Seattle Trip / New car
Well I made it back.
The trip started out interestingly enough: I thought I had a 545 flight, so I showed up at 4:30. Turns out it is a 445 flight, but luckily the flight was delayed 2 hours. So the flight finally leaves around 6:30pm, but at this point I’m worried because I thought my second flight would also be delayed 2 hours, so I’d be making Niko ( guy I’m buying the car from) stay up even later (it would be around midnight local time when i landed). It ended up just cutting into my 3 hour layover time so that was nice for all parties involved. My landing in Chicago was a rough one, it ended up giving me a bit of whiplash I think! Had an hour to relax and have dinner at O’Haire before my connecting flight to Seattle took off. That was an 8 hour flight of no sleeping and pure boredom. It was an aisle seat too..no fun
So I land in Seattle at 11pm local time / 1AM my time. Niko picks me up at the airport, takes me over to the car and we sign some paperwork. It’s pretty late but I just flew across the country and bought a car so I’m not that tired. Let’s also remember that I’m from a small midwest town, and have never been more than a few hours outside of my town without being with family or a group of friends, so things were a little uneasy. I decided to try and drive a little while. I made it about 2 hours before I figured I’d pull over and sleep, it was about 3am my time. I pulled into a rest stop and hopped in the passenger side, locked the doors, and leaned the seat back. Between the cars constantly coming and going, the uncomfortable seat, and being extremely cold, I didn’t get much rest. I woke about 2 hours later with back pain so bad I couldn’t feel my legs, hands shaking from cold so bad I couldn’t get the key in the ignition etc. So I decided that that was probably all the rest I was going to get in that 5-star resort, and to hit the road again. At this point I began reconsidering my plan to sleep in rest stops in the car all the way back across the country.
I pull out of the rest stop and realize I’m in the middle of a national park, it’s sun-rise, and there are snow-capped mountains everywhere. Pretty wild. Where I’m from there are no hills, mountains, lakes, rivers, anything. There is ony corn. Lots of corn. I drove for about 2 hours before I started falling asleep again. I guess I overestimated how much rest I got from the 2 hours of sleep in the car. So I found a Motel6 on the side of the interstate and pulled in. I got about 4 hours of much needed awesome sleep. As i was checking out and walking out to the car I snapped this pic.
I hopped back on the road and started driving. At one point I got pulled over on the first day in Montana for speeding (80 in a 75 I think it was?). Problem was, the car came with a Pivot 100mm boost gauge on the steering shroud that blocked the speedometer! Not my style, but it would have to stay there until I got home. So I get pulled over, I have the previous owner’s Washington plates on the car, my Illinois drivers license, a bill of sale, and my insurance card for the car. The officer has me step out of the car and come sit with him in his while he checks everything out. I ended up explaining to the cop why I flew across the country to buy a 1991 Nissan, which he was perplexed by (he probably thought the car was stolen, and understandably so). Note to self: next time I fly out on a trip like this, figure out a way to get temporary tags that are registered to ME, instead of trying to drive across the country on someone elses tags. The officer ended up buying into my story and told me to enjoy the trip, and stop by some national parks in the area if I had time.
After a few hours I pulled over and snapped this picture with the trusty iPhone. Reminds me of something out of a Fallout game or something.
I plugged in the GPS and it said this:
500 Miles to the next turn and it can’t calculate the arrival time. What did I get myself into.
In the next picture you’ll see a flood on the side of the interstate. Well what you don’t see is that that flood decided it would be sweet if it crossed the road, and flooded it about 1 foot deep for 100 yards. So I sit in traffic for about an hour near Livingston, Montana as everyone has to creep through it. I get up near the front of the line and decide to pull over to check out the flood and see if it is possible to make it through in my car. I walk up to the State Trooper keeping an eye on things up near the front and ask her how deep it is. She says “It’s only about a foot deep, you should be fine”. I kind of give her an “Are you serious?” look, and glance back at my new car, which is probably about 2 inches off the ground at the lowest point. She’s like “well, you don’t have much of a choice, it won’t be down for another 3 or 4 days”. So I just had to go for it. it was scary, but I made it. I felt the car get a little floatey at one point. So i make it to the other side, heart beating about 180BPM. I see a cop on the other side and he’s just laughing and shaking his head. Not that funny, man. Anyway, car was fine, no electrical shortages, no hydrolocking, etc. Moving on..
Overall in the first day I think I drove about 20 hours. So about midnight rolls around on the first day and my GPS has me hop off the interstate in south eastern Montana and get on some state-highway for a little bit. Long story short, worst roads ever, deer everywhere, creepy Indian reservation that seemed very impoverished, almost run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, almost get mugged at a gas station when I do finally find one, etc. Finally find a hotel about 3am and try to hit the hay. Thing is, I’ve been driving for 20 hours, and I’m afraid to fall asleep because I think I will crash; my brain doesn’t realize that I’m laying in bed, it thinks I’m still driving. I finally fall asleep and wake up the next day around 9am and drive 16 hours and make it home. All in all it was a little over 2000 miles in 2 days. Thanks to everyone that called me throughout both days of the trip to chat and keep me positive and awake, that helped a lot.
Safe and sound and cleaned up a little