Saturday, July 30, 2011

Whatever happened to Bill...

It's been a big month for us.  Over three and a half weeks, starting July 3rd, we traveled over 5200 miles (not including a weekend spent in northern colorado, where we drove another vehicle which prevented us from tracking the trip).  Seventeen of those nights were spent in twelve different hotel rooms.   Two family reunions were visited, and I lost track of the number of state and national parks we drove through.  Over 400 minutes were racked up on our cell phone bill because of DaNae contacting people to try and find trap sites (yes, I think she worked harder on this trip as a volunteer than I did as a paid employee, but she wasn't allowed to drive, and it was easier for me to set up the traps without her or Charleigh around.  We made ten different contacts on the road and then my wife made about a dozen more over the phone of people who would send us mosquitoes from their areas.  We ate fast food for over 45 meals (and I only gained about 2 pounds, which is a little worrisome).  Had to call a tow truck twice (in the same night) and no one was injured.

Before the trip began, my wife would call or text multiple times a day to see what the plan was for the trip.  I said I had no idea.  I knew that my boss wanted us to hit five states, but I thought he was finding contacts in those states.  I found out I was wrong a couple days before we left.  No biggy, I've done small trips like this.  You just go and find someone who'll let you trap on their land.  Once we left my family reunion in Gillette, I just told DaNae to start searching the internet for people who might have good places for us to trap.  By the time we were done with western Montana, she was a pro.  She found a person in eastern Washington who promised us stuff so we wouldn't have to go there, and by the time we hit Wyoming, she had found contacts for North and South Dakota, so we wouldn't have to trap there either.  I think she saved the government several thousand dollars right there.

Then we went to Wellington, CO for her family reunion and from there I headed to Casper while she headed home.  The truck broke down in York, NE and I had some issues when the road side assistance people asked me where I wanted the truck towed.  I asked who they recommend and  the lady said she was in Texas so she couldn't help out with suggestions.  I was miffed and wondered what good roadside assistance was if they couldn't help.  She then did an internet search for garages and found three for me.  All three were in Pennsylvania which wasn't helpful in Nebraska.  Long story short, I finally made it to a hotel at 10:30 that night, with the thought that I'd be stuck there car-less for a couple days. The truck was fixed the next morning and I was on my way home again without incident.

I think the hardest part of the trip was coming home.  I think I could've stayed on the road for another month without any worries, other than trying to convince someone to mow the lawn a couple more times for free.  And coming home to find a bill from the government for $700 didn't help matters any.  It actually felt like a big slap in the face after relocating my family to Kansas and then all the work my wife did on this trip for free.

SO in summary, great trip, happy feelings. Get home and bitterness and worry try to overtake.  Maybe we should just live on the road! ok, not really.