On February 27th I woke up and crammed the rest of my things into my tiny car. This was the day I was finally leaving New Jersey to join Phil and the cats at our new house in Colorado. I had a variety of things that weren’t necessary for a road trip. I had an aloe plant, 2 dumbbells, 2 medicine balls, a jar of honey, a mop, 5 pairs of running shoes, a large mirror, some electric candles, about 50 pounds of text books, spoon straws, a french press, a make-up bag full of nail polish, and a few coats that kept getting lost in the back seat. After packing my stuff into the car I drove a short 4.5 miles to Lyndsey’s house because she was my chosen road trip companion. It was about 8:30am when I arrived at Lyndsey’s house. We had been discussing the possibility of running in every state we drove through prior to the start of our road trip, but that Monday morning we decided to go for a 1 mile run in New Jersey to start our journey. We also decided to document our journey with Lyndsey’s GoPro. We ran 1 mile and then we got in the car and started driving. We drove across the New Jersey state line into Pennsylvania and left all of the traffic behind. Since we had committed to running in each state we began scoping out places to run before we left the state of Pennsylvania. By scoping out I mean we looked at the signs and randomly picked a town called Milesburg because we wanted to run 1 mile. It seemed logical. In Milesburg we parked at a McDonalds and decided to run up a dirt road. The dirt road was a hill that went straight up. There were some cows up there and we weren’t entirely sure we weren’t trespassing.
Our next stop was Ohio. Ohio was the state where we stopped for gas and decided to run around the rest stop. We didn’t get hit by any trucks and we safely made it back to the car. We continued day 1 of our road trip into the state of Indiana. Indiana greeted us with a creepy dude hanging out in the hotel lobby who seemed to like us. I don’t know why he thought he had even the smallest chance of us responding to his pathetic attempts to make conversation. We were both exhausted and hungry, but even on our best nights this dude wouldn’t have received a welcoming response.
On Day 2 of our road trip we quickly realized how far into Indiana we had driven the day before. We were running out of time to run in Indiana so Lyndsey pulled off the highway and we found a college. This seemed like a safe enough place to run so we stopped. We did our first run of the day at Indiana University Northwest.
Almost immediately after our run we drove through a rain storm as we crossed the boarder into Illinois. In Illinois we ran in a field. Once again, we weren’t completely sure we weren’t trespassing. There were streets there that were numbered. For example, 2345 street and the house numbers were equally as long. I made a joke saying that this is why mail carriers go postal! We thought it was funny!
After we ran we drove some more and finally arrived in Iowa. Iowa’s state slogan is “Fields of Opportunities”.
There certainly are a lot of fiends in Iowa…..and we found a great opportunity to run near a field by a church. This was another dirt road run. I’ll be honest, there isn’t a ton of stuff in Iowa but there are a lot of cool windmills.
Somewhere along the way my 2005 Honda Civic reached a milestone. It hit 100,000 miles!!!
And then….we were in Nebraska. Nebraska was very similar to Iowa. Once you drove through Omaha it was a bunch of fields. We also saw the most beautiful Nebraskan sunset.
After the sun finally set we went to a diner just off the highway called Penny’s Diner. It was a very shiny 50’s style diner. The waitress and the cook both doubted how hungry we were. They doubted that we could eat all of our food. We did. I had never been to a place quite like Penny’s Diner before. I’ve been to 50’s style diners before, but i’ve never been to one like this. If you are ever in North Platte, Nebraska stop at Penny’s Diner and check it out for yourself!
On day 3 we woke up and ran 1 mile around the hotel to get our Nebraska run out of the way. It was freezing cold and it was dark. This was the only run I dreaded the whole road trip, but we got to see the beginning of a beautiful Nebraskan sunrise. As we started driving we watched the sunrise the entire way. It was so colorful and beautiful. The sunrise made me forget that Nebraska isn’t my favorite state.
Then, we crossed the state line into Colorful Colorado!!! The first part of Colorado is very similar to Nebraska and Iowa. It takes a while before you start to see the mountains. We saw a few signs on the highway referencing a bike lane. We both agreed that we didn’t think it would be safe to bike there, but I guess some people might think otherwise.
And then…. out of nowhere we could see the mountains off in the distance!!!!
We knew we were nearing the end of our road trip when we started seeing the mountains. I wanted to take Lyndsey to Frisco, my favorite place, to see the mountain track before we got to my house. Unfortunately, it was so snowy that we couldn’t get to it. We opted to run some trails instead. Snowy trails are beautiful but they make your feet really cold!!
When we finished our run we had lunch and got some coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for Lyndsey) before we continued on our way. At that point we were less than 100 miles away from my new house! The drive was so beautiful and scenic that it went by very quickly. When we arrived my cats greeted us. Ninja isn’t pictured because he decided to hide behind the washer after he said hello. This bird also greeted us. It was just hanging out on the front step pecking around like it wanted to come inside. I don’t know why it was there but it still makes me laugh A LOT!
Lyndsey got to stay in Colorado with me until Friday morning. On Thursday we went for a run on a local trail. Our feet kept sinking in the mud but the view at the top was amazing! Sadly, Thursday went by very quickly and then on Friday I had to take Lyndsey to the airport.
I am sad our road trip ended, however I am fortunate enough to be able to relive it all through this documentary that Lyndsey made….
One thought on “A Roadtrip: Running in NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL, IA, NE & CO”
It looks like such an epic and fun road trip! I like the idea of running in every state, that is super fun. Now I have a new diner to go to in Nebraska (I guess LOL). I’m glad you made it out safely, but I still miss you!