We made driving it through the night with only a one hour ‘shut-eye’ stop by Dave. [My journal does not mention the morning hours of 7/30. I have no recollection and am unable to fill in the blanks. I can only assume we ate something at some point and that one of us was driving the car. Obviously nothing else of import happened]
We arrived at Monchamp’s Killdeer Ranch in Riverton, Wyoming (where Charlie was staying) around 11am. We totally surprised them, as it turns out, since the cell phone number I was texting was not Julie’s (the mom), as I had presumed, but Monte’s (the son). And it had been out of batteries for days.
When they expressed surprise upon our arrival, my Dave said “Oh, we should have called, I just remembered I had both your phone numbers.” –I about clobbered him. I had absolutely no idea that he had their numbers. I suppose I should take a more active mom-type roll? If it’s any consolation, I think they’ve come to expect a certain ‘hand’s off’ mentality from us and don’t seem to mind. Or maybe they just think we are disorganized parents… which I guess we sort of are. At least I am. Dave would probably take issue with that…
We visited for about a half hour. I’m just kicking myself for not getting a picture. I’ve completely dropped the ball so far on any pictures at all — even my annual “leaving the driveway” shot.
We left for Dubois — pronounced not Doo•BOY like you’d assume, but DOO•boys. Hicks. It’s just like when the locals in Colorado say Buena Vista as B•YOU•na Vista instead of BWAY•na.
We were headed for The Cowboy Cafe, since Charlie had proclaimed it “probably one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at in my ENTIRE life. Seriously, Mom.” So we ate there. It was good, but I’d have to disagree with that level of praise.
We popped into a few shops, then headed out of town on 26/287 over Tota-something pass into Jackson Valley. We are not superstitious people, but Jackson and the Menke’s… well, the relationship has not been good.
It was later than we planned, but what’s new? Much road construction is partly to blame, as is the unexpected time spent at the very crowded Cowboy Cafe.
Given the time and our extreme drive-through-the-night fatigue, we discussed staying on the Jackson side for the night, rather than going over Teton pass into Driggs/Targhee as planned. It should have been an easy decision, but given our deep-seated resentment for Jackson, ever since having to buy a new car 3 years earlier during the Road Trip from Hell, we prefer not to tempt fate and drive through as quickly as possible.
But as I mentioned earlier, we are NOT superstitious. We even considered heading back to Curtis Canyon Campground (and our favorite site overlooking the tetons) that we have stayed in on two previous trips — the actual scene of the crime where our previous Suburban was towed away forever! But that seemed silly, since we were so tired and would be passing at least three other campgrounds on the way.
I was driving like a little old lady on the rough gravel road leading to the campgrounds we were going to check out thinking, “There’s no rush, why chance a blown tire…” since the rock on the roads in WY seems particularly unkind to our wimpy Minnesota-grade tires. I was just tooling along, when…
CHECK TIRE PRESSURE
Said the in-dash display. So I pressed the button and watched as the Front Left Tire Pressure decreased: 28…25…21…18…16…15
Dave and I hopped out of the car. I was running around saying “Where’s that Fix-A-Flat stuff? DAVE! WHERE IS IT?!” All he could do is stand there and say “Damn. Jackson Hole. Can you believe it?”
I talked him into trying the Fix-A-Flat stuff (I mean, why not try it?!) because at least we could maybe make it to the campground before dark and set up camp and get dinner started while he changed the tire at his leisure. He was very skeptical. I was a LUNATIC about it because — for GOD SAKE — the tire was deflating before our very eyes!
He got it out and squirted it in and…
It was at 12 psi and went up to 13 psi while we drove. Like MAGIC.
And I can’t help but say it: I am a true hero. Lord knows nobody else is going to recognize it.
In true Road Warrior fashion, we proceded to go, not to the first, not to the second, but the third campground along the rough road with an almost-flat tire. Because that’s how we roll. (get it?)
But we made it and Dave changed the tire like a champ. But then, he’s had a lot of practice, hasn’t he? [still no pictures!]
I’m lobbying to let some air out of ALL of the tires, including the camper tires, with the idea that less pressure is better for these roads, but I’m not making too much progress on that front.
We had brats from the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market: Philly Cheese Steak and Buffalo Blue Cheese flavors. I forgot to plan a side dish for the brats — at least I think I forgot to plan a side dish… Anyway, we we had two packets of the Boil-In-A-Bag rice that Morgan obsesses over (why, I have no idea), along with an amazing Tomato, Mozarella, Avocado salad.
Morgan started her book and we lost communication with her for the night.
There was literally no wood to be found — not even a twig — for a fire. We used some charcoal for the brats.
Hence, there was no fire to sit around. It wasn’t cold, but a fire might have helped keep the mosquitos at bay. It is embarrassing to admit that BUGSPRAY was not only missing from the camping box, but it was also missing from the master camping list. I don’t even know how that is possible.
It didn’t matter too much to me. I’d been moving at about 1/4 my normal speed and efficiency since arriving at the site and had taken on the Renee Zellwiger squinty-eye look from fatigue. I don’t know if we actually went to bed at 8pm or at 9pm, being that no clocks have been changed to reflect the local time and no one has cell service to check. I thought it was 8, but Morgan thought it was 9.
Either way, it was inarguably lame.
And undeniably awesome.
We love our little pop-up.