Friday, May 29, 2009

The Big Drive

Monday morning after graduation the boys and I had a 6am flight with my Mom and Travis' Mom. We were headed to Spokane, the boys and I to spend a few days with family, DeAnna to spend time with her family in Cheney, while the men made the big drive across the country.

Goodbye Milwaukee home!

This is how the trip started, the van on a car dolly
behind the truck, and the Explorer pulling our trailer.

Sadly, more had to be loaded on the trailer than planned and it proved too much for the Explorer. It started spewing oil en masse. Their first day out (Monday) started just after lunch, but ended too early at about 6:30pm. Travis and his Dad both know their way around cars, but thankfully Kevin, the master mechanic, was there to save the day. They had to unbolt the transmission, slide it back and put in a new rear main seal on the engine. They were working in the dark until 3am!

After just 3 hours of sleep in the cars, they trucked on. That second day (Tuesday) ran until about 11pm when they stopped for 6 hours of sleep in a motel in Miles City, MT. The day had been hard on the Explorer and they knew it wouldn't make it over the Rockies. What to do?

In the morning on day three (Wednesday), they took the van off the car dolly and put the trailer on it instead! So now their were 3 vehicles to gas instead of 2, but the Explorer was burning through so much hauling the trailer that it probably amounted to the same as if they'd started with 3 vehicles!
Here's a picture from the end of the trip of their ingenuity:
Wednesday, day three, they made it over the Rockies, stopped in Spokane to have dinner with us and drop my Dad off, then Travis, his Dad and Kevin continued on. They hoped to get to Salem, but had to make a pit stop in Boardman, OR (the halfway point between Spokane and Salem) to grab three hours of sleep in the cars again. They finally made it to Salem at 9:30am Thursday morning. What a painful, painfully long, haul.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Thank goodness for the 'master mechanic' Kevin and that everyone lived to tell about it.