Due to the type of trailer John rented to pull his old Blazer back here, we were unable to back up. I'm still not sure I understand why, but the simple fact was that if we attempted to go in reverse, we'd simply crash the car's rear bumper into the trailer. Cool. I wanted him to prove that to me, but I got "the look" instead, the one that says, "Just take my word for it."
Just this side of Cheyenne, Wyoming, we stopped at the Flying J truck stop for gas. We have a reward card, so get up to a few cents a gallon discount, depending on how often we've used them recently. The station was packed, so I jumped out to use the facilities inside while John waited to get to a pump. While I was inside, John changed lanes. Unfortunately, he got in a lane facing a car with no one behind the wheel. When I returned to the car, John finished pumping gas and climbed in, but we couldn't go anywhere, because the car we were facing was still empty. We waited.
"Why not go in and ask them to tell the guy to move his car, Honey?" I suggested. He wanted to give the guy another ten minutes. He finally went inside. The young man sauntered out and said he was "Sorry, but I locked the keys in the car. I'm waiting for the locksmith." Then he went back inside. It was another hour before we got out of there. While we were waiting I bought us each an overpriced sandwich inside, and got some Chex Party Mix I had made that was still in the back, and we had a little picnic.
Highlights of the trip, as always, were the people we saw. Mom and then Ellen and Johnny get special thanks for putting up with us... or should I say putting us up? I now have three pounds to lose. How did that happen? I got to have a very short part of a day with Sherrie, and John and I enjoyed a dinner out with Al and Becky. Tighe even made a trip up to Ellen's from San Diego to see us. That was definitely a treat. Way to go, Son. You made me feel incredibly important.
There were some differences this time, other than not seeing Emma or Pastor Stan, and a few other people like Bill and Liz. It was a quick trip, after all. We noticed that there were fewer new car plates in evidence in California. Usually I notice an abundance of new cars, and it's fun to notice when they were purchased, knowing the "happy plates" as Ryan calls them are only good for sixty days. This time, I didn't see very many, and the ones I saw were primarily on used cars, many with noticeable dents or flaws. Interesting.
Another thing I noticed that most people probably would not is the lack of out-of-state license plates traveling around in Southern California. They're still there. The week we were there, I got eleven states. That's really low, compared with our last trip. Also, most of those were close, like Arizona and Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Many of the others came from semis. Of course, we saw Florida. They, like California, have good reason not to stay home, I guess, since I see them everywhere I go. Once we were back on the Interstate, we got a lot more, but still not as many as normal. I can say that definitively, since I've been playing my license plate game from many years.
We took a different route home this time, going up through Utah so we could stop and harass a couple of people. We spent a few hours with Joe and Heather, then drove a little more than an hour to Bountiful to see Schmath and Ryan. We shared a wonderful Mexican dinner at a cool little place (next one is on us, Ryan...) and hit the road before it was obnoxiously late. Such are the highlights, from my point of view.
My ears are still plugged, but they are improving. I have no idea what the sermon was about this weekend, but I sat still, and tried to hear. That should count for something, but I'm not sure what. My chest is contested now, too. I'm just glad to be home. Maybe tomorrow we'll find out when John needs to return to California, and I'll decide if I'm going along. I'm really not sure at this point. I'll see how I feel in a day or two.