Anniversary - Day 2
I neglected to mention something from the first day. About 100 miles west of Lincoln, Nebraska the truck lost all power. There I was in the middle of nowhere with a dead truck. I managed to get the now worthless heap off an exit where there fortunately was a truckstop. I called U-Haul on my cell phone, and about an hour later a mechanic who looked like a refugee from The Dukes of Hazzard appeared. He scratched his head, pulled his ear lobe and finally said, "Hmmm."
That's like a dentist saying, "Hmmm." The sense of dread I experienced was indescribable. I had visions of days being spent in the God-forsaken place while spare parts were flown in from Brazil.
Well, Gomer was a pretty clever sort. He pulled off the fuel filter and blew what appeared to be some sort of crud out of it. After replacing the filter, he lit a cigarette and said, "I guess that will do it." I waited in vain for him to go up in a ball of flames.
The truck fired right up. I went up the next exit and there found an old fashioned motel where I spent one of the loneliest nights of my life. I called Carol just to hear a familiar voice, but no one was home. That was just as well, because if she had answered with the way I was feeling, I might just might have turned around and gone back from where I had come.
After breakfast that second morning, with only some reluctance, I pointed the truck toward Wyoming.
Western Nebraska, the panhandle, is not Midwestern at all. By the time I got to the Wyoming border, I knew I was in the West. There were no trees, no crops, only wide open road and barbed wire. The place was barren but somehow mystic to this flatlander who had never been in those parts in his life.
From the border to Cheyenne is basically, well, straight up. This was The Rockies. The truck was not enjoying the uphill parts of this trip. The downhill side of the mountains was, er... thrilling. I worried constantly about the brakes. But we, Bella and I, made it fine.
Once over the front range, Wyoming along I-80 is wide open, flat for the most part though at considerable elevation above sealevel, barren, cold and WINDY.
I stopped for the night at some chain hotel and ate a good dinner. I was more alone than lonely that night. I ate a steak dinner and retired to my room to watch a movie and get a good night's sleep.