West is Far.

I’m pretty sure I’m 2,000 miles into this trip. I’m also sure I’m gonna need an oil change by the time I get to San Diego. The West is far, guys. And for those of you who have road tripped with me, you know I struggle real hard at staying awake and generally being aware. While the struggle to stay awake has been absent, I’ve really had to hone in on my driving skills this trip. So far I’ve only suffered one flat and a dead battery, but we will get into that later.

I left Indy on Thursday, June 2nd at 10am. After going back to my house twice to get things I had forgotten, I got on the road to Omaha.

 My buddy Nate was so kind to let me crash at his place on my way out to Denver. I’m gonna be real honest with you. There isn’t much to see on your way to Omaha. It’s basically flat. Real flat and farmy. I was not totally impressed.

On my way out there I did stop at President Herbert Hoover’s childhood home. I did not go into his presidential library, but I did take the opportunity to walk around the little town and go in his house. It was neat.

After that little adventure I drove onto Omaha. I got there about 7pm and kind of just expected to chill out. Nate had other plans. He wanted to go out. I agreed. Who was I to tell my host, “no”. So, we had dinner and some beers, reminiced about bear fights, took a few shots, and called it a night around midnight. I had a full day of driving to do the next day. I had no intention of feeling like I had drank my face off the night before. Also I had this weird intention of drying out a bit on this trip. I’ve been extremely social lately between beautiful weather, the Indy 500 and school ending. My liver and kidneys could use a vacation. Heads up, they haven’t had that vacation yet.

 Nate gave me some ideas of things to see on my way to Denver. One of them was Car Henge. Some guy wanted to replicate Stone Henge in Alliance, Nebraska. He didn’t have any large slabs of rocks so he used a bunch of Ford cars. I’m not gonna lie, it was a pretty good replica. That little road side attraction did take me out of the way and made me late to pick up Brenna at the airport….

I sent Brenna a text that said, “Don’t hate me, I will be late picking you up.” Little did I know that I would be super late. Once I got on I76 in Colorado and about an hour outside of Denver I got a flat. To my amazement I didn’t freak out. I had gotten a AAA membership the day before I left, so I felt oddly comfortable about his hiccup. While I was on the side of the highway trying to get through to AAA, a older man, Terry from Wisconsin who was on his way to hike the Continental Divide stopped to help me. As we went through all the tools that were in my trunk and his, and pulled out the donut and all that jazz, we realized that 1. I had no jack (thanks, previous owner) and 2. I had lug nuts that locked my rims on my car. (Is any of this making sense?). So, none of the thingys that pull the lug nuts off my wheels would fit. I needed a key that was missing (thanks again, previous owner. You suck!). Soon Terry, two state troopers, and myself were trying to problem solve as I waited for AAA. AAA Jimmy showed up and decided he couldn’t do anything and I had to be towed to his shop where he had a key and maybe even a tire (!). I was towed. I got a new $140 tire and the owner of the shop gifted me a key for my rims. Now all I needed was a jack and I’d be good to go in emergencies.

Finally, 4 hours late, I was on my way to pick up Brenna from the airport.

This concludes the first leg of the trip. The Denver Adventure is up next!