Monday, October 01, 2007

And the winds they do blow

Sunday Wyoming to Nebraska (362 miles)This time we got an earlier start, determined to get moving and make up for losing a day. With high hopes and without consulting a map we aimed for Omaha, soon we realized this was a rather ambitious goal. Nebraska is a very long, long state; something that had not changed in the six years since I last traveled Route 80. What was different were the winds which were gusting at up to 35- 75 miles per hour depending on whether one believed the reports I heard or the ones TGF heard. Regardless of clocking the winds it made driving the Behemoth challenging as it was a top heavy beast.

As I drove along feeling more confident suddenly the road changed, or was it a tire. Since I could only see the tires on one side, and given all the problems we had had, I decided it was wiser to pull over and check things out. Of course all the tires were fine but I could barely open my door, or see for all the wind stirring up the dust of the plains. We quickly hopped back on the road. The winds were creating the most amazing dust storms which suddenly that image so much more than it had been before as I struggled to walk in the winds, drive through them and watch dust funnels form. Western Nebraska was rockier and more barren, but as I drove east, the landscape softened and there were trees atop slightly scalloped hills. The other natural feature that teased my eyes was a river that traveled along side for a long time. I loved watching the colours change and the movement of the gentle current. It reminded me of the bay and of the wrap I made (that I have not put up the photos of) for Ruth.The rumbling of the road continued but I no longer feared it was a tire problem. The bumpiness of the road shook me all over and I often felt like one of the bobble headed toys keep in the back window made for just such conditions. My other thought was of those silly machines that proposed simply by jiggling a person that one could lose weight. If that were true by the end of my journey I should be easily ten pounds lighter. Clearly this was not to be because one, those types of machines do not work; and two, the road food is not conducive to weight loss. Actually the rumbling was really hard to deal with because there was no way to truly relax into it and I keep wishing for smooth roadways. There were times when I would almost cry when the bumps started while other times I would almost cry when the road became slick as a sheet of ice.

As day grew long we settled on exit in Grand Island. This was a huge and luxurious feeling travel spot, a Bosselman’s with restaurants, a barber shop, a mini grocery store, and free wireless throughout the property! This was the most elegant of the Motel 6 (or anywhere this trip) that we stopped at and I really appreciated the slight upgraded d├ęcor though the room was on the small side.

It was lovely to stop driving after my first full driving day of the Behemoth. Truly lovely.


goblinbox said...

Hi. You drove right past me. I'm about one mile south of I-80 in Cheyenne, WY. LOL!

goblinbox said...

P.S. I crashed in Grand Island myself!

Kelly said...

North Platte was my stop (I think.)

I had to remind myself to blink to stay awake during the drive. It was the flattest, dullest landscape I'd ever seen. (Then again, I wasn't driving in a windstorm of those proportions.) Yikes!