Day 23: June 13th. Long-Haul Trucker

Ok, so we set the alarm from 5:30 AM so that we could get on the road and give ourselves the option to make it all the way home. We were worried about Ringo and his foxtail and decided we would rather get home and have options if need be.

We made coffee and packed up and were on the road by 6:10 AM. Ungodly early for vacation. As an FYI, the bugs were still fierce even in the morning.

The Google lady said we had 11 hrs and 6 minutes to Silverthorne. With stops and being a little slower than normal with the trailer I knew it would take longer.

The good news was the Ringo seemed to be ok. He had a few sneezes in the morning, but didn’t seem overly distressed. Whew.

The first part of the drive was pretty easy on the interstate. It took us down to Ogden. Once we got close, the traffic was surprisingly heavy and there was tons of construction which made for very narrow lanes. This persisted all the way through Salt Lake City and Provo. We stopped just outside of SLC to get gas and grab some food for lunch. We continued to Springville where we caught highway 20 to Price. Whew, done with the narrow lanes and concrete barriers. Normally this is not a big deal, but with the trailer and going by big semis, it requires quite a bit of concentration. I was happy to be off the interstate.

There were some dark clouds up toward where we were heading and pretty quickly we hit some rain. We stopped at a rest area to eat our lunch and let the dogs out and got lucky that in the 10 minutes or so that we were there, it didn’t rain much.

We got back on the highway and then the sky opened up. It was really cold and it was pouring and hailing. The splash back from the other lanes was intense and it had hailed hard enough to leave an inch or two on the road. I had hoped this section of road was going to be relaxing, but it was far from that. Susanne was really nervous. I was hoping it wouldn’t last long. Just a thundershower.

It didn’t stop. All the way to the pass and then down into Price it continued to pour. We stopped in Price to get a cup of coffee. I was thinking based on how bad the weather was, we would just push on and I needed to time the caffeine infusion just right. It continued to rain all the way to Green River. It was absolutely dark in the sky and the wind was howling. It had been 92 in Green River the day before and today when we were filling up with gas, it was 52.

It kept looking like we were about to come out of it, but the storm just kept following us. It was an absolute raging crosswind on I-70 with rain. I must say, the trailer and truck handled beautifully. Based on that experience, I don’t think we need the sway bar.

Finally about 50 miles outside of Green River we broke out of the rain. Whew. It had been an exhausting 4 or 5 hours of driving all the way from Ogden. Now I was on familiar roads and knew we could make it home. I think the whole pack was ready to be home and didn’t feel like camping in the rain, even with a trailer.

We stopped in Grand Junction for about 30 minutes to let the dogs play in the dog park and then got back on the road. Another quick stop in Rifle to dump and get gas and we were on the home stretch. Of course, shortly after Glenwood Springs the rain started again. Ugh.

As we made our way up Vail Pass, our audio book finished. Ha! A 29-hour book and we timed it to end within 30 minutes of home. That was pretty good!

We got off I-70 at Silverthorne and I breathed a sigh of relief. The 2 short miles to our house , park the trailer and whew, made it! It was 8:15 PM. 14 hours of nearly continuous driving with a trailer with about 7 of it in bad conditions. I have a whole technique for making long drives, where I get myself into an almost hypnotic state of concentration on the driving. I seem to be able to keep that concentration for a long time, which is good, because Susanne had no desire to drive the truck and trailer.

We fed the dogs and humans, had some wine, and went to bed.

Wow. That bed felt great. The trailer had been very comfy overall, but wow, nothing like your own bed.

Home Sweet Home.

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