We gas up at DAD’s gas station. This is not the start of our journey, merely when I’ve figured out how to restart the travel clock in our fancy car. We’ve actually been on the road since 8:09 and have managed to listen to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” a total of 4 times already and Mason is asleep. Off to a great start!
Moving right along, we’ve crossed the state line into Utah. Mason is still asleep (could it really be this easy) and Cooper is getting a little restless. When should we stop?
Doh! Mason woke up.
Take our first pit stop is sunny Ogden near the I84 junction. Decide that since we have to slow down for the junction, might as well pull off for some early lunch. Cooper picks Carl’s Jr. woot woot.
Well, we’re all fed, diapered and fueled up. Gas is cheaper here than in Idaho… only 2.85/gallon. Did I just say only? Mason takes to gnawing on his toothbrush, Cooper to playing with the pinball machine that came with his star-shaped chicken, and I to my driving. Colorado here we come.
I84 is officially the prettiest stretch of the drive. But Cooper has had enough of the scenery, he’s trying to find a comfortable spot in which he can rest his little noggin. He just can’t get comfy, sniff sniff. Ironically enough, we’ve popped in one of Steve’s CDs and the song, Take Me Home plays. We feel closer to daddy already.
In my search to see the first Colorado license plate I spot a Wisconsin plate instead. Go Claudia! Also, the I80 sign is in sight and both boys are zonked out.
Cross the state line into Wyoming.
Forced to pull over on the side of the road. Cooper is crying and I just don’t know why. Get him calmed down with promises of ice cream cones at Little America.
Exactly 50 minutes later we find ourselves at Wyoming’s oasis – Little America. Everyone is grumpy so we gas up and step inside for bathroom breaks, diaper changes, and a look around the shop. Settle on some silly faces magnets and 2 50-cent ice cream cones. These are generous and served up by a cute Polish girl who I am sure has said, “Poland is by Germany,” about 107 times in the past 2 hours. Of course the super classy man standing in line ahead of us asks her where it is, too.
Promptly drop one of the ice cream cones on the grass next to our picnic blanket. Ick.
After much running, jumping, and playing tractors in the wood chips, we pull out onto the road. I should mention, I finally saw another Coloradoan – at least they had CO plates. We’re getting closer!
Pass through the Green River tunnel. Much to Cooper’s chagrin it isn’t nearly as long as the Eisenhower Tunnel on I70.
Mason falls asleep for his 3rd nap of the day. And my prayers are answered, Cooper finds a new favorite song. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” sung by “Simba” on the Lion King soundtrack replaces “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
Cross the Continental Divide as Mason continues to sleep and Cooper makes a new game of crushing crackers and throwing them around in the back seat. When Mason wakes up 25 minutes later, Cooper begins throwing cracker crumbs at him and so a little game of screaming and cracker throwing ensues.
I realize we’re going to have to stop, again. Boys are stinky and I think it’s diapers. Besides, I gotta go. The only place I find to stop is Sinclair. This is a fake town in the middle of Wyoming that consists of the Sinclair plant, a Sinclair gas station, truck parking, and ummm… well I guess that’s it. We pull into the gas station. I pull out the double stroller for the kids. I attempt to go in the gas station/restaurant. The door and aisles of the building are too narrow for the stroller. The bathroom does not have a changing table and when Cooper sees the toilet he literally says, “Ewwww, gross, don’t sit on that.” We leave the bathroom, in reverse because there isn’t enough room to turn around and try to buy the boys another bribe. As Cooper is perusing the candy bars Mason reaches out and grabs something to insert in his mouth. It’s a naked lady air freshener. Did I mention naked lady?
We see a rainbow. Ahhhh, beautiful sign of bad things to come. It begins to rain, or perhaps we drove into where it was raining. Can rain break windshields? I pull over until it subsides a bit. While rain is pounding our car, Cooper throws a plastic grasshopper at me. I screech because I do not know it is plastic. Grasshopper courtesy Ize’s twins.
Everyone is hungry. Pull over in Laramie for what else, McDonald’s. Despite claiming to be starving, Cooper takes the opportunity to run all over the restaurant (does McDonald’s qualify as a restaurant?) and scream with Mason (a new game they’ve invented/perfected). By they way, McDonald’s has a really clean bathroom. We’re back on the road within 20 minutes. I feel bad when I buckle the boys back in their seats. Both of them whimper.
Cooper declares, “I wanna go home.”
Mason has had his fill of this whole journey and begins crying.
Mason falls asleep. Is this for the night?
We cross the state line into colorful Colorado. Happy-happy, joy-joy.
I finally drive out of the rain. It’s down to misty sprinkles, now.
Cooper starts crying and whining about being home. Also complaining that his butt hurts.
Cooper stops crying. Mason wakes up and starts crying. It’s raining, again.
Mason is still crying. Pull into driveway. Daddy is standing on the porch. Yip yip. Both stop crying and literally jump at dad. As soon as we walk through the door, Cooper races for his toy box and dumps everything out and starts furiously playing. Dad has cleaned the house!
Cooper and Mason play, and play, and play until they sleep.
We averaged 68.9 mph and drove for a total of 9 hours and 59 minutes. Add in a few stops and it took us 13 hours. September anyone?
PS -- Offering special surprise to the first person to guess how many times Mason was dropped on his face/head during this trip? Post your answers/guesses in comments, please.