A Late Start to the Latest Adventure

We’re off to another adventure in the western part of the US.  This time Montana is the target.  If the pictures are accurate, we’ve rented a beautiful house near Livingston, MT.  We are travelling with our son and daughter in law in our huge pickup truck pulling our also huge trailer loaded with motorcycles.  This trip has been in the planning stages for almost a year and it’s now time to see how good the plan is.

The launch went smoothly although later than any of us really wanted.  The departure had to wait on the completion of another workday for the rest of us.  Most of my day was spent loading and strapping down motorcycles as well as completing the loading of everything that was absolutely essential to our trip (okay – maybe we over packed a little).  We picked up Spencer and Laura at their house around 5:00 so we could hit the road.

The traffic around Indianapolis never seems to let up.  The interstate was packed with slow moving vehicles going about their daily lives.  I guess nobody realized they needed to get out of our way so we could be on vacation.  Our biggest hurdle was to get the 300 miles to our planned destination before we collapsed.  We were headed to Moline, Illinois for the night.

The miles were adding up and it looked like we were on schedule to get to our hotel around 9:30 local time (different time zone).  What wasn’t factored in was that both the truck and the humans needed fuel.  Nothing says “vacation” like a hearty meal at Cracker Barrel, plus an enormous parking lot for oversize vehicles was available.

The restaurant was on a wait which seemed strange for 7:30 on a Thursday night.  We were seated after about a half hour wait.  Our server was quite entertaining if not efficient.  She seemed to be having a trying day and proceeded to tell us all about it.  “I’ve been here since 4:00 and I’ve only made $20.”  I don’t want to sound uncaring but if she paid more attention to her job, her rewards might have reflected that.  Drink refills were unheard of which is not what I expect (plus I was getting really tired at this point).  I’m afraid I didn’t improve her financial picture much when we left.  Goodbye Cracker Barrel in Bloomington, Illinois.

Next up was to refuel the beast we were driving.  I really like the pulling power of the Silverado diesel truck but finding a reliable fuel supply is sometimes challenging.  To further complicate things, the truck was now saying it was low on “diesel exhaust fluid” – that magic liquid that keeps the truck from polluting the air too much.  We successfully found a Love’s Truck Stop in Galesburg that could provide both the fuel and the DEF.

Road construction slowed down our progress even more. I-74 around Moline is getting some work done and we were detoured a considerable distance out of our way.  We ended up driving through 6 miles of city streets to reach our hotel which is in the center of the city.  Instead of the anticipated 9:30 or 10:00 PM arrival, the truck was shut down at almost exactly midnight.  We have some time sensitive stops planned for tomorrow so this will be a short night.

I worry about everything so parking the truck / trailer almost a block from our hotel causes me to lose some sleep.  All kinds of bad things run through my head.  I don’t know if that’s a reflection of my age or too much exposure to TV news.  I’m hitting the bed (Sleep Number mattresses here at the Radisson – yippee) so that tomorrow we can see some tractors, trombones, and tanks.  Maybe I should stop worrying and enjoy the ride.


I never did find the “magic sleep number”.

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