2 Weddings in 2 States and 38 Counties Along the Way

After our last trip, Victoria and I were more comfortable taking cross-country trips. So we planned to go to my buddy's wedding in Dallas. If you've been reading this blog for a while, this is the buddy who is a Dallas police officer. It's where I went on that crazy ride-along where our first call was an active shooter.

I've known my buddy since middle school, and his twin brother is the reason I moved to Texas in the first place. At the wedding, I would see both of them and a few other friends. We would also be able to visit with some of Victoria's family and some of our other friends in the area.

This time, Victoria was comfortable flying, so the plan was for me to drive down and pick her up at the airport. Of course, I would be stopping at country courthouses along the way. For the first part of this trip, I had to drive 150 miles north to drop Maya off at my parents. She got to hang out with her buddy Jordy.

I visited for a while and hit the road in the early afternoon. My goal was to get to the Missouri Welcome Center and sleep the night there in my car.

Being that the sun is coming up later, I actually was able to sleep in a bit. I got a good night's sleep and was ready for a day of visiting courthouses.

I planned to roughly follow US-69 all the way down to Texas. I'd effectively split the U.S. in half for visiting counties if I played my cards right.

My first country was Harrison County, Missouri.

I followed MO-13 to Daviess County.

I made sure to watch for Amish buggies on my way to Caldwell County.

Up next was taking the highways and then narrow streets of Plattsburg to get to Clinton County.

Soon I was taking some of the lettered secondary roads to Clay County.

I noticed a place called Cody's Quick Stop, so I had to check it out and get an energy drink.

Now it was time to hit the big city of Kansas City, Missouri, and visit Jackson County.

Kansas City, Missouri, soon became Kansas City, Kansas, and I was in Wyandotte County.

I would continue going south in Kansas. Then, with a little more driving, I was in Johnson County.

Up next was Miami County.

The roads soon became much more open on my way to Linn County.

Bourbon County would be the next county on my list.

Since I got Crawford County on my last trip to Texas, I just drove by it.

My last county in Kansas would be Cherokee County.

I was soon in Oklahoma!

First up in Oklahoma was Ottawa County.

Then was Delaware County.

I had to wait for a train, but I still made decent time to Craig County.

You could tell daylight was getting limited when I hit Mayes County.

Wagoner County would be my last county for the day.

I then drove to a Super 8 in Muskogee. Muskogee County would be the first courthouse of the day, and I figured I'd get a hotel room not too far from it.

I guess I should have sprung a few more bucks, as this hotel was disgusting. It was dirty, and when I went looking for an outlet by the bed to charge my phone, I found a bra hiding behind the nightstand.

I was able to eke out an alright night's sleep despite this sketchy hotel. In the morning, I stopped at QuikTrip for some breakfast tacos.

After eating, I made it to the Muskogee County Courthouse.

Some construction made me overshoot my exit. So I ended up taking the scenic route to McIntosh County.

Up next was Pittsburg County.

Then I made it to Atoka County.

US-69 and US-75 came together and ran concurrently. So that brought me to my last county on the trip down, Bryan County.

Now it was time to haul my way to the Dallas airport. Time was tight with Victoria's flight coming in.

I made it to Texas and decided to stop quick at Buc-ee's to fuel up before I hit the Dallas metro area.

Soon, I was fighting typical Dallas traffic.

I made it to the airport a little early and ended up having to go into a parking garage. The cell phone lot was closed for construction.

Victoria's flight came in, and we made it to the La Quinta we were staying at in Plano.

We were hungry, so we went to Whataburger for a light meal. I basically got a kid's meal.

We picked up a friend and went to Free Play Arcade in Richardson. I love this place since it's a single admission price, and everything is set to free play. So you can play as many games as you want!

We worked up a good appetite playing so many arcade games. We then went to one of my Dallas-area favorite restaurants, El Fenix. I got flautas, and Victoria got a smothered chicken burrito.

We dropped our friend off at their apartment and headed back for the hotel. We got a good night's rest and then had some La Quinta breakfast in the morning.

We met up with Victoria's aunt and uncle. Then, for lunch, we went to a place called Rusty Taco.

Their chips, salsa, queso, and guacamole were spot on!

So were the tacos!

We then went and checked out Downtown McKinney. I was able to see the old courthouse downtown. When I collected Collin County, I had gone to the current courthouse. It was cool to see they had preserved the old courthouse!

The downtown was pretty vibrant and had a lot going on.

By now, it was getting to be dinner time. So we went to Uncle Julio's.

I got the Tex-Mex combination dinner.

After eating, we went back to Victoria's uncle's house and visited a while longer. We then returned to the hotel and got a good night's sleep. The following day, we had another La Quinta breakfast.

We took it easy that morning and hung around the hotel. Then, for lunch, we headed to Chicken Express. This was another place we really missed from living in Texas.

Soon, it was time to head to the wedding venue. We made it there with time to spare.

The wedding went great, and it was good catching up with old friends. But, sadly, this Texas trip would be coming to an end soon. So, we went to bed, and when we got up in the morning, we decided to skip the La Quinta breakfast.

We saw a Tacodeli close to us, and we missed their food. We got some breakfast tacos.

We got back to the hotel, and I could see I would have to watch the weather on my way up. It appeared there might be a system developing.

We hung around the hotel for a while and packed up. We would then catch lunch at Schlotzsky's deli, and I'd drop Victoria off at the airport.

After dropping Victoria off at the airport, I was going to take I-35. I'd see how many counties I could visit in Oklahoma before it got dark.

I had to fight traffic, but I was soon in Oklahoma and at the Love County courthouse.

Up next was Marshall County.

US-70 was much like an interstate and took me to Carter County.

I hit I-35 again and ended up behind a snail race of semis but was able to make it to Murray County.

My GPS took me down a few back roads, but maybe that was the fastest way to Garvin County?

I realized I wouldn't be able to make another county before dark. I then drove straight through to the Lathrop, Missouri rest stop.

From here, I wanted to get a bunch of counties in Southwest Iowa. Then, if possible, I'd also be able to get two more counties in the far northwest corner of Iowa. So I hit the road early and made it to Ringgold County, Iowa.

Next was Taylor County.

Then was Page County.

I took some county roads to Montgomery County.

Adams County was up on a big hill.

Before you know it, I was in Union County.

There were lots of windmills on the way to Adair County.

I didn't see any of the historical covered bridges on my way to Madison County. However, as a consolidation prize, their courthouse was very historical.

I went past John Wayne Drive on my way to Dallas County.

Guthrie County was under construction, but I was able to get a decent shot of it.

I took some more state roads to Audubon County.

Soon I was in Cass County.

Followed by Shelby County.

It was a long and straight road to Harrison County.

The last two counties that I wanted to visit were almost 2.5 hours away. I was hoping to maximize as much daylight as possible and was happy when I hit the interstate.

That didn't mean there wasn't a slowdown or two, especially when I got off the interstate. But, I got to Lyon County just in time to have enough light to take a picture.

When I was visiting counties in Texas, I would often go after dark because I was on such a tight timeframe. Now my timeframe isn't as tight, so I try to visit the courthouses when it is light. I really wanted to get Osceola County to complete that top corner of Iowa.

I knew it would be dark, but I'm happy that the courthouse was lit up, and I could get a decent picture.

It wasn't terribly late, so I started driving back towards Wisconsin. I eventually stopped at a Minnesota rest stop on I-90 for the night.

I hit the road somewhat early in the morning and made it back to Marshfield in the late morning.

I was definitely excited to see Maya, and I think she was excited to get back home.

We then settled into our regular routine for a Thursday and Friday. However, by Friday night, we were on the road again to go back to Marshfield for another wedding.

The wedding was at Hotel Marshfield. This is our preferred place to stay in Marshfield, and it is awesome they are dog friendly. We would be able to have Maya stay with us.

We had the standard hotel breakfast and went to Lumberyard Bar & Grill for lunch. I got a cheese curd burger, and Victoria got a chicken tender melt.

The wedding went well, and it was great everything was at the hotel.

We were able to walk to our rooms and got a pleasant surprise in the morning. It had snowed a bit the night before!

We hoped the drive home wouldn't be too bad and the roads would be clear. By the time we were halfway to Madison, there was no snow on the ground.

This trip definitely covered a lot of ground, and it was great to go to 2 different weddings in 2 different states!

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