It seems we've got a tradition so far on this trip: one major crisis every day. Here's a picture of today's.
Cowboy and I, refreshed from the Motel 6, hopped into Buster Lewis and started our journey from Green River, Utah, to Colorado. We stopped in Fruita, following signs for a Dinosaur Museum and the Colorado National Monument, but opted instead for a quick pit stop at McDonald's and more driving. We had a long way to go, after all.
There was construction all along the 70, with one lane or other closed most of the time, the closed lanes marked off as usual with day-glo orange traffic cones. Just outside of Parachute, Colorado, the driver in front of us swerved sharply, first into the closed lane, then OFF the lane to the barriers along the side, bouncing all the way across to the other side, like a pinball.
I'm guessing the driver fell asleep. It's easy to do - the road in this area is pretty monotonous, with the spectacular views still a ways up ahead. I can't be overly judgemental about it considering I totaled a pick up truck this exact way: dozing off behind the wheel. In fact, I'd made a pact with myself for this trip to get off the road at the slightest eye-dip. But I can pass judgment on the fact that the driver, upon awakening, bolted off the freeway instead of pulling over to see if he or she had caused any damage.
Had they stayed to face the music they'd have found me pulled over to the shoulder with a broken windshield. It all happened so fast I'm not even 100 percent sure how it went down. The best I can tell, the other car hit a traffic cone that flew up and smacked into Buster's windshield.
It spider-webbed pretty bad, and the crack is now halfway across the windshield. I think it stopped, but I'm keeping my eye on it. I thought about getting the glass replaced but the quote was $300, and so far it wasn't impeding my vision. Since we had so much further to go, I just wanted to press on.
And on we pressed. This was the most grueling part of the trip for Buster, who definitely had a hard time scaling Vail Pass at over 12,000 feet. It's a lot to ask of a nearly 30 year old bus, and I was not, as I later discovered, using overdrive correctly either, which probably contributed to the struggle. Still, we made it, seemingly none the worse for the wear.
We stopped for the night in Big Springs Nebraska, barely making it to a gas pump after a long stretch of no diesel. But make it we did, and though I worried I'd gotten too low, Buster started right up after I filled up. I didn't drive far, though, only to the Motel 6 behind the service station. I think this will be our last night of motel life because the predictions call for a 10 degree temperature drop tomorrow. Once we get out of this heat, I will feel much more comfortable about requiring my little old hacking-cough bronchitis-filled dog to sleep in the bus.