1,679 miles, and counting.

by Heidi Obermeyer

Hello again all! It’s been a major 2 week hiatus for me, consisting of multiple states, flights, people, towns, and a substantial amount miles driven! I got back on the 4th, spent some time with the fam (and) in Boulder, which was wonderful as per usual.

Boulder, Colorado

As you can see from the above photo, I also got my phone back (so I have my ol’ digits if you’re trying to get ahold of me) and promptly downloaded instagram, to my inner hipster’s great delight.

It took 3 days for Emily and I to drive 1679 miles from Denver to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I’d never driven this route before, so even Kansas wasn’t too bad. It’s also nice that that’s the first state you hit coming off of I-70- get the boring stuff out of the way first!

We ended up waking up extra early our second day (somehow we managed to get up at 5 am Colorado time every day of the trip, even though we were technically sleeping in in each consecutive time zone… darn it!) to go see the arch (which is actually a monument to westward expansion in the United States) in Saint Louis. It was gloriously empty of other monument gawkers at 8 am and the weather was lovely.

Saint Louis, Missouri

We didn’t end up going up to the viewing area inside the structure, but just walking around the surrounding park was really cool. For a little perspective, notice teeny-tiny Emily at the base of the arch in this picture!

Saint Louis, Missouri

We went briefly through Kentucky on our way out of Missouri….

Kentucky

And then into Tennessee, which we were going to be driving the entire length of…

Tennessee

Our next big stop that day was in Nashville, TN. What a pleasant little town! We had lunch at a really cool restaurant called Monell’s, where they serve lunch family style (all around big tables for about 12 people) so you get to sit with a few strangers and eat TONS of random Southern dishes. A few highlights from our table were sweet tea (the first time I’d ever had it) banana pudding, some sort of cheddar with pineapple thing, peach preserves, fried chicken, biscuits, corn bread, beef stew, green beans, and more!

Nashville, Tennessee

A preview of the table, before the rest of our lunch group arrived:

Nashville, Tennessee

We stopped for the day just short of the North Carolina border in the beginning of the Great Smokey Mountains so that the next day’s drive would let us actually see the scenery. So around 9 am, we finally passed into North Carolina! Woohoo! It was an exciting moment.

North Carolina

The Smokies aren’t necessarily my mountainous scene (let us never forget my Rocky Mountain roots), but they were definitely something different and I’d still like to go back and hike parts of the Appalachian trail. The fog rolling through the mountains as we were driving was actually really cool and looked beautiful.

Great Smokey Mountains, North Carolina

After that, we continued through Asheville and onwards to Chapel Hill after a stop at the Screen Door, an antiques store that had tons of great stuff. I haven’t gotten the chance to run around campus snapping pictures yet, but here’s a little sneak peak for ya:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

That’s the old well on campus, which is sort of UNC’s “thing”. I started classes this week (which are going great) and am trying to learn how to navigate without a GPS (that’s not going so great). It’s been a great first few weeks back in Amerika and I hope to have more North Carolina posts a’comin’ for y’all soon. 🙂 Gute Nacht!

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