Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Journey, Day 8

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today is the day! It was an easy drive, comparatively speaking, from Rhinecliff to West Hartford. I wanted to go there first because Bob Pearce, my best friend from high school many years ago, and his wife Trudy live there.

I probably should have called first, but I wanted to surprise him. It typical Bob fashion, he just took it all in stride.

We have not seen each other, though we have talked, for over 10 years. At that time, after Mildred had died and when I was first getting to know Sally, I flew to State College (well not exactly, but David and April picked me up wherever it was that I flew into) and we drove to West Hartford and stayed with Bob and Trudy.

The next day was Agn├Ęs' wedding in the Boston Temple. West Hartford is only about two hours from the temple and they were very gracious to let us sack out there that night.

The next day we travelled to Boston, did the wedding, then came back to West Hartford. On Sunday I was taking the train to Chicago to meet up with Sally, but there was time to go to New Haven and go to church there. Here I am 10 years later, in that same ward!

I sat and talked with Bob for a while, then got back on the road for New Haven.

I had talked to the Bishop down there a few times and he had recommended a small studio apartment that one of his members had recently vacated. I made arrangements with the landlord to look it over, and it only took me 5 minutes to know that it was just right for my needs. I spent the rest of the day moving stuff out of the car and shopping for what I needed.

Journey, Day 7

Friday, August 10, 2012

Today was my Whoops Day, the day I built into my schedule just in case things when wrong somewhere. So instead of pushing on to New Haven I took the day off and spent it with Paul and Melina. Paul had taken the day off from work.

Frankly, we didn't do a whole lot. Paul had made me a dentist's appointment in Kingston to get my flipper fixed, and the 45 minutes they quoted us when I checked in turned into an hour and 45 minutes. And cost me $100.

They wanted to charge me $200 to fix the silly thing, but I talked them down.

Meanwhile Paul and Melina did their weekly shopping. The Kingston Bridge is a toll bridge, so they only go there when scheduled. The alternative would be to drive down to Poughkeepsie, and it's hardly worth that trip.

After that we dropped Melina at home and Paul and I went out to a you-pick farm. They weren't technically open that day, but the farmer had some real nice fruit in the cooler that he sold us. I got white peaches.

Paul had been planning a barbecue for that evening, but because it had been raining off and on all day he settled for cooking inside. After dinner we played a couple of games of Rummikub and went to bed.

Journey, Day 6

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm really tired, but this should be a short leg, just 5 hours. 

Pennsylvania is very green and very pretty and the landscape continues on into New York.

Out of State College I got back on I-84 toward New York. Just as 84 would have crossed the Hudson River and headed towards Hartford, I got off it and headed north along the river. Then at Kingston I crossed over and took a short jog south to Rhinecliff.

Rhinecliff is part of the bigger Rhinebeck and is absolutely gorgeous. The whole Hudson Valley is that way and Rhinecliff is basically just a whistle stop along the way, forgotten by the hustle and bustle of the modern mall.

Paul and Melina live in a very old home just a 5-minute walk from the train station.

Journey, Day 5

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today was planned to be a lot easier, it's not so far from Ann Arbor to State College.  A quick trip down to Toledo, then across Ohio and half of Pennsylvania. Again, had I not been pressed for time I would have loved to stop by Pittsburgh and see my family there. But I pushed in.

Now David and family had left Houston for State College just about the same time I left Spokane, Saturday the 4th.  So when we (Mary and Alyson came with me) got there, they were still trying to figure out which box had what in it.

Still, it was nice to spend time with them, as it had with everyone else on the trip. 

Journey, Day 4

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Iowa was a surprise to me. Today's plan was to go from Des Moines to Ann Arbor, which meant I would travel across Iowa, illinois, a tiny bit of Indiana and half of Michigan. 

I expected Iowa to be like Nebraska, only flatter. It turned out to be hilly, green and pretty.

The route (I-90) just skirts the southern side of Chicago, an area the locals call "Chicagoland". If I had not been pressed for time I would have gone into Chicago just for the heck of it.

I dragged into Mark & Mary's about 8:00, enough time for tacos and a game and then I crashed.   

Journey, Day 3

Monday, August 6, 2012

Today was a really long day, and not very interesting. 

Cheyenne is at the very eastern edge of Wyoming. My goal for the day was Des Moines, Iowa, so essentially I crossed the whole state of Nebraska and went into Iowa.

Central Nebraska, where I crossed, is definitely agricultural. Lots of fields of what looked like corn, not. Lot of hills. Not a lot of activity on my radio, either.

No car problems today. Maybe it was related to the altitude.  I went from 6000 feet down to 1000 feet by the time I got to Omaha. 

Journey, Day 2

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I didn't get as early a start this morning as I would have liked. I was tired from yesterday's stage and we got to bed late last night. 

The plan called for going back up to Salt Lake and catching I-80, which will be the pathway for pretty much the whole trip. Today's stage would take me from Salt Lake to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

After some interesting terrain as I drove out of the mountains just east of Salt Lake, the rest of the day was pretty boring.  I found no radio stations I was interested in (in other words, no NPR) and nobody on my ham radio. Lots of time to think.

Later in the day I started having some car problems. It happened mostly when I was going uphill, and the engine would just cut out for a few seconds. It would start going again, but still, it was worrisome.

I passed the Continental Divide again, just as I had done yesterday in southern Montana. The big difference this time was that the sign that declared Continental Divide also said the elevation was 7000 feet.

Some time later we reached the summit of another mountain and then the altitude was 8064 feet.  I was surprised I think because the mountains I am most used to driving over, the Sierra, are more obvious about climbing, whereas this came more gradually.

I was making such good time that I considered going past Cheyenne, but then when I actually got there I had had it and was ready to stop.

I am hoping the car problems are related to going uphill at that altitude. I have turned off the air conditioner to lighten the load on the engine. 

I am staying in a Motel 6 tonight. Cheyenne, by the way, is over 6000 feet high. I thought Denver was the only state capital over a mile high, but now I know better. 

Journey, Day 1

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Knowing this day would be the longest stage of the trip, 12 hours, I had hoped to get an early early start. But last-minute preparations the night before got us in bed late. Then it was hard to leave my sweet Sally, hard for both of us. 

I've made this trip through Montana on I-90 East to I-15 South so many times that I didn't see anything new and wondrous. Frankly this part was drudgery. I missed Sally already and just wanted to get down to Pocatello and see Amanda. 

My visit with Amanda was short but sweet. She looks really good and was in good spirits. In many ways she and I view the family dynamics similarly and it's always nice to spend time with her. 

But I was worried about the 2-3 hours of driving I still had and how tired I already was so I left her earlier than I would have liked. 

By the time I got down to Salt Lake everyone had decided to meet at the Leatherby's there. Leatherby's is an old old family favorite from the days when there was one in Fremont. Luckily they serve a really good Chef's salad so that I could keep to my carb-free plan that has been serving me so well. 

It was nice seeing everyone. Rebekah was leaving the next day for her Mexican cruise, so she couldn’t stay too late. And I was really tired, so I couldn’t stay too late. Still it was 0100 before I got to bed and to sleep.