Edit Blog Post
Published: June 24th 2009
I left Weyburn, Saskatchewan about 1:00 in the afternoon because I was able to watch the finale of the US Open in my room. Damn, another disappointing finish for Phil, but I will still pull for him. While cruising down Highway 39 toward the border, I kept feeling a vibration at 75 mph and I was sure I had a wheel out of balance, so I found a Cenex shop in Kenmare, ND that could check them in a half hour. It turned out that I had thrown all the weights off all 4 wheels except for one. It had to happen on the stutter bumps on that Taylor Highgway in Alaska and I hadn't noticed since I hadn't been able to cruise at 75 till I got to straighter highways.
You never know when you'll meet an interesting person. The guy doing the work, Ed Hickey, told me that I was standing on the biggest oil field in the lower 48 states and that he has been working the oil rigs here. He said there is 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in ND, more than Kuwait! Yet a year ago they were working 90 drilling rigs and were
now down to 35 and that's why he's busting tires. He, like most of the Alaskans I talked with about this are just dumbfounded why we aren't drilling more in the US. Me too!!! It's been close to 40 years and 7 presidents since the politicians have been talking about independence from foreign oil and here we are sitting on enough oil in our own country to last over 400 years at present comsumption rates and we still buy foreign oil. Ed also was a starting linebacker at Texas in the early 80's. He said he ran a 4.40 forty back on those days! Texas, as usual, was a national powerhouse in those days and Ed told me some great stories.
So after a 2+ hour delay with the wheels, I headed southeast on US 52. I went past the Air Force Base in Minot just to see it since I had heard about it from friends for many years. I started thinking that I would drive until I got tired and stop for some sleep in a rest area when I did. I took US 52 to I-94 near Jamestown, ND and headed toward Fargo. I was still getting a vibration and was thinking of staying in Fargo for the night and find a shop to check out the wheels again. But my eagerness to get home outweighed the decision to stop and I pressed on for home figuring that I could stand the vibration till then and get it fixed at home. I stopped at a rest area near Alxandria, MN about 1:00 AM. I could not believe the humidity. After the cool dry climate I had been in for 3 weeks, it was amazing. I couldn't sleep on the air mattress in the back of the truck because I was sweating so much. I finally opened the windows and slept for 2 hours in the front seat. So I got back on the road at 3:30 AM and started driving through a fog that had developed. I kept thinking it'll clear when the sun comes up and it did. I drove on and on getting pretty tired and thinking that I could never fall asleep again in 95 degree heat and 90+% humidity so I just kept drinking coffee and energy drinks to get home.
I realized that my feet and hands were vibrating from caffeine and many hours on the road and I was fighting sleepiness for the last 300 miles. I arrived at home at 1:10 PM and after hugging Jan & Brett, I sure was glad to be home. I had been thinking about this moment for 3 days. I drove 1,141 miles since Weyburn on 2 hours of sleep. I am one tired old man!
Some minutiae from the trip.
Total Miles: 9,497 (I thought about driving 3 more miles around the neighborhood to hit 9,500 but was too tired)
Total Gas Cost: $1,623.84 (No conversion figured in here. Canadian and American dollars)
Highest Gas Price: $1.22/litre Canadian=$4.51/gal. Dawson City, Yukon
Lowest Gas Price: $2.64/gal in a few places in Alaska.
Canadian cigarettes in Yukon: $13.00/pack (25 in a pack) Gotta love the taxes in socialist countries.
2 oil changes and 2 car washes. (and about 14 trillion bugs killed)
Audiobooks Listened to:
Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark Levin (reconfirmed my conservatism after wavering during the election)
One Second After by William R. Forstchen (Scary as Hell)
Jack London Works:
The Sea Wolf
Call of The Wild
Captain David Grief
South Sea Tales
The God of His Fathers
The Mutiny of the Elsinore
To Build a Fire
The White Silence
Love of Life
Never used the tent and didn't really miss doing it, but thanks again to Bryan for those things. The sleeping bag and Milepost were really used a lot.
They call this the "Last Great Road Trip," and I sure won't disagree. A few of my friends have indicated that they want to do it when they can get the time and I've told them all I would do it again in a NY minute and I hope to. It was an absolutely fantastic trip. I would just take more time to see many of the places in depth and maybe skip 1 or 2. I met some of the nicest, friendliest people everywhere up north. It seems they would all wave to me when passing on the highway. I saw some of the most phenomenal places and things on this planet. I'm such a lucky guy to be able to make this trip. Having Jan for my wife has been the luckiest, most wonderful thing in my life and she didn't hesitate to let me do this, although I wish I could have shared this trip with her. But we've agreed on doing the Alaska cruise and now I've scouted some of the things I want to see and do again. (I'll be making a reservation with Howard & Darlene at Susitna River Lodging well in advance for 1 of their lovely riverside cabins in Talkeetna.) I sure missed Jan, Brett and Heather and I missed a lot of you these past 28 days. I look forward to seeing you all and talking to you soon. I also want to thank all of you who have been reading my story here and especially for the comments. I couldn't wait to get to the next internet connection to check them out.
The two most important things in life are health and the time to enjoy it. I've been blessed to have both in my retirement.
John Denver wrote; "Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Stones." The good Lord saw fit to give me an awful lot of diamonds on this trip.
Bob (Snowhawg, or as Joan suggested, Roadhawg)
Tot: 0.037s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 12; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0066s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb