Well, it looks like we are here for the night. Mo has been taken apart, but they need a little more time to put her back together. The problem did indeed turn out to be the carburator. Someone from the Ford place brought Joe back to the campground, and he is relaxing with his Harry Potter book. Tomorrow, we are thinking we will both go back to collect Mo. Otherwise, one of us will have to drive back here from the dealer, navigating totally unfamiliar streets in a totally unfamiliar place. In a situation like that, it is really best to have two people, one to drive, and a copilot to navigate. Neither one of us feels really comfortable doing it all ourselves, although I would be the choice if only one of us goes (I have a better sense of direction in a strange place, LOL!). I feel, however, that Roxy would be okay left in the kabin by herself for a few hours. She will just crawl under the bed (where she spent a lot of today) and wait with the rest of our stuff.
However, the good news seems to be that we WILL be back on the road tomorrow. Now the decisions begin: where will we cut the trip back? We will have essentially lost two days. Someone asked me to write about what our plans actually *were* when we left home, since I’ve said nothing specific about them in this blog. So, for anyone who is curious or who wants to help me think this through, here are the details.
Originally I had an extremely ambitious plan mapped out: NJ to Badlands National Park, SD, in 3 days (that is 1800 miles, if I recall correctly; we made it about 1200, I think, through yesterday). 2 days in the Badlands and Black Hills of SD. Then a long day of driving again, taking in Devil’s Tower National Monument and driving over the mountains in central Wyoming down to Thermopolis. I’d planned to spend half a day there, seeing the hot springs and the dinosaur dig/museum, and then drive the 100 miles up to Cody, WY, where we would spend whatever afternoon time we had left at the Buffalo Bill Museum complex, and spend the night. (That brings us through Sept 7.)
The next day we planned to drive into Yellowstone National Park (30 miles from Cody), and spend two days there. I planned to leave Yellowstone the morning of the 10th, and drive two very long days which would take us through the corner of Idaho (past Craters of the Moon National Monument), down into northern Nevada, and then picking up the interstates to get the rest of the way to Lee Vining, CA, the town at the gateway to the eastern entrance of Yosemite. And the morning of the 12th, we’d head up over the Tioga Pass and down into Yosemite Valley, in plenty of time for Erev Rosh Hashanah. And after that—a well-earned 3 day-4 night respite! Yosemite National Park is the only place we actually have reservations, and since they are timed to coincide with Rosh Hashanah, that part of the trip is the least flexible… unless, of course, we decide to forgo our plans to usher in the year 5768 in the spot where, I am convinced, God’s creation of the world began.
Clearly, I have to re-draw our route. I am still planning to go to the Badlands and the Black Hills (I’ve never really been to either, except for a quick visit to Mount Rushmore in 1975—in a VW Beetle with Howie and Lois!) Most likely it seems to me that we will have to simply head south-west from the Black Hills and not visit Yellowstone. I’m sure to some people this sounds crazy, since Yellowstone is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the National Park System. But as many of our friends know, our heart belongs to Yosemite. Joe and I have been to Yellowstone twice together, and he was there several times before that. Unlike some places I have visited, I remember it very well! So if we don’t get to revisit it this time, I suppose that will simply be the cost of our unscheduled two-day visit to Sioux City.
Nothing is written in stone... and the first step is to get Mo back. So until tomorrow, we are spending the night once again at the KOA.