With major weather crossing the Great Plains, the new project flat fender was subject to massive rains, experiencing its first soaking in at least a decade...
If you have been tracking the weather over the past few days, you'll know Nebraska and surrounding states have been under tornado and flash flood watches emanating from a major weather system moving through. Unfortunately, we drove right through the brunt of it while heading west on I-80, causing me to miss a view of the Nebraska gateway to the west arch on I-80.
Fortunately for me, the rain had subsided and beautiful views had taken over by the time we reached the Platte River area, as Ken has some strange sort of fascination with this region, wanting to be sure I saw it, and threatens to move there. So all of you in Nebraska, consider this your warning. Ken snores, carries a Mega Blanket when he camps, and has no tolerance for bad Mexican food north of Texas. He also drinks a gallon of OJ before bed every night (no joke) and I am pretty sure Nebraska isn't known for its orange crop, but I digress.
With 70-mile an hour speeds and continual soakings, the Willys doesn't seem to care too much, or show that it is any worse for the wear, but Ken laughed at me as with each passing torrential rainfall I turned around to apologize to the old Jeep for ripping it from its dry garage home and subjecting it to an organic cleansing mixed with a touch of road spray. But hey, what can you do? And if the Willys has survived the last 56 years, I am sure it will be okay on this cross-country adventure. I guess I am just sensitive because I feel fortunate enough to be the Jeeps new caretaker and I want it to last 56 more years.
In the last two days since I have written, we have covered 1700 miles (900 of it yesterday), making for long days through the lovely states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Two nights ago we stayed in Omaha and since everything but the drive thru Arby's was closed by the time we got there, I had the pleasure of pulling the trailer through the drive, causing inquisitive looks and laughter from the Arby's late-night staff. This is not the first time I have had to tow through a drive thru, I also pulled RangeRunner with the Power Wagon through Jack In The Box once, tearing out some bushes, oops. All I can say is when a man is hungry and on a road trip, there is nothing that will stop him from getting food before bed, not even a curvy drive way and a 45-foot long rig. You guys who tow a lot understand.
We haven't had much time to stop and investigate the scenery or roadside attractions since we are trying to make good time, but we did stop for lunch at Hardee's and I was shocked to realize that Hardee's doesn't carry the same menu as Carl's Jr. What the ----? Something about that is wrong and I call shenanigans on the whole operation. I'll feel better when we are far enough west to know the goofy star represents Carl's instead of Hardee's, but at least they have Dr. Pepper. We have also been pacing trains, dodging road closures and battling truckers. I had forgotten how much challenge the open road can present.
As I write this we are currently in Evanston, Wyoming on the border of Wyoming and Utah, about 80 miles East of Salt Lake City. Tomorrow we are hoping to hit Reno before pulling in to Hollister, California for Top Truck on Sunday.
On a side note, the steakhouse we ate tonight had "Salt Lake Shrimp" on the menu, and in the menu description under the entrée name it read "Not actually from the Great Salt Lake, thankfully". So it appears the people in Wyoming have a sense of humor against their neighbors to the west and you know Ken and I enjoy the funny.
Looks like we are clear of bad weather now and it should be smooth sailing heading west from her, so wish us luck.
Some project suggestions thus far (hope this gets your juices flowing as I am all out):
Old Daddy Flattie
Flat Fun '51
Time to get some sleep for another long day of driving. Until we blog again!
Tech Editor - Four Wheeler Magazine