I’m watching the sun rise over our campsite overlooking “the clearest lake in Kansas,” at Wilson Lake State Park, where it’s a breezy 47 degrees. Thank God for portable French press and Coleman stoves.

Andrew is still sleeping, worn out from nine hours on the road yesterday. Calvin is roaming, inspecting our neighbors’ RVs and bothering their dogs.

Last night we cooked (okay, fried) hot dogs for dinner. We’ve got four bars of LTE here so we Facetimed the girls while we ate. Now that was cool. We gathered driftwood for a fire, and Andrew taught me how to cast his new Spiderman fishing rod.

The Thule roof box popped open while we were driving yesterday and we lost three sleeping bags. I rescued two of them but the REI one was raked beneath a car and left for dead at the next exit. I stuffed it into a plastic bag and we’ll see how good that lifetime warranty really is.

I’ve always preferred rest areas to gas stations because they are fast on and off the road and generally clean and relaxing. With a dog and a child they are damn near indispensable. Yes I am that guy who pulls the cooler out and makes sandwiches. We also take time to explore. Yesterday at mile marker 336 we hiked a trail leading to a bridge complete with a troll.

Last time I drove out west my second generation iPod was great, but the iPhone takes things to another level. Podcasts evaporate hours. Personal hotspot connected via Bluetooth to Andrew’s iPad is pure magic. Maps, instantly downloaded Radiohead, beautiful photography uploaded to this blog, Facetime … business associates completely unaware I’m not in the office. Magnificent.

Next stop: the front range of Colorado.

 

Our campsite at Wilson Lake State Park, Kansas.

Our campsite at Wilson Lake State Park, Kansas.

 

Collecting driftwood on Lake Wilson.

Collecting driftwood on Lake Wilson.

Andrew on the bridge at Kansas I-70 westbound MM 336 rest area.

Andrew on the bridge at Kansas I-70 westbound MM 336 rest area.