I throw on the pink striped shirt and throw out the "Colorado or Bust" sign (sorry girls, but I couldn't see), and head up to the hospital for one last visit with my sister and new nephew.
I decide I need a Starbucks to keep me going, but the parking lot is pretty tight and there is absolutely nowhere for me to park my "rig." My solution? Go through the drive up, of course. The guy at the window is really nice and funny and asks what I'm up to with that thing. I contemplate answering with, "Joyride," but instead politely tell him what I'm doing. He thinks it's cool. Now, thanks to the gift card from Jess E., I've got my caffeine and can hit the road.
Depart Omaha at about 1 p.m., inhaling an iced coffee and more of Jenn T.'s hummus.
MM 445 (80 west, NE): I say (out loud) to my car, "Come on, Gwennie. You can do it. After a nice rest and some fresh fuel we can beat this wind and hills!"
443: Do I worry more about explaining to my readers why I call my car Gwennie, or that I'm talking out loud to it?
440: There is a lot happening on the side of the road in Omaha - there are cones, cops, construction, broken down cars and blinking signs. Whew!
438: My iPod is playing REALLY good music right now!
433: Kim's Kar Karaoke starts, which I haven't been able to do this whole trip. I've been too congested. This is especially hard on me when a "real" karaoke song comes on my iPod.
431: It's much easier to drive (un)safely - writing, driving, drinking, eating, and hauling - in the rural, open spaces.
425: What's the Genius Bar fact from the Apple store? Something about being able to travel from coast to coast four times without hearing the same song twice if you have an 80 gig.
423.8: I love SFCD (that's sugar-free cinnamon dulce) syrup.
423.4: I fully expect to be working at Starbucks in a week. I'm even abbreviating like they do on the cups.
422.4: Can't hear John Denver's Thank God I'm a Country Boy without thinking of Pauly Shore in Son-in-Law.
420.4: Love the line from the song "cakes on the griddle."
419.8: I love the word griddle. And fiddle. That reminds me of Fiddlesticks the Clown, a.k.a. my old colleague in Old Town who comes from a long line of registered clowns. Crazy.
418.6: baby Judd is so cute! I wonder what babies dream about when they sleep.
413.2: Seriously, my iPod is playing the perfect random mix right now!
412.2: I love watertowers. They're so small town America.
410.8: I love iced coffees. Sad, I just finished mine.
409.6: SO wonderful to be on an interstate and to be able to drive it like one. No traffic, no inching forward. I can breathe and drive, and I do love to drive. It's therapeutic.
401.0: Simon and Garfunkle's Cecelia comes on. This is SO being broken down with Linds H. and Steph outside Wheatland, Wyo., and thinking we're going to be murdered by the tow truck guy.
396.0: Beatrice, Neb. Another name I'm glad isn't mine.
395.4: I really enjoy my own company. I can totally entertain myself. HA!
393.6: On a radio station, "When a man talks dirty to a woman it's sexual harrassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man it's $3.95 a minute. What everyone is listening to? Z92 Nebraska!"
392.8: Why are there so many teal cars in Nebraska?
388.0: Always wonder how towns are named. Makes sense if it's after a person or event, etc., but who ultimately decides? Is there a naming committee? Do the townsfolk take a vote?
384.8: Keep thinking about how cute Judd is.
374.0: I can't wait to get the D.C. parking stickers off my car.
369: The mile markers keep going from decimals to none. Make up your mind!
365: Really dislike being passed by every semi on the road.
363: When I see a town in one state that I know is also in another, I wonder which was first.
357: Next rest area 40 miles. I MUST get over.
At rest area: I pretty much hang up on Linds H. to get inside.
"Get ur dun" on a semi's mudflaps. Reminds me of Chris T.
353: I've learned to like the song Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. I hated it at first, but now it's funny. Jonna is reading this and is appalled.
332: Aurora, Neb., there's one in Colorado too.
320: I'm starting a teal car count.
270: Ahhh...western skies! I can see for miles. This is one reason I really liked D.C. It's built out and not up, lots of light and sky.
257: Josh Groban on. He always reminds me of Elly who melts like butter on a hot "griddle" over him.
256: Alabama's Dixie Land Delight is on. My favorite part is the tamborine "ching" after, "Got a little jingle."
255: Utah. Now THERE'S a license plate. Pretty, and represents the state. Missouri could learn something!
250: Beyonce is on and the car just became a party mobile. (Yes, I will document every time she comes on.)
232: My visor is now dangling in front of my face. I tried to pull it to the side to shield the sun and instead it fell right off. I rig it with safety pins at the next rest area.
At rest area: I love pulling in with the trucks.
228: A Penske moving truck.
218: My iPod likes the Cranberries lately. I've decided I like them again too.
216: S.O.S. by Rihanna. Erin used to be S.O. obsessed with this song!
214: The wind has eased up a bit. That'll be good for gas.
212: Sign for Lasso Espresso. This is really funny for some reason.
208: The first signs for Cheyenne and Denver!
201: I hate the strings on bananas. They totally gross me out.
196: A truck carrying a bunch of pop-up campers just passed. First, I like the word pop-up. Second, pop-ups are amazing. It's wild that an entire living area comes out of a squashed down box.
190: The wind is back.
181: Patty Loveless Nothing But the Wheel is on. I have always, always loved this song. Especially the part about driving at 3 a.m. with nothing but the trucks. That's my favorite time to drive. Just you and the sleeping world.
170: Southern Comfort by Buddy Jewell. This is Kara and I driving from Denver to Steamboat for Jenn T.'s wedding.
163: I'm concerned about Planty.
157: heading into the sunset. Sure wish my visor wasn't pinned to my ceiling.
152: U-Haul buddy going east!
130: In Da Club - so Chris T. and the movie my colleagues and I made for a work project. HA!
At Ogallala: Grey Goose Lodge. I could go for a Grey Goose martini about now.
125: I like the word Ogallala. Linds H. and I just discussed not liking writing it, but I've decided I kind of do.
121: I just ate what will be my last bite of Jenn T.'s hummus. I tried to make it stretch to Wyoming, but it's time to throw the last bit out.
115: The clouds are really streaky like a storm is brewing. What would I do if a tornado came out of them? I dream a lot about tornadoes. One recurring one in particular where I look at the skyline and there are hundreds of them coming out of the clouds. I wonder what that means.
111: A tumbleweed!
110: Tumbleweed 2.
110.5: Tumbleweed 3. I'm in a little winter squall right now with horizontal snow and am cracking up over the tumbleweeds!
84: It is SO open. The inky sky meeting the barely discernible land. I actually say out loud, "Look at it!" I am so excited! Now I'm misty-eyed.
85: Still have goosebumps and mist. (That's the third goose reference this leg of the trip.)
84: David Lee Murphy is on. He's from Herrin, Ill., where my dad grew up and Grandma still lives. The only thing I will be missing on this trip is my Grandma's 80th birthday celebration on Saturday.
75: I love truckers. I like the way they flash their lights to let me know it's alright to get back over. It's like, since I'm hauling something, I'm one of them. Sort of.
I want to ruin the Conoco in Sidney, Neb. (Linds C. - I figured out what Sidney, NE is for you!) There's a U-Haul buddy at the pump next to me where the station is trying to rip me off. I will not give them my money. Moving on.
38: I can see a bazillion stars! I love it! There's Orion, my favorite constellation. He's been my main celestial squeeze since 2nd grade when I learned about him.
29: I'm about to wet my pants because I refused to be in the Sidney Conoco a minute longer.
**Readers - Kimball gas is the way to go!**
After Pine Bluffs, Wyo.: I couldn't see the road at all outside Kimball. Blowing snow, 45 mph. Pretty bad.
358 (WY): Can't believe I'm not just visiting.
337: I can not WAIT to dump this trailer.
The rest is without mile markers and really not much thought because I hit more bad weather on the pass into Laramie and was totally focused on the road.
So excited to get into Laramie and see Linds H.!!
I pull in, after missing her road twice, and we unload Planty and some other stuff.
We finally hit the hay after much (needed) wine.
I'll be here until Sunday.
Total teal car count: 8