Where’s Rudo?

Where's Rudy?
Where’s Rudy?

Has it been two weeks already?  Wow.  No actually, it’s only been 10 days, but it feels like a month that I’ve been living in Boulder!  So much is going on.  Plus the altitude is making me bad at math.

First, I’ll document the drive out here, which was very, very epic.  With an epic-ly long post to go with it (sorry). Then I’ll fill you in on some adventures later!




Packed. Looking from the drivers seat out the back. That's the dome light overhead, for reference.

So I left my mom’s house (the staging area for Rudy’s assault on the Rockies) on Jan 8th at 6am.  The car was PACKED to the limit.

Three bikes + tons of crap in the Corolla trunk. Yeah, I'm proud.

Three bikes + tons of crap in the Corolla trunk. Yeah, I'm proud.

Massachusetts. Connecticut (waved hello to New Haven). I lost my keys for three minutes of sheer terror at a gas station in CT (turns out I put them in my back pocket, with my wallet?!).  New York. Pennsylvania.  I-80…Ohio. I-80.  Indiana.  Indiana.  I-90!

Steer into the skid, man!

Steer into the skid, man!

Started to see snow — not a big impediment, but tiring after 12 hours already logged for the day.  Apparently drivers around here aren’t too comfortable with it, since there were cars spun out all over the place.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Many sticks of chewing gum later, I arrived in Chicago, IL, at my good friend Darrel’s apartment.  And boy, was it good to see Darrel.  What a host!  He carried my stuff up the stairs (greatly appreciated after 16 hours of driving), and we got to catch up, which was so much fun for ten minutes before I fell asleep.  Somewhere around minute eight I thought about (and discussed) going to an awesome nearby taproom.  Next time, Darrel.

So glad to see Darrell!

So glad to see Darrell!

Six am (Chicago time; one bonus hour!), after one best night’s sleep ever, the Corolla and I were ridin’ West yet again.  We spent approximately six minutes lost in some not-so-great part of Chicago, but were soon back on the good ‘ol I-80 (well, I-290 to I-88 to I-80, but not very much out of the way).

Nebraska. (cue dramatic chord). Ne. Bra. Ska.  Crazy winds. 75 mph speed limit.  With the rolling hills and the gusts, the big throaty I-4 of the Corolla was humbled at times.  Time to look for gas; I gave one exit a try.  $3.09? The last exit I passed it was $2.85.  No thank you!

So I took a left, to jump back on I-80W, and hung a righ…t…BAM! With my car so stuffed I couldn’t see out the rear windshield, it was tough to know what had happened.  I had seen the white van coming as I pulled out, with enough room to spare, I thought.  But the toothless old leathery “buckaroo” still managed to plow into my rear bumper.

He didn’t seem too concerned.  Or sorry.  He didn’t offer up his insurance information.  Nor did he ask for mine.  I thought about calling the police, to get an official report and make sure my damage would get covered.  But then I remembered my back seat, filled with crap.  With my limited visibility, and my general uncertainty with what exactly had happened (and the possibility that the cop that came would be this guy’s brother or uncle or niece or something…), I realized it was a big gamble, and I, with only mediocre insurance, could end up paying for both cars out of pocket.

So I listened to this guy tell me all the back-roads ways I could get to Colorado, and reminisce about his last trip past state lines (it might have been before I-80 existed), and slowly rolled over to the nearby rest-stop/gas-station, bumper dragging in tow.

First I struggled against the 30 mph winds with zip ties and frozen hands, before spotting the garage down the street.  The shop set me up nice (see photo), and wouldn’t take anything in return, not even beer.  Thank you!


The bumper "repair". Ouch

Weary and gun-shy, I hit the road once again.  Night fell, and a shooting star streaked across the sky.  A few minutes later, I entered the state of Colorado.  180 mi to Denver! And something watching over me.  Another meteor shot across the sky, so big and bright that I was relieved to see it break up and disappear without impact, and thoughts of an asteroid armageddon came to mind (once a geek, always).

Thanking those lucky stars, and thankful that my fortune hadn’t been any worse, I arrived safe and sound at my new home, Arapahoe Ave in Boulder, CO.

Thanks for staying put through that epic saga!  Stay tuned for Boulder adventures!


~ by awerbuch on January 21, 2011.

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