A Non Running Post
It’s been a hot minute since my last post, so for fun, I am posting about a road trip with my dad. Who knows, maybe I’ll give up the running and transition to travel blogging…ok not gonna happen. When I started this blog, it was for me to remember events, so this will be a fun way to remember an interesting trip.
A little background, I have always worked for my father, who is an electrician. There was a time I was out on the job installing outlets and hanging ceiling fans – mostly as a teenager. Over the years I have done many things, but currently I am buying and selling on eBay. This job has me managing an inventory of over 2500 items. I ship daily, I find items to re-sell and my dad and I also purchase things to use for my dad’s electrical business. This journey has taken us many places, and we have met many people (hello auction friends!)
Our latest adventure had us on the road. My dad purchased a bucket or boom truck from a utility company in Ohio. While we explored the shipping options, which included someone else driving it back for us. (This complete stranger wanted us to put them on our insurance.) We decided the best option would be to drive my car to Ohio, and then my dad would drive the truck back and I would follow in my car.
Now, I am a road trip warrior. If a race fits in my schedule and I can afford it, I will be on the road and at the starting line in time. However, my father has not done any long road trip traveling in a a few decades or sooooooo….. What does that mean? Keep reading.
First we had to make sure payment was on it’s way, so that was sent ahead of time, mostly because we were not sure when we would leave. With the fancy mail system, it was to arrive on a Monday.
The weekend before, with some back and forth phone calls we came to the decision that we would leave on Sunday.
Sunday morning I met my dad at the shop. We really didn’t have a schedule, but the destination was Warren, OH. We decided that we would take the route through Chicago. The first stop was in Walcott, IA to get some cheaper gas – around $2.45. Then we motored on.
Of course when we stopped for something to eat in the suburbs of Chicago, there was an accident on the interstate and the GPS re-routed us through some city roads… and then we got back into the stop and go traffic. I think it’s expected to have traffic problems anytime in the Chicago area. This slowed us down, but again…. we didn’t have a schedule.
The rest of the trip to Ohio was pretty uneventful and boring. I introduced my dad to the Forensic Files on the XM Radio after we listened to a Cubs game.
We came to Warren, OH after dark. We weren’t exactly sure where we were going as we couldn’t get the truck. Driving through the town wasn’t too impressive in the dark. We stopped and I googled a hotel to stay at, so we headed in that direction.
The hotel was nice, and as luck would have it, a Waffle House was nearby. My dad had never been, so of course we ate dinner there. He enjoyed his meal, and once he saw my hash browns he had to order some himself. I will say it was the quietest WH I have ever been to, but it was also about 11pm at night. (eastern)
It was the day the truck payment should arrive, it was also the day we could go look at the truck. I woke up early to go find a place to run. My dad woke up to go check out the hotel breakfast.
I found a greenway in the area. It was a nice paved trail made for recreation.
When I came back to hotel, my dad had contacted the truck owner and we made plans to get our things together and head over to the utility company.
We arrived and of course the payment had not shown up. The guy asked why we didn’t just bring it with us, well we weren’t sure when we would be picking up the truck, but we wanted to make sure it was paid for.
In the mean time, the guy moved the truck outdoors and had it all set up. My dad climbed up into the bucket and started testing it out. I stood on the ground and about crapped my pants when he was way up high and spun it sideways almost tipping the truck. I swear, men and their toys… LOL!
My dad finally came back down from the truck and the mail guy had arrived and so had the check. We signed all the paperwork and were given all the owner’s manuals and maintenance inspections. Then we each got swag, a travel mug!
We said our goodbyes and got things ready to hit the road home. This meant my dad would travel with his flip phone and a tablet, I would have my iPhone. Also to note, the AC in the truck was not working and it was around 90 some degrees. It was around lunch time, and we had made the decision to not go through Chicago on the way back, so it would take 2 more hours, for a total travel time of 10 hours.
We started the trek out by filling up the truck with diesel. Then I was in the lead with my GPS and took us to the interstate. This was when the fun started. The truck is quite big and not the easiest to maneuver. We were on the interstate, but I had to go about 45 mph for my dad to catch up, which was not fun when changing lanes and taking exits in the bigger cities.
We took a break and my dad said that the truck was running hot. It was up to 65 mph cruising speed, but he couldn’t get it to cool down. He discovered that the hydraulic radiator was on top on the engine radiator. Sooooo the trip was going to take awhile. Again, I was not on a schedule.
We got back on the interstate for only a little time before we were back at a rest stop to let the truck cool down again. I couldn’t decide if I should try to take a nap in my car or what to do. I don’t do well with nothing to do, but wait. I like to go and get where I need to be.
Finally after some resting we were back on the road. I was following behind my dad at this time. It took forever to get through Ohio. I was very happy when we were out of that state and into Indiana.
Then we took another break at a rest stop not too far from Indianapolis. We took some time here, and ran into the janitor. What an adventure! This guy was telling my dad of some construction around Indy and suggest we go another way. Then after I used the bathroom, I was caught up in the conversation. It was way too political for me and he wanted to throw democrats as far as he could…. but what do you do besides smile and nod so you don’t become some statistic from some crazy guy at the rest stop. Then this guy goes on and on, like he had no one to talk to all day, and his dream is to sing at the Ryman Auditorium and he started to sing a song he wrote. We had to get out of here!
The only thing good to come from this stop was a cool rainbow.
I went to look at my GPS to find a way around the city. There are some back roads that go north and then west. However, my dad was the one in the lead… soooo I was looking at my phone reading a map…..keep in mind if I put in a destination it would take me on the interstate, so I just had to keep following the map as I was also talking to my dad on my bluetooth. My dad is hard of hearing, and has to have the windows down in the truck and hold up his flip phone to his ear. So there we were, watching the sun go down in the middle of somewhere Indiana.
It was getting late, if I were just in my car I would have made it home from Indy, but things were not going our way. We ended up on some east/west road that had roundabouts. I was on the phone telling my dad how to drive in a roundabout when he missed a turn and went off into the wrong direction. The truck is hard to turn around, so I hit the flashers and sat on the side of the road, talking on the phone guiding him back my direction.
Time was passing by and we were on a road of never ending roundabouts, however I was now in the lead!! We came to a stop light and on the right side of the road I spotted a hotel, I quickly asked if dad wanted to stop and he couldn’t say yes fast enough.
We pulled into the hotel parking lot and I went in to check the rate. It was also about 10pm. The rate was $150 and I about crapped my pants. The hotel was brand new, but that’s ridiculous for a Monday night in the middle of nowhere Indiana. Ok, so we were stuck, my dad was done driving the truck for the day and to move to the nearest hotel would be a chore… so instead of fighting that we sucked it up and got the hotel.
This is when I decided I was going into Ross Geller mode, I was making sure to use all the hotel amenities and take all the things. We got to our room and I turned the AC really cold!
I looked at google and discovered a sports bar that was open until midnight. We made our way over there and had a beer and some supper. What a long day!!! We were very optimistic in thinking we could make it back in a day, but we were done fighting the heat and roundabouts.
We woke up and took advantage of the hotel breakfast before it closed. It was pretty swanky with cold pressed juice and smoothies. I made sure to pocket some packaged cereal and fruit for the road. I even filled my new travel mug with coffee.
We were back on the road and still navigating this road around Indy. We would eventually catch up with I-74 and then it’s an easy road home.
We were not on the road too long and I noticed the low tire pressure warning on my dash. HMMMMM I just had 2 new front tires put on and they rotated the old front tires to the back, so I knew they should be fine with air. So we stopped at the next gas station and I pulled up to the air while my dad fueled the truck. I couldn’t hear any air hissing out of my tire or could I feel any. I moved my car over to get some gas and I could see something in my tire. I went inside the gas station to ask for a tire shop.
The first tire shop was “sooo busy they had to turn regular customers away.” They recommended me to Pomp’s down the way, I called ahead and they said they could get me in. My dad and I took off in my car and left the truck at the gas station.
We walked into the waiting room and saw popcorn, my dad immediately went to get some. I talked with the guy at the counter and he said it would be a little while and to have a seat. We took advantage of the wifi and waited.
It wasn’t too long and they had called my name. I walked to the counter and they had the piece of iron that was in my tire. I was shocked!!! It was about 4″-5″ long. I was lucky that something worse didn’t happen on the interstate. The bill was only $22 and we were back on our way to the truck.
I-74, just get to I-74. My dad was soo tired of me saying that, he kept asking where the road was. Finally after trekking through the middle of nowhere Indiana, we were at I-74, WAHOO!!!!! I was still leading at this point, so when we got on the interstate it was slow going for a bit and it was also raining, but we were moving!!!
Finally we had crossed the border into Illinois. Then we came to the Champaign / Urbana area. There are a few more roads here, but just stay on 74 and we are good. Somehow my dad was leading at this point. I think we switched on the road as it’s easier for me to follow on the long haul as I don’t have to go as slow.
Then it happened, my dad decided to take I-72 to Decatur. WHAT?!?!?!?!? I honked and was like don’t exit!! He just kept going and took the clover leaf south. At what point did I say to take this road?
I pulled off at the next gas station and sat there while I looked at the map. I also called my dad, no answer. I sat some more. I called my dad, no answer. This kept up for a while. He finally called me back to which I answered, where are you going?
After some discussion, I told him to take the turns to head back towards I-74. To him that apparently meant just keep going north or west. This meant I sat at the next exit for a ridiculous amount of time waiting for him to come back towards the interstate, which he never showed up for, because he just kept going north and west.
I left my post, found a bathroom and a drink and contacted him again. He was loving the rural 2 lane road, and claimed the truck ran better at 55 mph. All I could think is I was never getting home, ever! However, I am not sure what I needed to be home for, I just wanted to get there.
I finally found a 2 lane road that traveled west for quite a while, and would meet up with a road that went north and would eventually hook up with interstate 80, which takes us home.
After reading this map, I was able to catch back up with my dad, I found him at a gas station that has slot machines inside, surprise!
I got him out of there and we kept moving along, but it felt like it was taking forever!
Another stop for fuel and I grabbed a pop tart because we never ate lunch. However I did enjoy my hotel cereal and fruit. Then we were back on the road and headed north.
Finally we had crossed the Mississippi River and we were in Iowa, wahoo!!!
We took the exit for hwy 6 and made our way back to West Branch. It was late, about 10pm. Another long day on the road. I was hungry, but needed to stop back in the shop to check on this kitten that showed up out of the blue a few days before we left. It was still there, so I feed it and went home. I still had to get my mile in for my run streak, so I ran circles in my cul de sac.
What an adventure! My dad made the remark that he needs to road trip more as things have changed in the last 30 years. I learned a lot about patience, A LOT!
There you have it, my non running adventure.