Eclipse T-2 days : Travelling

Aug 22, 2017

Today was a travelling day, and a lot of distance had to be covered. For the most part this wasn’t very interesting, so this is a short update!

I left the Red Feather lodge just south of the Grand Canyon at about 4am in order to drive back to Las Vegas. Though it was Saturday and the traffic should be light, I wanted to leave plenty of time to drop off the car and get through the airport security. I’m still lugging 3 bags everywhere (one for the hold, one for the overhead compartment and a rucksack) so I’m not very fleet of foot. 🙂

The drive was uneventful, but beautiful. It was before dawn and the thin crescent moon was hanging in the eastern sky in the constellation of Leo (a sign of things to come!) with the sky just beginning to brighten.

I have to say, for the most part, the American highways and interstates are in pretty good condition – dead straight miles and miles of endless blacktop roads. Out of the cities everyone seems to be pretty well behaved and placid on the road. I put the cruise control on and headed on in. Up came the sun – another stunning day in the desert.

Got to Las Vegas, dropped the car, caught the shuttle, checked in (slightly surly staff on the checking desks United – watch that!) though the baggage lady was friendly enough. And then onto the plane…

Which broke down. 🙁

Not sure exactly what was wrong, but we almost needed a second plane apparently. This was not welcome news as my timeline was quite tight. I hoped to reach my destination in the light and I knew it was a 4 hour drive once I landed. United did eventually fix the plane (and we didn’t need to “deplane” – is that a word? Apparently!) but it was an hour an a half off schedule by this point. Folks around me were pretty upset as many had connecting flights and they weren’t going to make it.

Got to Denver though, the flight was a little bumpy as we went over the Rockies. Arrival, baggage claim… and then to the hire car.

More like it this time – a bright red Ford Mustang Convertible. 5.0 Litre V8. That will do nicely!

Big, brash, red and fast. a 5.0L V8 Ford Mustang Convertible.

A fabulous car, not something you could drive in the UK, but makes complete sense in the US. I’d definitely have one if I lived over here! Surprisingly practical too, with a big boot, quiet cruising and a great stereo (with a USB port for my music!) – of course – plant that right foot and this enormous woofly noise erupts all around you and the seat gives you an almighty shove in the back.

The roads were typical interstate until I passed in to Nebraska, where they became single lane highways. Night fell again and I was driving north into the dark, knowing I’d have to set up my tent when I got there.

I was heading for the town of Alliance, Nebraska, where I’d booked a campsite spot in a place called ‘Wells Ranch.’ It’s in the middle of nowhere. In fact, you turn left at the “middle of nowhere”, right at the “Back of beyond” and after a few more miles of emptiness there it is.

And guess what. My host, Kathy, was waiting at the gate to welcome me in. 🙂

Made it!

Car, plane, car. 1,200 miles in a day. I was pretty tired, but I got the tent up ok, sleeping bag out and boom – I was out like a light!

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