We made it

It’s not too many people that get to have their second honeymoon before they’ve been married for a year. Of course it’s not many people that break down in their 33 year old Subaru wagon in the middle of Nebraska, sell it on the spot and have their mother give them a ride home from their first honeymoon either. This trip was rather less eventful then the last attempt. We rented a Mazda from Thrifty that we’ve dubbed “Tiny Van” (must be said in the Fat Albert voice) and decided to revisit beautiful Kearney, Nebraska on the way. We stayed at the Ramada again, ate at Napolis again, and took pictures near the Sapp Bros where we broke down. Ashlee got to cross off two new states from her travel list and we finished the first audio book of Little House on the Prairie…don’t knock it guys it was actually pretty enjoyable to hear about frontier life. Now begins the most relaxing week of our entire life.

Utah…t you tah a Fiat?

7 states
2534 miles
94 hours
60 mph
172.19 Gallons at 616.44 dollars
4 nights sleeping outside
5 bags of pistacchios
1 tow bar
2 beards
=1974 Fiat 128

From June 2-6 I drove out to Salt Lake City and back to pickup another Fiat 128. I already had some vacation time saved up that I needed to use or lose and this car popped up a couple months ago so this was as good an opportunity as any to travel a bit, visit a couple states I haven’t been to before and pickup another Fiat. The car itself wasn’t in as good of condition as I’d hoped, but I suppose I should just expect every Fiat to be worse than I’ve imagined it or the owner has described it. I took the tires off Sweet Pea(my 72 128) and I had planned on unhooking the axles from it once I got there in order to tow it, but quite honestly once I got there I thought it wasn’t worth the hassle and I’d just tow her as is. Not necessarily the best or recommended method for a four wheel tow, but I had to be realistic about it and it would have taken me more hours that I didn’t want to spend to get it done. So screw it, it’s not like it’s a Dino, this is just a little Italian bread box. Maybe next time I’ll just take a trailer…or maybe next time I won’t drive to SLC at all.

Wyoming was by far my favorite state on the way out and in particular the city of Laramie. I had gone on a slow incline up interstate 80 when just after a national park the road began it’s descent over 5 or 6 miles down into the valley where Laramie is situated. Seeing the city suddenly emerge from the peaks and spread out like a blanket on the valley floor brought to mind how I’d pictured Laketown in the Hobbit to have looked, minus the lake of course, eerily similar though the way the city sits in isolation from the rest of the world. When entering the city it seemed very similar to Colorado Springs where we spent a week last summer. A very relaxed town, cooler weather still at the beginning of summer and all sorts of interesting things to discover in the area. I can definitely see myself going back to visit Laramie. I spent the night about an hour past Laramie near Elk Mountain for the most relaxing night of the trip; pulled back near a national forest area, a full moon, and no sound of civilization.

I arrived in SLC on Monday afternoon. Brandon, the seller, and I worked for a few hours to get the car ready to tow. He was immensely helpful getting the tow bar fastened to the bumpers and helping just in general getting her ready for the long haul. We shared a couple of beers, well 3% Utah beers if that’s really a beer, talked about cars, life and generally had a very pleasant afternoon. I had thought about staying at Camelot hostel that night, but decided to forgo it and just get back on the road. BTW traffic around SLC is thick.

I then turned my gaze towards home. Monday night I spent the night by a river near Lyman, WY and Tuesday night I crashed just west of Wakeeny, KS. The night near Wakeeny in particular was especially nice and quiet. As I woke up there were deer in the fields on both sides of me and the golden color of the wheat was slowly being brought to light by the rising sun. On the way back I even came across Westfall which reminded me of World of Warcraft so I had to stop and take a look. It was so close in appearance to the Westfall from the game that I’m almost certain this little town is the namesake for the location in the game.

Finally after hours and hours on the road and drawing nearer to home I spied a motorcycle in the rear view mirror which ended up being my parents coming back from their trip to Arkansas. After having traveled 2500 miles we both arrived at their place within 10 minutes of one another.

An interesting trip, though maybe just a bit too long for my liking. I’m supposed to go back there later this summer with some guys from Emmaus, but I’m not sure I feel like going back at all.