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  • Five thousand four hundred miles in seventeen days. This was the grand total from the vacation I took with my two teenage daughters. We went from Iowa through Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota then back to Iowa.

    My daughters were the perfect companions. They didn't ask for anything, never complained, and always did their part. My fourteen year old got mad at me one day and I only knew because she played the same song over again. I said, "we already heard that" and switched the audio source. She said, "I know" and glared. We talked about it later.

    The girls said that they were going to switch seats every day but my younger daughter rode in the front the entire time and my seventeen year old stayed in the back seat. They both were content with their places in the car.

    We camped at Porcupine State Park in Kansas the first night. Setting a pattern for the rest of the trip, we got there late, set up tents, and went right to sleep. The next morning we cooked breakfast, packed up and hit the road early. We soon stopped though at a small rest area on the back highway we were following only to find a hungry hitchhiker rolling up his camp. While I fed him breakfast, my daughter found a big fat marijuana roach tucked away in the corner of the picnic shelter where we were sitting and gave it to me. I smoked it of course.

    Most of the rest of the day was spent driving across the barren high plains of Eastern Colorado. We made it to the foothills by late afternoon only to find that our highway was closed because of a big forest fire. We turned South at Anamosa then back West on Colorado 14 and set up camp in a forest service campground.
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