Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Homeward Bound

DAY 22: It’s Monday, Feb. 6th and we’re headed home. We said our goodbyes early - Paul had to go to work in Jackson and Jenny and Max had to leave for his day-care and her work. It's always sad to leave. But it was a good visit. The Super Bowl yesterday was a disappointment for Patriots fans, but it was an interesting game, and Ellen's snacks were spectacular, as usual.

We got off just a little before 9am and we’re now headed south on Route 89 to Kemmerer, WY. I'm composing in the car and will upload to the blog at the motel tonight. Much of the day will be on I-80 over to Cheyenne. We’ve hit dense ground fog on WY 89, but now it is bright sun. The trees are encased in hoar frost, and it is beautiful. But the sections of ground fog are slowing us down. I hope this burns off soon.

Later: We’re on the leg between Kemmerer and I-80, it’s almost noon. The ground fog is over and done with. We’ve been on the road 3 hours and have come 162 miles; We did stop at a Maverick convenience store in Kemmerer to get gas and a snack of coffee, poppy-seed muffin and carrot cake and I had a much-needed pit stop. But even with the stop we’re averaging over 50 mph which is good. Kemmerer is the home of the original JC Penney store, and the JC Penney house. We didn’t stop. The other attraction we passed was Fossil Butte N.M., which would probably be interesting. There is also a fossil state park.

I’ve been warming up my voice and am about to work on Brahms'Liebeslieder Waltzer (which I did for about an hour or so). The Chorale is performing them in April, so I need to keep them fresh.

Later still. It’s now 12:58pm, and we’re past Rock Springs, WY, and we’ve come 215 miles in 4 hours = average 54mph. It is a bright sunny day, and the temp is up to 30 degrees. It was -8 when we left, so it’s warmed up 38 degrees! The road is utterly clear, the sun is beating in warmly on my side- so much so that I had to put up a blanket to block it.

Yet Later: It’s 3:08pm, we’ve put Rawlins well behind us and are well toward Laramie. It’s 4052 on the odometer, so we’ve come 355 miles in 6 ½ hours = 55 mph on average. We stopped in Rawlins for a pit stop and snack. I got a hotdog for $1.10 and Ellen got iced tea and chips. I made a P&J sandwich for us both, plus a cookie. Earlier we had cheese and crackers. Earlier I read a couple of chapters from Peter Duck and also read from Richard Rorty. Right now the scenery is pretty spectacular – hills, snow, vistas. I-80 is pretty windy’ We noticed the wind when we got out in Rawlins. We've been listening to a fascinating Fresh air interview between Terry Gross and Meryl Streep, who is nominated for as Oscar for her role as Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady.

Much later We got to Sidney, NE at about 6:30pm, where we had a room in an America's Best Value motel reserved. We ate at a Mexican restaurant next door which was totally empty of patrons. But the food was tasty and generous.

DAY 23 Now it's Tuesday morning, we slept well. We're heading for Marshalltown, IA today - just reserved a room. It's about 583 miles. Our plan is to go regular Route 30 all the way, which parallels I-80. But I-80 is an option if we need to make better time. Rte 30 is the "Lincoln Highway" and much of it between here and Marshalltown we've never been on before.

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