Saturday, July 30, 2005

Day Log 07.30.05 Saturday

This morning we were up at 6 AM just for our own survival. We hit the road at 7:45 headed to Kirtland, Ohio to see the church sites and try to catch up with Otto and Amy Derr from Logan. By 10 we were at the visitors center only to find out that the Derr’s had the day off. We called their phone number and drove up to their little home as directed by the other missionaries where we left a note. Maybe we will see them before they leave to go back home. We toured the sites and headed back on the road at 2:30. As we look at the map it seems impossible for us to get all the way home tonight so we will take it in three hours blocks and see where we are. I would expect we will stay somewhere here in New York tonight and drive on in tomorrow.

We left Kirtland and got back on I-90 headed to Erie, Pennsylvania, there we picked up I-86/Rt-17 that crosses into New York state. Since we have been in NY the farmland has changed into what the folks out here call mountains, yet you see no rocks, just over grown hills. Deer country for sure with a few dead ones on the side of the road. We just passed Cuba where the locals must not have paid the road tax. We almost lost the car in a pothole on the highway. Now a mile or two it is new blacktop and smooth sailing. It is also a fact of life that the further east we travel the speed limit goes down. Here in upper NY we are limited to 65, where just yesterday we dropped from 75 to 70. Same kinds of roads, just different ups and downs, weather, and abilities to drive faster, or at least that is what the political line is. These folks passing us would feel right at home on the flat open roads of the mid-west and west. I still remember coming down the mountain near Denver at 80.

We have already come to miss the dry air, even if it is hot. We think it is better to be fried, baked, or roasted than broiled. The humidity caught up to us yesterday and the air-conditioning just has to say on to keep us from being hot and wet. Mom thinks I got too used to the dry air too quick and will have a tough few days when we get home.

We had a plan to stop early in Elmira, NY and then make a short trip of it on Sunday. As all men know it is best to have a second plan that will work. We missed the exit that had places to stay by one, didn’t turn back and for the next six and half hours the trip was very tight. In not stopping to eat and sleep when we should have we just kept coming. As the day ended at 1:30 AM Sunday morning we had been driving 13 hours, not counting the four and half hours in Kirtland. We traveled 737 miles today and it was not the right way to end a good trip. We had eaten lunch in Kirtland at noon and ate again in Newberg, CT at 11:30 PM. My advice to others is don’t do it that way!

It is Sunday morning at 10:30 AM and mom is still sleeping and I am hoping will forgive me for not knowing when to stop, or picking the wrong place to turn off. I have been going over the travel book we kept track of things in and the total miles traveled on this trip were 8291. We spent $500 on gas not including an oil change. Mom has the figures for times we didn’t crash in someone else home. The good news is that she got the check from the NC nursing home, and I received one third of my vacation pay the state has been holding for the past two years. So other than a rock chip in the windshield, we seem to have made it across country and back with out a mishap. Mom’s prayers are heard again, and I have to ask for forgiveness again. Some times I am a slow learner.

Thanks to all of you for helping make this a great trip and listening to or watching the computer picture stories we had to tell.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Day Log 07.29.05 Friday

This day seemed to be the one that we had feared the whole trip. We again got up early, was on the road for about 12 hours and only covered 495 miles. We stayed just outside of Toledo, Ohio Friday night at what has to be the worst Motel 6 in the country. This topped a day where we sat in traffic from 1 PM to 3:30 PM trying to get OUT of Illinois into Indiana near Chicago. We had decided to stop at Kirtland, Ohio so we needed to take I-80 up to the point it became a toll road. ( You all know what I think of paying tolls.) The toll road was being worked on which really made a mess of the area, mom’s pleasant personality, our time schedule, gas consumption, but luckily not the front end of the car. So for 25 miles around this so called pay to save area we moved along watching four lanes move down to one and no one wanting to make room for the next guy. After that and not having a pit stop for that long we aimed for the next pull off with thousands of other people. The traffic moved from stop to 70 and back to stop again in about five miles as cars piled up on the freeway. We were able to move around this in only about 45 minutes with out stained pants, but mom was getting pretty needy for a drink. The rest of the day was spent looking at the map, knowing we were not going to make it to Cleveland, Ohio and still speak to each other in the morning. We pulled off in Toledo, checked in and found a place to eat. Came back to the room and crashed. The problem being that this place had the outside doors to the halls on crash bars and door closers strong enough to stop a bull and heavy enough to close the door in a 100 mile an hour wind. Even mom had a hard time sleeping through people coming and going all times of the day and night. I just had problems with the toilet that leaked, head board that fell off, and non-smoking room that had a mattress from the pool hall next door. The good thing was the shower worked and the hot water was hot. Not a place I would give four stars.

We again did see some pretty countryside with lots of green trees, it is amazing how in a matter of miles this USA can change so much. We got back into the east where you can’t see off the road way any more, where as a day ago we could see 50 miles in all directions. People that have not traveled agross the states from one coast to the other have no idea that beauty comes in so many shapes, colors, and sizes. Where in the east rivers are wide and deep, and in the west they are swift and clear. This trip we were able to travel west across one set of states and back to the east in another and see different points of interest every where.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Day Log 07.28.05 Thursday

Left Ft. Morgan, CO at about 7:30 AM and headed out on I-76 toward I-80 in Nebraska then on across to Grinnel, Iowa which took about 12 hours and 635 miles. The saying that the USA travels on what the farmers grow has meaning as you cross the country and see fields and fields of corn, soy beans, alfalfa, cows, and who knows what other items are in those fields. We did pass a few new fruit orchards along the way in valleys that seems to have the right climate. The morning saw me driving and because we seemed to be up so early mom took about a 50 minute nap first thing. A habit that has followed for the next two mornings as well. Yes I am catching up on the log again and it is Saturday afternoon as we drive through up state New York just passing Jamestown headed toward Binghamton another 200 miles away, but that is another days notes. Thursdays travels went well and no major events caused problems other than the day seemed long and the distance short as we looked on the map to see so much country still ahead of us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Day Log 07.27.05 Wednesday

We were up at 6 and out the door at 7:30 after packing the last of the things I had planned for a one lamp I had not planned for. Seems mom woke up this morning hearing Grandma Maxfield telling her to take that lamp so we found a safe space for it, grabbed a quick bite, said our good by’s and headed down the road. Only after 12 1/2 hours and 725 miles later did we stop for the night in Fort Morgan, CO. We did need to stop for gas, food and my water breaks a time or two but decided it would be better to start Thursday on the east side of Denver, so and hour on the east of Denver we headed. One thing to understand is we had breakfast at 11 and couldn’t seem to agree on a supper spot while traveling through the mountains west of Denver. I will let all of you figure out what the mood was like for the last three hours of the trip.

J was right we were in Grand Junction, UT, in six hours. We left St. George headed up I-15 to Cedar City picked up Rt-14 over to Rt-89 and followed it up to I-70 East. The country side in that part of the trip was different with about every 10 miles traveled, We wee in the high mountains, high meadows where mom spotted deer before I did, down into the lower farm land and along the Servier River as it cut its way north. I was not paying attention to the speed through the canyon just before connecting to I-70 and pasted a local sheriff doing more than allowed just as mom said slow down. We watched him go by, hit his cherry’s, break and flip a U turn, I had found a spot off the road by that time and he was back to me in less then a minute. I think because he didn’t have to chase us, we had all the paper work on dash, had the door open but still in the car made it easier on us. His question as he came to the door was. “Did you bring lots of money for this trip?”. We walked for a few minutes and he said:” I am not in the mood to write a ticked this morning, slow down, watch for the constructions up the road two miles, and have a good trip.” Needless to say I set the cruise control and we stayed right on track for the rest of the day. We stopped in Richfield, UT, for breakfast and then traveled I-70 into Denver up, through, and down the mountains that have so many ski resorts, golf courses, condo’s, and homes that the wild life have to book a space to pee three months in advance. It is beautiful country, but just too many people for us to think about living there. As we dropped down from 10789 fee into the Mile High City the traffic had a speed limit of 65 and traffic going 80 or more in all three lanes, trucks with no brakes would make a mess of things but we were lucky and got out without seeing problems. I just lost a lot of hair wondering why we had to go so fast. Little car had some problems with the climb up the west side but going down the east side we made up for lost time. It is notable that getting onto I-76 for the trip up to I-80 took us right into the high plains. I wonder why so much of the land is unused for anything, only to realize that water is needed.

We did find a little place to stay at about 8:15 and the restaurant attached closed at nine so we ate then unpacked. It is 10:30 and time to sleep. I will try to get the last three days on line tomorrow either in the morning or evening. I do think we will be stopping sooner, so we can make the whole trip.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Day Log 07.26.05 Tuesday

Because J and Christina needed to go back to work we tried to stay out of the way. Christina had an 8:15 AM meeting so was out the door by 8:05, J needed to get into the office and try to calm a few clients that were looking for projects, as well as think about what stuff he had to move out before Wednesday evening. He is relocating his office space to home for time being or until another space with better environment comes available.

After they left for work we started washing cloths for trip, went to the Bank where Christina had asked a Notary to help with the NC papers, to post office to over night the envelope, to the different hardware stores in town looking for a dryer vent cover, then back to the house for lunch. We then headed over to Beaver Dam to take pictures of Kevin & Cora’s house so they would know at what stake the construction was at before driving down this coming weekend. Kevin was to then outline the placement of electrical outlets and switches. I will email the pictures when J gets home from work. Seems that while they were on the river trip St. George had a electrical storm that bumped his wireless off line, so for now when he is home he sets up his computer as the transmitter and I then can use my compute anywhere in their home.

We got back home after J and Christina had been home for lunch and knew they were coming home about 6:30 so did a few odds and ends to get ready for trip home, Mom watched all the afternoon talk shows, I started to get the salad fix-in’s ready, Striped the dead chicken from the bone for J’s and Mary’s salad, and started the salmon cooking for Christina and me. By 6:35 had dinner on the table and we all sat down and stuffed ourselves again. After cleaning up mess I had made, mom suggested we put some of the things in the car, Christina and J found a couple of boxes of Grandma Maxfield’s things that were sorted and places found for them to head back to Connecticut. J then helped install the Xmas present mom had given me to help me know which direction I am traveling, how hot it is in the car, and how close to Hell I get when traveling downhill. Simple process if one knows or understands the instructions. After packing what we could it was time to get to bed as we were hoping to leave at 7 AM.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Day Log 07.25.05 Monday

Nobody got up in a rush. I was up, J got up and the ladies stayed in bed a little longer. Mary’s phone woke her and Christina up when Br. Darre called to ask a question about out mail before he had to leave town. We all sat around the breakfast table talking until Mary and J went to the post office to pick up the NC papers, then to Harmon’s for a few things to eat. Christina did a few loads of wash and I did a little catch up on the emails. After lunch J and I talked about a couple of computer and camera situations I had thought about on this trip across. Now if I can remember the tips later. Mary and Christina went to Costco for bulk items to them and us. We Then had an early supper at Golden Corral. Well stuffed and sleepy we returned home, caught a little of the news and called it good for the day. I think the trip toward home is starting to weigh on my mind and or I am just starting to slow down from the pace we have kept since June 27th.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Day Log 07.24.05 Sunday

We started the day with a visit to Jerry and Jack and by 10:15 were on the road to Provo to see Aunt Teddy. The traffic was light and we arrived at 11:30 and caught her cleaning. We were able to talk her into going to lunch. It was a pleasant visit and we got back to her house to find Ray and Debby waiting for us. Ray was able to sit for about an hour before heading back to a church meeting in a Student Ward. We left Provo at 4 and without a lot of traffic made it to J’s house in St. George at 8 PM. After talking for longer than we should have we all got in bed at about mid night.