Middle America: Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio

After Idaho, we had a day to spend with friends in Logan, Utah. We got some Aggie Ice Cream, saw some local shops and cafes, and had a nice time with one of the nicest families I’ve met.


We saw some nature-y dams and got to get some great views of Bear Lake on the way out the next morning. Utah is really great and has so much to see and offer, but I haven’t gotten to spend nearly enough time there. I’m planning a Utah-only road trip for one of these upcoming years.

Once out of Utah, we were stopped in a road work zone in Wyoming while the guy in the car in front of us got out to stretch. From there, it was quite a few hours of driving across the state.

Bear Lake

We stopped for gas and to pee in Little America, then made a stop in Cheyenne. Once we were there, we learned that the Wyoming State Capitol has been under construction for a few years, so we couldn’t get very close. We walked around the perimeter of the construction zone, then found a Taco Bell.


We still had a lot of driving left, so we continued on into Nebraska. We slept right outside of Lincoln, so we could easily visit the Capitol the next morning.

Once out of the only Capitol that had no security, we continued into Omaha where we got doughnuts (naturally). This was only the beginning of a very long day.


We continued on into Iowa, stopping in the Capitol for a quick, self-guided tour. Des Moines was cute, and we missed a good-looking festival that Car Seat Headrest was performing at.


The most important thing in Iowa that we had to do was see the famous house pictured in the ubiquitous painting, American Gothic. This has been on Greg’s bucket list forever; he’s a huge fan of the painting.

We rolled into Eldon, Iowa, pulling up to the iconic house just in time. We emptied our bladders, then got right into that complimentary puritanical garb. We looked just like the father and daughter in the painting except for the fact that Greg is a foot taller than me.

american gothic

We took our official photos, then took some modern, funny ones. Greg was loving life. We even got to see a dog dress up in the masculine costume.

Soon, the fun was over and we drove to Springfield, Illinois for an external view of the Capitol (and Taco Bell). We then drove to the very humid rest stop outside of Indianapolis. It was too hot to sleep and too loud to have the windows cracked.

Let’s call this Illinois

We made it to the Indiana State Capitol where a very kind security guard gave us a mini-tour and let us see the State Supreme Court room.

Next stop was the Ohio State Capitol in Columbus. We did a quick run-through and got more doughnuts (yes, I know, a lot of doughnuts).

Our final stop of the whole trip was Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Even the layout of the park was confusing and deterred us from exploring further. It was storming, so we checked out a VC, bought the cheapest magnets I’ve ever seen, and looked at a brown waterfall – Brandywine?

In all honesty, this park was disappointing, but we were just excited to be so close to home.

We left Ohio and were finally back in Pennsylvania. Within a few hours, we were fed (Taco Bell) and home (NEPA).

Cuyahoga Valley was my 19th National Park. 

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