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Day 2: Monday April 30th: Life’s Twists and Turns

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<– DAY 1: Sunday April 29th: It’s a Fluid Situation! | Day 3: Tuesday May 1: Weathering Oz –>

DAY 2: We made it to Rawlins, Wyoming, yesterday. Progress has been made.


Here’s what happened to delay our departure from Utah …..


After a stressful morning, a very happy wife.

It was an interesting day of twists and turns. Yesterday morning began with a startle. At 5:17am the motel TV’s audio, but not video, sputtered to life, crackling at first, then clearing up to broadcast some kind of TV news interview. I hunted down the remote in the dark, hit the power, thinking the tv would shut off, but instead the video came to life. I hit the power one more time, then the video and audio shut down. That was weird!

Later, as we were leaving the hotel in search of tires, Ann discovered that she didn’t have her purse. If not in the motel room — and it wasn’t there any of the 74 times we checked — then the only other place it could be was at the nearby Spanish Fork’s Cafe Rio, where we ate the previous night. We called the restaurant at 9am and were able to speak with the manager who closed the night before and was opening it that morning, learning that he hadn’t seen the purse. After another search of the motel room, we concluded it had been stolen after we’d left the restaurant. Gone were her cash, her banks cards, her military ID, her driver’s license, her inhaler, her new glasses, and some other stuff.

We are WINNING on this trip, lol.

Back to the tire search … based on my the previous evening’s research, we ended up at the Springville Big-O tire shop. They had the best local reviews and could get the original OEM tires (which no local tire-shops had in stock). Now, we just had to wait.

How to kill time on a rainy day? First, we thought eating breakfast was a good idea. Not wanting to drive very far on the crappy spare tire, we found a Denny’s just a block away. After being seated, the server asked what she wanted to drink and Ann responded “apple juice”.

Turns out, Denny’s sold out of that the day before. Poor Ann, she just couldn’t win …. having had enough by that time, she broke the soda embargo she’d put in place for the past month and ordered a Dr. Pepper. Since Ann couldn’t see the menu (reading glasses in the missing/stolen purse), she explained to the waitress that she could not read the menu, then described what she wanted: 1 egg over easy, 2 pieces of bacon, a bowl of grits, and the Dr. Pepper. I had the grand slam (2 eggs, toast, 2 pieces of bacon, hash browns).

All was good until we got the bill. They charged me $4 for my breakfast and $9 for hers (the waitress priced all her items ala carte). Life had thrown Ann too many bad pitches over the last 24 hours, so she was ready to throw the ball back.

Ann stood, asked for my wallet, and hunted the waitress down. She was gone several minutes. When Ann returned she said “I told the waitress that the price was unacceptable. She said it was the best she could price it. I told her I expected her to know her menu better and be more creative. Once again, she claimed she didn’t know what to do, so she priced it as best she could. I told her that I’d explained I didn’t have my glasses, so I couldn’t figure out the options myself. I told her to fix the problem.”  I doubt International assassins would have wanted to face Ann at that point. Apparently the problem got fixed. I never did ask what she paid ….


Me working at the Art City Coffee shop … beats working in the jeep.

With the Denny’s ‘experience’ complete, Ann began canceling cards, while I found a coffee shop (Art City Coffee) near the tire shop to hang out. It was quiet, relaxing place with comfy couches. It was filled with art, but now has one less painting ……. Because, as we sat, Ann found herself looking at a painting on the opposing wall. She fell in love with it, finding it soothing for reasons she couldn’t articulate. At this point, soothing was a GOOD thing.

After an hour, Ann was still enjoying that painting and wondering what it would cost. Figuring it was going to be $500 or more, I asked the proprietor. He, in turn, called the artist. Wouldn’t you know, the damn thing was priced at only $175. At that point, I could see it was a done deal. She rarely splurges like that, so it seemed like the right thing to do. Her frustration turned to a big smile.


Yep, we took over the back of the coffee shop. She’s smiling knowing we bought the painting.

Buying the painting brightened her day. It also changed our plans, as now, after the tires, we had to drive it to Salt Lake to store the painting with my son until we return. The ripple effects of that are 1) we skipped Kansas all together, taking I-80 instead, 2) we’ll have to return to SLC on the way home to get the painting and 3) we lost an entire day of travel, which means we will be turning south after Knob Noster, Missouri, so we can catch back up to our planned itinerary.

Remember, it’s a fluid situation … I think I’m going to make myself a shirt with those words, as fate is directing us with regularity thus far! Eventually we’ll make it across the Mississippi, then we can slow the non-stop driving a bit.

<– DAY 1: Sunday April 29th: It’s a Fluid Situation! | Day 3: Tuesday May 1: Weathering Oz –>


15 Comments on “Day 2: Monday April 30th: Life’s Twists and Turns

  1. gmwillys

    Ann and Dave,

    Hopefully all of your unfortunate luck is behind you. Here is to smooth sailing ahead. I think that $175 for a piece of art was a steal. Enjoy the scenery of your travels.

  2. Maury Hurt

    I got a great laugh out of, “I doubt International assassins would have wanted to face Ann at that point.” Glad it all worked out, and that the artwork helped her get back to feeling good again!

  3. Gary

    I love reading about your exploits:) Hope the rest of the trip goes as planned but with enough “interesting twists” to keep us all entertained.

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Gary: No doubt that we haven’t seen that last twists 🙂

    Steve: We bought a good luck charm … the painting! (hopefully)

    Bob: Talking to strangers is the whole point!

    Maury: I was only half joking … she had that “I’m a brain damaged, PTSD suffering veteran. Don’t mess with me” look. I’m surprised they didn’t pay us to leave at that point.

    gmwillys: That was my thought. I thought we might be arrested for theft. When you look at the use of color and brush strokes up close, it’s very well done. It reminded me of the first time I saw a Seurat up close at the NY Met. The painting was dated 2015, so it has been around a while. We figured the artist was just happy to have someone finally buy it. A coffee shop in Springville Utah was the wrong place for this piece.

  5. Mom

    I think I see a chopped Jeep in the painting! The wheel is pretty obvious. Upper left. Its a true winner for you and Ann!!!

  6. Allan Knepper

    OK……I think I am going to have to make a major change in my daily routine. As many others have previously stated in older posts, I start my daily routine with a fresh cup of coffee, protein bar and ewillys to get my day off to a great, positive start.

    I can’t take all this bad luck and travails this early in the morning ( my own life as an old man….husband….father to daughters…..and son to my 100yr. old mother give me plenty of that already !)

    I am now officially putting you on notice that I have moved my daily ewillys visit to early evening after being slightly numbed by a minimum of two glasses of my favorite red wine……!!

    Happy Trails
    Allan J.Knepper

  7. Laurie Happ

    Love your travel blogs even tho you may not be enjoying today’s topic! LOL. Remember, the vacations you truly remember are the ones that didn’t go as planned. . . “remember the trip when your purse got stolen and we bought that fabulous painting!” 🙂

  8. David Eilers Post author

    Mom: I can see that … Hadn’t noticed that before.

    Laurie: Isn’t that the truth!

    Allan: Ann suggests a shot of Praline with your coffee: … I doubt there will be much to report on tomorrow. Still, you should get a good laugh out of tomorrow’s post. I tell the TRUE story of Ann getting banned from driving in the state of Kansas for kidnapping granny…..

  9. gmwillys

    The only Seurat, (Sunday Afternoon) I ever got to see up close was in Chicago. The bad thing was that it was just after Ferris Beuler’s Day Off came out. People were pressed up against the rope trying to see the painting close up, as in the movie.

    Hopefully you two will not have too much to report on. Just easy miles. Kansas is overrated anyhow.

  10. Mike W

    My God what an ordeal. I guess its better than being at work. I kept expecting your story to end with you found her purse not bought a painting LOL. Hopefully things smooth out going forward. Thanks for sharing.

  11. David Eilers Post author

    Mike W: It was all good until tonights tornados!

    Mark: We are on the road for a month around the eastern half of the US. Many destination and lots of jeeps and people to see!

  12. Bill Garland

    David, If you’re heading through Pa. (Carlisle) I’d love to have coffee with you guys and show you my 46 2A if you had time. Bill Garland

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