Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Bronco Run

1,453 miles in 3 days

3 Hwy Patrol Cars seen on the road

4 Police Cars seen in private driveways

0 Accidents

0 Speeding Tickets

5 minute delay crossing bride in St Louis

2 1/2 hours waiting for seats to not show up

2 lots of old Tractors, really old

2 lots of old cars and trucks

And that summarizes the Bronco Run.

Now the fun part.

Got a late start Christmas Day and was that day perfect for the trip

"Across the diocese" (famous quote by the Gentleman Farmer). It is amazing how easy the trip from the Queen City to Poplar Bluff is nowadays. 4 lane divided almost the whole way. And where 60 hwy isn't divided, it is under construction to be divided, probably finished by the summer of 09.

Just for the Long Roof --

Now the Long Roof Fan wanted me to stop and take some pictures of a bunch of ole cars that were on the north side of 60 between Mansfield and Cabool. We never saw what he was taking about. Of course I remembered as we headed east out of Willow Springs that the crazy Long Roof seldom drove divided highways, so he was probably on old 60 hwy and thus we wouldn't have seen what he was taking about, as we were east bound and down, loaded up and trucking, long way to go and a short time to get there, east bound just let this trucker roll.

Anyway by the time we hit PB, we were tired of the 4 lane and opted for Hwy 53 south to Kennett and then east to Carutherville. Has been a long long time since I have been to Kennett and southbound we went.

Now 8 miles west of Hayti we came across this interesting site on the south side of the road.

Quickstop, backup, and take picture time.

So Long Roof this is for you: Cadillac hearst, Ford Ambulance, Old Chevy truck, old ford trucks, and 3 big guard dogs, concertina wire on top of chain link fence.

I like this wagon, but Barngoddess said I got a Bronc and can't have it.

Mud too deep to get closer, but that is a Caddy ambulance back there

Got this one for the Bus

So on we went to Dyersburg TN. Went south and located the place we need to be tomorrow at 8 am to pick up the seats, back to Dyersburg for a Hotel. Holiday Inn express, at check in, was told the pool was closed and the hot tub wasn't working. Guess what, we didn't check in there, went down the Road to an Executive Inn, half the price of the HI Express too.

So here it is late Christmas afternoon, and time for some supper. Guess what ain't open in Dyersburg on Christmas Day. Restaurants. Yep, seems the Barngoddess and I had this same problem last Christmas Day in Columbia MO. Everything closed, even McDs, Burger King, Taco Bell. In Columbia MO last year we found a Chinese Restaurant open and had Christmas meal there. Kind of comical, yeah, and guess what was open in Dyersburg ??? Chinese Restaurant. So we have started a tradition here or what ???????????

Anyway to the motel, relaxed, good night sleep and Day Two started at 7 am.


WE arrive at the place to pick up the seats a little before 8am. Now the seats were supposed to be delivered by 7 am. Guess what?? NO SEATS.....
did get a pic of this for future use:

As the seats weren't there we headed back towards Dyersburg and stopped at
'MARY LOU'S AIRPORT CAFE' for some breakfast. It looked like a Mom and Pop operation and with the name Mary Lou's it couldn't be all that bad. Forgot to take pic of the outside. Anyway, Mary Lou is about 5 ft tall and 90 lbs soaking wet, but she sure put together a great breakfast. The tables are covered with a glass top and under the glass are all kinds of stories, pictures etc. Seemed she has been hit by a tornado, had a fire, served twenty Secret Service guys when Gore came visiting one day, and on and on.

So with our bellys full, we headed back to the Seat Pick up spot. Still no seats. JR (no one in TN has a name, it's all J.R., Tiny, Little John, etc), anyway JR, calls the guy who has the seats. Well he gave them to another guy who I couldn't miss when he showed up, he drives a one ton dually and weighs about 400 pounds, His name? TINY
So we wait, Barngoddess catches me napping and takes picture, but it won't download here for some reason, I must have been snoring too loud.

Well long story short, Tiny will be there in 30 minutes. So we wait.
JR is a chevy man, all kinds of Chevys, even has a cherry 74 Chevelle SS, 454, 4 on the floor, sleeper. So we wait, 30 minutes turns into 60 minutes, turns into 90 minutes. At 10:30, TINY is still 30 minutes out.
Guess what?? we left and headed for Shelbyville KY. Now we had to be in Louisville no later than 5 pm to pick up a trailer before the place closed. It's a 5 hour run, and somewhere in there, they change the time zone to Eastern Time.

Here we go again, east bound and down, doing something like 75 to make up time.
We realized that the 4 lane we were on is just like the 4 lane I posted above.
Now for Christmas my daughter gave me the CD of Alice's Restaurant. Popped it in the player when we were in the middle of no-where and could pick up a radio station.
Had a ball listing to the full 18 minutes and 20 seconds of it. Been a long time, and we laughed heartily.
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. Walk right in, it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track....... and on and on.

Anyway 4 1/2 hours later we are in Louisville loading up the trailer. For once in my life I actually said what I wanted to say to someone. The guy handling my trailer rental was gruff and seemed cranky. So I flat asked him "Are you always this way, and if you are, I want someone else to wait on me" Glad I did too, he changed his attitude and was at least tolerable. So we are off out of Louisville enroute to Wadde KY.
Met up with JJ (here we go again with the name thing), who turned out to be a really nice guy. The back seat for my Bronc was what he said it was, and he even brought along a heat box assembly. Guts weren't there, but that's ok. Now have a back seat for my Bronc, a heater assembly box, but no front seats. It was six pm when we
Left Wadde and headed for Batesville IN.
Now we had our choice, run back to Louisville, head north to Indianapolis, then east to Batesville. About 2 1/2 hours of 4 lane driving. OR 94 miles due north on US 421 cross Ohio river at Madison and continue north.
In all due respect to the Long roof, we took the 421 two lane highway route. Saw two great tractor places, had old John Deere poppers out front. Again, forgot about the camera on the seat next to me.
Arrive Batesville without incident. Barngoddess said she was glad it was dark on this trip or I would have been stopping every few miles to look at old trucks. I guess driving I wasn't able to sight see as much as she was.
Hot tub at Hampton Inn Batesville IN wasn't working........ just my luck. but the clerk, name of Jamie, called a Hampton 15 miles east and theirs was. Off we went.
Greenburg has a brand new Hampton Inn, we walked in and Ken behind the counter was in a SUIT. Treated like high class executives, and rate was lower than the other places. Hot tub was perfect ending to long frustrating day.
I called Ryan and said we'd meet him about 9 in the morning.

I rolled over and looked at the alarm clock, my watch, the alarm clock, my watch and suddenly realized we were on eastern time, 1 hour ahead of my watch time. It was 9:15 am. Quick jump up, call Ryan explain time thing, downstairs for coffee and a hot breakfast (not as good as Mary Lou's, but good for a motel). Ryan's place is in the country, and we found it with only one wrong turn. The Barngoddess's eyes lit up as she saw "HER BRONC" for the first time. I knew we were going to buy it, but went thru the formalities of driving it, inspecting it, looking it over, all that stuff.
So we paid Ryan, he signed the papers and we proceeded to load "HER BRONC" on the trailer.

Now I was glad I brought along my chains and chain boomers because the straps on the trailer wouldn't go around the front wheels to hold "HER BRONC" on the trailer. So twenty minutes of chaining and rechaining and we were ready to go. Barngoddess was trilled as we headed for home with Her Bronc on the back.

Our plans were to pick up US 40 at the Indiania/Illinois line and travel it to St Louis, getting off the 4 lane and see some of the country. But a phone call to the Bus and our daughter told us of the severe weather front that was headed our way. Long roof, we stayed on the 4 lane and glad we did.

Now I am 58 years old and am not too demanding, kind of easy going and tolerant of a lot. Not today. We stopped at 2 PILOT Truck Stops for fuel. at both places, the girls behind the counter were rude and curt, barking at me. Well, I will never stop at a Pilot Truck Stop again. At the second one, I couldn't get the girl to understand that I wanted to fill my truck with deisel and it would cost anywhere from 50 to 70 dollars. Pilot's are all prepay now. She wouldn't put $70 on my credit card because I might not use that much. But she would put $40 and if I needed more I could come back in and add more.
Here's where logic went out the window. I asked the girl what happened if I didn't use all $40 in filling up. Her curt reply was for me to come back in and get a refund on my card. I asked her what the difference was between putting $40 on my card and getting a refund and putting $70 on my card............ she was lost somewhere because she couldn't understand what I was saying.
So Pilot Truck Stops, you have lost my business.

Anyway we are entering Illinois and the radio starts blaring weather alerts from the National Weather Service in Lincoln. We didn't need the alerts because we were looking at the weather..... Barngoddess took a couple pics
should we be nervous???

maybe we should now be nervous????

definitely getting nervous now?????

I have always told my family members, that when I am driving you don't have to start worrying unless I say "Ah shit". And in my years of driving, I've only said that twice that I can remember.
Once, traveling to Florida, along Hwy 60 east of Willow Springs at 2:30 in the morning, I was pulling our 5th wheel travel trailer and as I topped a hill and headed down the road was filled with deer, probably about 10 of them standing in my lane. Went into the oncoming lane and drove right between them.
Second, driving ambulance, red light and siren to roll-over car wreck, car in creek with people trapped, snowing to beat the band, started up a hill and bolance went sideways, well
I didn't say AH SHIT on this trip, but almost did.

When we hit the front, I was down to 40 mph flashers on, everyone following me, including big trucks. I haven't been in wind and rain so hard since being in a hurricane. for forty minutes, 40 heart throbbing gut renching minutes, we drove thru wind and rain so hard I new Her Bronc was going to get blown off the trailer. I thought of stopping, but didn't know how long the front was going to stay so kept on going. Fought a stong headwind the rest of the way into St Louie.

Finally got out of the heavy gully washer, toad strangler rain and for the rest of the trip to St Louie we were in rain. Glad I stopped at that Wally world in Indiania and got new wiper blades for the Big Little Mule.
Crossed the bridge in downtown St Louie and picked up I44 and we knew we were home.
Stopped at Bowles Road and had chicken noodle soup at Dennys.

Here we go again with the "Brains" of some of the people in this world. I asked the manager if he knew what exit number we were at. "I don't know, it's bowles road". Ok maybe he is new to the area. The waitress brings our soup. I guess I'm supposed to eat it with a fork. Had to ask for a soup spoon. So she brings us spoons after taking the order for the couple in the booth across the room. Where are the dinner rolls that come with the soup???? Oh yeah, be right back. 10 minutes later, almost done with the now cold soup, the dinner rolls show up. At least they were hot.
Needless to say, I filled out a comment card and mailed it to Denny's customer service address.
We were going to stop for the night at Drury Inn, but remembered the last time we stopped at the Bowles Road Drury and the hot tub and pool were full of kids, with the adults drinking Bud Lites from bottles in the pool and hot tub. All kinds of glasses around waiting to be dropped and broken and stepped on.
We looked at each other and simultaneously said "Let's go home" got us to laughing.
The Big Little Mule must have known we were homeward bound on the last leg, cause it was running about 75 without a sweat. But fighting a strong headwind the whole way.

Fueled up at Sullivan, our favorite truck stop, the girl behind the counter was pleasant, friendly, and courteous. Good to be back on the road nearing the Ozarks.

We flew low from Sullivan to Marionville. Except going thru Republic and Billings. Locals in those two towns will ticket you for 2 mph over speed limit.
At 9:15 pm we arrived home. Always good to be home after being on the road.

This morning, a pic of the Big Little Mule and Her Bronc in our backyard.
Great to be home.

And that is the Bronco Run Saga.

Don't know how much fuel we used, but coming home with the headwind got about 8 to 10 mpg, without the headwind back in Indiania was getting 15 mpg. OH well.

So now it is time for the Little Princess, the Barngoddess and me to take Her Bronc off the trailer, and let the Barngoddess drive it around the farm trying it out.
Have fun and remember

Celebrate Life.


john lee said...

sounds like a great road trip. excellent post with fantastic writing skills. felt like I was there. and that newlilmule looks sweet.
thanks for sharing. longrooffan.

Anonymous said...

And so it goes....

I got a green tractor.
Horsefarmer got a red one.

I got a stake truck
Horsefarmer got a dump truck.

I got a bus
Horsefarmer got a fire truck.

I got a Jeep
Horsefarmer got a Bronco.

Then he doubled down and
I folded.

Nice looking piece of equipemnt on that trailer!


d5thouta5 said...

gotta laugh at the bus's comment...he started the whole damn thing....or was it the longroof....either sure is fun to hang out and watch the exploits of the Lee boys and their toys.....very nice looking bronco Vi got there Tom....road trip desription was visit to the Ozarks I hope the weather is more favorable to outside fun...