Road trip(redux)

Drove to Maryland (semi-)recently. Makes it so that I’ve driven the entire breadth of the US in less than a year. Man, Kansas is boring. The one thing that seemed interesting was closed by the time we got there. The next day we got to Ohio. We passed through St. Louis along the way, and I snapped a couple pics of the Gateway Arch.

We stayed in Ohio for about a week, visiting my mom. My laptop was previously delivered there (more on that later). My sister was also there, visiting. We didn’t actually do much while there, but we had a good time regardless.

After Ohio, it was a relatively short drive to Maryland.

Road trip

So, on Friday I left for my fiancée’s graduation. Since she was moving in with me, we had to pack all of here stuff into her car and drive up to Colorado Springs. Not really a problem, though Saturday was somewhat hectic from trying to get her room ready for inspection. We didn’t manage to get everything into the car. We ended up having to get two fairly large boxes mailed to us.

While I was down there, my fiancée had me meet all of her friends from college. Ended up going to a bar known as the Bear on Friday night, and went to the Sierra Nevada Brewery Sunday evening. We ended up leaving a bit early on Friday. She doesn’t react well to loud music. At the brewery, we got two of the beer samplers. I ended up trying a sip out of all of the beers, and found, I don’t really like any of them. Beer isn’t for me, I guess.

We also visited with some of her family. We had dinner at Olive Garden on Saturday. Also there were her younger sister, her mom, and her stepfather. While we were there, J received her graduation present from her mom (I should get her one soonish, probably). It was a Canon SD1000 Elph camera. It’s a really nice camera, and it got a lot of use during the car trip. More on the car trip later. We also visited some of her relatives who lived in Chico. They’re all much older than she is. She doesn’t really have any relatives her own age, because both parents are only children.

The graduation itself was fairly boring, but then, most of them are. It was a fairly large commencement ceremony. It took about half an hour for the graduating class to file onto the field, and they had already split the ceremony in half, with half the class having been done on the previous day.

The road trip itself was fairly uneventful for the first section I drove. This was the section from Chico to a little ways from Sacramento. Once we started going up US 50, towards Tahoe, is when it first started going horribly wrong. The first clue was the clouds of smoke coming from the engine compartment. At that point, the only real thing we could do was hope nothing too horrible had gone wrong.

It was a forlorn hope. The car seemed to be going just fine, the rest of the way to Tahoe, and we even stopped at a wedding chapel to talk to the people there. Going downhill from Tahoe was also just fine. I think it was largely because it was downhill though. Once we got back onto the flats of Nevada, we started having problems big time. We think it was the transmission that blew up. Luckily the car mostly gave up the ghost in a decently sized town (Carson City, NV). We had planned on getting farther into Nevada, but quite obviously weren’t. We stayed the night at a Quality Inn, and ended up selling the car to a tow truck driver for $50.

From there, we ended up renting a car (from Hertz). It was a 2007 Ford Taurus. Wasn’t a bad car, though a bit large, and J wasn’t used to driving anything but her own car. It was a good thing she wasn’t driving in a big city, for the most part. Because the car was bigger, it wasn’t hard to fit everything into it that was in the old one.

The next stop on the road was Moab, UT. We stayed at my Aunt’s that night. It was a long drive from Carson City (12 hours or so), so we got in pretty late. The original plan was that we stay there for a day, but because we had a rental at that point, we didn’t really have a choice about staying. Doing so would have cost us $150. Not really an option. I ended up in an argument with my cousin Cat about it, since she wanted us to stay another day. I promised to see her next Thanksgiving.

We got to Colorado Springs that day. When we got in, it was raining. Moving in the stuff wasn’t fun. And then we still have to get everything sorted out. It’s going to take a while.