9 Sep 2013

Adventures with Wilbur - pt5 - A Coach-Net Free Day

At least that is what Dustin proclaimed when he got up.

This was the day that we had to admit that we weren't going to be back in Ontario anywhere close to when we had planned, which was supposed to have been today. Ha, we had only completed 1100 of the 2500 miles to the US/Canada border.  Well, time to phone the family and friends to let them know of our delayed arrival.

You know what happens next, and so did we.  This routine was getting a little too familiar.  No bars, a.gain.  Oh well, hook up the camp ground WiFi and use up some of our precius data with internet calling.  Uhm, no won't work.  So off to the registration desk.  Their service was down and they were working on it.

T-Mobile assured us before we left that they had partner coverage all the way across so what the hey was going on.  Just for fun I pulled out my old fashioned flip phone.  Yes, I hear the groans out there but honestly I don't use my phone.

I guess I'm a bit old fashioned and besides, touch screens don't work for me.  I don't mean, I can't read them, I mean that when I touch them they don't do anything.  It seems this is a problem for some people but it really limits my options and I just can't be bothered.  So, I still have a flip phone and some days it's even charged. ;)

I flipped the lid open.  It was charged and it had bars.  Antique tech works out here. lol  We spent the better part of the morning on the phone.  Assuring the mothers we were OK but going to be late and canceling/rearranging plans.

Laramie was the last of the western out posts before settlers started the trek to Oregon or California.  There's a bit more about it on this page.  Fort Laramie was spitting distance from where we were camped but really we just wanted to get going.  So we took off and tackled the bluffs we had been scared to climb last night.

If you've ever seen a Western where the Apache Indians coming riding over the bluffs then you've seen the bluffs that greeted us. Most of those movies were filmed just outside of Laramie. It looks so much like the old movies that it's eerie.

We past regretfully by the Vedauwoo  Recreation Area and promised to be back later but for now we were going on.  Again, I have no pictures. Not sure why, maybe I hadn't found the camera yet?  I think in all the messing around on the phone I had forgotten to move it to the front console.

On the otherside though I seem to have found it and grabbed this picture.  (see I promised a train. lol)

To my eye the most significant thing about this area is the transition from western brown to eastern green.  In just a few short miles the world turns green.  Not just pockets of green around a water source but green trees and green fields.

As we had come to expect, an urban area brought construction.  This time though traffic was routed in a reasonable manner; no off-roading, no rumble strips.  It wasn't the best but it certainly wasn't the worst and although the road might look a little beat up, it was actually good, just not pretty.

Take a guess as to what's coming.

This part of the drive is one of the few stretches where it's possible to make time.  The winds aren't bad most of the time, the speed limits are still high and there's not much traffic.  Civilization is coming and all of that comes to an end so Dustin was bent on reaching Omaha.  I wasn't sure.  It was pretty optimistic to try for 500 miles in one day given how things had been going but I agreed that if it was possible we should try, and so we drove and drove, stopping only when Sid was hungry.  He had fun running around the truck and rest stops.  Then we changed things up a bit and drove some more and then more.  B.O.R.I.N.G.

At the Nebraska state line there was a sign saying that a vehicle registration and license check would be required in 2 miles.  This was intimidating.

Wilbur was fully licensed and registered with the California DMV.  (obviously)  We had plates and current stickers but no little slips of paper.  The DMV had not managed to get them to us before we had left.  (How shocking, inept does not begin to describe that brunch!)  Anywho, we pulled off at the next rest stop, conveniently located 1 mile away, and rummaged through our paper work looking for the bill of sale and anything else we could find to prove that we were legal.  As I gathered all the paper work I looked up to see if Dustin and Sid were back from exploring to see every parking spot full.  People were frantically rummaging through their glove boxes.  Oh, did I laugh and laugh.  Somehow not being the only one who couldn't just open a compartment and materialize paper work took the worry away.

 We reloaded, armed with as much proof as we could have and carried on.  There was no traffic slow up?   Uhm, 1 mile marker, 2 mile marker . . .

"I don't think they're checking."
"Wonder if somebody forgot to take the sign down."

Laughter, and lots of it.   We had a good joke but it did raise a question; what if someone at the international border (either direction) wanted those same documents?  It's funny how different people stress about different things.  To me that was a major source of worry.  To Dustin, at least outwardly, it was like, whatever, we're not doing anything wrong.  All they have to do is phone the DMV.

A little further into Nebraska, we crossed another time zone costing us another hour and so ran out of daylight long before we were ready to call it a day.
Out the back window
The clouds had slowly been getting denser all day in front of us.  By the time it was full dark, it was completely overcast and we were treated to a lightening show right out of Greek legend.

We carried on until 10:30 or so when it began to look like the storm might actually affect us.  There were 3 in Wal-Marts in the area.  I randomly choose one that turned out to be about 10 miles north of I80 in Grand Island.  Fortunately there was no camp to set up, just beds.  Sid went right to sleep and we had a late supper.  The spaghetti sauce I had brought frozen from home turned out to be a good thing.

The vibrating metal sound, the thumping and bumping all were still there but no worse than yesterday. 
We fell asleep to the sound of rain on the roof.  It was a pleasant if utterly boring day.  We didn't make it to Omaha but Grand Island wasn't too bad.

End of Day 5


  1. Wow, that is some traveling in one day!
    Your blue sky photos are beautiful.
    Laramie is where DS went to school...ick!
    Thanks for taking me along.

  2. i love road trips and Wayne loves driving. I remember a few trips where is seemed like that is mostly what we did.
    But good thing Wilbur kept up :)
    Your son seems to be a great little traveler as well :)
    Beautiful sunset.
    I love the sound of rain on a tin roof. But then again I grew up in a mobile home, so it is soothing to me.


Hearing from you makes me smile, thank you!