So, we left Arkansas. I was excited to try this little vegan coffee house cafe that was about an hour north in Missouri. When we got there, driving about 30 minutes out of our way, it was closed. Summer hours, closed Monday and Tuesday. The happycow.com had different hours. I guess they weren't summer hours. I should've called. We left to look for a taco bell. We found a panera and that was much better. We ate some lunch and headed out again. Late in the day we did a beautiful hike at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge. Bruce was so happy to be able to run. So was Halen. We all wore ourselves out. It felt real good. We then headed on to Omaha, NE. Once settled in at the Super 8, we headed out for dinner at a veggie friendly spot a few miles away. I can't remember the name right now, but it was pretty durn good. I had some blackened tempeh, rice, and veggies. Dan had a curry casserole with the same tempeh. Halen tried and didn't like the red beans and rice. They where a little bland. He was probably just not very hungry since he'd been snacking all day. We finished off with a chocolate tofu cheesecake and went back to the motel to crash. Early the next morning I went down to the car to get Halen some clean diapers and a banana. That's where I discovered our car, minus our car top carrier. It had been cut off the top of the car, severed straps hanging from the doors. That was all our camping gear and then some. It was nice gear too. I couldn't believe it. Once again, our trip seemed ruined. I went to the desk and told them to call the police. Then I went and shakingly told Dan the bad news. Our homeowners insurance will cover $1000 worth of stuff. Unfortunately, it was all worth more than that. I haven't even finished tallying up all that was in there. I keep remembering more. The police took forever to show up. We had to wait in the lobby. When he did finally show up, he made quite the appearance. The guy must have been 6'6" and had a voice to match. He announced very loudly in the small room, "I'm here for the car break in." Dan went with him and they filed the police report. We then contemplated what to do, forget the planned route and just book it to Portland, go buy more gear and keep on as planned, or continue on the same route but look for motels. We opted to look for hotels and just get the hell out of Omaha. This is when Dan noticed that his cell phone was missing. After searching the room and the lobby and all hallways between, we just left it. We are both still hoping it's hiding somewhere in the car. The chances are not good though. The ringer was on and we where calling it with my phone while looking. We headed to whole foods to get lunch and then got on the road. After eating, I reached to my head to scratch an itch. I pulled out a damn tick. All this shit was happening within just a few hours of each other. I'm not sure how we kept it together. Halen probably helped. He didn't know anything was wrong at all and continued to be his delightful little self. Since we got such a late start, we weren't able to do a hike yesterday. We got into the Badlands National Forest last night. Amazingly, they had a cabin available for us. It's the cutest cedar cabin you've ever seen, and my lucky number 14 to boot. The Badlands are beautiful. We checked out the restaraunt menu and discovered they had veggie burgers. Were they vegan? I don't know. Did we care? Not really. So, we ordered our veggie burgers and fries, a pbj for Halen, and ate a nice little dinner. We all crashed early and got up early to do some hiking. Like I said before, the badlands are beautiful. The first hike we tried was pretty durn difficult and a little scary for neurotic a neurotic mommy. It went up into the crazy crests and towers. There where major drop offs and unstable sandy trails. We didn't get far before we decided to head back down and see what was more kid friendly. We found lots. Poor Bruce had to stay in the cabin. Dogs aren't allowed on the trails. It doesn't make any sense to me. He would have had more fun than any of us. We saw a deer with big ole rabbit ears. Oh, and the rabbit population is crazy here. I feel like I'm in teletubbies land. They're like squirrels, everywhere! They're the cute little cottontail ones. I love them. Halen is pretty stoked on them too.
Now the rest of my family is sleeping. I'm jacking wireless internet from who knows where! My cell phone doesn't get any reception at all anywhere, but I can get online. Weird. The connection isn't the fast though, so pictures will have to wait. I'll upload when I can. I still haven't found us anywhere to stay in Yellowstone. I'm a bit worried because we're leaving early early in the morning to head straight there. I have to search some more now to see what I can find.
Think happy thoughts for the rest of our trip. We need it. If one more thing goes wrong, one or both of us might snap.