When my mom talks about the road trips that her and her family used to take as a kid, she would speak about my how my grandpa would get into his driving mode and would just want to keep on going if they were “making good time”. Well, J.O may not be of the same decent as my grandpa (not that we know of!) but he with out a doubt carries many of his attributes with him, including making “good time” while driving.
On Thursday morning, we finalized packing up the 5th wheel for travel, said goodbye to our friends and hit the road for Minnesota at 10am. Up and over the hill, over the bays, bridge tolls paid and out of the Bay Area we went. Our ipod was playing our favorite tunes, we had lots of water and a cooler full of snacks and food for the road. It felt great to be finally on the road; all together as a family, healthy and happy. We had 2090 miles to go until our final destination and for the next few days the view from our windshield would be our own motion picture.
That first day of driving we tackled many long and beautiful passes up through the mountains where J.O was able to become familiar with the new chip, programmer and tubro that had been installed into our 2000 Ford F-350 earlier that week. He’s very happy with them both: a BD turbo and a TS Performance chip and programmer. Even as the co-pilot, I could feel a difference, it didn’t even feel like we were hauling the 5th wheel. Oh, the comfort in knowing that you’re means of transportation is going to make it up and over the big passes! The mountains entering Utah that evening were so beautiful. Like someone had put a filtered lens over them, they truly were purple mountains majesty.
We drove until we hit the Nevada-Utah border town of Wendover, UT where we pulled into a travel center to get fuel and climb into our bed for a good nights sleep. Well, actually not a good nights sleep, but a decent one. Long dog, who slept the day away, decided he was feeling much better and did not want to sleep at night. If you’re ever in the area and need a place to pull over for sleep, fuel, bathroom break, shower, what-have-you; this travel stop in Wendover is the nicest I’ve ever been to. Clean showers, restrooms, great fuel up spots with air and water hoses, a laundry room, a RV park, basic park and sleep spots and a pretty good beverage and snack selection! Oh, and if you have the time and want to take a chance, there are a few casinos! This travel center was located on the back side of the Nugget Hotel and Casino. We drove 661 miles that first day.
The next morning we rose to warm dry heat. It felt good to be in the presence of 75º and sunny weather again! Although, both J.O and I noticed that the dry air had caused us to wake with dry throats and tight skin. Where is the Hawaiian humidity we’re used to?! With coffee in our mugs, water refilled in our brita bottles and the long dog walked and fed, we were ready to tackle the next leg of our journey: the states of Utah and Wyoming. This day was set to be out “long day” of driving. We had hopes of making it to Kearney, Nebraska. This would then leave us with a final 10 hour drive on Saturday. We drove. And drove. And drove. It seemed like we were never going to get out of Wyoming. If you have ever driven I-80 through Wyoming, you know what I’m talking about. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the longest drives ever. Then, when you think it’s over, you hit Nebraska and realize the drive has basically started all over again. Around 7:30pm we hit the Wyoming-Nebraska border and around 11:30pm we hit our destination of Kearney, NE. Due to the time change, J.O was not sleepy (it still felt like California time (9:30pm) to us and wanted to keep going. I stayed awake for another 2 hours and when I woke from us pulling into a travel stop at 3:30am, we were just West of Council Bluffs, Iowa! Wow! That’s 1100 miles in one day! J.O finally decided to pull to a stop for the night. We decided to simply sleep in the truck with the heat on instead of climbing into our cold bed in the 5th wheel. It was not warm in Iowa, 45º! Brrr!
The sun woke us this morning a little before 7am. With only 329 miles left to go, Minnesota is an easy reality for today! Washing the truck and 5th wheel were on our to-do lists while in route today and we accomplished that task in Story City, Ia. Our remaining miles were met head on with NNW winds at 25 mph, literally pushing us back into Iowa! Brrrrrr! Once in Minnesota, we’ll be getting our life together, setting up the 5th wheel somewhere, showering, possibly napping and then start to see everyone! We’re very excited for summer in our home state to finally start!
Oh, and if you’re curious on how the long dog’s progress is, well, he is doing fantastic! Looking great, peep to his step again and healing up well. The lazy time in the truck has been good for his recovery for sure.
The past 3 days on the road have been a nice time for J.O and I. We always enjoy our road trips together and I think grandpa would have been proud with J.O’s “making good time” while driving.