As it turned out no one needed to hitch a ride up but on the way home we had a full car.
We left for Utah on Wednesday, August 3 after work. The plan was to drive as far as St George and spend the night at Sarah and Sams. Sarah and Sam just moved from Manila, UT to St George on Monday and were originally going to ride with us but at the last minute they decided to make it a vacation. After they unpacked on Monday night they rose up early and got a couple of extra days vacation. We met up with them in Canada.
As normal, we never got on the road as early as we had hoped but in the end it made little difference. The first delay happened as we were packing the van. Completely out of the blue the earpiece broke off of my glasses. I quickly ran up to the optometrist before they closed but alas, the glasses were beyond repair.
I made a quick fix with epoxy but I didn't want to risk compromising the repair so I dug out an old pair of glasses to use until the glue fully cured. That didn't work out so well. When I got these last pair of glasses I had developed double vision. Things are fine when there is plenty of light but when driving at night there were twice as many lanes as normal. Lisa finally got so freaked out that she insisted on driving. It was not a pleasant trip.
The bigger problem was the traffic. Around 3:00AM the day we left two semi's collided on the I-15 twenty miles south of Primm and the entire freeway was closed until 8:45 that night. It caused a 12 hour backup. When we left at around 5:00PM it was still a three hour delay. When we finally arrived at the accident scene around 10:00PM it was down to a one hour delay. We finally pulled into St George around 4:00, four hours after we intended.
As we approached SLC we called ahead and arranged to have lunch with Alex and Alycia but once again, as we exited the freeway the lane going where we needed to go was completely shut down. Fortunately there were enough side streets that the delay wasn't as bad as it could have been.
The rest of the drive to Canada was rather uneventful but due to all of the problems we weren't going to hit the border until around midnight and the Carway border crossing closed at 11:00. That forced us to cross at Coutts adding the better part of another hour to our trip.
After a wonderful weekend in Cardston we headed to Calgary to Kira's family and then Monday morning we headed into the interior of BC to visit some of Lisa's relatives. As we were pulling into Kamloops once again there was a major accident and Highway 1 came to a complete stop. We were only eight cars behind the accident scene but all we could do was sit and watch the action up ahead of us. Kids were out on the freeway throwing a football back and forth among the cars. How many people can say they played football on the #1 highway?
Finally they dragged the cars away and we were once again on the move. Tuesday we made it back to Calgary safe and sound and we had a wonderful week with family. We headed south again on Wednesday August 18. We coincidentally met up with Greg and Gaylia and stopped at a hole in the wall Cafe (spelled Calf-A) and had a wonderful lunch. After lunch I let Alex drive so I would be rested up for the long haul from SLC to San Diego but no sooner did I fall asleep but what I was roused from a sound sleep by the van swaying all over the road. Alex had blown a tire. As we limped to the side of the road a really nice man pulled in behind us making sure that we were OK and that we had everything we needed to fix the van. It is good to know there are still nice people in the world.
On the ride home we had Alycia and Trevor with us so between Alex, Trevor and myself we quickly got the spare on. It was about that time that Greg and Gaylia pulled in behind us to make sure we were OK. We then back tracked five or six miles into Pocatello to a Costco where we were told that they normally don't take customers for tire repair after seven. It was 7:10. The guy took pity on us and we bought four new tires. They were due to be replaced.
An hour later we were back on the road and we hadn't gone more than a few miles when once again the van swerved and I heard some unusual thumping under the van. I took a quick look out the back window and there was a cat flopping down the road. Alex had hit a cat.
Finally we made it to SLC, dropped the kids off and continued on to St George. The plan was to sleep for a couple of hours, get up early and continue on to San Diego but as we were driving, Lisa started getting a bunch of text messages asking if we had made it back yet. Apparently if we hadn't made it past San Bernardino yet we weren't going to any time soon. They had been fighting a wild fire for two days already and it just recently arrived at the freeway burning out homes and vehicles. Once again, the entire I-15 was completely shut down.
With the road closed it was an easy decision to stop in St George but we were in bed at 4:00AM and up at 7:00. The freeway was open so we grabbed a quick breakfast, kissed Sarah and Sam goodbye and were on our way. OK, I didn't really kiss Sam but you get the idea.
We arrived in San Diego early afternoon, showered and changed and headed in to work.
The drive may have been somewhat crazy but the stops were wonderful. Now that I got the crazy drive off my chest, let me tell you about what a great time we had. Tomorrow I will tell you about my 40th High School Reunion.