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Driving home to get our Airstream - Final push

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

We left on Thursday, July 11th from Hague in Larry’s truck to pick up ’Lucy Love’ and some of my personal belongings.

I had practiced getting up early Monday through Wednesday because we talked about leaving at 7 am. I made arrangements to walk with Larry’s Dad Pete on Monday morning at 6 am. This was going to be the first day I got up before 8:30 am since I arrived there on June 26th. I was about to walk out to the porch to meet Pete at 5:54 and he was standing waiting for me in the street! He was early. We had a nice walk around the town for about 30 minutes. It was nice. We agreed to meet again Tuesday at the same time. I was on the porch at 5:55 and waited until 6:09 am. I had been stood up! I went back inside and hopped back into bed. Shortly after I heard a knock at the door and Larry invited his dad in. I popped back up into my walking clothes and was out the door at 6:26 am. This was a terrifically abbreviated walk of only one block, Down Larry’s street and up Pete’s street. Not even a whole lap! He and Eva (Larry’s mom) had company coming for breakfast at 7:30 so He had to return quickly. I was a bit shocked but mostly amused.

Tuesday night, Eva and Pete stopped by in the evening to visit. I asked Pete if we could get one more walk-in before Larry and I left for California. He said he would meet me at the Hague School which was 3 houses down from Larry’s. Ok ...I'll meet you at the school. Still 6, right? I sat at the school until 6:10 and then walked home. I sat in the super comfy teal Roundy Roundy chair in Larry’s living room. It's my favorite chair! Pete showed up about 6:20 and we walked. Everyday was different. Pete definitely had to mix it up every day but it worked for Thursday morning. I was up at 5:30 am to leave by 7 am.

Well, we actually left at 8:25 am and still needed to get fuel. Since we were traveling south, we would be going through Saskatoon and Costco right on the way. We are planning on driving to Sheridan Wyoming for the first night. Larry found a motel on the main street and we booked it on my phone. I started out driving in Saskatoon with GPS and after the way things went, I should have let Larry drive first, especially on his turf. Noted for the next time. We wanted to take a little more time driving home than when he used to drive down to visit. He could make the drive in 24 hours and would barely stop for rest/sleep. That’s not my way. We were heading to Golden Colorado because on Friday my friend Sarah was playing in the National Championship of the division 3 women’s tackle football. We were close on the drive home but had to veer off about 5 hours to get there.

We made stops about every 2 hours ...that's about what my bladder requires. Larry likes to stretch his legs and get Fresh Air. We took 3-hour shifts driving most days until the last day. It seems like 2 hours shifts might be the best in the future. We had a nice picnic on the tailgate of Larry’s truck looking out at the yellow canola fields and the expansive blue sky as far as you can see. This was the last stop in Val Marie Canada before crossing the border back into the United States. We got to the Customs/immigration station at about 2 pm. We were running a little later than we were hoping to be but we would make up time in Montaya where it’s less populated and boring. We were sadly disappointed with the delay at the border. We were detained for over an hour. Larry will discuss in length in Larry’s Corner. The great outcome was they let Larry back into the U.S. and we were once again on our way!

We rolled into Sheridan Wyoming a little before 9 pm. It was easy to find our motel as it was on the main street as we drove in. Room #101, right on the street for the usual traffic of a small town. The air conditioner made way more noise than we liked so we chose to be hot. Finding an open restaurant after 9 pm was a little difficult. We ended up at Perkin’s Restaurant and Bakery.. A place that reminded me of Sherry’s Pie in Rohnert park, with Regular cafe food and dessert counter with pies and cookies. No beer I, unfortunately, found out. This mistake didn’t happen again on this drive. Dinner was ok but we were tired and hungry. I was so happy to have a meal sitting down for more than 10 minutes I didn’t even criticize the salad made from old wilty iceberg lettuce!

I made plans to meet my friend Carol who has a home in the neighboring town of Story. She suggested coffee at Andi’s Coffee and Bakery on Broadway Street near 4th street at 9 am. It was the sweetest little coffee shop that was a renovated old tiny colonial house. We found the place a few minutes late. The traffic and road closures for the 10 am parade down for Rodeo Days main street slowed us down. We did get a spot to park in front as someone left just before us!

We had a fabulous time with Carol. She told us stories and showed us pictures of her last trip to Ireland and London. Carol and her husband Ken, just got back from 6 weeks abroad. It makes me want to put Europe on my travel list in the near future.

Coffee was short as we needed to get on the road to Golden Colorado by 7 pm, Kick-off time! I started driving again in the morning. I feel the freshest and get the first big leg over early. It was a very good thing too. Just before Cheyenne Wyoming we got some weather. Larry was much more experience with rain, hail, and snow than I do from northern California. We were in a huge thunderstorm near Chugwater that almost stopped traffic with the heavy and big hail. The wipers were having a hell of a time keeping up and it was so loud too. Larry followed a big rig and it was smooth sailing until the storm cleared. We experienced the Denver suburb traffic on Friday at rush hour. We stopped at a Loaf and Jug gas station with a convenience store. Potty stop, coffee for Larry the Driver, and some Colorado Beer! As we maneuvered through traffic with the GPS gal wanting us to take every exit to avoid delays, we eventually were 6 miles from Golden. I put the address in the hotel we booked on the phone and the directions were for Golden, B.C. Canada! Oh my! We don’t have somewhere to stay, it’s 5:45 pm and the kick-off is at 7 pm.

We stop at the Loaf and Jug in Golden Colorado. I peed and Larry got on his phone to find a comfort Inn close to Miner’s College. $189…...Not very happy but still grateful for a room at the last minute. We had time to check-in and freshen up before heading to the game. I knew at this point we were going to be a bit late. I knew I’d still have plenty of football to watch. We walked around the stadium before finding the entrance….. which made us about 25 minutes late. Not bad, right? It was really bad. Sarah had severely strained her calf in the third play of the game. She was having medical attention when we arrived and sat out for the first half. It was a close game but the Nevada Storm never let go of a 9 point lead the entire game. I was hoping after the halftime break, Sarah would have recovered enough to play some but she supported her team from the bench. It was a great victory for the team. They beat the champions of the last 2 years to take the National Title. I’m sure it was bittersweet for Sarah as she is quite an amazing and talented athlete. The field security made it difficult to get on the field for a picture with the champions. Maybe Sarah will comment with a picture.

Saturday morning I was up early, 7:30 am I knew that the real driving was beginning now to make it to California by Sunday. That is giving me 2 solid weeks to pack up what I will need for Airstream travel and the rest of my summer in Hague. I took the first shift of driving out of Golden and up into the Rocky mountains over the Loveland pass. We got up to 11,990ft. It was quite beautiful with lots of trees and some snow in the distance. Coming down was spectacular and I especially loved the road when it winded through the canyons by the colorado river. We definitely want to drive Highway 70 again through the canyon near Glenwood Springs and stay to kayak the river a bit. I took lots of pictures here.

It seemed just as we came across the Colorado border into Utah the landscape changed. It opened up and was more sandy beige. Still quite beautiful. We have a few fun rest stops along the way. Checked out a great viewpoint of the valley near Green River and Orangeville. We spent a long time at the rest stop here as I discovered two types of lizards to try and catch. I was unfortunately unsuccessful in my attempt but the exercise was good. Sitting in the truck for the past few days driving up to 10 hours was taking a toll on me. I needed to get some of my crazy energy out!

My second driving shift that afternoon took us into Salt Lake City and the outlining suburbs. There was a fair amount of traffic driving through about 6:30 pm and I got stuck in a pretty heavy rainstorm with lightning in the distance. It made driving a bit more challenging and we decided to stop early. We checked into Baymont Inn and Suites and got a great deal for a room with a king-size bed. We probably should have asked for a different room because it smelled like a Wet Dog when we opened the door. I was hoping it would get fresher with the air conditioner on but each time we left and can back, it still smelled. I let them know at check out and the man at the counter did not understand what “smells like a Wet Dog” meant. I would not recommend staying here even if the price seems good.

We left at 10 am, right after our free breakfast that the “Wet Dog” motel offered. We take full advantage of the free breakfasts! Actually, this helps us with our lunches too. We take out any fresh fruit, yogurts, packaged oatmeal, teas, and hot chocolate mixes. So on the road, we normally need only to pay for one meal. We have commuter mugs for coffee and we fill up our water bottles too.

Larry took the first shift driving, I was having a hard time waking up this morning. We drove out of Salt Lake City continuing on highway 80 west toward Nevada. We saw a small part of Salt Lake and stopped to check out the Salt Flats near Bonneville. That was very interesting.

The drive through the rest of Utah and into Nevada was fairly flat and not too terribly interesting. All I can say about this part was that we made great driving time and we got to ride the Dinosaur at the Sinclair gas station and mini-market! When we got to Reno, I felt like we were back in my neck of the woods. It still was a 4-hour drive with some heavy traffic in Sacramento but we arrived back in Rohnert Park at about 8:30 pm on Sunday.

In the driveway was our new home on wheels, “Lucy Love” waiting for us!

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