27 May 2015

5,000 Miles in 10 Days

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about the TearDrop {we still haven't picked the perfect name, oh but we will, yes, we will}.  However, that was just a portion of our trip.  So let me tell ya some about the rest!

Friday 15 May, Jerry and I went to a workshop MSU's Extension Services held in Lowndes County, focusing on tree farming.  Mostly with "how do I know when to thin my trees?" for those of us who have fast growing pines planted.  It was an informative session, with lots of handouts and goodies, a few books on Mississippi trees and nonnative invasive pests.  There were some hands~on walk~abouts and demonstrations.  And mouth watering bone~in grilled pork chops, potato salad, and beans.  We were very reassured that we are doing what we should be at this point, and nothing we shouldn't be.  Mostly for now, it's a hands~off, let them grow, waiting game.  Yea!!

So then Saturday morning, we took off around 4:30a:  go west, young man, go west!  We stopped in Winona, MS for breakfast at Waffle House and had some of the nicest waitstaff we'd encountered in a long time.  Thanks, Paul and Andy!  Jerry even sent glowing compliments to the home office to commend these two gentlemen for their outstanding service.

About an hour later, the hashbrowns were making me sleepy {and probably the early start had something to do with it too} so I drowsed in and out while Jerry drove up through Memphis, into Arkansas, clipping the northeastern corner, we stopped at Mammoth Springs.  It rained during our drive to Logan, Utah at all times, except when it was snowing in Wyoming...but that was still rain, just much colder.

We had lunch on Saturday at Uncle Rooster's in Missouri, and signed the floor.  I attempted to draw a howling wolf's silhouette with the blue Sharpie, but it was a very jagged impression.  It's ok tho, I labelled it "Wolf", in case anyone staring at the floor's myriad of signatures and other squiggly lines though, "hey, what's that?"

Not "our" tumbleweed
By the time we called it a day and stopped for the night for a shower and some sleep, we'd driven a thousand miles and were in Ogallala, Nebraska.  Sunday morning, we encountered our first tumbleweed and stopped in Laramie, Wyoming for a late breakfast, which turned into lunch by the time we were served.  I am not sure, but I think there was only one cook in the kitchen and he was manning every thing there, except for rinsing the dirty dishes, while five waitresses stood around behind the counter, chatting with each other, and carefully avoiding customers' beckoning hands holding empty coffee cups.  That would be the other end of the waitstaff spectrum from the previous day's breakfast experience.

We stopped at Buford, population ONE, for gas and that's when I realized that my jacket was keeping my dining room chair nice and toasty in Mississippi, while I was wrapping the fleece car~blanket around my bare legs...it was short wearing weather in the south, snow spitting in the mountains of Wyoming.  D'uhm, DebRAH, D'uhm.

Sunday evening, we pulled into Logan and ate at Angie's {"where the locals eat"}.  Beautiful place.  The next morning, the high desert chill burnt off fairly quickly, especially since I was dancing about with excitement while viewing the TearDrop for the first time.  See earlier post for that.

By 10a, local time {Mountain?}, we drove off with our TearDrop and headed for Portland, Oregon via the southeastern corner of Idaho.  I didn't see a potato, nary a one; but since they were probably still growing underground, that'd make sense.  We did stop for a bite to eat in Snowville, not named for the wintry white fluffy stuff, but for the founder of the town.  They school their kids til 5th grade and then ship them forty miles away for grades six and up.

Various states have various policies regarding rest~areas and their usage; in Oregon, you can spend the night and so that's what we did, around Broadman, some 160 miles east of Portland.  Our first night in our trailer went well and I reminded myself that in the future, I'll need to stop drinking fluids well before bedtime...toilets are not quite as accessible as stumbling from bed to the one several yards away in the master bath like here at home.

Tuesday morning, we stopped at Cousin's, off exit 84 on I~84.  The door moo'd at me as I opened it and then crowed at me when it shut.  The hostess greeted as with, "hey there cousins" and I parried back with "it's been a long time", she didn't sally forth with a witty reply.  But I was not terribly disappointed because OMG, I had the best breakfast of the trip right then and there.  They make their mammoth sized cinnamon rolls daily, and sliced that, dipped it in eggs, and served me up some french toast tastiness that was not too sweet, and had just the right amount of whipped butter.  I drank a pint of grapefruit juice, which meant we had to stop at every other exit in search of a restroom.  Apparently the "no fluids at bedtime" rule needs to be amended to also include "no pints while traveling".

The scenery along the trip was fantastic, with lots of ooohs and ahhs filling the car around every bend of the road.  The trailer pulled nicely thru the mountain ranges, and we'd listened to two audio books that were very apropos for that portion of the trip. "Uncommon Carriers" regarding cargo delivery, via trucks, tankers, boats, ships, barges, and trains covered a vast majority of I~80; while "The Signal" discussed camping, hiking, and fishing in Wyoming.

Even with all the pitstops, we still pulled up in front of Daughter Donna's at 9a {Pacific Time, I know that for sure, just sometimes am a lil hazy with where the time zones' boundaries are}.  We spent the rest of Tuesday visiting and eating Donna's fantastic chili.

Wednesday, Jerry and I hopped a bus and went downtown to Powell's City of Books,  It's a city block building that is three stories of new and used books, audio, music, maps, and merchandise.  When you enter, a map of the store is provided, along with a pair of hiking boots {kidding about the footwear}.  We started at the top and worked our way down.  I figured Jerry would love the gold room, and didn't want him to feel rushed, so let's do the rest first.

I plopped at a table in the cafe, with my tea and selections, while Jerry ran back and forth with great exuberance, showing me this book, and telling me about that one, and did I know that they had Dr. Who Yahtzee?!?   After several hours, he flung himself into a chair and cradled his head, "it hurts, there's too much".  I commiserated,   In this case, better too much than not enough.

We went across the street to a consignment shop, where my personal shopper selected three sweaters for me to choose from, and I walked out, with a maroon cardigan for the chillier nights and days.  Then we boarded the bus and headed back the way we came.  We saw a Chinese Restaurant we wanted to try, but turns out that those signs are from what was there before the current back~alley entrance only dive that we quickly left in search of a late lunch, early supper.  Which we found at Beulahland.  Turns out that Donna and her housemates used to live in that neighborhood, so we stumbled into one roommate that we'd only just met the day before.  After a tasty sandwich, we played two rounds of Dr. Who Yahtzee, before heading back to Donna's.

Thursday was a laid back day full of visiting with folks, and Jerry made gumbo for the house.  Everyone liked it poured over the cornbread he'd made, sooOOOooo good.  {sigh}

Friday, Donna and her friends grilled for us, so much food, great folks, lots of laughs, lots of discussion, yea!!  They were a wonderful group, for sure.  It was a lil too cold and damp for Jerry outside, but I was having some cat~allergy issues; so tho we enjoyed our visit, we knew that it was time to head out on our return trip Saturday,

A friend whom I've not seen for twenty years and we met for breakfast at Elmer's.   It was great
She's a hoot, her writing style is great
visiting and catching up the highlights, and with promises to keep in touch, Jerry and I began to retrace our route, heading both south and east.  We stayed that night in Utah, I think, where they posted "drowsy drivers:  rest area ahead" signs often.

Sunday, the road was pretty bad.  Lots of cars, vans, and tractor trailers slid off the road, into ditches, or flipped over, with rescue crews responding as we chugged past, slowly and carefully.  The snow gave way to rain, which turned to sleet, which became heavy patches of fog as we drove thru into Nebraska, where we were told NOT to stop at the rest areas after dark and head to the Wal*Mart parking lot fifty miles east.  So we did, along with sixty big rigs, and a few smaller campers.

Monday, we decided to continue traveling, since the traffic was very light, especially considering it was a holiday.  But then perhaps most folks aren't vacationing in Nebraska and Missouri.  Jerry did most all the driving, and I knit, a whole heaping lot.  We listened to "Roots", which we'd picked up for fourteen dollars at Powell's.  I knew it was an epic tale, remembering when the miniseries was aired; there are THREE MP3 disks.  So we still have twenty tracks to go, not bad considering there were about two hundred in all.

We spent that night in a hotel, about four hours or so from home.  We needed showers and solid sleep, a break from the road, and we wanted to be somewhat fresh for our arrival home, since we knew we'd have lots to do immediately.  Our last meal of the trip was where we started, Waffle House in Winona.

Our girls were so glad to see us, and we them.  We have lots done and lots to do, but we'll just keep plugging away on it.  Ten days travel, five thousand miles, pft.

1 comment:

  1. It was an awesome trip and the teardrop performed well. But it was really great to get home and back to our own bed.


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