Epic Road Trip West, Part 2

Day two has been brutal.

It’s 9:16 PM. I have no service. And I have finally pulled into a rest area, as I’ve been driving 30 mph in a 75 mph zone on I-80W somewhere in Wyoming. There is not a motel for miles; or if there is one, I dare not chance trying to find it. With the temps around 10 deg and over 35 mph gusts of wind blowing snow drifts, it’s beyond dangerous.

Not every day turns into a good day. And even I have bad days. Today could be one of them.

At the moment, I’m in the back seat, curled up in one sleeping bag, using the other one as a pillow (having gotten the advice from my buddy Joe just before my roadtrip started that one can never have too many sleeping bags). Taylor is curled up on his two beds next to me in the very back. Our sleeping quarters are a little different than what we enjoyed at my families’ houses.

The winds are howling tonight. I’m hoping after a few hours of sleep, that the nasty weather conditions will have subsided, and I can get on my way. Since yesterday morning, I have driven almost 1400 miles. I have a little more than 1100 to go. The original plan had me arriving tomorrow night. I’m not sure if that is possible now.

My grand plan had me picking up Taylor from my brother’s condo in Chicago, having driven from my parents in Indianapolis, coming back the previous day from visiting my sister and family in DC. I’ve been driving a lot the last few weeks. I hate commuting; but I love roadtrips. The one going back has not been nearly as much fun as the one going out.

From Chicago, we took I-90W across Wisconsin and Minnesota (where I spent the night), into South Dakota early this morning. I was excited to reach Mount Rushmore, and hike the Presidents’ Trail. After a conversation with my mother when everything was fine, within thirty minutes, I ran into inclement weather, and white-knuckling it for hours across the state, I only made it barely over 100 miles when I had to call it quits at the Pilot station outside Munro. Word was that the weather west was even worse, and Northern Wyoming, where I would need to drive through after the hike, was hit bad.

On the way out east, I had contemplated coming back the same way (aka I-70), spending time once again with close friends in Denver and Fort Collins, and stopping into Steamboat to visit another dear friend.

Remind me never to pick the presidents over close friends.

Gas for $1.99 at the Pilot gas station which was quite the bonus. The hazelnut coffee however was just horrible. I may never drink coffee again. I wasn’t in the best of moods as Mount Rushmore still remained on my bucket list. All I had to show for it was hours wasted and more miles driven on my car than needed. And it would be hours before I had any service to connect with family and friends. And even when I finally did, the connection didn’t last long.

Once it got dark, the weather started getting really bad.

And so we’ve decided to cut our losses, and goto bed early, and hopefully wake early to better weather.

Taylor is snoring loudly. Even louder than I will eventually be snoring. And that actually makes me smile, finding comfort in the normalcy of his sleep amidst the raging storm outside.

I’ve always wanted to spend the night in my car. Now I’ve got my chance. At least I’m crossing something off my bucket list.

In a few short hours, tomorrow will be another day. And with it, another way.


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