One could go on and on forever talking about anything, but I'll just touch on it here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Travel Food, Car Questions, and Daring Moments

Throughout our travels, Julia had her Garmin, sometimes called Charlie, to guide us, and I had Asimov to show us maps and entertain us with stories. Garmin did his best, I'm sure, directing us in his perfect English, but when we tried to turn in to an Idaho Pizza it simply wasn't there. We opted for Pizza Hut, where Julia had to send back her pepperoni personal pizza that was supposed to be pineapple. At least Pizza Hut was better than Denny's and their "protein-enriched" veggie burgers. Really.

So our first evening, the service engine light came on in Rhea, Julia's car. Going across Wyoming the next day suddenly seemed a bit scary, especially considering that my husband's cousins have broken down on that long stretch of land (thankfully he just happened to be driving across the country at the same time and came upon their stranded selves and was able to help get them going again. Yea Luke!). Since Luke had no plans to be driving through Wyoming any time soon, we decided to get the car checked out while we were still in a big city.

The morning of day two we found a nice chap at O'Reilly Auto Parts to use his computer contraption to tell us that our problem was something to do with emissions. Well, were we safe to drive to Iowa? He didn't know. After calling Luke, Julia's parents, and Julia's brother, we concluded that it was probably okay to keep going, but we wanted to make sure, so Julia called a dealer. Yep. No worries. The air quality was red at the time in Utah, so I guess we would have failed an emissions test (and Rhea is from Southern California and somehow survived the air there!)

What to see, what to see in the great wide open Wyoming? Well, those pesky billboards kept demanding that we get 50 cent cones at Little America so how could we refuse? And guess what? The restaurant there had the best food of our trip—delicious veggie sandwiches. Oh, and penguins and a green dinosaur. At least he wasn't purple and singing.

Looking for anything old and crumbly and historic, we detoured through Medicine Bow to see the Virginian Hotel and the 40' long jade bar in the neighboring diner. I believe those pictures are on Facebook; however, out in front of these establishments was a little old west setup that included an outhouse. Now, I knew that the outhouse wasn't functional, but as I walked around it to the front, this old, disintegrating guy quite startled me. 

As I said, Asimov kept us entertained by reading a book. This time it was a tale of fear and hate, loss and love. The Book Thief is amazingly written. Thanks Sara Strickland!

Coming to the end of our day, we began enjoying great flashes of light from the sky. They were all around, continuous, and without thunder in our hearing. As it got dark, our moment of daring came without warning: wind, rain, and hail that covered the road like Christmas—all joined the storm. God, Julia and Rhea got us through it all safely to our hotel in Scottsbluff, NE. 

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