Monday, June 29, 2009
Today was a long day on the interstate. The was no getting away from it. In order to follow RT30 you have to run on I80. Fortunately the shoulders on the highway are almost a full lane wide so they aren’t too difficult to drive down, although the rumble strip adds an element of excitement. We were motoring right along going about 38-40 mph when a large dark THING loomed in the distance. We were pretty sure it was not a chunk of tire. At slower speeds one does have a lot of time to think about this stuff. It quickly became apparent that the THING was a large bloated dead antelope lying across the entire shoulder. We could smell it before we got to it. You know it is really difficult to swerve and hold your breath, while not getting hit by a truck all the time doing so with your eyes closed. I was not going to hit it, no matter what, but it was close.
We drove the interstate for about 40 miles when we saw Dan and Dorothy had pulled off at an exit. She had told us earlier that she was not at all comfortable on the shoulder so we figured that she was going to try the gravel road that we could see running parallel to I80. We weren’t sure where it went but it appeared to be going in the right direction so we kept our fingers crossed. We hadn’t seen them until we were up on the bridge past the exit so we kept going hoping we would meet up at some point. We pulled into a very busy truck stop and Malcolm called Dan. They were out there somewhere heading our way. While we waited we had a long chat with two guys from Texas who were working in the oil fields. They were telling us all sorts of stories about Wyoming. Kind of a good ole boy department of tourism. Really nice guys.
Dan and Dorothy made it to us. Dorothy looked a little shell shocked. Apparently the road was quite something and less direct than it looked. After that she decided the interstate was the lesser of two evils. Just as we were heading out a car pulled up and a woman jumped out. She asked if we were the ‘Alice Ramsey girls’. I made sure to clarify which “girls” we were, and we were the ones she was looking for! She has been following the Twitter. That was pretty exciting for both of us.
Leaving the truck stop the Cadillac purred along at a pretty good clip. We made it about 30 miles in about 45 minutes. I was feeling really good about the day in general. Then, just as I was thinking that it was going to be another great day, I lost all power. The engine sputtered, backfired, burped a huge cloud of black smoke and came to a rolling halt on the side of the road. Malcolm worked the carb a bit thinking it was an altitude issue and off I went rolling merrily along until BANG it happened again. The big burst of black smoke was an indicator that my car was just not happy. After the third time, cleaning the plugs and tweaking the gas flow I gave up. We loaded it in the trailer and drove to Rock Springs. I took a long walk, talked to Mom and got over the frustration. We found a campsite early enough to work on the cars, Abby helped Dan replace a tire on the T, and Dylan helped Malcolm with the Caddy. Chances are Dylan was more helpful.... Hopefully all will be well when we take off this morning.