GIGANTIC INDEX – DAY 61

Total miles traveled: 8,445.9

Average miles per gallon: 15.7

Average miles per hour: 42

Hours spent traveling in the van: 199

States we’ve been in: 17

Number of states so far that have something awesome about them: 17

Number of small beetles that infested our van from a campground in Yakima, Washington: 3,000

Percentage of likelihood that campground will rank as one of the awesome things in Washington: 0

Number of small beetles we have mercilessly smashed as though they were an invading force coming for our children and puppies: 2,995

Nights we’ve stayed in a beetle-less/dog-friendly hotel: 1

Total nights we’ve stayed somewhere other than the van: 6

Nights we parked right next to the police station (‘cause we got nothin’ to hide, 5-0): 1

People we’ve met: 224

National parks we’ve visited: 5

Days we’ve spent in Moscow: 3

Number of times we previously disclosed our contacts with Moscow: We’re telling you now!

Number of nights Brett got to play an acoustic solo show for a raucous bar full of new friends in South Dakota: 1

Number of times we saw Dana Louise and The Glorious Birds play music at Lake Okoboji: 2

Times we referred to it as Lake Okey-Dokey: 17

Times we referred to it as Lake Obi-Wan Kenobi: 3

Number of times we said, “land of 10,000 lakes,” in a funny voice, gesturing like an English barrister on a caffeine buzz, while driving through Minnesota: too, too many

Actual number of lakes in Minnesota: 12,000

Number of times we were asked if we were riding in the RAGBRAI (the Des Moines “Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa”): 3

The approximate number of miles we actually rode in the RAGBRAI: 20

The number of those miles ridden in the van, and not on our bikes: 20

Number of incoming Wartburg College students we got to talk to who encouraged us with their curiosity and intelligence: 10

Hours we spent staring at our brand new great niece, because it’s better than TV or sightseeing: many

Approximate days until we get “home”: 14

Number of “homes” we have to return to, since we sold ours: 0

Amount of time we’ve spent worrying about that: 0

Days we are still startled by the madness going on in our country: every

Days we’ve been encouraged that the American people are far better than our politics suggest: most

**UPDATE – Number of days we’ve been on the road: a hell of a lot more than “The Mooch” kept his White House job

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