Wisconsin in August! Probably not the best time to venture into America’s Dairyland.
For those of you who did not see last week’s post, the family and I, all eleven of us, took a road trip from Oregon to Wisconsin. For some in our party, it was the first visit to the state, and their first experience with humidity and bugs! Oh, and thunderstorms!
Also, for some, it was their first experience with long distance driving. At first, the grandkids seemed excited at the prospect and eager to hit the road. But I think the novelty wore off after the first 100 miles or so. After that, the “joy” of driving transitioned into the typical “Are-we-there-yet view.
For the adults, the adventure took a turn for the worse after about ten hours, in the form of car trouble. Outside Evanston, Wyoming, one of our vehicles broke down. It would run but the transmission would not engage. Sitting on the side of the freeway is not a real exciting way to spend a vacation. After a couple of hours and a few visits from the Wyoming law enforcement (who were very friendly and helpful) we had the car towed to the dealership where we learned it would need a new transmission, which incidentally, was not cheap. Eventually, we rented a car and continued our trip, leaving the problem vehicle to be fixed. We were a day late when we got to Wisconsin but better late than never, I suppose.
But wait, there’s more. The day before we needed to leave, the key for the rental car decided not to work. It was one of those new key fobs and not an actual key. The message panel on the car just said “Damaged key” when we tried to use it. And although those type of keys have a “real” key inside them for such an emergency, that wouldn’t work either. No matter what we tried, the car wouldn’t start. We couldn’t even roll up the windows. Not a good situation in a place that likes to rain buckets of water! So, after another tow to the dealership and waiting a day for them to fix it, with fingers crossed, we headed home.
There a few more minor issues with the rental, but finally, we made it back to Evanston, Wyoming. There, we picked up the repaired vehicle, returned the rental car, and hit the road again for the rest of our journey. After a day and a half on the road, we arrived home dead tired—and slightly disgruntled.
But the trip wasn’t all doom and gloom. While in Wisconsin, we visited my wife’s family, celebrating her parents’ 50 years of marriage and, I think, we all had a good time. We saw a lot of family and friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time and had a nice visit. Also, on the way to Wisconsin we stopped at Mt Rushmore, and saw a few other sites too. The stops helped break up the trip for the travel novices, know as my grandchildren!
In all, we visited nine different states. I’m pretty sure the extended freeway journey made for a fun-filled experience for, not only the grandkids, but everyone else as well. But I don’t think any of them are ready to go anywhere in a vehicle just yet. Except me. I’m headed back to work. I’ll be driving all night again. But not to Wisconsin! ~