Dry, Clear, and COLD

At 8 am, at Silver Creek High School it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit, that's -15 Celcius, and the band percussionists and other intrepid band members were there to load up the van. There was one problem, there was no van, yet.

It was supposed to rentable at 8 am from a storage facility, that Mr. Legg, the band director, found out wasn't open until 9am. Then they said that there was a facility a block away that was supposed to be open at 8 am, so John, Jet and I drove there only to find a sign on the door that said, "Closed until December 27th". So Mr. Legg called around and found a place that was open at 8 am in North Boulder, nearly a 20 minute drive away... but it really was open and someone answered his phone call.

Boulder in the MistSo we got to drive there... in the mist, and unusual phenomenon around here, as there are four ranges of mountains usually behind that yellow barn... or at least four that we can usually see.

Jet was a champion and slept in the back seat while John drove, and we managed to get the van with no trouble whatsoever, and John drove the van back to the high school while Jet and I had a little time in the car on the way back. I drove, and we were just companionable for a long time. It was good.

This is going to be the first time Jet's been home alone over night, and we were all pretty set for it and he was content. We talked over the wonder and idea of being able to do anything he wanted for a while day, and how he'd probably end up doing things simply to have something to do, too. That was fun. I think he'll be just fine, and he actually had the alternative of staying with a friend for both of the nights John and I would be on the road, but he decided he'd rather have some time to himself.

Packing the VanOnce we got back to the school, we had to pack all the instruments, equipment, uniforms, and music stands for the jazz band, the concert band, and the marching band (which, luckily, mostly consisted of all the members of the other two bands) into the van. It didn't seem that large. But everything ended up fitting. I was really impressed. John's spatial problem solving abilities were wonderful and got everything to fit.

Even our luggage fit in there too, easily, and some of the more fragile and temperature sensative instruments ended up in the front cabin with John and I. We needed to bring them into the room with us when we went to sleep.

So it all worked out well.

Then we ran east. Straight east, pretty much. If you look on a map, I-70 heads straight east out of Denver, and we did exactly that. Going across the rest of Colorado, going through Kansas, and ending up in Missouri, at night, and the temperature pretty much held at 10 F going to a height of 12 F and ending up in the dark at 10 F (-12 C) at Boonville, Missouri.

Stopping for GasWe didn't stop for much, honestly. We've done the 21 hour haul between Seattle and San Diego so many times, and we used to have a VW Passat that basically got 1000 mile on a tank of diesel; and it was interesting with this van that we had to stop every 300 miles for gas. The great good things were that this Ford van had amazingly good visibility, was really stable with its long wheel base, and it has exactly the same controls as our little Einstein (the Ford Focus we'd bought last spring to replace the Passat when it broke its timing belt).

The one thing we did manage was a stop in Kansas City for some BBQ ribs. They were really good with the local onion rings, baked beans, and a slightly pink coleslaw that had enough purple cabbage in it to make it beautiful. It was tasty with plenty of vinegar and onion...

So it's been an uneventful drive, and the weather was amazingly good. Dry as anything, the roads were clear, clean, and easy to drive; and with the bitter cold and the vacation time the traffic has been incredibly light for this time of year. Usually there's never any room at the inn during Christmas Break as everyone is out and about. But with the cold people seem to be trying to escape the Midwest instead of fleeing across it.

John was smart and had booked accomodations for us across our way; but our hotel had plenty of room, and we're snug in our room with the bassoon, the tambourine, the snare drum, and the oboe. The brass doesn't seem to mind the cold... *laughs*

We're well on our way to Tampa, due there Thursday afternoon with any luck, and stopping for the night in Boonville, Missouri.
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