We continued to Oklahoma City and checked in at our planned stop. It was a convention center. I knew unloading would be painful as soon as the receptionist gave me a map to the parking area. UGH! There was only one luggage cart. Thankfully, we were able to walk all the way back to the front desk, take the cart all the way back to the car, and then get to work. There was just one elevator for the whole place. It wasn’t busy, but it was far from the only ramp in the parking lot. It had me wondering why the accessible rooms are so far from the conference center… or why the parking spot is so far from the accessible rooms… Oh well, not my problem.
I jackknifed the trailer into a couple spots beside the only handicap spot. Unloading was slow and noisy. The luggage cart was rattly and the concrete balcony walkway had thick joints. This resulted in about an hour of “kuh-thunka-thunka-thunka-thunka.” My neighbors HAD to have hated it. I know I did. Thankfully, it was only 7:30pm and not 10. It’s possible that the hotel was nowhere near capacity. Hey, have you even wondered what happens when you’re shooting photos of an awesome stunt-park-job and move the luggage cart because it’s in the shot? Here’s a hint. 😉
The room was a large, divided suite; so, the cats had full run of the place. They probably felt more like cats than prisoners. They slept on the bed with us, but hid whenever I stirred. The cats went straight into hiding when it was time to pack in the morning. Miss Kitty was an easy catch. Rusty was easy, too, since he’s too large to fit into any tight spaces. Digby had dug his way into a crevice under the bed and was hissing and growling when it was time to remove him. It was all posturing. I found the luggage cart and went to work loading the car… “kuh-thunka-thunka-thunka-thunk…”
We got breakfast and an Oklahoma “Been There” mug at Starbucks, drove a few hours, and then had lunch at Waylan’s “The Ku-Ku,” an iconic stop along Route 66 in Miami, OK that’s stood since 1966. It remains a fragment from the past. From there, we wanted a “Been There” mug from Kansas. The closest Starbucks was in Pittsburg, KS. We passed another Route 66 attraction along the way. I shared that photo in the album below. I was hoping to pass a large Route 66 logo on the road somewhere. But we weren’t on Route 66 for any stretches long enough to find one. Our poor fuel economy compelled me to stay closer to the Interstate.
We stopped for the night in Rolla, MO. That was the first hotel parking lot that had pull-thru parking spots. It was cold and VERY windy. So, we unloaded in rapid fashion. It was a hassle to fight against the wind. There wasn’t a luggage cart. But it was much faster to just grab items and briskly move them to the room since we were on ground level. We were glad to crank-up the heat when it was all over. It made me thankful that we didn’t travel through Laramie, WY, as previously planned, where the temps had been below 0°F.
Next, we headed to Dayton, OH to visit with a former supervisor with whom I served aboard a ship in the early 1990’s. I was 24, inquisitive, yet trying; she was 37 and not eager to take my sass. I’m surprised I didn’t drive her nuts. It was a good visit and fun to laugh at some of the crazy stuff that I would try to pull with her. Ah, “kids!”
Our last stop before getting home was near Charleston, WV. Again parking was limited. I found a parking spot right under our hotel room. If we had a rope, it would have been very tempting to haul our stuff up and through the window. The cats slept with us AND were still visible when I awoke. So, I got some photos before they scattered. My wife appreciated that! “GOOD MORNING, HONEY!” They hid once I was up. Digby made his way into the unreachables under the bed. He sure was surprised to learn that humans are a crafty lot, capable of lifting a box spring and mattress in the air and snatching him up like a raptor. HAHA!
The trailer was looking a bit lopsided when I brought the first load of cargo out in the morning. Sure enough, I had another puncture. I reinflated the tire with my compressor and didn’t find any signs of serious leaks or vandalism. We found the cause when I rolled the trailer out. DAMN! Screwed again! Plug kit to the rescue! Later, I learned that a proper patch is not possible once the tire has been plugged. Regardless, I’ve found plugs to be very durable. Time will tell that that holds true on a trailer tire. There is less lateral force applied to trailer tires. So, I’m not concerned about having the tire properly patched at a tire shop.
Once the tire was plugged, we got on the road to get breakfast and a “Been There” mug from West Virginia. With that accomplished, we were on our final stretch home, I-64 ALL THE WAY! The car pulled the trailer great over the mountain passes on I-64, even with its performance issue (had you forgotten?). We made one special stop before home; so, we left I-64 briefly. You may know that my car’s four year anniversary was on Veteran’s Day. I decided to stop where I bought the car and visit with the man who sold it to me. Parking was scarce; but I still managed to find two open spaces. My wife still has a bad habit of watching the back-up camera when I’m backing the trailer. The camera provides a deceptive view of what’s happening with the trailer. So, she squirms when I stunt-park near other cars. Me: “What? It’s just a Nissan… No Worries!” 😉
After our visit, we were less than 90 minutes away from home. I had hoped to get home before dark. But when have we arrived anywhere before sunset on this trip? Backing up my driveway in the dark is awful because I cannot see anything, including her car. It’s nerve-racking. To make matters worse, I usually slip the clutch more when I cannot see. We got the trailer up, but the smell of the clutch indicated that my car was not happy about it. HAHA! We offloaded the cats (but didn’t unkennel them), the Husky bins, and the cargo rack so that we could make a quick trip to the pet store for more cat food, litter, and cat trees. We also made a brief stop at Mission BBQ across the street.
The cats are settled in their temporary quarters. Our formal dining room has long been transformed into a “Bike Room” for my bicycles and as a make-shift video studio. We put a screen door on the opening and let the cats roam the downstairs portion of the house during the day. I’ll share more photos of them when they’re comfortable (see some photos below). In the meantime, my trailer is uncoupled and the car visits the “doctor,” Euro Pros in Yorktown, VA. I’ll share the diagnosis and repair details in a future entry.
It’s Good to Be Home!